One system to rule them all

Image courtesy of SweetCrisis / FreeDigitalPhotos.netNo doubt at one stage or another, you’ve experienced problems caused by your company having multiple database systems in place which store similar data, and yet none of the databases talk to each other.

This can either become very frustrating for customers who call up, and find that the records you have on them are incorrect because the customer service rep has looked in the wrong database, and it can become time consuming and expensive because your employees have to do triple the data entry work to make sure the same data is in all systems. Continue reading

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Does reporting match reality?

graph-paper-magnifyingglassEach day you make strategic decisions based entirely on the variety of reports which you have received from your database systems. What if I told you those reports where wrong? Was your decision to increase the supply of Blue Widgets to Sydney a good one? Did you really just make 300 sales in that market?

Whilst you can provide staff training on using the system appropriately, that will only go so far if the reporting tools are not up to scratch. Continue reading

Use workflow to deliver on time and in budget

Over the last week and a bit I’ve explained what is workflow, and how you can use it so that things don’t get lost in the system, and as a manager that’s all well and good. But no doubt what you really care about is how using it will allow you to deliver your products both on time and within budget.

This is the third and final part of my series on workflow. Continue reading

Friday Fun – Abort, Retry, Ignore.

With my posts in here so far been pretty serious, I thought a light hearted post is in order, this is a pretty old one, but still a little amusing. I don’t know where this came from, as it’s been floating around on the internet for a while

Enjoy

raven_in_moonlight

Abort, Retry, Ignore?

Once upon a midnight dreary, fingers cramped and vision bleary,
System manuals piled high and wasted paper on the floor,
Longing for the warmth of bed sheets, still I sat there doing spreadsheets.
Having reached the bottom line I took a floppy from the drawer,
I then invoked the SAVE command and waited for the disk to store,
Only this and nothing more. Continue reading

Workflow – Avoiding “lost in the system”

broken linkOn Monday I posted an article asking What is Workflow?

Here is part 2 of the series,

I’m sure we’ve all dealt with the infamous “lost in the system”, where we’ve gone to use a company’s services, and somewhere between team A and team C the job gets “lost in the system”. As a victim of this myself, I can assure you that customers are rarely tolerant of jobs seemingly going nowhere. In my case I ceased dealing with the company and took my business to one of their competitors.

Continue reading

What is workflow?

WorkflowOver the next couple of weeks I’ll be discussing workflow systems, including the sort of things that you can get a workflow system to do to streamline your business.

Part 1 – What is workflow?

For anyone who has worked in a larger office, you’re probably all too familiar with workflow, even if you call it by another name.

Workflow is simply completing a job by assigning it from team A, to person B, to team C, each doing their part towards getting the job completed. Usually the knowledge of where things need to go within an organisation is considered company knowledge and is either written up in a formal training manual, or more likely simply passed on between staff members when the need arises. Continue reading

Let’s do a weeks’ worth of work in 10 minutes

Doing a weeks worth of work in 10 minutes will make you this happyWhat if told you it is entirely possible to do your entire weeks’ worth of work in only 10 minutes?

I’m going to cast my mind back a few years, 2008 to be exact. I’ll set the tone for you, I’m sitting at a workstation, and next to me is a PA who is sitting there absolutely stunned in amazement, for I have just done 5 days’ worth of work in 10 minutes. Continue reading