Are you fully taking advantage of virtual resources?

This past weekend, we celebrated our 30th anniversary high school class reunion with a unique twist. We had both a physical and virtual reunion. Meaning, we had people who had flown and drove in from all over the country to small town Lexington, North Carolina to meet at a local banquet hall. But also had people dial in from all from all over the world, from Texas, Florida, DC for a video conference at the same time. We had hoped that classmates from Iraq and Taiwan would have joined us, but due to work schedules could not make it. But the cool thing was, technically they could have joined us. That is amazing as when we graduated, Commodore 64s were just coming out and the internet was not invented yet. So for us to be able to have both a physical and virtual online reunion was really amazing. Afterward got me thinking, are businesses using virtual online capabilities like they should? As opposed to waiting for a factory trained repairman to fly in, are companies using virtual inspections like they could? Are they engaging their service resources virtually? With an online video camera and microphone, problems could be troubleshooted and perhaps solved immediately and not have extra onsite visit and airfare costs. Actual product design engineers could see first hand some of the product flaws at the customer site and make necessary adjustments. Are you having maintenance department video conferences with sister sites to standardize best practices and brainstorm methods to avoid failures? Why not leverage the company collective brain power and develop strategies to advance your entire business forward? And with laptops and hotspots you can share remote issues and challenges with other colleagues and come up with resolutions. You also can install video cameras in basements and roofs to get instant status updates on critical equipment. Unbelievable technology is now available, we just need to imagine unique applications to fully enjoy the benefits. So let's embrace technology and fix it forward!