This article was originally published by Dean McNeely at www.ltlfreightcenter.com
The Pokemon GO craze has revealed a critical fact about our world. We need to put technology where it belongs and get back to the business of living. While that may seem like an individual choice, the fact is businesses who apply this same principle stand to cut their costs and increase revenues.
I see it every day. You see, Pokemon GO has revealed how addictive technology can be, how it can be misapplied and lead otherwise sane people to ignore obvious safety. These same behaviors also occur in business environments – just in more subtle ways. While they may not lead to life-threatening accidents, they can create massive waste of business resources like time and money and create dissatisfied employees.
As a logistics broker, I use technology every day. It’s a tool I use for the benefit of my customers. But when it comes to decision-making, it’s all about people. That’s the first of three secrets hidden but revealed by the Pokemon GO craze that can help businesses cut costs in every department and especially in shipping. Let’s take a deeper look.
#1. Business is about people.
Every business’ customer is a human being. Even if you sell B2B, another person depends on the product or service you deliver. Beyond the vendor-customer relationship though, employees are people too. It’s no secret to a business owner that happy, healthy employees are more productive than employees who aren’t.
In the same way a business that saves its customers a few dollars will create a happy customer, a business that saves its employees time or eliminates tedious, frustrating tasks will have happier people working and willing to commit to the company’s goals. Happy customers become repeat customers and happy employees become productive, committed ones.
And in the end, doesn’t productivity create two outcomes? More gets done or new ways are found to get more done. For a business, that translates to lower costs and more revenue.
#2. Technology is a tool (not a vehicle for Pokemon GO!).
When humans first invented the wheel, they probably didn’t do it with a Ferrari 488 Spider in mind. They probably just wanted to get a heavy object from one place to another without breaking their backs.
So it is with all our technology. We create it for a business purpose and then in both the business and consumer worlds, it develops cool features we fall in love with – or become addicted to. In reality, it’s a tool that should be used so long as it’s useful.
Once technology stops improving our lives, it’s time to forget it. For a business, this means if a better tool comes along, the old tool should be dumped as soon as possible. The same goes for services.
Now, as a business owner I know technology is expensive. That’s why so many companies have moved into a software as a service model or outsourcing of services.
We have similar models in my industry logistics. In fact, a business like mine, LTL Freight Center, offers both. As a third party logistics broker, we can – and for many customers do – go beyond simply arranging freight services.
Our full service logistics management service eliminates time-consuming tasks that generate little return for a company and provides advanced reporting that makes it possible to cut shipping costs. We use technology like our transportation management system to make invoicing and tracking simple and centralized. And we make it available to our clients.
By using technology as a tool, LTL Freight Center helps its customers cut freight costs and save time to the benefit of both our customer’s customers and their employees too. If every business applied this principle to every department, the cost savings would be huge.
#3. Focus on what’s important.
When one of our trucker’s is on the road, his needs to stay focused on what’s most important: driving safely and getting to his destination in the most efficient time possible. Keeping focused on what’s important is a good idea for every business to constantly measure itself against.
(And a good idea for individuals too. If, for example, Pokemon GO consumes a lot of one’s time, it may be time to re-evaluate one’s personal relationships and it will really matter a year from now that you found a Pokemon…)
If little details take time away from core goals, it’s probably time to assess whether those details can be eliminated. Maybe it’s changing a process. Maybe it’s hiring a specialist who can manage them more efficiently, whether it’s an outside firm or a new employee.
A business that stays focused on core business activities instead of small, inefficient efforts will do more for its customers, have happier employees and create more tangible, and profitable, results.
One Final Thought
Business is about people. So is life. We should use technology to spend more time on what’s important. At LTL Freight Center, we apply these principles to save our customers time and money. For us, the result is great business and individual relationships. And you know, if you apply the same principles to daily, personal living, you’ll probably enjoy more fulfilling personal relationships too.
So I say, Pokemon GO away.