Streamlining Technology: Different Approach And Motivation
1993 was another year where I’d flown all over the nation with my hair on fire managing three dozen analysts and developers to help manufacturing and distribution customers eliminate data entry and double shipments using bar code technology. While relaxing during the holidays on December 29th, my wife suddenly had trouble breathing and then started struggling to walk or talk.
I carried her to the car and sped off to the hospital leaving overturned furniture and the front door wide open. My wife was only 35, but she had a brain aneurism (likely a lifelong birth defect) that had leaked and caused a massive stroke with speech loss and the right side of her body paralyzed. That day started my journey to the firm we are today and our streamlining technology approach to helping customers.
It was a nine month recovery with the heavy emotional anguish of watching your spouse learn to walk, talk, and even read again. Since I couldn’t be away to travel, I took a General Manager position to oversee operations and began exploring business opportunities in our home state of Oklahoma. Our company had chased deep pockets and high demand for bar code expertise across the nation, but it appeared local customers were sorely in need of better general technology support.
The offering that was created is now known as Guardian Managed Services. Although the competitive landscape continues to become more crowded, we stumbled upon two key aspects of motivation and approach that remain as key differentiators today.
Virtually every competitor pays commission on the sale of products or bonuses based upon billable hours. The pitch is “let us take care of your technology so you can focus on business”. The motivation is to sell something, stick around longer, and capture the customer through obscurity. While the customer gained convenience, there seemed to always be conflict with the service provider and costs are questionable.
We decided instead to make streamlining technology our trademark. No one is compensated based upon billable hours or the sale of hardware or software. Correspondingly, our services are flat cost. Also, system configuration and operating procedures are regularly documented for the customer to remain independent on-going and during emergent situations.
This approach puts our motivation in line with the customer. It costs us more if there are problems or longer timeframes. Planning ahead, proactive action, and conveying realistic expectations become paramount. Taking innovative approaches like cloud computing just means there is less stuff for the customer to own and us to support.
Streamlining technology for customers was definitely something that came out of necessity and has been very effective for customers, as well as profitable for us. 16 years later, I’m truly blessed as my wife can walk and talk and we have a good life.
Thank you for reading our inaugural blog post. Much like streamlining technology, we hope to offer something different and provide insightful answers to customer questions.