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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Featured in the 2017 Software Guides: How To Create a Digital Transformation Scorecard

by Jeff Gusdorf and Todd Snover

Digital Transformation is the use of technology to radically improve the performance and reach of enterprises.  Transformation means that digital usage enables new types of innovation and creativity rather than simply enhancing and supporting traditional methods.

There are three components to digital transformation (a) Improving and creating a consistent customer experience (b) automating or improving processes by using digital technology and (c) rethinking/recreating business models. Companies must tackle the customer experience and process automation together to be able to achieve digital transformation.

It is important for distributors to recognize that the technology landscape has permanently changed and they need to accept:

1) Old legacy green screen systems have out lived their useful lives and need to be replaced. The fact that your data entry clerks can slam in orders quickly doesn’t offset the training costs for new staff, costly, and inefficient screen churn, poor reporting capabilities, and a long, long list of other costs and limitations that are inherent in these systems.

2) Systems of engagement that are customer facing such as CRM/SFA, customer portals, and social media interactions must exist and must integrate with your traditional systems of record (ERP System). (Geoffrey Moore coined the terms “system of record and engagement” which have become accepted phrases. Google him to learn more.)

3) Access to email and business data from your mobile device is critical. This empowers your sales people with customer information at their fingertips or alerts your managers when specific events (late shipments, customer on credit hold, orders that exceed a specified dollar amount) occur. In an always connected world, this functionality is a must.

4) E-commerce is a critical component of your sales process and must include many B2C features that satisfy the business user. Integration with your ERP system must exist, so that product data can be standardized and transaction can be efficiently processed.

The 2017 Software Guides are the only software selection guide specifically developed for the unique needs of the distribution and manufacturing community. The new editions are designed to assist you, the Wholesale Distributor and Manufacturer, evaluate, compare and analyze software to determine which products fit your operation.

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