Systems can reduce waste, of course. But they can also be sources of waste. Unless you have a problem-solving process in place, with people following it, there's very little value in spending time or money on fancy technology.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is a classic example of this kind of "If we buy it, we'll figure out how to use it" technology. A few years ago, it seemed like that acronym was everywhere. The bottom line? There's a lot of dusty CRM software on the servers of many a small business. I've got some myself. You can't expect people to suddenly become customer service- or sales process-oriented just because they have the software. CRM is, like many other software programs, in the end, a human process; it won't work unless you have human beings who already understand this and are already engaged in a customer support process. Technology can improve or help, but not create.
Technology is not a system in and of itself. It requires people to put it into motion, to use it to its greatest potential. Yet often we get seduced into wanting the latest and greatest, whatever it is, whether we have a use for it or not. I'm guilty of this. I love technology and often fantasize that all process problems can be solved by it. Some can, but if you adopt new technology before you have a culture that reduces waste, problem solves, thinks lean, and has standardized all of its operations, you just might create more problems to contend with. If that's the case, frankly, there's no real point to adding new technology. This is by no means a reason not to add new technology when necessary and helpful. It's merely a caution. Use the best tools your money can buy, but make sure you know exactly what you're going to improve and how you're going to do it. Moreover, make sure you can measure your success with the new technology.
Chances are you're already internalizing the idea that you constantly need to be innovating, implementing, measuring, and improving, as well as integrating people and process. Why? So you can build a bigger, better business, of course. But that's only one of the reasons. The other equally important reason is that if you effectively integrate people and process, you will free yourself up to have a rich personal life as well. You can have your business and your life, too. Your dream was never to work every waking moment, was it? I hope not.