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Warwick Hopcroft - Is Your Company Adapting To Be Able To Thrive In The Digital Transformation Era?

Warwick Hopcroft, Sales Director, Bluekey Seidor

For the past few years, there has been a lot of talk about how the latest technological developments will drive and shape businesses. Is your business prepared for digital transformation? Are you prepared to use digital transformation as a means to maximise opportunities and strategically out-smart the competition?

According to a recent survey report by Deloitte, South African executives expressed greater doubt about their organisations' readiness to fully exploit the changes associated with digital transformation, compared to the global survey respondents.

Whether you feel ready or not, there is no denying that digital transformation is happening and South African companies have to adapt in order to remain innovative in an ever-increasing global marketplace.

The 4th Revolution, or Industry 4.0 as it is referred to by some experts, presents a world of infinite possibilities which will change how businesses operate across a wide range of sectors. New technologies will not only help drive down costs and improve efficiency, but also increase productivity, and provide real-time data analysis to help increase competitiveness.

Embracing the technological evolution means that you can streamline and integrate all business processes. Ramburg Beef is an example of a growing local business which has successfully harnessed the power of a business management solution to better manage and grow their business.

They have reported a 50% increase in the heads of cattle processed per day since implementing the system, while spending less time processing entries and making manual adjustments.

The benefit of automation was one of the key considerations when Ramburg Beef decided to adopt a new digital solution to manage their business. The payroll and general ledger aspects of their business is integrated and postings to ledgers are now automated. This saves a considerable amount of time and reduces the risk of human error in the capturing of financial data.

Technology can help businesses to understand customers better by providing a clearer picture of what they want, as well as how often and where they want it.

Getting it right means optimised processes, greater profitability and an increase in loyal customers.
The right system will not only collect and store data but help you to analyse it to enhance and guide business decisions.

The scope of retail is rapidly changing due to technological advancements. A global survey conducted by KPMG revealed that 25 % of global respondents will pay for goods using their mobile devices. Digital customers are changing the rules of retail, and to keep those customers, retailers need to adapt their business models to compete in the digital space. Retailers who can become an integrated omni-channel organisation focused on the digital customer experience will come out on top. A pilot case study in the USA used beacon sensors strategically placed around a store to sense client movements and heat maps to monitor where customers spent most of their time. Using Bluetooth, the sensors pick up the client's profile via his/her cell phone, then transmits the client's profile and location to the business management system which interprets the data. The system then analyses the customer's past purchasing history and sends a tailored push-notification to the client's cell phone with details of current special offers in store that would interest them.

Another interesting case can be found in Europe. A wash room maintenance company installed devices that monitor equipment usage at the entrance to the wash room as well as the soap and towel dispensing equipment.

These devices transmit the data via GPRS back to the business management system, which collates and analyses the data.

This enabled the business to better maintain and service the wash rooms. It also allowed them to develop a distinct pricing model, based on the amount of traffic or usage.

The cases above give a good idea of the data that is available within your business. However, in order to capitalise on this data, it needs to be captured and analysed to draw out crucial information to guide strategic decision making.

This high-level data analysis can be done through an integrated business management system that automatically collates the data and can translate it into meaningful information.

Relevance is key. Businesses that don't make the right moves to digitally transform their business, team and bottom line right now may risk being left behind while their competitors survive and grow. Bluekey Seidor is one of the fastest growing SAP Business One Partners in Africa.

Visit www.bluekeyseidor.com or call +27 11 622 7200 to find out how to digitally transform your business.

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