MIDNIGHT AT THE OASIS – DAY 18 OF A 30 DAY BLOG (RANT?)
As I’ve written before here my company supplies computer systems the business at the end of the food chain in the retail world – small independently owned businesses. It’s a place we are comfortable.

The frustration is their laziness with technology.

Today has been a good case in point. I’ve spent hours writing a report for a client who has suffered theft – $90,000 worth over a year. That’s in a business which cannot afford such loss. All the time the theft was going on the client had access to tools which would tell them the theft was occurring and would stop it.

It’s only when their accountant said their figures had a problem that they calls us and asked for help. We helped by using the computer system the way they should have. Sure it’s a lesson learned but who wants such an $90,000 lesson.

It’s like getting a car manufacturer to try and get you off a speeding fine once you have been caught speeding.

I know next week I’ll write a newsletter exhorting the theft management tools in our software and while some might take heed of the bulletin, many of our 2,000+ client base will ignore the message – until their accountant calls and suggests that theft might be a problem.

Part of the problem is that these businesses live with theft every day – it’s about 3% of turnover. Second, they run under staffed businesses which are very busy and so do not have the attention and time for vigilance. That’s where the software should help. But you cannot make people use the tools you provide.

So, we see this as a challenge to ourselves to give them the outcomes without needing to spend time checking if they are being stolen from. I know you cannot spoon-feed forever. However, in this instance it might save businesses. I’m not going to put a pitch here for what we’re doing – you can read about that on our website. Suffice to say it’s a clever and dramatic extension of the usual point of sale technology.

This is what we need to do – genuinely make businesses smarter and not just pay lip service to that goal. We have to do the work in our systems they do not have the time to do. Software companies have to stop thinking of themselves as software companies.

AND we have to force their big business suppliers to let the little guy save time – that’s another entry for another day but let me note that the way some big businesses treat small businesses makes me angry.

Big business would have no idea about something like the Oasis strategy – they’d pay lip service to it but that’s all.

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