July 1, 2016

Businesses: Go Digital to Get Ahead

Author: Renee Bingling

The days of treating digital technologies as just fringe benefits, as opposed to being core business components are long over. A wide range of industries have already experienced game-changing digital disruption, which has led businesses to either adapt and thrive, or die. Businesses of all sizes are increasingly realizing that the time to embrace digital technologies is now and are making it a priority to adopt digital solutions into core business processes. At the 2016 National Postal Forum, the 200-plus year old U.S. Postal Service® unveiled its digital strategy, which included strategic initiatives and investments to provide the mailing industry with greater digital capabilities. This is a great move by the Postal Service™; in an industry that has seen disruption from electronic information delivery, and now has extensive digital solutions such as network connected postage meters, time-saving folding machines and automated address validation.

 A recent study by the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation (DBT Center) found that an average of roughly four of 10 industry incumbents will be displaced by digital disruption in the next five years. Even more troubling, a third percent was adopting a “wait and see” approach. No one is immune from digital disruption and businesses that play the “wait and see” game instead of being proactive, run the risk of extinction.

Small businesses in particular, can benefit from embedding digital solutions into everyday core processes, so that they can spend time growing their businesses. Increasingly, digital business solutions companies are offering more affordable, time-saving solutions for smaller businesses, such as an all-in-one accounting, invoicing, inventory and contact management apps. No longer do businesses have to spend hours on everyday processes such as standing in line at the post office to send mail, folding documents and stuffing batches of envelopes. Return mail fees can be virtually eliminated and late invoice payments can be reduced by using simple address verification software. Almost every mailing process can be completed at a desktop and in some cases, a mobile device. Small businesses are often surprised that there are so many affordable business apps available to them that not only save time but also money. For instance, you can save $1.35 on each piece of certified mail just by using the digital version instead of those cumbersome green cards. The possibilities are seemingly endless. And that is just in the mailroom.

Regardless of size, businesses that continue to ignore or delay the integration of digital capabilities into business processes will soon find themselves slipping behind their competitors into the abyss of extinction.

 

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