In adapting to changing market conditions, businesses often change how they manage their data and employees. Adaptation often results in information becoming siloed as well as employees being isolated. Businesses lose reciprocity of information and team collaboration in a siloed environment. A company loses focus on core strengths and strategies when key information is difficult to extract and analyze.
Businesses typically attempt to address the issue by hiring administrative staff or purchasing off-the-shelf database software to manage siloed information. Eventually companies find themselves dedicating more energy to developing software solutions than focusing on their primary business. At this point companies need to optimize for efficiency. Optimization requires understanding business requirements and identifying the appropriate solution for managing key information to move the business forward. Companies like The Dragon Company are increasingly stepping in at this key stage to help with business optimization.
To house and share data, companies often use spreadsheets. These constitute a kind of information silo, management systems incapable of reciprocal operation with other, related management systems. Spreadsheets house information either for an individual or a small group of people. Although it can be shared between users, it is not scalable. To exchange data between users requires a cloud based solution, a server environment, or email. Often several people receive different versions of a spreadsheet with the same name, each version a different silo.
Compounding the challenge, dealing with siloed information often proves difficult for executives to understand:
“Why does it take all week for my employee to produce a report of production data that is needed daily?”Employees often track information in multiple spreadsheets. This requires that someone sift through multiple versions of the individual workbooks to identify the latest versions and compare the updated cells between each version to compile the data. This process if inefficient and resource depleting, even for a spreadsheet aficionado.
Attempting to solve the problem by adding more personnel only creates more disparity and compounds the problem by creating even more decentralized data.
Hiring an employee at $25/hour will cost approximately $56,420 a year without overtime hours or benefits, with added costs each year for cost of living increases. This multiplies with each new employee added to manage the disparity.
Meanwhile, there are many people in a company who oppose sharing information with others, usually out of fear or arrogance. Employees may fear being replaced or asking for help. Additionally they may be unwilling to subject their work to further vetted. Such employees further prevent decision makers from accessing the information they need.
The solution is to optimize business by evaluating human capital, and defining a process, which anyone can access at anytime. By evaluating process and enacting strategic plans businesses can optimize. In addition, technology should be evaluated to see if there is a more efficient means of optimizing the business through low cost off the shelf software. All solutions must compile information in a meaningful way by incorporating business intelligence specific to the organization.
This solution eliminates clerical errors and ensures transparency.
Data collection and Key Performance Indicator (KPI) analysis are critical for any business. When a company captures data and analyzes KPI’s, it becomes more competitive and efficient to better position itself in the marketplace.
The best practice is to implement solutions that collect meaningful KPI’s to address business-critical issues having the greatest impact to the overall business.