Leveraging Technology for Your Business
Welcome to the show, Brent Fisher
Brent joins us to talk about The Common Sense approach to leveraging technology for your business, adopting a people-centric business process, and tips for successful business acquisitions.
Brent serves as the Managing Director at Riveron with the national leadership of the Technology Enablement practice focusing on sales, solutions, team growth and strategic alliances with technology partners. He advises clients on leveraging technology to digitally transform business and deliver on business outcomes. He has 15+ years of experience with proven success in building practices around solutions, alliances, winning new clients, leading teams, and managing key relationships across private equity, upper mid-market and enterprise clients.
Brent has worked with numerous private and public companies in various industries including consumer products, wholesale distribution, manufacturing, and professional services.
Technology and Business Acquisitions
We see a lot of companies trying to navigate through acquisitions, trying to buy businesses and figure out their path forward. And not a lot of companies do this with a great degree of success. For Brent, it’s all about getting your technology working efficiently and having your operations in order to see success.
The number one problem Brent sees in the marketplace right now of why companies are struggling with acquisitions is because they are not centring the people in their business.
“We like to think more about the people and process. Then, technology is what enables it. It’s not allowing technology for technology’s sake, or a change because this is how you’ve done it in the past. You’ve really got to focus on the people and process first.”
Brent tells us that this is also the toughest part because change is overwhelming and anxiety-inducing. When aquisitions occur, as much as it is a people-driven process, it also relies on people from various experiences, cultures, and mentalities to come together to achieve success.
Leveraging a People-First Business Model
Achieving a mentality of people and process first, and supporting technology second is a challenging road. And, it’s one that begins in the pre-deal phase. When you are evaluating a company, you really have to look at the landscape from an IT and Ops perspective and ask:
- Who are the people coming over?
- What roles do they have?
- How are they going to fit into the organization?
When Brent thinks about companies who have done really well and what their playbook looks like they have a 100-day plan coming right after the acquisition. Pre-deal they are already thinking about these things, asking questions like “what are some of the risks?” and “where can we start to have some synergies through the process?”
These are the challenges you have to start getting ahead of in order to achieve success.
Finding the Right Technology for Your Business
Customers have different expectations now than they did before COVID. And, in much the same vein, technology companies have their own point of view with offering all kinds of new tools and software in a post-pandemic world.
Brent tells us that this is a very complex landscape.
“Today, a mid-level company has about 10-12 applications running to operate the business. However, through COVID, through remote work, and through working through the cloud, there are new tools popping up everywhere.”
Software providers will really highlight all the bells and whistles of their product or tool. Brent is all about breaking it down to the common sense approach to determining if a tool is right for you. It’s about really focusing on what you are trying to achieve and then being able to sift through all the offers, the bells and whistles, the dazzling demos that are out there to ask the question: is this the tool for me?
Fast Five Favourites
At The Common Sense Professional, we like to ask our guests a rapid-fire round of questions to get to know their favourite things in the tech space right now.
- Favourite book and/or podcast these days? 2030 by Mauro F. Guillen, Business Wars Podcast
- Favourite tool to grow a business? It’s not a tool, it’s just all about people working together.
- Favourite sales strategy that you’ve used or seen in the past? The challenger sales method.
- Most important way that you measure business? Benchmarking against the best in class. Seeing where you stand and measure up to other businesses that are doing really well.
- Any companies that you think are doing marketing really well? Stitchfix