Thursday, June 09, 2011

Business efficiency

A visit yesterday from the meter reader resulted in an interesting chat. He was having trouble finding some properties on his list. He had the names, but on his screen so many were the equivalent of 'ACME Ltd, Stourport DY13 nxx'; really useful.

So I fired up Google Maps tapped in the business name and showed him where they were. He was impressed, but more so in that if available Google shows the telephone number of the business. He stated he'd download the package to his phone; later he came back and showed me that although it was showing the location it wasn't bringing up the same information I'd been getting.

"Have you tried tapping on the business name?" I asked
One tap later and "Oh that is going to save me a lot of time"

The most interesting/amusing/worrying bit was discussing the paucity of information he was given to locate properties on his machine. After showing the ability of Google Maps he told me -

"Tonight I'll go home and go through the machine listings and write them down in my notebook along with the information I can get from this [Google]"

I laughed

"No seriously I've a notebook and a set of different coloured pens and I go through the machine's listing each night. When I first started this job I'd visit each property as it appeared on the screen; but what happened was that I'd visit a property in [Areley Kings; W. of the river] then another in [Millfields; E. of the river] then it would send me back to [Areley Kings]. So now I go through them and arrange them all in groups. It saves so much time let alone diesel"

"But can't the machine order properties by postcode?" I asked incredulously




Dan H said...

And it would be so easy to write a script that took the whole list and put every property on one Google Map so you can find all the nearby ones without having to do anything on paper...

FlipC said...

Not sure how that would translate to a mobile phone.

Seriously Good Web Hosting said...

Trouble is, big companies(I assume the meter reader was from a big company)
a) don't listen to their staff on the ground
b) have IT departments so backed up with work they couldn't possibly do anything simple

That's why smaller companies seem more efficient, as the boss knows what is really going on and things can get done quickly.

FlipC said...

Yet as soon as a small company breaks through it (d)evolves into a big one.

Hmm what's needed is a more flexible franchise system. A small company signs up to a parent company for a set annual fee they get access to the data; equipment; purchasing power of the parent while still able to run things their own way.