Doc has a tendency to look to technology for problem solving, which is a fairly common approach. But we all know technology is not always the answer, so I was pleased to see an article over at What They Think that looks at non-technology solutions specific to the printing industry (but applicable elsewhere).
Technology is not THE answer. I guess I'm paraphrasing Nicholas G. Carr who wrote the now famous Harvard Business Review article titled IT Doesn't Matter back in May 2003.
Within the context of the print industry, technology isn't the answer either. Technology is a potential component of the answer. It's almost as if technology has risen to the level of religion, unlimited potential based on faith.
Again and again I hear the words, "we just need to buy technology that can enable us to sell this online and then poof we'll go from $X to $XX,XXX,XXX overnight. Or a less dramatic example, if we had a management information system (MIS) we could control waste, manage labor, and cut our costs. Do you see how these statements are making technology the answer?
Yes, technology can make an impact, but the real difference is always about the strategy and people using the technology, not the technology itself. I've witnessed different print organizations buy the exact same product, from the exact same vendor, target the exact same market, and get wildly different results.
What's the difference?
The three most common differences I see between the successful companies and the not so successful companies are: 1) Strategy 2) Focus 3) Execution
Author Jennifer Matt goes into a lot more detail on each of those three differences. Doc says to check it out.