When your business is built on a particular product, you need to know 2 things: first that you can make that product within budget and second, that the product is of high quality.
You cannot do either of these things without the right technology. Investing well and investing early could be the difference between a successful business and a business that is just making ends meet.
Business success often comes down to how efficiently you can work and, ultimately, this means how well you work with your technology.
So, given all the pressure you now have to choose the perfect technology for your business, what should you look for?
What Are Your Needs?
The first question to ask is, what are your needs? Every business has a different set of requirements and understanding what makes your business different is just as important as understanding what makes you the same.
So, you might find that you can choose a generic technology in some areas but you may have more bespoke requirements in others.
Identifying your needs requires careful thought because your brand image and business could hinge on how you go about doing things.
For example, a traditional cabinet maker would very likely manufacture their products in a very different way to a large corporation. If a traditional maker were to take up the same methods, they would probably lose their unique selling point and their business would suffer as a result.
You should also think about the difference between wants and needs. It’s easy to be taken in by fancy technology but don’t forget that tech is also a product being sold. Don’t let a fancy marketing strategy blind you to what you really need!
Could Alternative Methods Work Better?
Once you have identified your needs, you need to think carefully about how to meet those needs. There are so many different ways to reach the same conclusion and the best way may not be what you had anticipated. Technology now moves so fast that though traditional methods can form a starting point, they may be a long way from what you actually need.
Understanding how to augment technology is also really important. For example, you might find that a particular machine is ideal for manufacturing your product but it could be made even better using a heat transfer fluid – find more information here.
A small change can make a lot of difference so perfecting the mechanics of your production is essential. Even if you only make tiny changes at a time, your product will get better and better.
Efficiency is one of the main reasons that companies decide to change their technology. The faster you can produce work, whether that is performing a service or manufacturing a product, the more time you will have to take on more work. However, you need to make sure that speed isn’t at the sacrifice of quality.
Cost and Quality
One of the major drivers in business is always going to be cost. If the cost of a particular technology is too high, you will simply have to look elsewhere to find something similar or make do with what you have. But even if your business can afford the technology, you need to know whether it is worth the expense or not.
This is where quality becomes really important. You need to be able to balance the cost of manufacture with the quality of what you produce. Ideally, you need to be able to produce a high quality product that your customers love without incurring a high cost.
But the reality is that you need to work out where your profits peak and where spending more won’t help. In practical terms, this means that you need to work out where further investment will improve the quality of your product and where it is a waste of money.
You must always think about what your customer is expecting – do they want cheap and cheerful, high quality products or something in between?
Will they be prepared to pay more for a product that has been manufactured in a different way? Will they be able to tell the difference at all? Answering these questions is essential before you invest in any technology.
When you choose the right tech for your business, remember that you are making an investment. The technology must last through your business growth and offer you a chance to develop further.
You must see a return, whether that return is greater quality, happier staff or higher profits – or, preferably, all 3!