August 23, 2017 Gary Shotton

A person or company that is not spending money on computers and computer systems is mostly likely falling behind in the race. By Gary Shotton #000152

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By Gary Shotton

Hello, I’m Gary Shotton and I’m a part of this global movement on Inspiring Better Business, and I just trust that you’re enjoying these teachings. I hope they’re helpful to you. Today we’re going to talk about computers. Computers in our personal life especially computers in our businesses, the value of those computer computers, how to maintain a little bit of balance in your move towards computers. So, we’ve just got all acknowledge that we have come a long way for sure in my lifetime. Now some of the younger people maybe will never have learned or never have known of life without computers, I can say that it’s almost like the horse and buggy days that I happen to have a relative in their 80’s and there never have owned a computer. Determined about twenty years ago that they would not engulf that idea and would not even try and we’ll probably most likely die never once turning on a computer. Well, they missed out on quite a bit of stuff. I can’t force that issue with them they are loved ones of mine and that’s fine. But others are in their later years and they just learn some of the very basics about a computer and they’re enjoying things like live video chats with their grandchildren all around the world, and doing things a bit the simplest nature and so on a personal basis we’ve come a long way. It’s amazing to me on our handhelds.

I just was reminded recently it’s only been 10 years since the first iPhone came out. Before that, we were using little flip phones, if you wanted to text you had to punch the numbers in your keypad and that was very cumbersome 10 years ago. And now the other day I was thinking I bet you like if I thought hard there are at least 10 things I do not need because I have it on my phone. For sure a map, for sure a phone directory, for sure a flashlight, for sure even they have one a measuring device of our measuring up a room. I buy a property sometimes I just need to know the inside dimension of the room and you put it against the wall and it’ll shoot across it will tell you the distance. You can text, obviously it just goes on and on and on and guess what there’s going to even be more.

Well, what are you doing with your businesses? Are you on board with computers? How are you using the computers to be efficient? And frankly, if you’re not on in a pretty good way you’re probably going to be left in the dust, you’re going to be that same equivalent of the person that didn’t want to get on the automobile and wanted to stay in the horse and buggy days. That’s the way it works. If we’re not willing to jump on board at least to some degree and at least hire and support and pay for the computer world most industries are going to be left in the dust. I work with some churches and they are handling people, anything like an amusement park that handles a lot of people. Anything to do with airlines where you can get information. I was on tomorrow at 9 o’clock I’m going to go to UPS and pick up my postage. A package being sent to me, all those things are just ramping up faster and faster and faster. Even in occupations you know I’m a farm guy and my dad passed away many years ago so he didn’t enjoy the computer world but boy these farmers are really into computers. They can analyze things from satellite imagery, you can look down and see things on their soil samples. I mean there’s all kinds of things that are happening there it’s just a major part of life. Probably the leader and we’re all aware of it is Amazon in the United States. I know these go all around the world but Amazon is a beast, they’re taking over market share, they’re taking over a home food delivery, they’re taking over with a huge movement. To not try to put out their competitors but to compete at such a level that their competitors are going away. They can’t stand against the technology of Amazon in many ways because it’s so easy.

Let’s talk about my business. I have about 15 what we call live terminals where it’s tied in connected in full ability and word documentation and spreadsheet documentation and full access to our data control system which we use here in our company to maintain flows. We have about 45 or 50 what we call dumb terminals. There’s not a hard drive in them all of the data is collected back on a central server. We pay quite a bit of money for that server. We make sure this server has a backup to the server in case the server goes down. And then we have a very confident. I must just underline. I might even say it twice, unless you’ve got a backup system you’re putting in all this data into a computer and I’m sure most of you have this. But if you haven’t tested your backup system and you’re not sure that something happened you should be able to go back at a place and time and have your computer feed people Retrieve the information that was lost, because you just do not want to have a week or more a day or more of data that’s been entered in by multiple people into even small computers medium of businesses, even small admitting medium-sized businesses if you lose that data guess what you’re going to go home and probably cry because somebody is either got to re-enter the data, It’s just not going to be.

So, we spend probably four to five thousand dollars a month on computer one way or another, that includes a little bit of upgrading regularly. We have our backups not only done locally by a third party by the guy. By the way, you better have confidence in your computer person. In our case, we take a third party tech person and they’re responsible to make sure not only to keep us on board. See I’m in this machine shop business, I’m not in the computer business. So, they’re up on the leading edge of that. Our backups are done in multiple locations and different servers around the world.

So if something happens we were able to be thinking how could we get back up in hours not days. Could we have new computers? Yes. Dropped in purchased overnight picked up in less than 12 hours. And we would be putting things back together if there’s a major catastrophe, a fire or something where we need this data. We would be able to do it. I am confident of that or I wouldn’t go on because we have to be that confident. I mentioned backup systems you must have that. You know it also speaks to another thing. We have a competitor that didn’t engulf the computer world and just a couple of years ago is talking about faxing something. We heard this by the grapevine to the customer. That customer laughed. They haven’t had a fax in years. I haven’t had a fax in years that I can think of. We still put it on our card but I know why. You know that’s so outdated it’s unbelievable. So, we have to maintain a concurrent book of business to keep up with our customers or even be a little ahead of our customers. We’re working on that so they are confident in our ability to provide parts and services to them.

I hope this helps, I’m sure you have computers but we can all take a review. Good time to check it out, kind of like a check-up, like a physical. How is my computer system? Is it working like it should be? Do I have it in everything in order? Thank you very much for being a part of this.



  1. Jim Furr 5 years ago

    Re “Computers,” to your point, Gary, when a friend of mine launched a vending business 35 years ago, he started off working the business by himself out of his garage. Today, Paul’s company occupies a 100,000 square-foot headquarters and has 600 people serving three states with over $80 million in annual sales. This past April the company was voted the best in the Vending and Coffee service industry. What has made my friend’s company so successful? Well, for sure Paul’s a terrific businessman. But when I’ve heard him speak on building a great company, he’s never failed to talk about how using the latest technology has enabled his company to far outperform competitors who didn’t.

    • Author
      Gary Shotton 5 years ago

      Jim, Yes, I know of Paul and had lunch with him one time. What an amazing story. I think for the first seven years, he serviced his vending route out of his car and grew step-by-stop. This is the one of the many examples how God allows and help people with the willingness to work and the willingness to stay current with technology, and take them to amazing levels of success. Whereas, some other people want to skip the hard work and technology and hope that they could be success. Thanks for your comments. You are a blessing. Gary

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