Leveraging Technology to Increase Your Competitive AdvantageLeveraging Technology to Increase Your Competitive Advantage

Competitive Advantage is a term often thrown around the board room and in business magazines, but not everyone knows what it really means. At its most basic a competitive advantage is that thing that you do better than any of your competitors and that thing gives you an advantage in the market place. Do you know what your Competitive Advantage is?

If you don’t, you are not alone. Finding your competitive advantage takes a lot of self assessment and self discovery. What do you do best? Could you do it better? What about the things you aren’t doing? Should you be doing them? It can be a long process that can take months if not years, but if you go down this path of discovery your business will do better, become more profitable, and will be better able to adapt to changes in the market.

So where does Technology fit in with this? The simple answer is everywhere. Right now there is not a single aspect of your life that technology has not touched and it’s the same for your business.  Technology can streamline your business processes, eliminate waste and save you time and money. The biggest and the best businesses have used technology to leverage themselves to their current greatness. Wal-Mart for example uses its inventory software to ensure all its stores are well stocked while keeping its logistics costs low. It’s proven so effective that Wal-Mart did a better job of supplying aid to Hurricane Katrina victims then the US Emergency Response Service!

Being a business in the Fraser Valley, how do YOU use technology to do business better? The best way to use technology to help you do business better is to use it to cut steps in your everyday operations. Not sure how? Well there’s probably an App for that, no literally there is, go here or here. Consider taking inventory; you go through your stock room write down your stock, and then enter it into the computer. Imagine just taking inventory and entering the information directly into a tablet computer as you go. You save paper, you save time, you save money and you get to that futuristic cool feeling when you realise you are like that guy from Star Trek who took his inventory using the same thing.  

Tablets are all good and wonderful, but what if you don’t even use a computer for keeping track of inventory let alone, your clientele or keeping your books? Then the question becomes, have you thought of electronic record keeping? Why would you need them you may ask? You’ve been doing just fine with you meticulously kept filing cabinet full of all your sales, expenses, revenue etc. Well how do you file your client records? By client? By invoice #? By date? By type? Using electronic records you can search by whatever method you want. It will always find the information for you within seconds, not minutes. Not only is searching client data better, but reports are created easier as well. In seconds you can know; your income, who is your best client, where do you do the most business, etc. Electronic records bring order to your documents and allow you to focus on your business rather than your filling cabinet. (Not to mention making you look smarter and more tech savvy to your customers.)

If you aren’t looking for specific hardware or software there are also other options available to you that don’t require you to upgrade anything. Many suppliers are offering programs and websites that allowing you to see directly what they have in stock and what price it is. Using these Supply Chain Management programs you can write quotes quicker, supply better customer service, and have better control your own inventory.

Technology in its self is not a competitive advantage but by using technology you can do better what you already do best. No one solution fits all, but there is an array of options available to you. If you need some advice contact us and we can put our knowledge and experience to help you use technology to better your business. 

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