It’s summertime, and a quick glimpse at the magazine rack in the grocery check-out lines promises quick weight-loss, guilt-free dieting, 6-pack abs (of course), and any number of pain-free ways to a better body and enjoy a spectacular summer. Now, of course, you know, deep down, that it’s not going to be quite that easy, but, still you think, as you reach for “how to lose 15 pounds in 15 minutes,” maybe this time . . .
Every day, businesses fall for the hype of technology as a quick solution to their business challenges. Seamless. Leading edge. Out of the box. And other go-to marketing buzzwords tantalize with the promise of the office version of 6-pack abs for managing your documents or your printing strategy.
And just like those check-out line magazine covers, these promises are just as hollow. If you are looking to technology – any technology, software or hardware – to solve your business problems, you’re probably going to end up exacerbating your problem. As the saying goes when it comes to automating a business workflow: if you automate a bad workflow with software, you’ll just mess things up – only faster.
Too often, we see companies attempt to purchase a copier or document management software or network services without understanding how these tools will be effectively applied to their business challenges. Technology is not a panacea. You need a plan: software implementation plan, print workflow plan, or printing device placement plan.
In our recently-released guide, Choose the Right Copier – 4 Things to Know, we argue that you shouldn’t “just buy a copier.” You are buying a key tool to improve the efficiency of your business. And like any tool, there’s a right one for every job. That’s what you need to figure out for yourself.
Take a Step Back before Selecting Document Management Software or a Copier
Before whipping out your credit card or signing a lease agreement, take the time to think through what your business requirements REALLY are, not what you only THINK they are. As any carpenter knows, “Measure twice, cut once.”
- Talk to your users. Be sure to talk to the people who will be actually using any technology you implement. They can provide insight into what the real sticking points in a process are and play a key part in developing requirements.
- Get to the problem, not the symptom. Maybe employees are printing to a more expensive copier because it’s more convenient and simply moving a more cost-effective device to a central location would save print and copy costs. Dig beneath the surface to determine the real business challenges.
- Open mind. Don’t become fixated on a certain technology or product as THE answer before the above steps.
- No shortcuts. Take the time to get it right from the beginning. How often don’t we have the time to do it right, but we always have the time to do it over?
You don’t have to do any of this yourself. Whether with us or another software or copier service provider, a third-party can provide insights into how technology can be used and what your real business challenges are that you are too close to the problem to clearly see.
So pick up that copy of “a slimmer you by the end of the summer,” just be prepared to do the hard work to make it happen.