No fancy concept here, it is simply about integrating new technologies into the business model of your company. It is about helping you run your business more efficiently, reaching more people or better understanding your customers. In these fast-changing times, people’s needs are constantly evolving. One of the main sources of change is the increased use of tablets and smartphones, more acutely with the millennials. The key to last is then to adapt: don’t necessarily change the products you sell, change the way you are providing them.
How should you start your transformation?
1 – Improve the customer experience.
Nowadays, it is essential to know your clients and to anticipate their needs. The Y & Z generations are an ever bigger share of the consumer market and, not taking them into consideration is a very short-sighted vision, as in a few years they will be the principal source of income. That is why your business needs to change.
A classic example of a Gen Y/Z behaviour wanting to go to the restaurant is to search for it on google to find its website, check the reviews and, eventually, book online. In the best-case scenario, the restaurant online presence is adapted to the need of the prospect and he will book a table there. However, if he has a hard time finding information online or is confronted with an obsolete website, it will probably discredit the restaurant and the prospect will “walk” away.
You grasp the idea here, this does not simply apply to the HORECA sector but to each of them, be it plumbing, medicine or accounting. No businesses will likely be spared by the digital transformation.
2 – Adapt your operational processes.
Many digital tools allow you to improve control and effectiveness over your company processes. From those many applications, we mostly find CRM that helps you manage all the information you have about your customers, accounting software, planning software, even bulk mailer to keep your clients in touch with your cool products. Standing ready in your pocket, your smartphone is a medium of choice to access all these applications easily and in one place, you could very well: manage your invoices, consult and modify your team’s planning and check your stats reports.
From our own experience, we witnessed many companies that wanted to jump into the digital world but encountered some obstacles.
There are many digital tools as we said, others may have said too many. Indeed, it is hard to find THE application that you really need in a world of ever new software. Some may offer too little functionalities others too many, but most of the time, they do not manage to focus quite well on what matters for you. There cannot be “one size fits all” solution for something as complex as a whole business.
The price stays the major obstacle for many companies as fear the lack of financial resources to fulfil their transformation. Others simply think it won’t be worth the investment. This fear while being understandable should not let you forget that digitalising your company is a process that is never going to stop, as the world is evolving fast and new technologies are unfolded each year. It also means that you don’t have to do everything at once.
3 – Transform your business model!
Digital transformation is not something to tread lightly as it can be used to completely reshape the way your company is producing value. Nonetheless, the integration of different digital tools might create a non-evident dislocation between the different parts of your business model, altering the relation between your proposition of value and your structure of cost for example.
Let’s take a case study: the digital transformation in the book edition field. In an “old” model, the writer would send his essay to an editor in the hope of being published. This would lie on the process of selection as not every writer would prove worth it. In a more modern approach proposed by lulu.com, they say that everyone deserves his shot; therefore, the website provides authors various tools to help them create their work, print it and finally distribute it to the right audience. Lulu.com brings money for every author they signed in. Moreover, everyone has its shot at publishing under the lulu banner, meaning they manage to gain important market share while still being profitable.
This case shows brilliantly how a well-suited digital platform — potentially custom-made — can give a competitive edge and a long-term vision to a company.
To briefly summarise, the digital transformation train is the watershed you have to take if you want to see yourself thrive in a few years and not lose your competitive advantage over bolder entrepreneurs that will jump on board!
Hesitate no more.
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