From software to hardware, from servers to email exchanges, from setting up desktops to servicing laptops, companies spend a considerable amount of money each year on information technology. Taking an inventory of your IT budget could reveal ways to optimize profit by reducing expenses and dedicating those resources elsewhere.
One area where small- to medium-sized distributors might be able to cut costs is by outsourcing the IT department. That was one proposal Ryan Meray of C! Tech Solutions, Ferndale, MI, offered attendees last week at the Power Transmission Distributors Association Industry Summit in Orlando, FL.
Every business looks for ways to save money and distributors are no different. Meray delivered a host of tips about cutting costs during the "Maximizing Your Technology Budget" workshop.
Meray, whose firm advises businesses of all sizes and across all industries on IT solutions, said most companies, as a general rule, shouldn't employ a full-time IT professional unless they have at least 75 employees. And most companies need just one IT staffer for every 100 or so employees.
Outsourcing often makes financial sense, considering the costs of employing a single IT professional versus hiring an outside firm to handle technology needs. For example, Meray said, if an in-house IT professional makes $60,000 in salary and benefits, and outsourcing those services to a third party runs just $4,000 a month, that's an annual savings of $12,000 annually.
Another factor to consider: Your company's IT employee must be a jack-of-all-trades, someone who is well-versed in numerous platforms and problems. Using a third party means more than one person – indeed, an entire company of experts – is available for dedicated support on specific IT needs, perhaps something beyond a single employee's capability.
"There's so much that can be outsourced," Meray said.
The savings could help maximize your company's technology budget, freeing up money for professional development, enhancing mobile infrastructure or paying sales bonuses.