A production manager I once worked said to me “you have to show me the business benefits of that new thing”. He was referring to a new information system function the company wanted to implement. I have since always tried to remember this. We probably all want the latest and greatest piece of technology, but what benefits will it bring us. And in a business, we also want benefits – lower costs, more efficient processes for example.
Here is a short story which I hope shows you how even the smallest business can use technology top deliver business benefits. Where I live, we have a milk delivery man. Recently, he left a leaflet at my door about a new initiative called mymilkman.ie. I can’t think of a more traditional business than doorstep milk delivery, so you can image my curiosity – I had to ask what the benefits are for the milkman. So, I duly asked our milkman. He said the system allows customers to pay using a debit or credit card, and this has saved one milkman he knows about 10 hours per week – even though only 50% of customers signed up. Normally, customers would pay by cash and this implies calling at a separate time than the normal delivery time. Add to the time-saved the costs saved in lower fuel and it seems like a big benefit to any milkman.
The system has been created by several Irish dairies, and no doubt there is a business benefit for them too – probably something like more accurate demand forecasting, better cash-flow and so on.