Wednesday, August 25

What's Driving Your Company?

by Eric Pratt

Which came first, the donkey or the mule? Who drives your company bus, you, your systems, or your employees? Better yet, do you empower your employees or do you cripple them?

I doubt that you think you are crippling your employees but I’m here to tell you that many of the clients I meet with are doing exactly that. Not purposely of course, in most cases not even knowingly. How? Horrible, outdated, poorly constructed technology. The best way to limit your team’s productivity is to limit them from the many great tools out there in today’s completely mobile and technologically advanced world.

The best thing you can do is invest in your employees and their success and I believe the best way to do that is through tools and business information technology that make them better, faster, more productive, and possibly most importantly more satisfied. Technology, if used properly, can be a weapon for your team to wield in its pursuit of competitive advantage and superior production. If you aren’t giving your people the tools then you aren’t enabling them to succeed. You aren’t empowering them to compete on a higher level.

How much effect can the right tools have on production? I could argue up to 50% productivity increase but for example’s sake let’s use 10%. So by providing your people with newer, faster computers, a better intranet in the office, mobile tools for the sales force, you should be able to compete at least 10% more effectively then without. That’s a no-brainer.

How many employees do you have? How much do you pay them? Let’s take another example, say 10 employees with an average yearly salary of $50,000. Again, these are conservative numbers by all accounts, most of you probably have more people with higher averages. So take those 10 employees at $50 grr apiece and make them 10% more productive by giving them some better tools to work with. The result? $50,000, the amount you are currently spending on an average employee.

My point? Simple, the next time your staff is getting overloaded and you are about to throw another employee blindly at the problem…. DON’T. Take a better approach, invest in what you have. Free up some time. Free up their minds. Give your best people the best business information technology tools on the market and watch their productivity go through the roof. Spend a little money investing in your most valuable resource instead of hiring another resource. Don’t think it will work? Think again. It’s probably working for your biggest competitor and that’s why they are kicking your butt.

If you're not changing with the environmnet and challenging the way "you've always done things" then you are moving as fast as others and you will get passed by. What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, August 24

Dealing with the F Word

by Eric Pratt

I’m a big fan of Seth Godin. His books are great, easy to read, easy to comprehend, easy to pick up a concept and run with it. His inspirational writings have really given me direction and focus with my changing role in our companies. Mostly he just makes sense.

Sometimes a writer is obviously coming from another planet or such an opposite point of view that I have a really hard time connecting. Not Seth Godin, he says what I would say if I had more experience, more knowledge, and more talent. At least I’d like to think so....

While reading my third Godin work Tribes (I’ve completed Big Red Fez and Purple Cow with The Dip on my to do list). I read a passage today on a plane from Denver to Boston that I thought I would share.

In my career I’ve been blessed with several great opportunities (such as QeH2) and of course a couple not so great. I have taken pride in my ability to capitalize on the good ones (like Revenue River) and move on from the others. More importantly I’ve had the courage to take the risk in leaving the wrong opportunity for the next, whether that be better or worse. Call it faith, call it my temper and ego, call it what you will I’ve left a few organizations before most of my peers after concluding that there was no carrot for me there.

Not that I’m proud of leaving but I’m proud of where I’m at now and know that if I’d accepted mediocrity or stayed where there was no real future I’d still be there.

Seth Godin hit on what I would agree is the reason many of my peers stayed and why they may still be on a dead end career road working for people who just don’t get it. People who manage instead of lead. People who set their employees up for failure every day and blame them when less then the best is achieved.

Here is an excerpt from Tribes by Seth Godin:

The F Word

"So if tribes reward innovation…
….and initiators are happier….
….then why doesn’t everyone do it?
Because of fear.

I’ve encountered thousands (it might be tens of thousands) of people walking around with great ideas. Some of the ideas really are great; some are mearly pretty good. There doesn’t seem to be a shortage of ideas. Ordinary folks can dream up remarkable stuff fairly easily.
What’s missing is the will to make the ideas happen.

In a battle between two ideas, the one doesn’t necessarily win. No, the idea that wins is the one with the most fearless heretic behind it.

A lot of us would like to believe that there’s a Bureau of Idea Approval, or the BIA if you like acronyms. The BIA sites in judgemnet of ideas and blesses the best ones. Go ahead and hone your remarkable concept, submit to the BIA, and let them do the rest.
Alas, its not going to happen like that any time soon.

Thinking Your Way Out of the Fear

Fear’s an emotion, no doubt about it. One of the strongest, oldest, and most hardwired.
Mr. Godin goes on with some really powerful stuff from here, if you haven’t read this or his other works you really should.

What I take away from this is that you have to take a chance. You have to be willing to take the leap. Leave what’s comfortable for the unknown. Go for it without worrying about what will happen if you fail… you can always go back to another company that will let you fly under the radar. Jobs like that are everywhere."

Maybe I’m a gambler and like the volatility but I’ve always had a go-for-it approach. There is a slim line between "confident risk taker" and reckless I suppose but I’ve always thought that the line was a little further off then most of my colleagues and competitors.

Moral of the story? I don’t know for sure, probably just my rambling and inspiration from Mr. Godin. I guess it’s either go buy all of Mr. Godin’s books or don’t be afraid to take a chance. Either way I don’t think you can lose.

Sunday, August 22

QeH2 Reviews Digeus System Optimizer 8.2 by Digeus, Inc.

by Ian Holt

Digeus System Optimizer is a waste of money from an IT support standpoint. All these functions and capabilities are covered by free software from Microsoft (Windows Sysinternals). Granted, Digeus simplifies the interface, but in some cases either doesn't warn of the sever implications of changes being made or over-inflates the value of their software with impressive numbers of "bad" files/entries that really have little to no impact on machine performance. A couple of examples, the registry cleaner looks impressive when it found hundreds of "bad" entries, but running this program did NOT make my computer any faster (the registry is made of millions of lines of code, what impact, statistically, can even a few hundred entries make?). Process Manager classifies some VITAL Microsoft processes as superfluous because even Microsoft doesn't use the signature process correctly - use at your own peril! An over-simplified bubblegum interface hides some dangerous applications that the average user should NOT play with.

Tuesday, August 17

IT Support vs. Tires

by Alex Repola

I recently went through the process of selecting tires for my '05 Outback but caught myself shopping the tire company itself instead of for the cheapest tires. Of course, I hopped online to find local tire shops here in Castle Rock for a set of inexpensive tires. I had a budget and I wanted to sick to, a very tight schedule to work around, and a level of service I expected. I gathered a few online quotes as well as some in-store estimates. focusing on my budget. I was in the neighborhood of the Goodyear tire center Coloradoland Tire & Service on the north side of Castle Rock and stopped in to get one last quote. These guys were friendly, competitive, quick, and trustworthy. They were able to work with my budget but made sure to bring to light the fact that tires are an investment and cutting corners could end up costing more down the road. I had them put tires on my car and walked out of that shop this afternoon knowing I paid for great service and a great product.

For small-to-medium businesses, investing in things that will elevate your company's production capabilities is not something you think twice about. Implementing best business practices and solutions that move your organization forward can really set you apart from your competition. QeH2 has been providing business IT solutions along the Front Range for the past four years. With a very similar customer service experiences as Coloradoland Tire & Service, QeH2 provides friendly, honest, and revolutionary IT support with your entire buiness in mind. Looking at how technology can help, and hinder productivity and efficiency around the office, is a daily routine for the QeH2 team. Our Say-Do philosophy keeps our focus on performance and reliability, a defining characteristic of QeH2. We have the rack record to prove it.

How do you chose who your going to pay for service, whether it's IT support or tires?