Overseeing company production is a notoriously difficult facet of management, especially in today’s digital era. Where supervisors were once able to survey and analyze production from an elevated perch in the warehouse, managers today have to implement the use of various software applications just to ensure company output is on track. And while the use of digital technology has undoubtedly progressed and improved over time, there are still ways that you can improve your ability to gain transparency into the inner workings and productivity of your business.
One of the best ways to improve your ability to oversee business production is to consolidate your IT tools.
The Cons of Software Apps
There is no doubt that implementing the use of various software applications has helped managers and CEOs gain visibility into company production. Unfortunately, however, efforts can sometimes be hindered by having too many applications or by utilizing tools that don’t correlate well with one another, because you’ll inevitably end up spending more time and effort toggling between applications, relying on redundant tools, copying data into multiple solutions, and sifting through copious amounts of information to find what you need.
With over 60-percent of marketers using six or more software applications, there is a clear need for tool consolidation when it comes to production management. Not only can having this many tools hinder your visibility, but it can also be detrimental when it comes to things like tracking deadlines or monitoring budgets. Furthermore, if you happen to encounter conflicting data with another department, identifying a single vantage point or presenting concrete evidence can be difficult if you have dozens of various applications to reference.
How Tool Consolidation Helps
Think about tool consolidation like this: 15 years ago, people carried around a flip phone for calling and texting, a Blackberry for emailing on-the-go, an MP3 for music, and address book, a palm pilot or day planner for a calendar, a newspaper for information, a camera or camcorder for pictures and videos, and maybe even things like a map, flashlight, compass, or GPS. Then smartphones hit the market and all of these gadgets could be accessed in the palm of your hand.
Not only did this invention help people consolidate the tools and gadgets they use on a daily basis, but it also enabled us to save thousands of dollars, too. A 1991 RadioShack ad highlighted that it would have cost $3054.82 to buy all of these common gadgets in 1991, and almost $5,100 with today’s rates. In other words, it wouldn’t make sense to spend a great deal of money on a variety of different devices that require different skills, when you could spend a fraction of that and invest in an all-in-one device that achieves the same purpose.
This concept can be directly applied to tool consolidation for company visibility. By onboarding a comprehensive work management solution, you can benefit from having a clear and reliable vantage point while also being able to manage and control everything from one integrated interface. When searching for your ideal consolidation solution, business strategist Jay Baer suggests looking for a new package that adds benefits you don’t already have covered. Baer states that, “if you’re going to replace an existing software tool, the new tool must be a lot better than the old one and/or significantly less expensive, otherwise the staff time, hassle, loss of momentum, and other switching costs make it unlikely that the chance is going to be worth it – at least in the short term.”
Therefore, when considering a consolidation solution search for an application with these features:
- Jettisons a handful of current disconnected tools
- Maintains compatibility between other tools
- Is significantly less expensive
- Executes demands in a much better way than old tools
With today’s digital economy booming, maintaining insight and understanding into the various facets of your company is critical. And while you think you might be benefiting from the use of various IT tools, your visibility might actually be suffering. However, by implementing a consolidation solution, you can boost transparency to better track productivity, improve management tactics, and gain powerful company perception.