Change is a constant—in life and in business. When that change completely uproots processes and alters behaviors, it’s referred to as disruption. In the world of digital technology, such disruption has become commonplace. As many business leaders use existing technology to re-envision services and products, they’re revolutionizing their industries. Just look at Uber and the taxi industry.
While such results can be enticing to businesses searching for an advantage, it’s important—when deliberating whether to implement change through digital technology—to first understand the level of disruption you’re comfortable with, and what value you’re hoping to create.
Questions to Ask
Are you an innovative company, driven to rollout your latest digital tool—and fast? Or, are you an incumbent, trying to remain competitive alongside aggressive newcomers? How you answer will help determine your strategy—whether that’s finding a quick, easy, and effective way to get something implemented or taking the time to invest in a heartier, more thought-out solution that creates long-term value.
Making internal changes can be the quickest route to discovering fresh solutions to problems or innovative ways to update processes. Explore digital tools or cloud-based systems for organizing and streamlining workflows. Invest in software that enables greater customer personalization. By disrupting existing digital practices, you can better meet customers’ evolving wants and needs—priming your company for new growth.
Measure and Manage Demand in Real-Time
Knowing product demand at any given time is vital to business success—yet it’s not always a clear picture. With custom-made orders to assemble and next-day fulfillments to satisfy, meeting modern business demand requires more than making sure you have a warehouse of finished goods.
By gathering data on inventory levels and buyer behavior, businesses can stay above the fold—minimizing waste from over-production when demand is low and maximizing sales when demand is high. Yet, while information such as point of sale (POS) data received direct from retailers can provide insight into product movement, it’s not always timely.
That’s where new technology advances come in. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips can give you the real-time data you need, showing what customers are actually buying and when. Using the same wireless technology found in car keys, highway toll tags, and security access cards, these state-of-the-art chips can be placed on every product as it leaves your facility.
By tracking a product’s every move—through shipping, stocking, and purchase—these innovative devices can significantly improve your understanding of consumer demand for your product. Not only can this information help you to assess your ability to meet the needs of existing production and shipment schedules, but it also can enable you to quickly and accurately adjust and optimize your supply plans.