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Demo Day!! How to know when to rehab your software.

If you’re an HGTV junkie and fan of Fixer Upper like I am, then you feel the excitement of “Demo Day”. If you’re not familiar with the program, it’s the day that Chip Gaines demolishes the inside of the house that they are going to be remodeling. This usually involves lots of excitement, lots of hammers, and usually someone flinging themselves through a wall or two.

But today we aren’t discussing tearing down cabinets and walls to put in a new kitchen island and lots and lots of shiplap. No, we are talking about it being time to demo your old software and business systems.

Just like with home improvement projects, it’s easy to put off major changes in your business systems because there is a lot of work that goes into making those changes. So just like how you’ve maybe been putting off that kitchen remodel and dealing with the cramped space, it’s easy to just “deal” with your business systems as they are rather than biting the bullet and replacing them. But whether it’s getting that new, much more livable space in your home, or getting a system that supports your business, the payoff in the end is huge.

So how do you know when/if it’s time to rip out your existing systems and rehab your software?

  1. Do you spend more time compiling data outside the system into reports (spreadsheets) than you do looking at that data?

  2. Are your processes driven by limitations of the system rather than the system fitting what your best practice process are?

  3. If the answer to number 2 is no, is that because you aren’t following the processes in your system and are doing things outside of the system?

  4. Is your system just a data collection tool? Meaning that information is entered into it for accounting or inventory purposes after it has happened in real life?

  5. Is critical data stored outside of your system and not integrated? integrated?

  6. Is your system a time capsule? Are you running old software that you are locked into because of infrastructure or the inability to easily stay current?

If you answered yes to at least 3 of the above, then it’s time to start taking a hard look at your business systems and it might be time to start knocking down some proverbial walls Chip Gaines style!

There’s a huge unseen opportunity cost that goes along with staying with old legacy systems. It’s hard to quantify the amount of manual work that is being done to keep things going. This often results in slowing the growth of the business or means that as growth happens more people must be added to keep up with demand. And with data being all over the place, things ultimately fall through the cracks and lead to poor customer service. These are just a couple of examples of the true cost of running on out dated systems that aren’t always seen on a profit and loss report.

Just like with a large home renovation project, implementing new systems can be a big undertaking and that’s why it’s so important to have the right people advising and helping you along the way. You need the right blueprint, the right vision, and the right goals to be successful in either one. But at the end of the project you are left with something better, more functional and more sustainable going into the future.

So, don’t be afraid to swing that hammer and bring your business systems into the 21st century. And remember, it’s always fun to knock down some walls!

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