Tuesday Three: 3 ways to improve your business

Count them and cost them

  1. Make sure every computer is being used. Nobody gets two and none sit idle. This seemingly easy task is made much harder that it should be by many organisations. I’m very much in favour of spare computers, but they should be centrally located, under the control of the help desk/IT and used for swap-outs and new staff.
  2. Use an expensive consultant to help identify, prioritise and deliver on the biggest cost savings. Note that the deliver part is the hardest by far, and that prioritisation almost always means stopping many things rather than starting new things. One good way to prioritise is to physically move people into a room, assign them one task and ask for weekly updates. Do not accept any legacy work excuses – and give them the aircover required to just get on with it. Note also that the consultant’s fees better be much less than the total savings. Ask them to do a diagnostic with you first to assess the size of the prize and pay their egregious fees rather than a percentage of the upside.*
  3. Kill MYOB and switch to Xero – there is no excuse now that international billing is here. Check your MYOB support and upgrade costs when making the cost comparison – you will have a nasty surprise. Your accountantcy staff will be much happier after the switch.

*of course if any large corporate does want to pay as a percentage of savings made then do call me. If only.

About Lance Wiggs

@lancewiggs
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7 Responses to Tuesday Three: 3 ways to improve your business

  1. “Nobody gets two and none sit idle.” Never edited video have you Lance or done any programming or engineering? :-) Sheesh.

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    • lance says:

      That video computer isn’t really a personal computer though – more like a device. Regardless – good point – it’s a rule – and it can be broken. I have more than two computers just for my personal use, and usually get another when I am at a client. That’s not, however, the cheapest approach, and it does make life much more complicated at times.

      In the past I’ve had and used two computers at once at work – running giant spreadsheets and macros across all the MS Office products back in 1995 was a lot of fun. I had to reboot each one every two hours or so to free up resources. These days there should be less need for that sort of thing, some video editing aside.

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      • True, with even laptops running 2 or even 4 core processors and 4-8 GB of ram there is more than enough grunt for most tasks including basic video editing or capture. I now use a dedicated DTE device for video capture that reduces load even further.

        More than one computer and/or mobile computing device is a pain though using Google Apps and working in the cloud helps unless you are a power spreadsheet user. In fact I would think using SaaS would mean large corporates could get away with shared computers with employees working different shifts ?

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  2. Dan says:

    We were just talking about the number-of-computers thing this morning at work.

    I have a work desktop PC, a work Mac, and a PC at home. It’s difficult working across a number of machines, as your data (Skype/IM history, etc.) is spread all over the show.

    At my last job I had just one Mac that I used at work and at home. It was great, but unfortunately my current work environment won’t (not can’t) allow for this.

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  3. Steve says:

    Dropbox is very very useful at keeping your home/work machines in sync. It’s cross platform, reasonably priced, and works well.

    I use it to keep Adium logs (IM history), address books, project documents, photos, Things, .bashrc, SSH keys etc in sync.

    http://www.getdropbox.com/

    Or if you want to use my affiliate link for extra space:

    http://www.getdropbox.com/referrals/NTEyNjc2Mjk

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  4. stuartm says:

    Not to be too picky, but there’s still a few reasons to use MYOB over over Xero, one of which is inventory/stock management. That was the main reason which prevented a customer of mine from switching to Xero.

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  5. Australians consider Xero to be an expensive alternative to traditional accounting packages. I read one review on this earlier today at iTWire:

    http://www.itwire.com/content/view/26532/1151/

    Other Australian media seems to agree.

    I did a similar cost analysis. Xero may be a bargain for a business turning over $10 million or so, but my business is small and doesn’t have many transactions – Xero works out at around $1.50 per transaction per month. That’s hugely expensive. I’m using an old version of a commercial accounting package which costs nothing to run.

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