Information technology in Micro and Small Businesses

It has become utmost important for all the Micro and small businesses to have Computers to run their businesses. In most of the cases, the computers have simply replaced the typewriters, and calculators, and are used to maintain accounts and send communications to customers. In Engineering and other areas there are some technical applications which are being employed.
Is that all what the computers can do?  Most of these businesses have little time to focus on this area, since the growth of the business and fire fighting take priority.

Can the IT infra be converted to optimise the efficiency and help us to grow the business in question?

In the first place we have to identify the needs of the business and find out the areas where the digitisation can be employed to make the process more efficient. The challenges that may be faced in this process may be paucity of funds to invest further if need be, training and retraining the staff, besides investing time in finalising the needs, identifying the right vendors who are capable of offering solutions at the right price, and familiarising  the staff to the changed systems, besides a good planning of backup for the data.
The advantages could be enormous starting from the enhanced image in the staff themselves, customers and vendors. With more of automated working, monitoring the work and process becomes very easy. Reports will be available for the asking. Communications with customers and vendors , besides within the departments will be effective.
We can achieve, speed, accuracy, better analysis, increased data storage capacity when compared to physical documents, reduction in  the cost and space requirements, increase in the performance of the
existing staff and possible elimination of adding more hands than required.

Is Printer a Luxurious Need????

Is Printer a Luxurious Need????

You had a hectic day in the office and were caught in a messy traffic, and simply want to relax watching TV after a bath. Your school going Son pleads with you to get a print out of his assignment which he downloaded, and the dead line is 7.30 in the morning!!!!!

It was a great weekend spent with your family. Long and relaxed drive in the ECR was enjoyable. Your Boss who usually does not bother you on holidays is calling and you know something is cooking up. Yes. The big evading customer you were working for a long time wants you by 8 in the morning with your presentations. Thank God you have all the files in your PC. But then how to  get 4 copies of the 10 page colour presentation?

How often do you come across a situations like this and cursed yourself for postponing the purchase of a Printer? We have always perceived that a Printer at home is a luxury and is a drain in the already tight budget of the family.

Let us consider the following points since we are revisiting on the purchase of a printer.

  1. Volume

  2. Frequency

  3. Cost already incurred in a month/year

  4. Elimination of time limitations

  5. the no of people in the family who use or will use the printer

  6. The other uses that can be generated with the printer(like printing on other media, making customized greeting cards, exclusive presentations, printing of confidential material, etc) 

  7. And finally………availability of budget for the purchase.

Now that we have multifunction printers available with the features like scanning, copying and fax, the following will be added considerations before the decision is made.

  1. No of photo copies taken by all the members of the family together

  2. The average expense on photo copying per month?

  3. Is scanning done for any purpose? If so how often?

  4. Is business fax being sent from home, and how frequently?

Now having understood the various yardsticks, we can sit back and work on the cost benefit ratio before deciding to buy a printer.

Interestingly, since we are already expending on few of the requirements discussed above,  and in reality the average differential cost to own a printer may not even be a hundred or two per month in most of the cases, which will open up a lot more uses once bought and available.

What printer to buy, Laser or Inkjet is a matter of a detailed discussion.