Have you heard of “tool sprawl”? Inc.’s recent article explains it as “…information lives in various platforms and these platforms aren’t connected.” To give everyday examples not related to IT consider these. Your mechanic (who charges by the hour) takes three times as long to fix your car because their tools are scattered around the garage. This results in you paying for their “tool sprawl”. Furthermore, imagine you sitting in that Dentists Chair for an extra hour of discomfort, with all that gauze stuffed in your mouth, because your dentist tools are scattered about!
Inc.’s article implies a correlation between tool sprawl and remote workers (i.e. employee sprawl). At least that distance (or level of disconnection) of both are additive. And so the effects of scattered data and remote employees can create a real problem for businesses. Let’s add a third party to this to make it a hat trick – your customers! If your customer sprawl (or level of disconnection) is high this will increase the sprawl effect further. I believe visuals help, so let me share one we put together.
Fortunately sprawl of all types can be managed and the effects mitigated. Since TIMIT is an IT Software Development and Implementation company we understand how the technological component of change can positively effect this entire picture. Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, is the glue that effectively and efficiently keeps your Customers, your Employees, and your Data in sync. Furthermore, CRM technology abates the possible effects of distance through seamless integration and streamlined communications. Simply put, if your customers, employees, and information are connected in a matter that provides a great customer and employee experience the negative potential of “remote affects” are marginalized. Schedule a call with us to discuss what makes sense for your business.
Since the focus here is on sprawl, we encourage you to expand your focus to include other elements of change required to reign in and make efficient remote workers, remote customers, and what may be remote data (or siloed information). We’ve included some links that may be helpful.
- Change Management (TIMIT’s video segment on Change Acceleration. Search for “GE Change Acceleration Process”)
- Team Development (MIT article by Judith Stein)
- Creating Customer Feedback Loops: Voice of the Customer and Net Promoter Score
In summary, sprawl may be the business problem you need to address, remote worker issues are likely just symptoms. Sprawl can be managed, and the effects mitigated. And CRM is the technological component of the solution.