Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence, one of the biggest selling business books ever, said that almost all quality improvement comes via simplification of design, manufacturing... layout, processes, and procedures.
It is easy to get caught up in hype and trends but sometimes it is best to just sit back and observe for a while. All too often it becomes clear that it is really the simple stuff that counts, especially if you are a small business, because sometimes that new thought and technology will simply overwhelm your needs and capabilities. Perhaps you just have to operate smarter, keep things simpler. A report in
The Economist talked about businesses in the USA bringing their manufacturing back onshore after realising that once freight, paperwork, taxes and other governmental fees were added, the cost of manufacturing at home was only about 10% more expensive than offshore. By sharpening up and simplifying procedures and keeping staff educated, that 10 percent could be pared back in many cases.
So while it is smart practice to keep an eye on the new trends, think it through. You could be better off than you realise.