Digital Transformation is often used to refer to the process of developing a platform for selling products and services on the internet and via mobile phones. After all, this is the type of transformation that enabled Amazon to grow into a multi-billion dollar company. This is also the type of transformation that many other companies are looking to replicate to tap new markets and reach new customers.
However, Digital Transformation goes beyond setting up e-commerce stores and online delivery systems. Today’s advancements in technology offer companies limitless opportunities to tap or even create new markets, improve their processes and operations, connect with customers, and many other ways to improve their businesses.
Here are five companies that are stretching the definition and possibilities of Digital Transformation in their own way:
McDonald’s: Utilizing New Technologies
- McDonald’s is one of the world’s most recognized fast food brands. But despite its global popularity and market leadership, McDonald’s remains sensitive to ever-changing consumer behaviors.
- For instance, McDonald’s started rolling out self-order kiosks in some of its stores to make it easier and faster for customers to place and customize their orders. McDonald’s is also one of the first fast food chains to accept mobile payments such as Apple Pay.
- McDonald’s has also embraced the social media game. McDonald’s follows social media trends and actively engages with their followers by responding to them quickly.
These initiatives were only made possible by also transforming McDonald’s operations. The self-order kiosks and mobile payments required integration with McDonald’s already efficient food ordering and payment systems. On the other hand, McDonald’s participation in social media required an overhaul of its communications processes. In order to be effective in social media, McDonald’s created a cross-functional group that included members of its marketing and legal teams and third-party partners such as its advertising agency.
Diageo: Building Brand Loyalty Through the IoT
- The Internet of Things (IoT) covers smart homes, smart factories, and smart transportation. But Diageo, the beverage company behind the Johnnie Walker brand, has utilized the IoT to create smart bottles for its Blue Label whisky.
- Partnering with Thinfilm Electronics to create printed sensor tags, Diageo placed a tag on each of its bottles that can communicate to consumers using their smartphones’ Near Field Communication (NFC) capabilities. The tags can help customers select which products to buy when they approach a supermarket shelf. The tags can also detect whether a bottle remains sealed or is already opened. Once the bottle is opened, the tag can send recommendations via the customer’s mobile phone on how they can best enjoy their beverages. This creates new experiences for consumers and builds trust and brand loyalty in the long-term.
- The tags also enable the tracking of bottles as they move across the supply chain. This application of the IoT in the more “traditional” sense helps Diageo better manage its inventory and supply chain. Furthermore, the tags enable consumers to verify the authenticity of the products, providing Diageo with an additional layer of security against counterfeits and protecting their consumers’ trust.
BearingPoint: Developing Solutions for Greener Companies
- The European Union (EU) has passed regulations that require companies to calculate, disclose, and limit their carbon emissions to protect the environment. However, the process of accurately calculating carbon emissions is no easy task. Businesses that use manual, traditional tools such as spreadsheets to calculate their carbon footprints often get inaccurate results. There is a great need for a tool that provides businesses with an accurate record of their carbon footprint along their supply chain.
- BearingPoint has developed and created such a tool for accurately calculating and monitoring businesses’ carbon footprints. BearingPoint’s solution integrates its carbon calculation tools with ERP systems. This enables businesses to identify the carbon contribution of each of their processes along the supply chain. This makes it easier to establish overall carbon reduction targets and find specific ways to reach these targets by making changes to individual processes. For example, BearingPoint’s solution can calculate the impact of switching from delivering products by plane to delivering products by ship on the total carbon emissions.
- Companies in the European Union and around the world have implemented BearingPoint’s solution to reduce their carbon footprints, comply with regulations, and protect the environment.
Marriott: Enabling Greater Employee Collaboration
- Like many other companies, Marriott has embraced Digital Transformation to provide a better customer experience. First, Marriott used its extensive database of past bookings to find out what their most loyal guests want and personalize its offerings to their preferences. Marriott also created its own content studio to produce content that are shared through social media instead of traditional channels such as television. However, the most notable among Marriott’s initiatives is its employee engagement and collaboration tool.
- Marriott’s Digital Transformation focused on greater collaboration across its brands. It adopted and implemented a solution that enabled its employees across brands to share best practices, evaluate ideas, and accelerate decision-making. The solution also ensured that every employee was given a voice in the company by valuing, collecting, and regularly reviewing ideas, suggestions, and innovations.
- Using its collaboration tool, Marriott was able to share its vision to all its employees across all of its brands. Work Patterns, a feature in its collaboration solution, integrates best practices into its culture, improving not only inter-company communications but also operations and customer satisfaction.
SPAR Österreich: Connecting with Customers
- SPAR Österreich is a grocery chain in Austria that started its Digital Transformation journey with a focus on operational improvements and automation. For instance, they used electronic shelf labels in one of their stores in Vienna. These labels enable the company to quickly and efficiently change product prices. When the technology is rolled out to other chains, product prices across all stores can easily be changed and updated from a central location.
- Recently however, SPAR Österreich has shifted its Digital Transformation focus to connecting digitally with its customers.
- SPAR Österreich installed transmitter devices in its stores that can send messages to store visitors. For instance, the transmitter device can send promotions to store visitors on their mobile phones. SPAR Österreich can also send recommendations through the transmitter device and also ask for feedback for greater collaboration. SPAR Österreich is also integrating its CRM systems with this new technology, enabling it to predict customer behavior and personalize offers to customers.
Doing Digital Transformation the Right Way
What do these organizations have in common? They all begin their digital transformations with capturing, integrating, and utilizing quality data that enables their organizations to open up new sales channels, find new markets and opportunities, increase revenues, and improve efficiency.
Get started on your digital transformation the right way by reading the 5 Steps for Developing a Digital Transformation Strategy.