Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Three Pivotal Questions

By Benito P. Yadao Jr.

Man has made it to the moon and then safely landed back on his home planet. It was hailed as a milestone accomplishment in space exploration. What made it possible? The invention of the electronic computer!

The computers on board the spacecraft and those at NASA control center made the mathematical calculations that ensured that the precise path was taken. The required speedy navigational computations were simply beyond the capability of even the best team of expert mathematicians: it would have taken years to make the calculations needed to make minute-by-minute course corrections.

In a sense, we could say that the success of that lunar space mission as well as the survival of the astronauts themselves depended upon the computers.

Today, even in the world of business and industry, success and survival are become more and more dependent on the effective application of computer technology. This is very obvious in the fields of banking, air travel, manufacturing, and news networks, just to mention a few. In fact, every enterprise or profession that needs to maintain sizeable, reliable, and easily retrievable information (for example, about customers, receivables, and/or inventory) will invariably profit from the use of computers.

Thanks to a combination of technical innovations and mass production, a computer can now be bought at an affordable price. Indeed, the real question today is whether you can afford not to computerize!

On the other hand, we are also aware of those who already use computers in their businesses or professions but only to a marginal extent. Except perhaps for promoting secretarial productivity through word processing, they haven't experienced the managerial benefits in terms of lower overhead cost, greater financial control, better decision-making support, and increased time and energy for creative action.

How do you know whether it's time to computerize or there is much to be desired from your existing computerized system(s)? Start with these three basic questions:

1. Is your record/information keeping taking the fun out of managing your business or profession?
2. Are needed financial forecasts and reports inaccurate and/or delayed?
3. Do you feel you are not in total control?

If you answered with a categorical "NO" to all of the above, congratulations! Be sure, though, to review your answers at least every three months.