Digital transformation is more critical than ever to stay competitive

Posted by: Neil Saviano on April 07, 2019


Winning against market disruptors such as Amazon and others for office products and jansan dealers isn't only about staying  with the service-based, local presence strategic focus that's always worked.  It's about undergoing a digital transformation  by embracing digital technology. 

Process automation is a prime example of digital technology that needs to be embraced.  Process automation plays a key role in significantly lowering the cost of doing business and provides customer service coverage levels for existing and prospective customers not possible without digital technology.  It’s about digital technology becoming an equalizer against bigger disruptors. 

Dealers not embracing digital transformation face growing market share erosion from competitors disrupting traditional markets with digital technology.   As an astute dealer whom we reached out to said:    “Our competition has automated things we’re still doing manually (and poorly / inconsistently) – if we continue this way  our survival is in question”!

Amazon is a classic "disruptor"!  Disruptors rapidly exploit the friction and flaws in your market.  A major piece of their strategy is process automation.

Implementing process automation begins with  looking at  existing processes in terms of the total customer experience and automating them. Typical process examples include:

  • Sales process for existing customers and new customer development.
  • New customer on boarding.
  • Response time, accuracy, consistency, product fulfillment.
  • Issue resolution, product research, contract management.

Companies need to beware of joining most businesses failing to make this transformation.  A powerful report from Forrester Research looks at all of this.  It's titled "The Sorry State of Digital Transformation in 2018".   Here are a few  excerpts from this report that offer business leaders some clear-cut rationale to make this transformation:

    "Embracing digital technology and business models is the only
     path forward in a world where customers are empowered and
     disruptors rapidly exploit the friction and flaws in your market".

    "Digital technology has the potential to massively lower the cost
     providing your services".

Office products dealers  must adapt, move quickly and win with their own digital transformation.   

A digital technology suite from CRM International includes Sugar Sell CRM integrated with Sugar Market marketing automation. This suite features the following two enterprise CRM-driven process automation components that epitomize digital transformation: 


  • Advanced Workflow
  • Customer Journey Mapping


Here’s a look at these two components:

Advanced Workflow (Process Automation):  This platform offers outstanding cost savings in many areas.  This includes customer service where manual and time consuming and costly tasks are replaced with automated processes that work much faster.  This reduces redundancies in customer-related tasks - lowering operating costs while keeping customers satisfied.  The list is endless for customer service and admin overall and includes areas such as contract approvals, dynamic case management and call triaging.

The impact of process automation on the sales process  can be staggering.  Manual tedious and time-consuming tasks for sales people are greatly reduced.  The result is they can spend more time on selling and less time on admin tasks.  Customer and prospect automated follow up leaves sales people for sales-building activities such as pipeline management and lead nurturing, most of which can be automated as well.

Customer Journey Mapping:  This platform is about understanding current customer journeys, their experiences with your company, and stepping into their shoes.  The customer journey map is about analyzing their experiences with your company in a graphical representation and determines what you can do to improve it.  Journeys include areas  such as onboarding, customer growth follow up, lead follow up, to name a few.

It’s important to examine touch points with your customers and prospects and make changes on a graphical map that becomes part of the follow up, resulting in an improved customer experience.  Some examples of touch point follow ups include calls, email templates, and onboarding status for new customers.  A prime use case for customer journey mapping is a check on new or existing customer buying history  vs. goals.  This is helped greatly  with integration to a  business intelligence solution. We integrate with sales-i business intelligence.  

Office products dealers need to understand that a market disruptor such as Amazon and others have made a digital transformation that includes the digital technology described here.  At CRM International  our team has a combined 50 years office products industry experience.  We combine this experience with world class Enterprise CRM integrated with leading marketing automation and business intelligence solutions and a world class development and technical team.

Click here to learn how to get started with your digital transformation.