Nowadays, all types of businesses are forced to think how to stay in business for the next era, this include all types of industries from consumer software up to manufacturing. We have been seeing disruptors across many industries. Hotel industry being disrupted by Airbnb, Retail by Amazon, and other areas as well like Information Technology; Transportation by Uber, Lyft, and others; DVD-by-mail model disrupted by Netflix in the recent years, and the list goes on.
On the customers’ side, the reason for this is that the customer is changing and evolving, getting exposed to options and varieties, increasing the appetite for better customer service, and understanding. Majority of businesses if not all are currently selling to millennials in a way or another regardless of the industry. Millennials who are buying from e-commerce websites, watching movies or series through subscription-based services, and ordering transportation via mobile apps. Such companies raised the bar for other industries as well, now we get frustrated for a few-seconds loading screen or a delay of a few minutes in something, where you would have been waiting for an order for weeks before Amazon. Customer expectations are now different compared to the previous era.
On the businesses’ side, companies are struggling to increase productivity with the current resources in place, statistics are showing that productivity growth is growing in a much slower rate compared to GDP, and the solution is not adding more people to your workforce.
Looking at both above sides, we are creating a dual challenge, incredible next generation of consumer like experience needed in the B2B industries as well with less resources and challenging productivity rates.
Operation Friction Creates Challenges
We cannot challenge the consumer-side because that is all of us and we believe this is the experience we all want in our lives, right? Looking at the business side, the main challenge is the operation friction that is created through having everyone working in silos, employees currently work in “departments/organizations” and not “companies” without looking at the big puzzle we are trying to solve.
In our “separate organizations” – we continuously find an accounting system, sales system, manufacturing planning system and many others. Usually work between different systems is essential and having an impact on one another. Such friction is affecting both customers as well as employees/businesses. Paying late may let us lose the trust of our suppliers, lose potential early-payments discounts; a poor experience or delay for our customers may let us lose customers’ loyalty, and interest, and the list goes on. Challenges for Employees like rework, workarounds, and delays. Challenges for Customers like disappointment, missed referrals, lost loyalty, and moving to competition.
Time for Bottom-Up Approach
Top down approach is not working, organizations are spending a lot of money on business transformation initiatives but big portion (there is a report showing 44%) of them thought work they are doing for business transformation has been a waste of time – reminding us of the previous era of advertising where you weren’t able to know which channels convert the most for you.
Looking at who is working on business transformation initiatives inside organizations, you will discover that business leaders may outline what they want and leave the depth of processes to people under them who may get lost in the daily work to deliver what is required.
This is leading to the rise of bottom-up approach where different departments behind a common view of a business process and remove the points of friction between them. Looking at your processes and how it works can help you to rethink from outside in instead of inside out, in simpler terms, from your end customer perspective regardless who is the customer.