As time goes on, technology is becoming a bigger part of maintaining competitive advantage in the marketplace. When I first started tinkering with computers, you just had to be the “computer guy” and you pretty much had to know it all. Then I remember having make a decision of whether I would stay involved in hardware or software. Now there are people that spend entire careers focused on a piece of an application or technology. It is amazing.
Beware the Shiny Objects
I love working on tech. I got my first computer (check this out) in 1985 with its whopping 4K of RAM and storage to a cassette tape. My summer job was working at a computer shop building PC/XT and PC/AT computers. During college I work for a company that built and sold computers for CAD systems, etc etc. It is really easy to get excited over the prospect of new tools and technologies that can propel business forward. Bigger, Better, Faster…it’s the American Way.
However, over time, I have come to realize that for most companies, technology is (or should be) just a tool. It supports your ability to run and grow a business. It is not the epicenter of the business. People, process, products, customers, and vendors are what businesses are made of. Technology is a layer that helps support and tie all of those things together. It was this realization that brought me to an understanding that Atlas Precision must deliver solutions to our customers that are focused first on the business, not on the systems.
Delivering on the Promise
Recently, I was sitting with a business owner who wants to focus on CRM and business analytics. We talked about a lot of different projects, but one thing he was really interested in was developing a simplistic CRM interface that would push data in real-time back and forth to the ERP system. Their ERP already had this functionality, but the user interface was very cumbersome and slow. We started looking at what it would it would take to develop a custom CRM, to his specifications.
At the end of the day, I couldn’t see how he would ever get his money back. It was going to be too expensive. Instead, I recommended he go with a free CRM package that had 90% of what he needed, and then we pushed some key activity data back and forth using the CRM package’s API. Far more cost effective and better for the customer. For me, it was only worth about 20% of what the original package was, but it was the right thing for the customer. Business first, that’s all that matters.
Business First is What We Do
Atlas Precision is committed to working with clients in a way that is good for them, even if that means we are not the right fit for them. If the client is not using their technology investment to grow or improve the business, then that needs to be fixed. The answer is not always “buy more technology”. Atlas believes that keeping it simple, and looking for a clear, executable solution that works best for the business is the right way to go.
Our experience includes executive level experience in business, within ownership structures such as private, public, and private equity. We understand how businesses are supposed to run. We know what it takes to get a business to have healthy cash flow and a strong bottom line. Our approach to the client is always based first on improving those things.
That is how we deliver on the business first approach to client needs.
Read more about how we work with clients.