Digital technology is changing everything. The exponential growth of all things digital has totally changed the environment in which the companies of today operate in.
What’s more, smart adoption of nimble tech has levelled the playing field for smaller businesses, who can now reach customers, lower their costs, and find and retain top talent like never before. What used to be advantages for big, established players have diminished – with start-ups able to access resources that were previously available only to big businesses. Whether it’s big data being stored in the ‘cloud’ outsourcing to tap into digital skills or crowd sourcing investments, very few industries still have significant barriers to entry. As the market expands and evolves, consumers are increasingly demanding more seamless experiences across multiple digital touch points – and are able and willing to go elsewhere (whether next door or across the globe) if their expectations are not met.
Embedding digital within your organisation won’t just benefit the consumers using your products and services. Digital technology can provide great opportunities for large businesses to become more agile and efficient in how they operate. And in addition enable a better and more flexible working environment for employees. And it leads to better results. Studies from the likes of CapGemini and PwC have shown that ‘digital technology leaders’ outperform their peers on key metrics like revenue growth, profitability and innovation.
So with this in mind here are three top tips for making the most of digital technology for your business:
Consider M2M (Machine-to-Machine) technology to increase supply chain efficiency
Logistics companies are using M2M and data analytics to find the best routes for the delivery of goods and services. At the same time, they can also track vehicles and devices effortlessly in an urban environment to have a holistic view of assets on the road. M2M technologies can provide insights into the relationship between multiple items in a warehouse, which previously had no way to communicate with one another, and inform a human operator of their condition or status.
Manufacturers are using M2M to show early indicators of impending equipment failure and automatically order new parts and materials. Also, by embedding M2M technology in their products, manufacturers can develop more diversified business models and generate additional revenue. Understanding how products are being used can provide insight into product innovations, and support new usage-based pricing models. Tracking performance can also lead to offering enhanced services to customers – for example, through sensors in lifts, elevator manufacturer KONE is able to conduct preventative maintenance – avoiding the cost of unnecessary routine maintenance visits.
Use social media and digital technology to engage audiences and improve customer experience
The way you interact with your customers can truly make or break your business. Especially now, in the age of social media — word spreads quicker than you can imagine, and all it takes is a few bad experiences to ruin your business’s reputation. American budget airline JetBlue sets a good example. They not only respond to customers who @mention them on social media platforms but track and monitor keywords and relevant hashtags as well.
Omnichannel customer engagement – Having a social media customer service team is one step closer to building a great customer experience for your customers, but in order to really hit the ball out of the park, businesses must look to be providing support at every touch point. UK retailer Oasis does this well by equipping their in-store staff with tablets, which gives them accurate info on stock, as well as assisting their clients with online orders.
Increase employee productivity and satisfaction through digitally powered flexible working
Providing staff with the right mobile technology makes for seamless tasking, which allows for better service and happier staff. For example, NHS Western Isles equipped their nurses with innovative digital pens, allowing them to securely transmit patient data to systems where the information can be accessed by other health professionals. This allows nurses to spend more time with patients – it’s expected to lead to more than 5000 additional visits per year. Similarly, food service company Miller’s Vanguard’s roll out of mobile devices to its engineers has provided them with the information they need to fix issues first time at any time of the day, with an 85% success rate, meaning that the equipment can be back up and running sooner.
Businesses are also using Unified Communications solutions, and Enterprise social networks to enhance employee collaboration. Ikea for example, has used Yammer to allow employees from around the world to contribute new product ideas. Northern Gas Networks has implemented a unified communications network that allows employees to collaborate, communicate and share from anywhere – making everyone happier and more productive.
By adhering to these top tips, you can ensure that your business stays ahead of the competition and in turn will also able to take advantage of the digital revolution that is taking the business world by storm. This gives both your customers and employees the benefit of being a part of a forward thinking business that is ready to take on future challenges. Which one out of the three tips should your business implement first?