Technology can make the boat go faster

When I was at university I became good friends with Steve Trapmore who, along with 8 others, went on to row at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

They constantly sought to make their boat go faster by focusing hard, optimising the equipment they used, and seeking the perfect conditions to move the boat to.

Over the years I’ve seen the same principles apply to business and technology. The core of every good company, in the words of John Barnes, is PMA (positive mental attitude).

Every company at some point will have its downs as well as its ups, and with a focussed team of employees a company has the ability to pick itself up after a fall, and the right drive to succeed.

Continuing the rowing theme, James Cracknell has often spoken about the phenomenal importance of the team around you – their dreams are in your hands and vice versa.

There are tools such as Twitter and Yammer that, if used successfully, really help to promote a team spirit within a company, keep people informed and communicated with, and can also help to celebrate a company’s and individual’s successes with the world.

At TSG culture is extremely important to us, so when a member of the team has passed an accreditation exam or we’ve made a particular breakthrough for example, we make every effort to shout about it on our social media channels.

Next on the list is the right equipment. We live in an awesome world where technology is in abundance, and people build robots for fun, right? (Or is that just me…)

It’s truly exciting times for the IT industry and Microsoft have never released as many products before as they are doing now.

Companies now have the ability more than ever to gain time savings by using Office 365 to manage their day to day routines, financial savings by using Dynamics NAV to manage cash flow and expenditure, and performance increase using SQL and Windows Azure to distributing workload to the cloud. What’s not to love about that…

Third on the list to making a company’s boat go faster is creating the perfect conditions.  Now this is the tricky part, things are never perfect and spotting them is even harder!

Using tools like CRM (customer relationship management), businesses can track opportunities, spot the elusive golden deal and manoeuvre their boat to open water and the more perfect like conditions.

Using Dashboards within CRM, companies can continually monitor their performance, and readjust their campaigns based on the results of various marketing activities they are doing, to ensure the boat stays on course.

Of course, the success of your CRM system depends on what information you have and how you use it – that will help you build the best customer experience.  Rowers need to know everything about their environment (speed of the current, high winds….) and use it to their best possible advantage.

The final part to the puzzle is pulling it all together, ensuring everything moves in unison, and that there is a constant drive for improvement.

Having all the gear but no idea is a sure backfire for a sports person, and it’s the same for a business.  Having a trusted IT partner who is out there doing the research for you and keeping you informed of new technologies is key; they can help you to transform from a stress and mess to Olympic Success.