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Making your software work for you

August 17, 2010

Sometimes we get into habits that are hard to break. One of the most common habits of software solutions users is what I call working for the application instead of making the application work for you!

Some years ago, when the use of database applications became popular, the main focus was to organize, control and extract data out of them. This was normally perfomed through entering data and then generating reports to see the situation of a specific area or need.

The downside of this process is many times the lack of timing in obtaining critical information to make a timely decision. Normal example of this is the accounting cycle, where the reports are generated at the end of the month. This is the moment when accountants get what I call “corpses”: consequences of situations that happened weeks before, that are now difficult to track and that sometimes were the basis of a decision that was not made or an action that was not taken.

What many users and decision makers do not realize, because they are too used to the comfort zone of their habits, is that there are tools that avoid these situations easily. Technology now allows a company’s management group to make the transition from being report driven, reactive actor, to data driven, proactive actor.

These tools allow to define critical situations, based on the information provided to the database,  where an action needs to be immediately taken. And once a critical situation is detected, the application will alert the person responsible for that area that there is something that needs to be addressed.

Therefore, the old “if we would have known” (that the customer was on credit hold before we shipped that big order / that the buyer placed an order for twice as much as the last price / that our best customer had not purchased anything from us in the last 90 days / that certain inventory lots had already expired before we used them in production – you name it) will not happen again!

It is time to make our systems work for us.

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 18, 2010 7:33 pm

    Great point – I call that proactive use of software as opposed to reactive. Good stuff!

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