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Choices and how one thing leads to another

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Tech Talk by Peter Mate
Peter Mate is owner and president of Planit Canada, a software and services company devoted to servicing the manufacturing industry. For more info email
I’m back at the gym. Not because of any new resolutions, but because it’s easier for me to get to the gym in the winter.
In the summer, I have so many outdoor sports and things I like to do. I noticed that when I’m in my routine of going to the gym, I end up seeing many benefits from that one action.
I end up drinking a lot more water. I’ll go through 1.5 liters of water just during my workout and then more before/after. I also tend to eat better before and after my workouts with very little effort or conscious decision at all. It’s almost like I don’t crave the same type of food when I’m in workout mode. As crazy as it may sound, I like listening to educational audio books while I train. So, that one decision to go to the gym turns into better eating, more water drinking, education and of course the physical activity.
When I train, I use an app to track my workout. It has my routines and exercises and I know exactly what to do and what weights I used last time. As a result, I get to see the progress. I can look at the monthly summary of my activity and it gets synced with my Apply health app. I can see all kinds of information, trends and progress. The key is that none of it exists if I don’t make the decision to go to the gym.
How does this tie into woodworking and technology? Easy.
It’s much harder to have good information to make decisions on if, for example, your work orders are on physical paper. The easier you make it for yourself to have good information at your fingertips, the better decisions you’ll be able to make for your business. What’s the biggest fish to fry? Where should you focus your energy? Your money? Your time?
Removing the decisions that are based on gut feelings and replacing them with decisions that will have the biggest impact on your business will enable your business to grow the fastest and adapt the best to changing situations.
Would you know how much time a painted kitchen adds to the project vs. a melamine one? Can you pull up your past quotes and see if you are pricing these correctly? If nothing is being recorded, then you have nothing to go on but your gut. If you have work history in software, then 
you can typically pull out a lot more information when you need it.
In the end, you might go buy software to run your CNC, but the ripple effect will be that you start having more digital data that is easier to access. The more data you collect, the better the chances are that you will have the information you will be looking for in the future.
The compounded effect of CNC software for example could include better quality parts, better fitting hardware, less service calls, better material usage, faster production times, easier assembly and the list goes on. So let’s all lose the gut, both at the gym and in our decision-making, and let’s start making choices that have compounded benefits.

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