By: Jimmy Binarao
In quite the same way that the blood in our body feeds necessary oxygen to all of our vital organs, data and information is the vitality to business. This would certainly be quite obvious, but please indulge me for a moment in what should then be a rather simple question – why? What is interesting to me is that in so many ways, not every response is the same, and it usually depends on the company’s core mission. One thing for sure is a company cannot make good decisions without good information. As the expression goes, garbage in, garbage out.
On an initial meeting with a client who described his organization’s most pressing need, their response was they were looking for ways to get more data to improve their field-level logistics in several key areas, including operations, support, and sales. As we dug a little deeper, I discovered that that the company not only had all the information which they were already looking for, it was also duplicated multiple places. In a way, you might say there was actually too much stored information to sort through, but at the end of my discovery, there was one key piece missing that would make the difference for them.
How, where, and when information was gathered meant that there were delays in storing the data, and this impacted perceptions, both from within and externally. Their “how” consisted of a blend of paper and electronic files that needed to be copied, printed, scanned, or faxed over. Like with many companies, “where” this work occurred took place both in the field to collect the information, and at the office where data entry took place. Now, despite mandates from management to the field, “when” data was updated sometimes meant it took a few days, and that’s with reminders to get stuff closed out.
One of the great thing about us humans is our diversity, and on so many different levels. The way I have come to see it, being human is not an excuse, but it is a fact that humans can be human, and this becomes more apparent when the ‘process’ forgets that a human – make that different humans – will be interfacing with it. The improvement ultimately came by addressing the ‘how’, ‘where’, and ‘when’ through the use of mobile technology for human input in order to connect with the information in an accurate and real-time way with reduction in duplicate data entry.
Jimmy Binarao has been helping companies with their office automation and information architecture needs for over 20 years, and is part of the Professional Services group at Enoch Office in Timonium, MD. To reach out, or to schedule an appointment, please call 410-561-7600.