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Beyond the Blinky: The Intersection of Business Processes and Software

“Anyone can make it go blindly blinky.” This is a common saying we often throw around, and if you’re wondering about its significance, you’re about to find out.

Background Story

I was 24 years old and found myself in a meeting with an investment banker. We had built our eCommerce platform that pulled product catalogs from manufacturers to make the whole process easy for them and for retailers…very exciting. I was mid telling this investment banker about all the cool features and mid me being on a super roll he puts his hand up and says “Let me stop you right there, anyone can make it go blinky blinky. It’s all about sales.”

Saying that I was furious was an understatement. I left that meeting red-faced and fuming. I kept my cool with the banker, but man, I was mad. It was a turning point and a great lesson for me though. It really is all about generating sales for us and for our clients.

The Software Obsession

In today’s tech-savvy world, there’s a common belief that if something isn’t working, maybe a software change will fix it. Most software professionals focus on the tool, hoping that a tweak here and an upgrade there will solve operational hitches. But is changing software always the silver bullet solution?

Starting with the Business

Before delving into software solutions, I always focus on the business itself. What’s really going on underneath the hood? The truth is, sometimes the challenges faced during software implementation arise not from the software, but from flawed processes within the business. And if the foundation is shaky, even the most advanced software might not be of much help.

The Power of Process-First Thinking

Michael E. Gerber, in his insightful book e-Myth Revisited, quotes, “Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation does new things.” It’s essential to draw a distinction here. While it’s admirable to brainstorm and ideate (creativity), it’s even more important to bring those ideas to life in a meaningful way (innovation). Often, innovation means refining your processes before you look to software for solutions.

Case in Point: Support Ticketing for one our Clients

One of our clients was having an issue with their support process. They would receive bug reports and feature requests over email, text, phone calls etc etc. The gut reaction could be to simply look for a software solution, which might work out (but might not fully solve the problem).

We always start with what is happening IN the business. So we dug into WHY they were getting all these tickets, how they were sent, what were the points where escalation needed to happen, etc. Getting this clear made it much easier to lay out the plan for implementing the support ticketing system.

The Real Value of Software

Software isn’t just about the flashy, blinky interfaces. When you dedicate time to refining your processes first, software becomes a magnifying glass. It can highlight areas you may have missed before and offer actionable insights for continuous improvement.

In Conclusion

The next time you’re quick to blame your software or consider an upgrade, pause. Dive deep into your processes, refine them, and then let software do what it does best: enhance efficiency and provide clarity. Remember, it’s not just about making things go “blinky blinky”; it’s about ensuring that every blink leads to better business outcomes.

We would love to talk with you about your business dreams! Click here to schedule a meeting with Claire, our VP of Sales