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How human is your technology?

We all know modern technology is incredibly clever. It’s powerful and complex and capable of pretty much anything.

But is it useful?

With so many examples of overly “smart” devices and things being too clever for their own good (like only being able to turn your car fan down by going through an electronic screen, or requiring an app for your toaster), there’s no doubt that sometimes the human element of tech development gets lost.

While the potential output of complex systems can be impressive, the impact is lost if you need an engineering degree just to use it correctly. If something is a headache to use, chances are you just won’t use it that often.

But what if that “something” is the business system you have to use for every process in your business? What do you think the overall impact on productivity, efficiency and staff wellbeing will be?

Take it easy scrabble letters on a pink background

Our aim is to make the best ERP system for timber merchants, builders merchants, plumbing suppliers, steel stockholders - you get the picture. And in order to make the best business systems for merchants, we need to understand the people behind the business, and the processes that those businesses use every day.

And we need to make it as easy as possible to use.

Tech should make things better

As a team of developers and product managers, whenever we’re considering a change to the system we ask ourselves several questions.

These include:

  • What does it do?

  • Does it make the job easier and / or faster?

  • Does it add value in some way?

  • Is it better than a human could do it?

  • How is it an improvement on the way it was done before?

  • Is it the easiest it could be?

And unless we’re satisfied with the answers, we won’t make the change.

If you’re thinking about taking on a new piece of technology at work, it’s worth asking yourself the same questions, and make sure you try different solutions out there in the market too – because not all systems are created equal, and not all have the user front of mind when they’re being developed.

Putting people before technology

Sillohuettes of people in front of a sunset, with their arms raised in the sky

When technology is created with real human input and the users of it front of mind, it can be immensely useful.

AI, machine learning, big data … the list goes on, and you’ll doubtless have seen plenty of mention of it all online. And it’s clever stuff, with enormous potential to help every individual in every business, as well as the business itself. But if it’s so complex to use that no-one wants to – or is able to – use it, what’s the point?

It’s not a new concept. In fact, the simplification of tech is a huge movement across the whole SaaS sector, from drag and drop website creation platforms to simplified graphic design, “no code” development sites and financials for beginners, it’s a veritable goldmine of user-friendly technology out there for the taking.

But when you start looking at industry-specific technology, it’s not so simple and there are fewer straightforward solutions out there. Yes, that’s partly because you’re dealing with complex business structures and advanced functionality, but it’s also because complexity is an ingrained habit – and it’s lazy. Industry technology providers should be going further and doing more to simplify everything about their systems, from the language they use to talk about them in to the useability of the systems themselves.

We believe passionately in the need for simpler, user-friendly technology that does not compromise functionality or power. Our systems are always evolving and improving, so we’ll never claim to be perfect. But we are so sure that our system is easy to use, we’ll give you a 30 day chance to test drive it yourself, with no salesperson loitering and no tech expert needed to show you around.

Try before you buy

If you’re out there looking for tech solutions for your business, make sure you get a chance to actually use it before you decide to buy it. Because all the cleverness in the world will be no good to you whatsoever if no-one knows how to use it properly.


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