Digital transformation in your business

The adoption of technology is allowing businesses who master the technology to gain rapid growth and increasing profitability in ways that make the growth of the industrial revolution look, well, steam powered!

It is not just for big businesses either, in fact, the most astonishing growth has been seen with new start-ups grabbing new market sectors and turning traditional businesses upside down before the have even noticed.

So, what is it all about?

Well it is not just about hardware or software (at least not to start with). Most businesses are not sat on a young Bill Gates or Steve Jobs either so you do not have to be genius to apply these techniques. It is about looking at your business, the sector it is in and using some blue sky thinking to reinvent the method of business delivery in your sector in a way that either improves your business processes or delivers improved customer experience.

There are many standalone examples from reducing the costs of sales staff by using effective video conferencing; to supporting front line engineers with mobile apps that allow “field based” diagnostics and reporting. In the hotel market providing better guest services and concierge information can set you apart and deliver customer added value.The list is almost endless and with new technology and software every day we are likely to see an acceleration of change beyond anything we have yet seen or even imagined.

True masters of the art perfect the digital transformation process throughout the whole of their business delivery to produce a fluid scalable business like the well-known examples from online retail such as Amazon. The reward is ever growing profits, an increasing market share and a "sticky" brand.

So now you are armed with an idea of what it is all about it can be even more daunting in getting started but there is good news. This process does not have to be a question of large over reaching changes all achieved in one go. You can start small and adopt the approach software developers have been using since the turn of the century. They adopt an “AGILE” approach to software launches and you can so the same. I will explain.

In days gone by if you wanted to design a liner you would start with drawings and ideas form all the departments. The hull would be designed along with the engines, cabins, crew areas, dining rooms. You get the idea.Only once all the work was designed the builders would start to lay teh keel and once started any further designs, improvements or additions would be slow, costly and would often have to wait for the next ship.  With a modern “Agile” approach you start with a small scheme that is just enough to get the project off the ground (known as the "minimum viable project” or "MVP"). Once the project is launched you keep testing, refining, adding features, updating and by a cyclical approach you start to deliver measurable returns quickly which benefits all your stakeholders.

So given you understand and see the opportunities and that you have the ideas to change your business what are the first steps to bring the transformation to life. Some simple steps will save time, money and heartache later. So do not go out and buy the latest hardware and software without these basic steps or you will at best lose sleep and at worst your business!

This is like any other new venture. You will need a team to help and prepare the plan. Involve all levels of your staff in the ideas stage and assemble a team of forward thinkers with an able leader and even consider bringing in consultants to act as a facilitator to the process and unlock blockages and resistance. These individuals will be valuable ambassadors later as you roll out projects. Getting “buy in” of your staff, investors and customers will go a long way to securing success. This is also the way to make sure your idea will not alienate key stakeholders. If you run a fast food establishment the word “fast” is important. Therefore, any process in that sector needs to still meet the requirement in terms of the customer being able to order intuitively and quickly.

Next you need a plan and the first step of that is to audit your current position and gain some intelligence on the sector you work in. Look at competitors, consult with clients and look at parallel sectors for ideas. This can often save a lot of “reinventing the wheel”. Brainstorming and refining the raw research data will help test your initial ideas and then it is time to get under way. Remember to give yourself a budget and a realistic timescale to meet milestones you set in your plan.

Task yourselves a smaller part of the project first. Remember the Minimum Viable Proposition( MVP). Plan just enough work to get something up and running. You can add bells and whistles later. Let’s take the example of a fast food outlets again who want digital menus and touch screen ordering. Do not try and deliver the whole thing. For example the first steps may be to select one or two branches representing a mix of the whole chain. Then to just aim put in the digital menu screens first. You can iron out problems, develop your strategy for updating the screens, resolve any management issues and get your screen content clear and correct. You can start quickly and add and amend the processes for the signage almost instantly if it is only a on a few sites and you can also easily engage feedback. Once that system is working, and only then, you can move on to the next major feature upgrade by adding touch screen ordering ( again at just a few screens at the test stores). The same process of roll out, test, evaluate, and improve applies again. The third stage may then be to add table screens with fully remote ordering and delivery. You get the point.

