Often I have had the responsibility of managing branches away from HQ. It always is interesting how cultures differ.

In some companies they want their branches to have the equipment and resources they have. In others, they want their branches to have less expensive equipment. Others want more expensive equipment with the idea that it will break less. Still others don’t have a plan for branches, but let things happen however it is cheapest to fix.

What works best for everyone however is a plan and things being standardized. Almost as a rule, every small company is not standardized. So when things break, you have to handle them one by one. This is inefficient besides being difficult to track and manage.

The best companies have the same hardware and software and whatever someone needs, they can use one source. This makes replacements instant, and things so much easier for everyone. Instead of having to order custom equipment, they get the same thing as everyone else.

This standard approach is common in large companies for the majority of employees, but less common for executives and owners. Normally those people can have whatever they want. In this way, executives invalidate the reasons to save money on standardization. Often helping an executive is an exercise in patience. They have so many non standard things they want to work, that it can be a lengthly process getting things setup exactly as they prefer.

It is interesting isn’t it that we talk about efficiency yet the reality is that people want ease of use. I don’t think they are mutually exclusive, but it does take an experienced IT person and careful planning. Most of the time ease of use is the last thing that companies care about. They normally care about the cost of service, everything else and then ease of use.

What is the priority for you to be efficient?