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If your company was dependent on a physical company location and personal interactions with customers, suppliers, and employees before the crisis, it might make sense to stick mainly to legacy systems and paper processes. Adding digital components like a website, mobile app, or electronic payment processing didn't necessarily mean that you had to go through a complete digital transformation.
The current health crisis has changed the business world with guidelines and mandates for remote work and social distance. Even if you're lucky enough to continue working, this radical change may mean it's time to delve deeply into a digital transformation, not just small steps.
Here's why you need to make changes now and how you can do it on a tight budget.
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Crumbling legacy systems and paper processes
Not every company adequately manages the volume that many financial institutions as well as governmental and federal organizations currently have to process loans and unemployment. These are prime examples of the shortcomings of older systems that are buckling under the pressure of increasing demand. Health and insurance systems also have problems in this new environment.
On a smaller scale, companies and startups also find it difficult to continue using manual accounting systems that include paper processes. For example, the new environment makes it difficult to process paper paychecks unless an employee can remotely access payroll software and print checks. They also need to send out all of these checks and hope that their employees can somehow deposit them all while complying with the local protection rules.
Perhaps your business can remain open, but you've mainly dealt with cash, credit or debit card payments in the business. It is difficult to continue serving customers without having to switch to a digital ordering and payment process. While you may be able to install roadside pickups, customers may not accept this option. In this case, they switch to another company, where they can use an order and payment app.
Adding more digital solutions can help keep your business going, keep sales going, and keep your workflow productive in these uncertain times.
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Discounted and free digital solutions
Cost may have been a factor in your previous decision to delay digital transformation. However, many companies see the current health crisis as an opportunity to help potential customers while at the same time attracting a wider audience to their digital solutions. Many companies offer their digital tools, apps and platforms free of charge or at a greatly reduced price.
There is a digital solution for every company size and type, and these potential solutions are now worth considering. For example, companies like 1Password that simplify the digital storage of passwords offer free access for six months. Cisco Webex, which provides video conferencing for webinars and meetings, extends a 90-day license for businesses, regardless of whether they are currently customers or not. Many LogMeIn products are available to companies free of charge for three months using Emergency Remote Work Kits.
The products available include everything from collaboration and communication to HR and financial software tools, as well as security and remote access solutions. There are numerous lists published online that you can use to evaluate your options.
Ability to test
Back then, when things were going as usual, you may have hesitated to implement new tools in case something went wrong or downtime affected your customer experience. However, during the health crisis, you can take this opportunity to test various digital tools and take the digital leap.
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Many tools and platforms offer test periods so that you can evaluate your solutions. You can see what works well and will be integrated into your current systems to meet your specific business needs. If you're still open to business, both customers and employees are likely to try the solutions you've tested.
For example, many customers had no experience with DoorDash or Instacart for meals and groceries in the restaurant before the local protection guidelines. However, these digital tools are now becoming an integral part of everyday life. It's a great time to see what works and what doesn't, and get feedback from customers and employees about what works well for them. When a more normal business environment returns, you are equipped with digital tools that are proven to work for your business.
A willing remote workforce
Before the ongoing health crisis, some team members may have made radical changes to existing business technology. Given the new work environment, your remote workforce is probably in the right mood to try out new systems and processes. You may also have more time to train and practice working in our rapidly evolving digital landscape.
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