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Learn from the Airlines, Invest in the Technology

Published on

04 Jan 2023

Everyone was talking about it just after the holidays. You saw it on the news, or on Twitter, and your coworkers or family members knew of someone impacted, or possibly (hopefully not) you had a personal experience. A certain airline racked up a huge list of delays and cancellations just as everyone was trying to get home from Christmas or take off on a New Year’s vacation.

What caused the problems? Some news reports tell us it was a lack of investment in technology.[1] Is it true? Did a successful company with a once sought-after business model fail to keep up with scheduling technology that would allow pilots and staff to be where they are supposed to be when they are supposed to be there? We can only suppose that the airline staff saw an issue long before the public realized the mess they’d be experiencing at Christmas.

Maybe there is a lesson here that extends past the airlines. The ones doing the work, day in and day out, know the gaps in the way work flows at your business. Understanding the technology needs is natural for many in the ag retail world where each person wears many hats and jumps in to help a customer with a question or to deliver an order when needed. Those are opportunities for management to experience the daily challenges, ask questions about processes, and stay connected to the work at hand. Such leaders understand the challenges of their staff and understand the technology needed to get it all done. By investing in technology and especially in the people that keep work orders running smoothly, successful ag retail managers are investing in the success of their customers.

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[1] Raden, N. (2023, January 3). What just happened to Southwest Airlines? A cautionary tale about underfunding key IT technology.

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