Many sectors are now experiencing amount of growth in their respective supply chains. Tech to support business growth is a simple strategy to support your business growth plan. 2015 is definitely a better year than 2014 was for most businesses. Many businesses are receiving more enquiries, attracting better responses to their marketing campaigns, and have seen increased attendance at exhibitions, sector specific seminars and networking events too. Has your business the processes and systems in place for increased demand this autumn and into 2016?
Before splashing out on lots of potentially expenses and unnecessary kit, my recommendation is to follow your entire value stream. This is all of your business processes mapped from start to end, typically running from enquiry to delivery. Start with a whiteboard or large sheet of paper, mapping out all the sources from which enquiries originate. Follow these to your proposal/quote generation process, and on to the sales response from a prospect. If you win, what happens next? If it’s lost or faded out, do you capture feedback from the prospect, or do you just move onto the next enquiry? How do you review/test your product or service before presenting it to the customer? As you map out each process, think really hard about if it could be obliterated, innovated or automated. Could technology replace, simplify or better support the process? Is it possible to replace paper forms with electronic forms or documents? Simple solutions are the best. I recommend being really bold and replacing the existing process and paper with an electronic system. This will give you a step-change in capability and efficiency.
If you’re not convinced about the return on investment, consider an iterative or ‘baby steps’ approach. This allows you to make smaller, less risky changes incrementally.
Whichever approach you choose, speak with your tech suppliers about your needs and aspirations. Ask for a number of costed options, and work out which gives you the best combination of capability and return on investment. Your tech to support business growth initiative could start with an internal team brainstorm workshop – get your team involved, look at all possibilities from different angles and points of view.