For consumer goods companies, digital transformation is key to success. It helps them be more agile and efficient, which in turn leads to more effective business operations.
Digitalization is not just about technology—it’s about changing the way you think about your business. And this mindset shift isn’t just for IT departments—it’s something that every single employee should be involved with, from C-suite executives down to warehouse workers. The benefits of digitalization are so significant that they can’t be ignored or put off any longer.
A good place to start is considering manual processes that tend to cause bottlenecks in the organization and identifying the benefits of making them digital. This means looking at processes that take up a significant amount of time, are managed through tools that are not purpose-built, and typically encompass multiple departments. It’s time for a change!
Protect assets, people, and brand reputation
The first step in any digital strategy is to identify the assets and the risks associated with them.
- Assets are physical, digital, or intellectual property that is valuable to your organization. These could be anything from computer systems containing confidential information, to high-definition images of your brand, products, etc.
- Risks are factors that may cause harm or damage if not managed appropriately. These include vendors who do work for your company; third parties with whom you share personal data; employees who have company assets that can be lost once they leave; and so forth.
Once the assets are identified, a risk assessment should be performed by identifying all possible threats against each asset, using internal and external sources of information such as the products/services offered by competitors, industry trends such as technology changes, market shifts, etc.
The next step is to determine the severity and probability of each threat. Severity is how impactful the damage would be if something were to go wrong with the asset. Probability is the likelihood of a risk event occurring. For example: what could be the costs in terms of brand awareness, fines, and amount of work for a product recall that is driven by the printing of an incorrect packaging file? What is the likelihood of this happening when managing this process through emails?
Do not reinvent the wheel
This is one of the most important lessons for any business, but especially for consumer goods companies that are looking to scale. You don’t want to reinvent the wheel when it comes to technology and how you use it; instead, take advantage of platforms that already exist.
In most cases, existing platforms will deliver everything you need (and more). The instances where a company might need to build something from scratch are extremely rare, so resist your IT impulse of building it yourself!
Take advantage of the benefits of Software as a Service (SaaS)
In the past, organizations had to invest in expensive hardware and software to operate their business. This approach required them to have a substantial IT budget, create redundant systems and pay for maintenance.
For the last 15 years, SaaS platforms have dominated the market and offer companies a flexible and scalable solution that is easy to use and maintain. It also allows the users to pay only for what use, with no upfront investment or high maintenance costs.
SaaS can improve your business agility by driving down costs while providing a better user experience for customers through rapid development cycles, and consequently with shorter time-to-market.
Take it to the next level
It is worth dedicating time to identify processes that can be improved and digitalized, regardless of the size of your business. We have seen companies putting together a multidisciplinary team to identify, discuss and recommend digitalization processes that de-risk the operation, drive speed to the business, and achieve significant ROI. Usually, the people in charge of these processes will be the first ones to recognize the inherent risks associated with them and will advocate for improved tools that safeguard these processes.
We hope this article has given you some ideas for how to incorporate technology into your CPG business. With the right tools at your disposal, it’s never been easier to start small and build success as you go along.