People don’t like changes. When I worked at Katherine Furniture, the owners were not willing to change. During that time, I was working and going to college at the same time. It was the perfect scenario to apply my knowledge about Information Systems to improve this small retail store.
The majority of the business was done thru financing. We had many financial companies that helped us. The customer will fill out a credit application to see if they will qualify for the purchase. The problem was that we used a paper form to fill out the credit application. After completing the application, we will submit the application to the financial institution for processing. To process the application, we also needed to submit additional documents like utility bills, pay stubs, and driver license. The problem with a paper form was that many times we will lose it along with the other papers. This situation frustrated everyone. The customer and also the owners. How can you lose a credit application? I was frustrated as well but I decided to put the computers to work. I spoke with the owners and said, “we have computers here but we are not using them properly.” Let’s capture the credit application information in our database.
I was determined to create the electronic form to capture this information. The initial version was created with Microsoft Access. I was able to create the form and bind it to the database. I also added a print button since we needed to fax it to financial companies and also the customer needed to sign it. After completing the electronic form, everyone refused to use it. They were not willing to change. They were
accustomed to use the paper form. I started to use it myself and prove everyone that this was the only way to improve the business. I also started training them on how to use this application. Within a few weeks everyone was using the electronic version of the credit application. The owners were very happy with this change. They wanted to explore other ideas on how to increase sales.
Change is needed to accomplish new goals. We need to be open to new ideas. During the process of creating the electronic form, I learned so much about change. I was able to change a group of people to use technology instead of paper. At the beginning they refused to use my app, probably they needed more training. I learned that to change we need to take baby steps to get there.