With the calendar recently flipping over to November, many shops are preparing for their least favorite time of the year – downtime. But this slow time may also be the perfect time to implement new shop software. Nearly every shop in every industry has some period of downtime. Some industries experience downtime in the summer or early in the year. Many though, hit a lull through the holiday season.
As a shop owner, downtime can be frustrating. You don’t want to lose your valuable employees and you want to be fair to them and their families, so you keep them on payroll, perhaps with a slight decrease in hours. But there simply may not be enough work to keep them busy.
How do you make this time productive even though the work has slowed to a crawl?
One solution is to finally implement the new shop software you’ve been putting off forever. Even if you know you need new software, the prospect of transferring data and training your employees may seem too daunting to tackle.
However, if your team is slow because of a decline in business, now could be the perfect time to move forward with your new shop software project. They have the time to learn the software and your administrative and management team may have the time to monitor the data transfer. Plus, you may even qualify for tax benefits is you do it by the end of the year.
Here are four reasons why you may want to consider using your end-of-year downtime for machine shop software implementation:
You can focus on transferring data to the new system.
Machine shop software can greatly increase your efficiency and eliminate redundant data entry tasks. However, to realize those benefits, you have to get the software up and running. The initial implementation process usually involves some level of data entry. After all, you have to get your data and information into the new platform.
That initial data transfer could involve manual entry. Or you may be able to get into an excel spreadsheet. At Shoptech, we help our new customers with this process by taking the data from the spreadsheet and inputting it into the new E2 software. Regardless of what route you choose, the initial data input will take time, which you should have in large supply during your down period.
You can train your team to use the new shop software.
Again, shop software can be a powerful tool, but the power largely lies in the hands of the user. If your team doesn’t know how to use the software effectively, or chooses not to use it at all, you’re unlikely to maximize the return on your software investment.
Like data input, training takes time. You probably don’t want to pull employees off the floor when you’re busy with work. Downtime provides the perfect opportunity for them to focus on training and to become well-versed with the new platform.
Depending on the software company you choose, you could have a few training options. At Shoptech, we offer live in-class training at multiple centers across the United States and in Canada. You could bring a group of key team members to a live multi-day session for an immersive training experience.
We also offer virtual training for your team to complete in your shop. Your team can use the downtime to take turns stepping away from the floor to do training on an office computer.
You can bring an implementation specialist to your facility.
Downtime is also a great opportunity to have one of Shoptech’s implementation specialists visit your facility. Our specialists spend several days in your shop, helping you and your team get off to a fast start with the software.
We offer support and guidance with the data input and help to resolve any issues that may arise. We provide live onsite training to your team and can even customize the training to specific tasks and challenges that your workers may face.
Essentially, you have an E2 expert available in person, in your shop for several days. That can help you start maximizing your use of the software faster so you can see early returns on your investment.
You can take advantage of Section 179 tax deductions.
You’re probably familiar with Section 179 deductions for equipment purchases. Did you know that software is an eligible purchase under Section 179?
If your downtime is at the end of the year, you can use this time to implement your software and to qualify for the Section 179 deduction. The primary rules are that the software must be implemented by the end of the year and the software must be used for more than 50 percent of your business functions. If you start implementation soon, you can meet those requirements and deduct your purchase price from this year’s taxes.
Ready to maximize your downtime and start the implementation process? Let’s talk about it. Contact us today to start the conversation. Our E2 consultants welcome the opportunity to speak with you.