Guest Blogger: Paul Boucherle, CPP, CSC
Part 1: The Trend of Digital Transformation for System Integrators
To upgrade how your team delivers better business outcomes, a digital transformation may be necessary. The year 2020 shifted digital transformation into high gear in a variety of industries. Traditional processes no longer meet market or customer expectations for service delivery and it’s no different in the physical security industry. As system integrators right-size manpower and teams work remotely or hybrid, it’s become apparent that sharing information on site survey details, designing and choosing the right equipment and pricing installations accurately demanded changes in workflow processes.
What could Digital Transformation Mean for your Organization?
First off, it’s not clear that it is an option to stay the status quo. But, the good news is that business agility, resilience and profitability improvements come to mind as significant potential benefits. Shifting from traditional paperwork, labor-intensive and slow processes can result in not only delivering better services but also more efficiently and profitably.
Specific Challenges in our Industry
While our customers need more precision than ever to provide solutions, there is more limited access to their facilities in some cases. This new normal requires a greater demand for team collaboration and communication. Sales and delivery teams need a way to improve their coordination with fewer mistakes in design, project management, installation, and service capabilities. A change in how solutions are shared and approved requires new ways to share information quickly and remotely. Digital transformation to the rescue.
*Recommendation: Take a close look at where you have manual and paper-based processes. Did you know that 82% of System Integrators still use paper floor plans and manual methods to do site surveys and requirements gathering? Take stock of your site walks and how you gather requirements. What’s the downstream impact?
Overcoming Inertia to Change
According to Wikipedia, Digital Transformation is the adoption of digital technology to transform services or businesses, through replacing non-digital or manual processes with digital processes or replacing older digital technology with newer digital technology. This is typically to enable efficiency through more automation.
That sounds great, but change is always a challenge from an inertia standpoint and requires a clear vision by management of expected results from their teams. Gaining buy-in for a change requires identifying the benefits to individuals, departments and even customers.
Oftentimes, businesses start with a sales process. If a digital transformation initiative and investment can deliver greater and measurable efficiency for the sales team to achieve success, you’ll have crossed the first hurdle toward your goals. Sometimes, a sales team will resist change unless It’s clear that the change will help them sell more and not focus on administrative tasks. Other times, sales leaders or individuals are the drivers of the change and recognize the need to upgrade the experience with customers. Perhaps they even feel competitive pressure to do so.
*Recommendation: Ask your Sales Leader and Team how things have changed the past several months? Are they confident they can gather customer needs and align with the next step in the process? How many hours from the site survey to a decision-ready proposal. Did you know the average is 15-20 hours? Get a good benchmark.
The next piece includes enablement of the operations team to transform a salesperson’s requirements gathering and site surveys quickly and efficiently, that captured a customer’s expectation into graphical and data format. The level of a salesperson’s experience in the industry may dictate how they describe the realities of what they understand. If poor assumptions are made, then proposals may not be competitively priced or underestimated.
*Recommendation: Ask your operations team where the gaps in the handoffs are and what could make the process more efficient and accurate? Do they get consistent information from sales? How could it be improved and standardized?
These are great ways to identify which problems to solve with digital transformation and how to streamline customer delivery.
Paul C. Boucherle CPP (Certified Protection Professional) CSC (Certified Sherpa Coach) has more than 40 years of diverse security and safety industry experience. Paul has degrees in engineering and business. He has 21 years of Fortune 100 corporate experience with a leading national systems integrator and was responsible for leading a $75m National Accounts business unit. Paul left his corporate in 1997 to form his own companies to continue the serve the industry.