Capitalizing on Industry Shifts
Exceptional companies know how to capitalize on industry shifts. They understand that change is inevitable, and they embrace it as a way to be more efficient, successful, and competitive.
Specialized science and engineering training is not always required for these roles, but they are often key contributors to capitalizing on new technologies. For example, in speech recognition and other high-technology fields, university-industry collaborations are essential.
1. Focus on Innovation
The United States is well known for its leadership in many areas of science and engineering research, but it is less clear how effective the country is at transforming such research into concrete national benefits. This process is called capitalization. It seeks to transform basic scientific research into societal goals, such as maintaining high living standards, creating jobs, improving education, enhancing health, and ensuring national security.
While some radical breakthroughs quickly lead to capitalization, such as advances in catalysis and monoclonal antibodies, most often require incremental improvements resulting from the cumulative work of many researchers. Moreover, successful capitalization depends on the availability of industrial and other private investments in basic research.
In a globalized economy where knowledge, investment, and other assets are increasingly free to move across borders, capitalizing on industry shifts requires that firms remain active and innovative. Remaining current and pushing forward will help to drive your company’s success, especially in this new digital boom.
2. Focus on Customer Experience
As companies work to reestablish relationships with customers and clients, it is important to understand that price and product are not enough. Instead, it’s experiences that drive loyalty and spending dollars.
In fact, a recent survey by 451 Research found that 59% of U.S. consumers said they would stop buying from a brand that delivered an unsatisfactory customer experience. In addition, a moderate increase in customer experience can boost revenues by more than $823 million over three years, according to the Temkin Group.
To win over shoppers, brands must provide a seamless, connected experience that includes buy-online-pickup-in-store options and digital tools for product information and sales support. This requires a modern ecommerce platform that can scale and adapt to the needs of the buyer journey. Examples of such solutions include enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems with integrated ecommerce. For example, flooring manufacturer Floor & Decor leverages technology for a digital-first business model and omnichannel experience.
3. Focus on Automation
While automation increases productivity and reduces the costs associated with a human workforce, there are concerns that it also displaces workers in traditional areas of work. This includes physical jobs, such as assembly line manufacturing and even high-skilled positions like software development. While some experts dismiss these concerns as a Luddite fallacy, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the extent to which specific industries are at risk of automatization. Workforce leaders can use this industry level exposure to help reshape programs and provide career ladders to support displaced workers, while companies can leverage the information to make smarter investments in automation technology.
Succeeding at automation requires systems thinking, which forces teams to consider the entire customer journey end to end. By leveraging the right tools and technologies, companies can improve workflows, cut costs, increase agility, and elevate the employee experience. This approach to automation will enable businesses to wring bottom-line value out of their investment.
4. Focus on Data Analytics
Whether data is applied internally (outside-in) or externally made available to customers for service differentiation, fashion and luxury firms can monetize their investments in data analytics by understanding and addressing customer needs. For instance, they can analyze their most effective sales and marketing channels to optimize their customer acquisition and retention strategies.
In addition, manufacturers can analyze their internal data to understand what types of products and services are most profitable and where they can improve operational efficiency. This approach can help them earn better consumer loyalty, which drives long-term sustainable growth.
While implementing a data-centric strategy may seem daunting for most manufacturers, the initial investment can pay off in the form of a competitive edge and an increased customer base. The key is to focus on the most critical areas that will benefit from real-time data insights and then prioritize a data transformation program that aligns with these functional and business challenges. Once everyone is on the same page about what is important and where to prioritize, the conversation will shift from tactical discussions about whose metrics are correct to conversations about how to leverage data insights.