Dickeson--Wanted - A New Kind of Software Company
Shouldn't we be constantly monitoring resource destroyers like inventories and receivables? What's it going to take to danger-label this survival quicksand and force us to corrective action?
Wouldn't "fuzzy logic" systems help us identify problem accounts, doubtful "hires" and substandard product quality?
Questions like these are "content-directed" rather than technology issues. It's high time we left the "gee whiz" era of digital technology and settled in on digital information content for the new century. Take that list of questions and add your own.
Are the present printing software suppliers addressing these questions, providing needed tools for survival? Not really. They're still caught up in the wizardry of computers and digital technology. They're hawking technology rather than information. They sell us something called a "license" in exchange for payment of a royalty. This software license seems to be a license to steal in many cases. The software house proceeds to charge us ad nauseum for technical support upgrades, new releases and customization. We wind up employing expensive tech staff for network administrators and in-house gurus to use the products. We expend endless capital for the latest hardware upgrades.
And in return for all this, what do we get? We get the old wine of general ledger, job cost and mercantile mark-up estimating decanted into a new digital cask with no cost bottom. We play a digital version of three-card Monte.
Don't Blame Suppliers
Now don't blame the software suppliers. They're giving us what we ask for and what they think we want and will buy. That's good old-fashioned marketing. In the famous words of the old comic strip character Pogo, "We have met the enemy and they is us." We haven't really thought about these issues and determined what we want—what we need—to manage our businesses in the future. We're presently an industry in search of a leader. Someone—anyone—please help us articulate our real management needs!