Monday, March 29, 2010

Biggest productivity drain: March Madness or bad software?

All year long, companies sputter along with their outdated systems and shoddy software. They re-enter data manually, use un-integrated systems, and organize all their data on spreadsheets. When March Madness rolls along, everyone starts talking about lost productivity.

What about the other 11 months of the year?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Limited systems hurt your business

Technology is the excuse of the day. If a company or customer rep can't help you, technology is often to blame (or so they say). For example, have you ever heard any of these lines?

"I'd love to give you a refund, but the system won’t let me."

"I wish I could change your shipping date, but the computer will make me cancel the order and redo the whole thing."

Thursday, March 25, 2010

12 ways to find more time

They say people always live up to their means. If you find a better, higher paying job, your style of living changes to reflect your higher income. In other words, you will always feel like you need just a little more.

I think the same is true for time. If our days were 30 hours long, would we be any less busy? I’m not so sure. Just like money, the answer for a lack of time isn’t hoping that you will magically get more. It’s using what you have in the most efficient manner.

Monday, March 22, 2010

March madness lessons applied to business

I like the NCAA tournament and I try to fill out a bracket every year. Brackets make the games a bit more interesting. A few years back, I decided to try a little experiment: I changed my bracket approach from guesses and gut feelings to pure data and analytics.

If I looked at nothing but data and based my picks on how each team matched up statistically, what would happen? I gathered all the stats for every team in the tournament and created a formula based on the data to predict the winner of each game.

Friday, March 19, 2010

How to keep your employees focused and productive in a bad economy

I’ve heard this question presented many times in the last year: How do I keep my employees focused and productive in such a bad economy? It’s a good question. Your employees are no doubt dealing with more economy-related stress than ever, and nothing kills productivity quite like stress.

Here’s a great article on with some interesting (but good) advice for you. I’d like to toss another idea in there as well: Make your employees feel like you believe they are intelligent and respect their opinions and ideas. This is much more than writing those words in a company newsletter. It’s all about your actions.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

5 rules for the new business environment

The recession has altered the business landscape. But how will it affect your business? How can you take advantage of the new changes brought on by the poor economy?

Here's a good article on entitled, "5 Rules for the New Business Environment." Along with the ideas presented in this article, I have another bit of advice for you: It’s time to ask yourself "Why?"

It's a boy!

Congratulations to our very own Rick Hurckes and his wife on the birth of their baby boy! Jack Maxwell Hurckes was born today at 9:44 a.m., weighing in at 9 pounds and 8 ounces. Everyone is doing well and from what I hear, they couldn't be happier.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Where is the best place to outsource?

Someone in one of my LinkedIn groups asked this question: "Where is the best place to outsource?" Now, he was from an outsourcing company and was only trying to raise awareness for his company, but the responses made me smile.

Most responses mirrored my advice: Avoid outsourcing if at all possible and keep it in house. I understand…many companies outsource because they feel it’s their only option. They can’t afford to keep the work in-house and outsourcing makes perfect financial sense on paper.

Friday, March 12, 2010

3 steps for fixing operational inefficiencies

This article on is both refreshing and unsettling at the same time. The article describes a few of the government’s current inefficient processes and what CIO Vivek Kundra is doing to fix it.

It’s refreshing because our national CIO plans to change things. It’s unsettling because, although I knew the government was inefficient, I had no idea it was that bad. For example, processing benefits for veterans takes 160 days and involves passing manila folders from one desk to another, or even mailing folders to other offices. Furthermore, the patent process takes three years because of all the redundant data entry and antiquated systems.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

7 technologies that businesses should look at

I know many companies that shun new technology. It’s expensive. It’s scary. They’ve succeeded this far without it…why start now?

I can give companies with this mindset two very good reasons: It can save money and it can increase productivity. What company doesn’t want that?

But where should you start? Lucky for you, Forrester Research identified 7 technologies that businesses should look at this year, many of which will help your company save money and increase productivity. You can find the list on

Monday, March 08, 2010

Is ad-hoc reporting still creating a backlog?

During a recent conversation, a friend of mine complained about his IT department. He had been waiting for some reports for 2 days now and it was really slowing him up. I was surprised. He didn’t have web reporting capabilities? His company always struck me as cutting-edge, yet in the year 2010, ad-hoc reporting was still creating a backlog.

Are companies really that far behind? These days, a simple task like reporting should take minutes and not require the IT department at all.

Friday, March 05, 2010

How much do your meetings cost?

Meetings can be many things: Productive, boring, wasteful, groundbreaking, dull, exciting (but probably not), too frequent…I could go on. But, have you ever stopped to consider just how much a meeting costs?

Yes, meetings cost money, even if no one has to travel and you use the conference room down the hall. If everyone in the meeting is getting paid to work, and I assume they are, then your meeting costs money for your company.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

10 technologies for driving revenue in 2010

I talk quite a bit about business technology and software. I stress the need to stay on top of the tech curve. Why? It’s not so you can stare at charts all day. It’s not so you can have your data at your fingertips, though that is certainly beneficial.

No, I talk about technology so much because I know it can save time, money, and increase productivity if used correctly. I talk about technology because the right technology/software won’t be another expense, it will drive revenue.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Driving without a dashboard

Let’s pretend for a second that you’re looking for a used car at a dealership. You find one you like—it’s sporty, fast, and cheap. Only one problem: It doesn’t have a dashboard. No gauges, no warning lights, no nothing.

“No problem,” says the salesman, “Just keep a close eye on it. You’ll be fine. Look how shiny it is.”

  © Blogger template 'Isolation' by 2008

Back to TOP