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Digitization - what, to whom and why?

Digitization - this "mystical" term is being talked about more and more. To many of us, it seems such a distant and unknown abstract creature. Digitization is often seen as a privilege of the "bold and the beautiful" and it is widely believed that any digitization is a huge hassle and investment - after all, we don't have the time and resources to do this, our customers want services and care...

Actually, it's not that bad at all. Digitization does not necessarily mean building the whole system at the same time with the complex and expensive software solution that comes with it. You can start with small steps and focus on the bigger concerns first. If your company has a constant problem that a lot of expensive working time is spent eg. looking for the instructions and drawings you need to produce your product, it's good to start there. Even worse, if outdated documents are used that lead to the wrong configuration of products for the customer - the costs can be very high.

Now, when you think of the phrase "we don't have the time and resources to do this, the customers want service", it sounds rather stupid. With a rather low time and financial investment in implementing a digitization solution for documentation, we might have served many more customers and would not have delivered products with the wrong configuration, resulting in additional costs and loss of customer confidence. This example can be mirrored in countless situations.

Recently, I remember one situation when I went to a famous tire dealer to replace my car tires. Winter tires were left in the spring at the service provider's tire hotel. When I arrived, I was asked where your tires are? I replied that the tires were stored at your place. After that, the guy shuffled around the shelves for about 20 minutes to find my tires. After the guys conversations with colleagues and a couple of phone calls, the sad fact apperaed that my tires were stored in a completely different unit and had been forgotten to take to a tire change point. I had spent about half an hour driving to a tire change, waited half an hour on the spot and the end result was that the tires could not be changed and a new time was offered. The experience was not very pleasant and in the future I have stored and changed my tires at another service provider.

If we now analyze this situation again, it could have been a much more positive experience for the client. A simple customer database with, among other things, the location of the tires and an automatic reminder from the system to have my tires prepared beforehand, would have left them with one more customer.

In conclusion, you spend a little bit of time on a digital solution and save a lot later; and not only time but of course money.

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