Today every company, regardless of industry, is a technology company. I encounter businesses daily that are realizing the profound impact of integrating innovative technology into their business. One such business is a client that specializes in designing and manufacturing custom packaging solutions.

The box builder. 📦

In the past, this client faced cumbersome inefficiencies in the sales cycle, characterized by prolonged and cumbersome interactions between prospective customers and their sales representatives. When customers asked for estimates, such as the cost of creating a custom box, it sparked a drawn-out dialogue with a sales rep and a laborious internal design process. This process strained staff resources and risked diminishing customer satisfaction, leading to lost business opportunities.

We proposed a new way to think about customer acquisition, starting with an innovative solution - an online “box-builder” application on their website. This app enabled users to input their item’s dimensions and weight, along with other specifications, generating an immediate cost estimate for the custom box. The application also provided instant pricing for various production quantities and streamlined the pathway for customers to connect with a sales rep ready to start the design process.

By leveraging a fairly simple technology solution, we significantly improved the customer’s initial interaction with the company. We provided instant, practical solutions to their problems. This approach not only increased customer conversion rates but also reassured them of our ability to solve their problems during the first interaction, keeping them from seeking alternatives elsewhere. The box builder app demonstrated how digital solutions could expedite response times, streamline business operations, and enhance customer satisfaction.

By the way, I write one of these every few weeks or so. Sign-up with your email here to receive the latest, as soon as it’s posted!

Mine for opportunities. ⛏️

In order to create these unique and innovative solutions, you must keep a pulse on your business operations. Talk with your customers, your customer service and sales staff, and even your competitors. You may also consider running quarterly surveys across your business units, to ask for feedback, ascertain what is going well and what is not, and capture any ideas your team has to improve the customer experience and your overall effectiveness as a business.

Take the outputs of your surveys, discussions, and thinking, and apply them directly to curating your technology strategy. Do not leave this process with purely technical people, who do not have an understanding or appreciation of the greater business opportunities you see. This curation process should be collaborative, including technical, leadership, and operations resources accross your company. Collaborating with those who are ultimately responsible for executing the strategy early on will improve the quality of execution. I find people are more motivated in their work when they understand and appreciate the story behind it.

Spend time on what’s important. ⌚

These business opportunities should represent the majority of your time and effort spent on technology. I find in many organizations, this is entirely the opposite, where IT issues such as downtime, lack of adequate resources, and stalled projects take the spotlight. It does not have to be this way, and it should feel not only possible but exciting to consider what technology can do for your business, rather than a burden that requires your time and attention to keep from going off the rails.

Creating and executing a digital transformation strategy for your business is key to growing your business into new markets, retaining existing business, and staying relevant in the marketplace. Defining and executing this strategy can be a simple, and even enjoyable process. You’ll be watching your business transform right before your eyes, tapping new markets you never dreamed possible. I personally believe that technology itself should fade into the background, powering experiences behind the scenes that reveal the true value of your people, products, and services which make your customers' lives better. It’s like Disney Imagineering for busiensses.

If you need help with creating and executing a digital transformation strategy in your business, reach out.