A step-by-step guide to starting a digital transformation.
Digital Transformation is a buzzword that we hear all too often, and it has been identified as a key business trend in many industries. But what does it mean, and why is it relevant to you, a fashion wholesaler or retailer? Think back to a day when you would call someone to book a meeting, travel to their office, and then meet in person. Or book a meeting in Outlook and then call them? Our typical meetings of the past have been replaced by multiple ways of meeting online, or digitally. Having to do groceries in the past would entail hopping in your car, going to the grocery store, and shortly thereafter returning home with your produce. Nowadays, you can go online, put items in your virtual cart and have your groceries delivered to your home, without having to step foot outside, or leaving the comfort of your couch. These are examples of digital transformation: the adoption of digital technology to alter a service or business through the replacement of manual processes, or the replacement of a non-digital technology with a digital technology. Tasks and events that once required more time and effort have now been digitized to make life easier and simpler.
Digital Transformation can also mean replacing out of date digital technology with newer digital technology. The goal is to help businesses and people to better communicate, learn, and work through the adoption of new technologies, while improving the customer experience.
Why embark of a digital transformation?
The answer should be, why not? Companies that delay their foray into digital technologies will undoubtedly be left behind in today’s everchanging business landscape. To ensure that your company remains relevant, in a digital first world, you will need to consider going digital to ensure the future success and growth of your business. Digitizing your operations will ensure the customer experience is effective, seamless, and that all touchpoints are easily accessible. If done with the consumer experience in mind, digital-first thinking will lead to greater market share and a stronger brand presence.
From an operational standpoint, there is an opportunity to establish operational efficiencies and to lower costs. You can also potentially position your business to take advantage of collaborative opportunities with best of breed solutions being embraced within the industry.
In the context of fashion wholesalers, a digital transformation would provide solutions to help eliminate manual processes or replace older technologies. These solutions should include cloud and mobile, ecommerce, business intelligence, etc. Ideally your new solutions would collaborate with multiple partners and software to position yourself as the best overall business solution for your customers and help you to secure future opportunities.
Now that you are convinced of the benefits of embarking on a digital transformation for your business, where should you start?
Evaluate your current business situation.
The first step is to start by looking at the big picture. Examine your business model and define where you want to go. Set your objectives. Discuss what opportunities the business has, not only for the immediate future but also concentrate on a long-term goal. Review what systems you are current using today within your operation and the impact they have on your resources and efficiency levels
Create your plan.
Although most businesses begin with a focus on selling online, your digital transformation plan should also touch upon all aspects of the business. Plan to provide real-time information, personalized presentations, 24/7 online accessibility to your salesforce and customer base. Plan to position your company as a leader and a true value-add partner. You may need to look at many aspects of your business and different digital technologies. Consider creating a task force and leave no stone unturned.
Ensure customer experience is your priority.
Review your customer’s impression of their experience with your brands, and ensure you are providing them with a greater experience and collaborative relationship. Leverage analytics and marketing data to provide a strong sense of leadership in your relationship with your customer base. Incorporate imagery and videos to elevate the customer experience.
Reach out to your current suppliers.
Take advantage of system collaboration opportunities between your ERP and the best of breeds solutions in the marketplace. Ensure your data structure is re-engineered to provide the most efficient process, visibility, and scalability.
Consider the following areas for opportunity to digitize:
- Product management
- Demand management
- Fulfillment process
- Sourcing and vendor collaboration
- Ecommerce B2B, B2C, Drop Ship solutions
- Business Intelligence
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
A digital transformation should start with a deep dive on the areas of opportunity and will take many months or even years to accomplish, but the benefits can save time, money and open a new world of possibilities for your business. It’s not really a question of should you embark on one, it’s what are you waiting for?
Reach out to Momentis today to learn how we can partner with you on your journey to digital transformation.
The Momentis ERP System was developed for fashion, apparel, footwear and accessory brands, textile, wholesalers, and distributors. Momentis automates and streamlines processes from design to delivery – Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Sourcing & Logistics, Inventory Management, Warehouse Management, Order Management and Financials – and integrates seamlessly with leading B2C, 3PL, POS and other 3rd parties using EDI and APIs. The Trenza software suite is the latest solution that enables your ERP to effectively communicate with Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumer (B2C) solutions, such as Trenza Shop, Trenza Sell, Trenza BI, Amazon, Shopify, Big Commerce, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Joor, NuOrder, and more.