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8/24/2010
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Crunch Time at Torelli: Keeping Your Eyes on the Prize

"No pain, no gain." That's what the coach told us in high school, and it's as true today as it was then. If you're in the bicycle business, for instance, the height of summer is also the height of your sales season - and perhaps not the perfect time to switch your entire business operations over to a new platform.

"No pain, no gain." That's what the coach told us in high school, and it's as true today as it was then. If you're in the bicycle business, for instance, the height of summer is also the height of your sales season - and perhaps not the perfect time to switch your entire business operations over to a new platform.Then again, the sooner you can make the transition, the sooner you can begin optimizing your sales, accurately tracking your profits and costs, streamlining your inventory, being more responsive to your customers, and generally running your business better from top to bottom.

That's how Torelli Bicycle Co. CEO Todd Linscott has it figured anyway. That's why he gave the thumbs up to a major business makeover - even though it was coming smack in the middle of his busiest time of year.

"The biggest thing we've learned is: This is never easy to do," Todd told the team at InformationWeek SMB this week, "especially when you're in the busy season of your business. But in the end, we know that our time and efforts are going to pan out by giving us better business operations."

As Todd explains in the InformationWeek SMB: On Location Makeover video, better business operation translates into tangible information, such as being able to record his costs in the correct currency. His current accounting system supports only one currency, but as an importer, he pays for his Italian frames and accessories in euros, then jumps through hoops to track exchange rates and perform all the currency conversions manually. His new enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, being installed this month courtesy of SAP, can seamlessly track purchases in any currency. It's just one of the ways this makeover will make life easier - and business better - for the folks at Torelli.

However, as Todd and his team struggle to fill every sales order during the current busy season, and still make time for their big makeover, it's like the final push for the finish line at the velodrome: Sure, it's going to hurt a little bit, but in the end, it's all worth it.

As Lance Armstrong once said: "Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever."

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