Mr. Gary Bateman, Managing Director, LAPP India Pvt. Ltd., takes us through the idea of digitalisation, how it has become the need of the hour, and what it means for organisations around the world.
The term digitalisation has been around for years, but it mostly remained limited to an idea and very minimally executed as executives lacked clarity on its necessity and advantages. With the pandemic, companies around the globe witnessed a rise in the adoption of digitalisation as it became the need of the hour to stay connected internally within the organisation as well as with the customers. One of the major barriers to the adoption of digitalisation is the hierarchical structure of working that still prevails in large organisations. Traditional corporate work structures and cultures are a hindrance – agile, process-driven, and customer-oriented ways of working are more preferred and suited for digitalisation.
Since the beginning, companies have been choosing between two options- drive the digitalisation process themselves or outsource it to a team of experts. While it is admittedly more challenging, the former route has its array of long-term benefits. Taking along your internal team members on the journey is not the easiest path but is worth the challenges for your organisation as well as for improved customer satisfaction. Standardisation and automation are two important goals of every digitalisation strategy. While standardising is generally seen as an option to cut costs, it should actually be deployed as a means to improve the brand’s offerings and provide tailored solutions to customers. Employees should look at digitalisation not as a challenge, but as a process that includes active involvement from all employees. This will require inculcation of the ideologies of personal responsibility, autonomy, and creativity in your employees. Having a decentralised organisational structure coupled with digitalisation ensures a better customer experience by enabling fast and customer-oriented action. The effects can be outwards, i.e. effects of the brand on their customers, and inwards, i.e., IT-driven automation and optimised company processes, as well as improved creative and decision-making processes. Outward impacts include improved products and services for customers, and inward impacts include process optimisations and the development of new business models.
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Leveraging digitalisation for enhanced customer experiences
Digitalisation can happen at every stage of the company’s process- starting from manufacturing till delivering of the product/service to the customer and collecting feedback for future engagements. Nowadays, brands are also adopting options such as chatbots and automated portals to provide 24×7 services to their customers. The pandemic especially emphasised the need to include and involve the employees in the digitalisation process to ensure better output and smoother operations.
The customer service offered by a brand includes the experience of a customer across all possible touchpoints. Integrating the processes, offerings, and services through digitalisation will ensure a smoother customer journey with the brand while keeping the brand promise and corporate identity consistent. Improved customer engagement and increased responsiveness to customers will help stand out in a cluttered competitive market and create brand loyalty among customers. To make this a reality, all employees need to be included in the digitalisation process led by a core team for promoting and supporting digitalisation, while consistently creating new impetus. Organisations must focus on efficient analysis and uniform interpretation of the heaps of data that are constantly churned out, to help the organisation become better and reveal unforeseen insights which then lead to innovative ideas. Trust the data as an unerring source of information. During execution, it is beneficial to create cross-functional teams that break down hierarchical structures, leading to a good mix of employees from different departments and years of service with the company. This intermix of knowledge, cultures, and backgrounds will lead to new tools, products, and services for the company as well as add to the skill sets of every employee, promoting individual growth.
Also Read: LAPP India: Focussing on Digitalisation and Automation of Processes to Provide Better and Faster Service
Digitalisation is not an IT project, but a project which will drive better success and value for a company’s core business and employees. It is important to create a sense of teamwork among employees and look at digitalisation as a unified mission for the company as a whole to achieve through the power of individual contributions of each employee.