If you’re anything like me, you have too many things to do and not enough time to do them in! Naturally, as someone who works in the tech space – turning to technology tools to deliver outcomes with little time is the best option that I know!
A significant part of the reason why I don’t have the time that I (feel like) I used to have is that I have a young family – suddenly the spare time that I spent working outside regular business hours has diminished significantly.
Today I went shopping (I hate shopping) with my wife and Erica (3 ½) for a new bed for the kids’ room to hopefully move Ollie (1 ¼) into soon. We went to a relatively well-known chain furniture store to have a look at the range, with Erica declaring that she likes anything and everything we look at!
We spent around 20 minutes looking at different options and configurations before finally settling on bunk configuration with a double at the bottom and a single up top. We just won’t install the ladder until they are both a bit older.
We waved over the helpful sales rep in the vicinity and asked some questions about delivery cost, how the packaging is configured (it was flat pack which meant we should be able to fit it in the car) and so on. He then checked the stock – none available. But there is stock in 2 nearby stores – 6 at one, 5 at the other. We can still get the bed today. Happy days!
Mind you- all this information was given to us from a tablet device on the spot. No need to go away and check. Even the sizes of the flat pack to help figure out if it would fit in the car.
By this stage, it was almost midday, so I dropped everyone off home to have an afternoon sleep and headed off to the closest store with stock.
When I arrived, I realised I didn’t take down the part number or even the model name for the bed. And this store had no demo unit on the floor of that bed! I went looking for a sales rep, most of them were walking around looking for someone to help.
I asked the nearest sales rep about the bed I am after. She brought up the website on her tablet and nailed it on the first guess. Correct bed, correct colour and in stock. Paying by credit card. Name, phone number and email address entered in without having taken a step since starting the conversation, and the transaction was done. Two minutes later, I am driving around to the loading dock at the back of the store to get the flat pack of the bed. The email arrives with the Sales Order, Invoice and all the store information.
Awesome, no paperwork that I would likely to look at once, maybe scan or take a picture of for the 3-year warranty (which I’ll likely lose if I change phones). Quick and simple.
On reflection of the process of this purchase, it was far beyond what I’ve experienced in these types of retail stores in the past. It was greatly modernised, and I appreciated the experience. Not only was the process of the transition simple (not having to go to a specific place in the store, tie up the sales rep’s time to fill out paperwork, and so on), it was swift.
My idea of great technology is this sort of impact on the user and the customer. In the past, purchasing an appliance has been a slow process. The last device we bought that wasn’t online was a TV in 2008 – it probably took 15 minutes to go through the transaction. This transaction took around 10% of that time.
Ok, so what was the point of that story?
Technology tools are fantastic if the audience is right. So, start with the audience and work backwards from there.
Don’t forget that this includes the people in your organisation that need to use the tools.
They need to be simple enough to ensure adoption, yet powerful enough to generate excitement in the change. If it is just another thing that we need to do daily that slows us down from getting shit done – it won’t become engrained in the culture of how you operate.
There are so many tools out there, I am not going to name any. They are often fit for purpose, and to put together a great big messy list of them could side-track you from where the effort needs to be spent – making sure you understand your audience.
Remember, we’re doing this because we have not enough time. Spend it wisely and get the most impact for the least time spent.
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