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FALL 2014

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Distributor's Link Magazine Fall Issue 2014

38 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S

38 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK Dennis R. Cowhey Dennis, R. Cowhey, started Computer Insights, Inc. in 1981 and is currently CEO. He served for many years on the Illinois CPA Society Computer Information Systems Committee. He is a frequent author of articles for Industry Trade Magazines. Before starting Computer Insights, he served as Central District Manager for a division of Litton Industries (now part of Northup Grumman). That company offered Inventory Control Systems to Retailers. Prior to that, he was a Credit and Financial Analyst for National Credit Office division of Dun & Bradstreet, Inc. He received his education at Chicago City College and DePaul University. NEW SYSTEM CHOICE: THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS Is It Time For New Software There are a number of warning signs that should prompt a Fastener Distributor to consider new software. Even though the existing system is “good enough” and it’s paid for, it may be time to change. As a member of the World Future Society, I make it my business to stay in tune with technological and other changes that may affect our clients. The pace and scope of change in the world today is breathtaking. All of us are going to be affected in some way. Many changes are taking place in individual fastener companies, the fastener industry in general and in the computer industry that offer compelling incentives to update legacy systems. Is it truly integrated and updated in real time • Does it provide needed information on a timely basis and in a useful form • How long does it take to train a new employee • Do you have to pay more to hire CSR’s because they need high level computer skills • Are you relying on manual systems to support your real activity E.g. how many Post It notes are on your employees’ desks These are only a few of the questions that you should ask yourself. You probably wouldn’t drive around in a 1970 Chevy (unless you are a car buff), why run your company on technology that is as old • Individual Company Considerations • • • • Is it being actively enhanced • • Is it fast enough If it is a legacy system, does the vendor still exist If not, where does your support come from Does it enable you to properly support your customers Does it secure your data and your clients’ data Selecting A New System When it comes to selecting a new system, your actual business needs are the first place to look. Starting with flashy demonstrations can lead you down a misleading path. If you know what your specific company really needs before starting your search, things will go much better. Be sure to make a list of your needs. Access To Information is Critical. All the information you need, right at your fingertips and when you need it, is vital in your software choice. please turn to page 200

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