ROI for Technology


We all know that good technology is expensive and sometimes those costs are hard to justify. Especially if the technology you are looking at is being built specifically for your needs. Custom programming projects can come with a hefty price tag and the higher the price, the more you have to justify the ROI (Return on Investment). For business owners this can particularly hard when it comes to technology.

Let’s take a look at this example.

Sue runs a small business with an online store as well as a traditional storefront. This being a small business, Sue only has one employee besides herself to manage the store, stock the shelves, tend to customers, and package and ship online orders. Sue has a POS system to manage her store’s inventory but unfortunately, Sue’s website doesn’t talk to her POS system. This means that when orders come in, someone has to enter the orders into the POS system as well as packaging and shipping the items. This process only takes a few minutes for each order but on a busy day it can take more than an hour to enter all the orders. Then there is the problem of keeping the website’s inventory up to date. If Sue runs out of an item, she has to go to her website and mark it as out of stock. When the item comes back in, she has to go back and mark it back in stock. With her stock always changing, it is easy for Sue to miss an item or two. This has lead to some unhappy customers when they are informed that they will not be receiving part of their order because it isn’t in stock at the moment.

Sue has two problems that are costing her money and costing her time. She reached out to get a solution to these problems but the cost was quite a bit higher than she had expected. Sue has always been a little tight with her money but these problems have her working late several nights a week. Still she needs to know that her investment will pay off. The proposed solution will use the website’s API and the POS database to keep the two systems in sync. This will mean that Sue doesn’t have to worry about updating her inventory in both places. She also won’t have to worry about upsetting customers if she forgets to update an out of stock item on her website. We can estimate this will save Sue 5 hours a week just in the time it takes her to enter orders from her website. That adds up to over 250 hours a year. The best part is that as Sue’s business gets busier her investment will save her even more time.

We can see from this example that Sue’s problem wasn’t costing her much every week but over the course of a year, it added up to quite a bit. Technology may seem expensive at first but when implemented properly, it is an investment that will continue to pay for itself over and over again.