Following this approach and involving stakeholders throughout will see steady progress and less costly mistakes. As confidence grows now features and integrations can take place across the business.

Digital transformation is our Industrial revolution. As with the 18th century the 2ist will see winners and losers but the opportunities are available for all who grasp the challenge.

Help for the CEO

Help for CEO with Digital transformation

Help for CEO with Digital transformation

In a changing market where everyone seems to be moving fast it is easy to react to the changing world rather than take a grip and chart your business though the storms. The ability to think clearly and strategically is possibly the single most important characteristic of a CEO but that does not mean you don’t need help and guidance to formulate your ideas, build your strategy and steer the business to calmer and more profitable waters.

One of the key areas facing business at present is the concept of “Digital Transformation”. With news of ever more successful digital businesses and new “disruptive” technology being mentioned in every business magazine it is hard not to put the matter on the next senior agenda but what is it, what does it mean for your business and what steps do you need to take?

In simple terms “digital transformation” is the adoption of modern working practices to reengineer how your business engages externally or even internally with the ultimate of aim of delivering a strong successful brand and an increase in profitability. Easily said but not delivered. It could be simple adoption of better technology to achieve incremental gain in reproductivity or to reduce costs but at the other extreme it could be so disruptive as to put you in a market of your own where your company achieves “stickiness” that secures its place in the market for years to come.

So here are some steps to get you started and reduce the initial inner panic.

Treat the task of “Digital Transformation” like any other project or indeed programme adopted in the company. Start with research. Look at your market, your competitors and look at your own organisation. Find out what technology you have, what efficiency you are achieving and where are the opportunities to take small steps. Do not forget to look at other markets too. Some of the best ideas can be adopted from other industries who have already shared your pain. Our advice is you bring in outside support, Fresh eyes with a knowledge of the technology and the problems of others can save a lot of time and effort and avoids “self-preservation” influencing decision making.

Once you have your audit choose something simple. We subscribe to the “AGILE” project management route adopted in software development. Deliver little achievable tasks, making constant improvement and delivery. In the modern world, you need to be changing and adapting on the move. I draw form my experience as a motor sport navigator. Plan enough of the journey to allow the driver to start and then navigate and change route as you go. If you try and plan the whole route before you leave the start line it makes adapting to changing conditions more difficult.

Be prepared to change culture as well as hardware. Digital transformation is about changing the business not the model of computer on your desk. Ultimately the process relies on people so involve stakeholders from the start. Invite them on the journey and welcome contribution, feedback and suggested improvement.

Set realistic time scales. Your transformation will not be overnight and not without setbacks.

So, in summary our advice is

1.       Do your research

2.       Start small

3.       Bring your people with you

4.       Be ready for the “long haul”

Remember no one ever climbed Everest sitting on their sofa reading a book. YOU need to get stuck in!

Outdoor signage solutions

 

For outdoor signage we offer access to specialist products and services designed and built for the rugged outdoor environment be it for retail, leisure, transport or wayfinding services.

We have a range of off the shelf and bespoke solutions along with support services for screens performing critical tasks such as transport hub information screens and ticketing.

We work with leading manufacturers like Allsee and Ferrograph

BUS SHELTER INTERACTIVE SCREENS AND INFORMATION PANELS

BUS SHELTER INTERACTIVE SCREENS AND INFORMATION PANELS

 

BUS SHELTER INTERACTIVE SCREENS AND INFORMATION PANELS

True mobile signage could be a life saver

True digital signage battery powered mobile screens

True digital signage battery powered mobile screens

This new system from Australian manufacturer WAYO is a true game changer. The fully mobile screen offers battery powered digital signage  for deployment in areas where power is not available. At Vaadhoo we see the main interst will come from services such as the police where there is a need to provide temporary signage that can be updated remotely from a central command point for containment and emergecies or by businesses requirig backup for critical signage sytems such as a railway station, airport or hospital.

