Digital transformation is sweeping across the business world, leaving no company or industry untouched. As more and more businesses undertake the process, it’s becoming clear that it will soon be a necessary step for any company that wishes to survive.
There’s a wealth of information available online about strategies and tactics for digital transformation. However, no two companies undertake the process the same. Niche industries like wholesale distribution have unique needs that cannot always be addressed by studying the transformation of different industries.
Digital transformation is an important stepping stone to embracing the technological future that’s fast arising. Here’s what it is, how it affects the unique elements of a wholesale business, and how Blue Technologies can help.
What Is Digital Transformation and Why Do Companies Need It?
Digital transformation is a bit of a buzz word that has been thrown around a lot over the past few years. Several definitions exist, which can add to the confusion. According to McKinsey, digital transformation is the fundamental shift of an organization’s processes to embrace digital technology. It’s the application of digital technology to address long-standing business problems, or the acceleration of business operations by digitizing them.
That’s a rather abstract definition, so a few examples might help. In digital transformation, companies typically undertake initiatives such as:
● Digitizing their document processes: Digital transformation is all about doing away with manual processes as much as possible, choosing instead to embrace electronic documents with tools like enterprise content management.
● Bolstering their digital presence: Companies take a look at how customers interact with their brand online, on social media, or through an app – and take steps to make those interactions easier.
● Updating their hardware and software: Outdated IT assets are incredibly expensive to maintain and can hinder innovation and growth.
The Unique Challenges of Digitally Transforming a Wholesale Distribution Company
Wholesale distribution companies seeking to undertake digital transformation have a few unique concerns not shared by other industries. Since their entire business is built around the movement of supplies and goods, they must take care not to disrupt these critical business functions with experimental technology. There are three specific areas where digital transformation can prove challenging:
1. Logistical Operations
Digital logistics are becoming the preferred method of wholesale distribution companies worldwide, but making substantial shifts in this area can prove risky. According to McKinsey, digital transformation can be rife with malfunctions and misfires – these things can disrupt business operations, potentially with ruinous consequences.
From software that doesn’t work correctly to confusion with vendors or clients, there are many challenges associated with logistical operations. When digitally transforming logistical operations, wholesalers need to remain extra vigilant.
2. The Customer Network
Thanks to Amazon, the average customer expects products delivered rapidly and has little patience for error. Digital transformation can be incredibly valuable for the customer experience and network of a distribution company. For instance, a distributor may introduce real-time shipment tracking or identify opportunities for supplemental services.
However, digital transformation may also introduce stumbling blocks. Customer portals might not work. New interfaces might be confusing. Customers are sometimes also resistant to new ways of doing things.
3. Service Ranges
A third area that companies don’t always consider when planning their digital transformation is the effect it might have on service ranges. In many cases, it will extend the service range by empowering a company with more data and more resources for moving products farther.
It’s also possible to extend that range too far. For example, a freshly launched website with an e-commerce store might prompt individuals to order from parts of the country that are difficult or impossible to reach.
Blue Technologies Supports Digital Transformations
According to McKinsey, the vast majority of digital transformations fail, a testament to how complicated the process is. To reduce the chances of failure, many companies turn to technology providers like Blue Technologies to assist them with the process.
A technology solutions provider can be of assistance at every stage of a digital transformation. Some of the benefits may include:
● A comprehensive technology assessment: An assessment of the company’s current technology can help identify areas of opportunity. The specialists at Blue Technologies can also provide recommendations for solutions moving forward.
● Managed services: Many companies deploy managed services to enhance their infrastructure. Managed services can keep the new technology properly configured and running.
● Advice for process optimization: Digital transformation accelerates business processes, but only if it’s undertaken strategically. Blue Technologies can guide businesses to map and refine their operations.
Ohio Wholesalers Choose Blue Technologies
Ohio is a hub for the logistics, wholesale, and distribution industries. Many of these companies are embracing digital transformation as they look for ways to remain viable in the future. However, digital transformation isn’t easy. There’s a lot that can go wrong. That’s why Ohio businesses turn to Blue Technologies for guidance. With over 25 years of experience helping companies achieve operational efficiency, there are few other companies with the expertise and insight needed to undertake digital transformation successfully.
Don’t DIY digital transformation. Work with experts and get it right. Start a conversation with Blue Technologies now.