There is an entire industry that seems to be offline and afraid fo computers and technology. There is an alarming number within this industry that refuse to move forward into 2012.
While trying to reserve stereotypes, I understand that certain benefits are attached to this industry not using computers.
1. There is no paper trail.
2. There is no exact customer list on a server somewhere. A person doesn’t have to worry about crashing and losing customer info.
3. There is no problem answering emails but instead the phone is ringing.
4. There is no way to be hacked.
5. There is no threat of work shutdown due to computer malfunction.
Now while I love some of these reasons, nowadays they sound absurd. Get a computer and learn the simple techniques of email and spreadsheets and how to optimize your business. I love the no paper trail thing because ‘big brother’ isn’t necessarily aware perhaps of what is going on for good reason. The business owner doesn’t want them involved anyway. I respect that. I rally around your cause but there is also great flexibility in going to one location and looking at one spot to find all your information. This could include; store transactions, count of things pertaining to this business, customers’ information for follow up messages.
I love the thought of those last two particularly. They reveal a business that is independent of modern miracle email machines. They reveal an Andy Griffith timezone. The time zone where simple really was better and advanced. I fail to see how having a business offline is really going to help you nowadays. I’m all for it if the owner was going to simply keep his personal info offline for whatever reason, but fail to stand behind it because it’s what’s always been done. I hate that answer with ten passions. The previous owners did this so I have to….excuses are terribly like noses, we all got one. They also should be looked at frequently as a reason for not going forward into new and exciting territory and growth financially.
I have worked in a place before where info was supposed to be called in on a regular basis. This work takes place with a long batch of man hours wasted just by simply going through the wood pulp paper and counting as if on an abbacus. Terrible waste of time if you want an opinion. I have also worked in a place where customers were called daily for their order to be picked up. Great waste of hours! I have seen someone sit on the phone for hours on end that could’ve been used to boost customers instead. The customer could have been sent a message or blanket email if set up correctly. Excel does that combined with Word and setup is the biggest time consumer. After the set up one just simply punches a few things or details in and Voila!
That is what gets me. I know there is computer usage going on in some of these places but everyone without one for their business still relies on paper lists and paper orders for customers. It’s crazy to think how many hours could be handled more successfully, if the owners would embrace this technology with enough knowledge to help out. I feel that there is a college or friend close by who could help these businesses out but the saddest part is the people too set in their ways to change. I feel for them because revolution is on its way.
Some points in life I reflect back on Maximum Overdrive movie which scared me as a child. This movie for those not familiar, is about a series of incidents that happen; pop can machine shoots pop at kids’ nuts, saw comes to life on its own, trucks drive themselves and so on. It was based off of a Stephen King novel or short story and it’s timeless but it applies here. The worry of what if. The crazy things that could happen if an owner uses the new technology for the greater good. I say screw the what ifs in this life and go forward. If computers are going to take over the world we live in, I want to control them and not be controlled by them.
What is your stance? How do you educate an industry that refuses to move forward?