The Way We Have Always Done It
Ask yourself the following question…
How many things do you do each day merely because it is the way you have always done it?
I would be willing to bet that if you take a few moments and really think about it that you would be able to determine at least a few regular things that you do just because it is “The Way.” Perhaps it is your morning routine, or maybe it is the fact that you still hand write all of your checks. Nevertheless, some of the items may seem less significant while others may be really time consuming. Leading to another question…
How many of these things that you just do are truly the best way for your business? Moreover are you missing opportunities to increase profit, improve efficiency or innovate your operation by making some changes in how you do things?
Old Habits Die Hard
It seems like almost every day we speak to a few integration companies that will share with us the way they do business only for them and us to simultaneously make the discovery that there is a great opportunity to work together.
Throughout our discussions we arrive to a clear conclusion that we can make their businesses better; often offering improvements in their entire procurement process. It is common for us to get off the phone extremely excited about the prospects of working together. The integrators will share the same sentiment.
Then, as if the conversation never happened, things will stall. We will follow up and the customer will once again reassure their interest in working together, but the words just don’t become action and we have long wondered why this phenomenon takes place?
Why in the world would a business not make a change when they know that there are opportunities to improve?
The only conclusion that we have come up with is that old habits die-hard. However, in a world where every point of margin counts, we strongly believe that this rationale is no longer sufficient as it pertains to how companies should run their business.
Making Good Business Decisions
So what are the other reasons that integrators stick to their guns even when making a switch seems like the obvious choice?
• Is it because of a long-term relationship?
• Is it due to mere complacency?
• Could it be uncertainty related to making needed change?
Attempting to explore each of these one by one, we can empathize with each of these, but we also believe that none of these are good reasons to avoid change.
For instance, if the long-term relationship that you are standing by were as strong as you believe, would the supplier allow you to keep spending unnecessarily on your business? Relationships are built on partnership, which means both parties should be benefitting from them.
As for uncertainty and complacency, these behaviors are just paralyzing to business. While performing due diligence ahead of any change makes sense, upon determining business improvement action should be well within your comfort zone. To sit on your hands when you know you can improve your business is detrimental to not only the business owner, but all the stakeholders who will be affected by this decision making.
In the end, businesses need to identify what is best for them and take action. Industry is moving way to fast not to, and those that move to slow are going to miss the chance to improve their bottom line.