Picture of a clock by Free-Photos on Pixabay

What is your time worth?

How can you prove return on investment for the outlay on new technology?

One of the questions we are often asked from businesses who do not know much about MRP systems (Manufacturing Requirements Planning) or whether it would be relevant to them is:- ‘how can you prove return on investment’ for the outlay on this technology?

Any who knows me will know I am very mild mannered and try not to ‘hog’ the conversation but return on investment just gets me going. I could talk for hours. 

Don’t worry I will not expect you to indulge me hours of your time; but for the next couple of minutes I want to leave you with some food for thought about what return on investment really means to you and your business.

Measurable Objectives

Return on investment for me comes right back to business strategy and regardless of how small you are, you should have one.

If you have a business strategy you will have objectives and you will know what you are trying to achieve this year, next year and so on. If you have been setting these targets and objectives and not reaching them – you have a problem. If you have a problem, you need a solution.

 If you are working harder than perhaps you ever were, expending more and more energy in the business and getting nowhere, you are not getting a return on your own time investment.

Are you merely a busy fool?

With the recent lockdown I think many of us are now putting a higher value on our time. We have realised that having time to do the things we enjoy alongside our work is very precious. Now that most of us have realised we can do our work from anywhere, time will continue to be our most valuable commodity.

There can be many reasons why you are not getting a return on your own time investment in your business. You are likely to have a list of reasons the length of your arm.

The questions I ask now is, is it because you are afraid of change?

Do you do things ‘they way they were always done’?

The world is moving on but perhaps you are not; so you have to work harder to keep up? Does this strike a chord?

If you are a small manufacturer reading this while surrounded by post it notes, scraps of paper and spreadsheets you have a major issue with your own return on investment.

We talk about the onslaught of automation in the manufacturing world. This I assure you is not confined to the factory floor; this is happening in offices all over the world. People are adapting to new technology, they are spending less time chasing up, following up, mopping up. They are spending less time dealing with missed components, delayed production, cash tied up, delayed receipts, mistakes, and customer disappointment.


Because they put a value on their time investment into the business. They have put their energy into researching and finding technology that does all this for them. They get a better return on investment by solving problems using trusted data, by knowing their teams are acting efficiently and by seeing on the screen that basic tasks are done in a timely fashion.

If you are not getting a return on your time investment you too should be concerned about your competitors. You can be assured they are working smarter not harder, working more ‘on’ not ‘in’ the business. They are moving at the pace the world is going at.

If you are that business owner surrounded by paper work, sitting in the dead of night trying to reconcile issues or problems, you need to think about your own return on investment; the time of your life that you are giving unnecessarily to the business and find the solution to your problem. 

I said I wouldn’t indulge you for long and I know we haven’t even got around to talking about return on investment from MRP Software or manufacturing CRM system; but I think now that we have delivered the life coaching session, we will save that chat for another day.

Flowlens customers typically save a day a week per person. Click here to watch and read their stories.