To find out more or arrange a demo call Mark on 0161 641 7117 today

Raising the standard of shop window digital displays

The latest Inui Air touch screen has taken " through the glass" touch technology to the next stage. Its revolutionary bar sytem improves responsiveness, reduces paralax issues and responds to simple gestures without the need to touch the glass.

Unlike other sytems it no longer requires complex fitting and placement and is not effected by double glazing or bright sunlight. Paired up with the latest Samsung screens the unit offers tremendous functionality and practicality in any environment where you want to allow customers to browse information 24 hours a day 7 days a week. 

We are delighted to be able to offer these screens to our customers and if you wish to know moe please contact us today.

One of these problems is on your "to do" list but we can help sort them.

Do you need to improve any or all the following?

Communication with customers or staff

Sales of products or services

Lead creation

Visitor or customer services

Reduction of operating costs

Facility management

If so modern screen technology and software has a solution and you can find out more for free!

What we do

We provide screen technology for growing businesses in retail, hospitality, tourism, private health hand professional services.

We aim to improve the end user’s customer experience and for you to achieve efficiency while meeting required KPIs for patient and staff communication and developing your brand.

We achieve this by having both experience in the sectors we work and by having access to the whole of the market in terms of hardware and software.

The first step is to carry out an audit of your problems, your objectives and your available resources.

We are currently offering this service for limited time completely FREE! We would normally charge up to £1500 for this service.

What you will get 

We will produce a report that will provide a roadmap for you to roll out any investment in screen technology with current cost estimates. The report will explain the technology and any issues with deployment as well as support and training.

What will it cost you?

Our audit is FREE for a short period. We will, however, ask you to make a small investment of your time.

We may need to visit your premises or simply hold a video or telephone conference at a time to suit you last no more than about 30 - 45 minutes.

BOOK TODAY - only limited number of audits available. 

 

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6 questions you need to ask yourself about digital signage

Investment in digital signage can help a business grow sales and improve customer service. The same system can also save traditional print costs and improve internal communications. Add in the ability to respond quickly to changes in prices or to emergency situations and it is no wonder investment in digital signage is tipped to top £20bn by 2020. Digital signage will be as important as a till or a whiteboard.

if you are new to signage what do you need to know before you start going out to the market. As with any project planning is the key.

Here are some key questions you need to have some answers for before you start looking to spend money.

What is the driver to the project?

Why are you looking at screens? Do you want to increase sales, reduce queues at reception, provide product information consistently, offer multi lingual services or provide directional information? The list is endless but knowing the problem you need to solve is the first step.

What is your budget and timescale?

Every business has a budget and there are solutions out there from a few hundred pounds to many hundreds of thousands. Most systems can be scaled up so start small and build is a good rule of thumb.

Deployments rarely happen overnight so have a timescale for rolling out the project.

Where will the screens be and where will the system be controlled from?

Not all screens are equal. Screens can be found suitable for harsh environments such as outdoors or areas of heat like a kitchen. Knowing where the screens will help you choose the right hardware. Many systems are now cloud based so you can control them from anywhere over the internet but you may have specific requirements.

Who is going to run the systems?

Once the screens are in place who will design and manage the content on the screens. This can be in house or via a managed service but of in house staff are running the content consider training within the budget.

What support do you need?

If your screens are displaying critical information such as departure information at an Airport you need to have support contracts in place to minimise downtime. This applies equally to both software and hardware issue’s.

How will you measure the success of the system?

Any business investment needs to make a return so think about measurement of the projects impact on the problem you are setting out to solve. It may simply be seeing more sales at the till but thinking of this early means you can build measurement in to the overall deployment.

With these answers the next step is to seek independent professional help and advice. Signage is not the same as buying a TV for home or even the same as buying a new laptop for the business and professional advice will pay for itself in saving your valuable time and the businesses money. Following these initial steps will ensure you have the best chance to deliver screen technology for your business efficiently but also effectively.

For more information call our team today for a no obligation call or download our full “Signage Checklist” at www.vaadhoo.co.uk