How You Can Avoid a $125M Mistake

By Barry Pruitt

dateMon, Oct 21, 2013 @ 09:30 AM

You’ll find reports in every technology, sales, and business magazine - reports of businesses spending millions of dollars to purchase, you guessed it, business intelligence. I’ve consulted with some of these organizations, even those with billions of dollars in annual revenue. With all of this investment you wouldn’t expect to see them operating their business, much less dependent on, what could be termed a “less intelligent” spreadsheet.

Even when stored on a server or in the cloud, a person could have printed the wrong version, the one without the revised number, or the newly inserted column, or the corrected summarization totals. You get the picture. Someone on your team has the wrong information while attempting the right decisions. Decisions that could make or break your company. Decisions on when to raise price, how to attack a market, what the customer wants based on VOC (voice of customer), who the customer is, where to initiate the new launch, if to initiate the launch, inventory turns, account collection, EDITDA, and more.

It reminds me of a picture several years ago depicting a team member of NASA’s Mars Climate SpacecraftOrbiter. With his head in his hands on September 23, 1999, he had just discovered that a mathematical conversion error placed the spacecraft too close to Mars at the time of orbital insertion. A document with mathematical calculations buried in paper, and not accessible to all.

In 1999 NASA had used metric units in calculation and measurement for several years. Sadly, one team, working for one contractor, had used English units of miles and inches! It was a $125M mistake.

In today's instant gratification, smart phone economy, companies that grow 20%+ annually require an executive team that requires access to, and focus on, priorities. And fast growth companies need someone to champion the focus and clarity that comes from all eyes on the right company data and priorities.

Companies and entrepreneurs with the right priorities at the right time with the right energy …win. It’s usually less than 5 company and 25 (total) executive member priorities that indicate success and business performance trends that fast growth company executives require access to - from anywhere, at anytime, on any device. 

If you’re tired of the effort for documents and spreadsheets, and the risk of outdated information, consider a discipline of Executing for Growth that is managed online, and make sure it’s a collaborative environment!

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