Old Technology Can Have A Costly Impact

By February 25, 2019Business Improvement

In 1962 Dr. Everett Rogers of Ohio University published the “Diffusion of Innovation” bell curve. This chart, (see below), categorizes how we, as a society, adopt new technology. Are you an “Innovator”? The kind of person who stood in a line outside of the Apple Store, overnight, in order to buy one of the first iPhones? Or are you a “Laggard”? The kind of person who is still holding onto your flip phone from the 90’s because it still works?

Regardless of where you fall on this chart it is important that you don’t make the kind of technology decisions that put your business at risk.  Delaying the adoption of new technology or important software updates can result in major capital expenditures, loss of production time, data losses, and leave you susceptible to cyber threats.  Here are some examples of REGENERATION clients that experienced unexpected data, money and productivity losses due to old technology. 

The Outdated Warehouse

A large sporting goods supplier engaged REGENERATION to help them with a transition to a new warehouse management system. The CEO excitedly explained the productivity benefits the new system would bring to the company. When REGENERATION asked about the cost the CEO shrugged his shoulders and responded, “$650,000”.  REGENERATION discussed the same transition with the Information Systems Manager who responded, “around $2-3 million but no one has ever asked”.  Six years later and the transition has cost the company over $6 million and has still not been completed. 

Why was there such a huge gap between expectation and reality? The company waited too long to update their systems, the upgrade ended up being much larger than originally anticipated, and the proper processes and staff weren’t put in place BEFORE the transition began. As a result, the cost savings that was supposed to be achieved was lost by this lack of planning and procrastination. 

Starting Over

REGENERATION was working with a growing fire prevention business. This was a business that frequently worked in high-risk situations which meant that record-keeping and state and federal laws needed to be closely followed. The company was using a common accounting package but hadn’t updated it – ever. As a result, the system could no longer communicate or integrate with their other operating systems or even with newer versions of the same software. Because they waited so long to update their software they had to start from scratch losing crucial historical data. In the end they had to manually recreate all the historical data, costing them thousands of additional dollars.

Not Enough Information

REGENERATION was working with a Real Estate firm that was experiencing great success. However, they had long ago outgrown their technology systems. From software to personnel, everything was out of date and took countless hours to complete menial tasks. The accounting program was separated across three different operating systems, none of which talked to each other. The property management system didn’t integrate with any of the accounting systems. Basic financial reports could not be created and were done on Excel spreadsheets. They lost the integrity of their data. This affected their ability to make accurate, well-informed, strategic decisions regarding the properties they owned, managed and sold. It stalled acquisitions and created conflict between the partners. Outdated technology systems didn’t provide them with the information required to make data-driven versus emotional decisions.

REGENERATION has extensive experience helping family-businesses optimize. If you think you might be struggling with implementing new technology, updating your business processes or planning for the future of your business, we can help.  

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