One of the big challenges you may face in running your business is finding the tech solutions that are right for problems that arise. Most business owners know their own fields but aren’t tech experts as well. However, even if you were an expert, it is unlikely that you would be familiar with every technical option in every area. On top of that, the fast-changing nature of tech in the workplace today means that even if you knew the right answer a couple of years ago, that may no longer be the case. The points below can help you think through the challenge you are facing to reach an optimal solution.
Define the Issue
Many business solutions fall at this first hurdle. In general, a problem is not defined effectively because it is misunderstood. First, there may simply not be enough effort to dig down and figure out what the real problem is. Perhaps your fleet manager is reporting problems with stolen goods from your vehicles. There are a whole host of potential fixes to this, including installing a security system, hiring security personnel or having drivers go through a checklist to make sure items are secured.
However, a closer look at the problem may reveal that stolen items are just a symptom of the real problem, which is doors being left open. This can also lead to items spoiling if they need to be kept at certain temperatures. In this case, the best solution is also the simplest. There are door sensors that could alert drivers and other personnel that a door has been left open or that someone is trying to force it open. You can read more about the benefits of these types of sensors online.
You might still wonder how you would figure out that doors being left open is the core problem and that door sensors are the right answer. This same question could be asked about many different challenges that arise in a work setting. How do you connect the dots? One way to get more information is by networking with other managers and business owners. Some of them are bound to have faced similar problems, identified similar causes and found the best way to deal with them. This might be those that you mostly talk to face-to-face, or they could be colleagues that you connect with online. Crowdsourcing a solution in this way can make it more likely that you’ll hear about a newer piece of tech that you might otherwise have overlooked.
To some extent, when it comes to figuring out the right solution, you need to think like a detective. First, you need to speak to the workers who are closest to the situation to get their perspective. Then, you need to take a look at the scene itself. Just as a detective would do, assume that no detail is too small. This kind of thinking would help you realize thatthe one factor that is consistent in all of your goods spoiling or getting stolen is an open door. This can mean that it takes some time to find the right cause and solution, but it’s better to move slowly than to waste money on a series of fixes that don’t actually work.
In addition to talking to other managers, business owners and employees and taking a look at the situation yourself, doing some independent research is also helpful. Read up on various tech advances and think ahead to the future as well. Consider scalability and whether your solution will still work as you grow. Of course, you need to balance this with making sure that you don’t overspend on something that is far more complex than what your company needs at present.
Cost, Ease, and Effectiveness
Once you have narrowed the scope of the problem you are trying to solve, you have to keep certain parameters in mind. You need the most cost-effective and easiest solution. However, this also must be balanced by effectiveness. In many cases, while the cheapest solution might be to try to change employee behavior by adding a step onto their process, that is not as foolproof as tech that can automate or monitor and make adjustments or send alerts as necessary.