The summer has come to a close, with Labor Day past and big time college football under way. As is true with business regardless of the economy, some companies are doing gangbusters and others are hurting. But regardless of your situation, the velocity at which business transactions take place is increasing everywhere. In the time since I started in business, we have gone from paper records, electronic desk calculators and landline phones to Excel spreadsheets, touchpads and Skype. Negotiating and signing a contract used to take weeks with back and forth snailmail. We can now negotiate and sign a contract in a
I recently talked with the owner of a good sized decoration business who said he had spent about $1 million over the past 14 years developing an inhouse system with features which parallel what our EmbTrak software does. The price of EmbTrak, even when combined with an ERP system costs a small fraction of that amount.
These in-house programs always have at least one major advantage for a company—they reflect that company’s unique way of doing business, down to terminology and methods and processes. This makes these programs convenient for the users and effective for doing the company’s particular mix of business.
Some business owners don’t want their businesses to grow. Perhaps they want to avoid dealing with employee issues. Maybe they are close to retirement. Whatever. If that describes you, then stop reading. If not, then you need to consider whether your present business system will support the future growth of your business. Those considerations vary depending on the current size of your business.
Note: Most of my blogs don’t directly touch on our EmbTrak product. In this case, I can’t avoid it. Now, back to the subject.
You sell decorated products. EmbTrak sells software which, we hope, makes you more successful at selling decorated products. Different businesses? Yes. But more similar than you may realize.
You will be successful to the degree that you can provide products and services which turn prospects into customers. Same here. The question is, how is that done? Our experience may help you, so I'll share it.
Since 2000 we have been the unrivaled provider of decorated order fulfillment systems to the leading apparel brands using decoration. Long story, for another time. In 2011 we decided to address the general decorator market--all those embroidery and screen print shops from 3 employees to 900, most of whom buy product from vendors like Sanmar and add decoration. Distributors, decorators, contractors.
We can get caught up in running our company and living our life and forget about something that is more important to a modern business than sales and profits and almost as critical as passing on withheld taxes to the IRS. What am I referrring to? Data backup. Failing to maintain a current backup of your computer data can shut down your business faster than Uncle Sugar can padlock your front door for back taxes.
EmbTrak began when Slazenger Golf asked us to redevelop their field sales force automation system used by green grass sales reps. Since that first contact in 1999, we have worked with the embroidery and screen print departments of many of the leading apparel brands in North America. Engagements have run from a day or two on site to one stretch of several months where I spent most weeks in the client's Boston area offices. In every case we have examined and sought to improve each client's business process for decorated order fulfillment from the point where a decorated order is entered by a field sales rep or a CSR, through the art department, color coordination, darkroom, embroidery, screen printing, value-added services, finishing and shipping.
The starting point for improving productivity is, well, knowing where you are. If you are going to implement a new method, a new piece of software or a new piece of equipment you should plan from the beginning how you will measure the benefit brought about by the change. The term for this is "benchmarking".
Our success in a world economy depends upon it.
My background includes cost control at a Fortune 200 manufacturer, materials management and Enterprise Resource Planning systems. Here in Greenville, SC we have BMW and its satellite suppliers using robotics and all the latest manufacturing and supply chain systems to produce some of the world's finest automobiles.
How are you currently managing your art files? Will your approach "scale" as you grow from a few hundred to a few thousand to thousands of files? Here's a test: While you are entering a sales order, measure the time it takes to find and retrieve the correct file from where it is stored. If it took more than 3 seconds then you have a problem.