Mar 25, 2020
Most people I am talking to today are starting to think about their businesses in these odd times. Many are naturally concerned about a reduction in revenue. But the counter-part to revenue is cost. Since the revenue side may be out of our control to some degree, the cost side is more critical than ever.
I work with a lot of businesses of all sizes. From my first-hand experience, the smaller the business, the leaner they operate. That is not a result of smaller profit percentage, many have very high margins. The biggest difference is that from the smaller business owner's perch, they can see better. There is not much that is missed in a small a business. As businesses grow, layers are introduced that start to obscure visibility. Undetected leaks start to form... leaks that can be hidden by high margins.
At the opposite end of the scale are large businesses. While their margins may be smaller, their volume is huge, and of course their costs are also huge. Well beyond the scale that a single person can have any visibility; with layers upon layers, there are leaks all over the place. We are working with a Fortune 500 customer right now that discovered a $250K/month leak that had been unnoticed for quite a while. The solution was not complicated, we are plugging the hole with a Power App at a total cost of about $15K. Of course since this was a big ass company, it took 4 months to approve the expense, and about 90 days more so far, to mobilize their side. This leak could have been plugged in two weeks, but instead another $1.5m will have leaked out first. Such is the ineptitude of large business, this could never happen in a smaller business.
Sitting in the middle, between small and large businesses, are the midsized businesses. While a $250k/month leak will not go unnoticed for a second, the midsized business has enough layers to have many leaks. Where are these leaks? Usually some faulty, or inefficient business process. What kind of leaks? Time not captured properly, customers not billed properly, vendors not paid properly, inventory not managed properly, inefficient project management or production line management... leaks are potentially all over. Every business has leaks, some are significant enough to warrant immediate attention, and others are just considered a "cost of business", absorbed by margin. But if margins compress, every leak will start looking pretty important.
Depending on the leak, you may need to use a different set of tools, but many of these leaks will be occurring in your business processes. Microsoft's Power Platform is the tool to use for those. Unlike Salesforce.com or even Dynamics 365, both of which require significant time and cost to implement, the Power Platform can solve many business process issues in days. Built on top of the Common Data Service, the Power Platform includes a suite of tools including Power Apps, Power Automate, Power BI and Power Virtual Agents. Each of these tools are low-code options that can be deployed quickly, and at a low cost, to plug leaks.
If you would like to learn how you can plug leaks with the Power Platform, we offer a free briefing to get you up-to-speed. Go to Appsource.com and search "forceworks".