Empower USA: Exploring Smart Data Capture, A Future-Proof Tech Solution
Just over a month ago, Empower, an exclusive Scandit US customer event, took place in Los Angeles, USA. This was the perfect occasion to talk with business leaders, influencers and industry experts about challenges enterprises are currently facing, and the tech solutions which can help — both today and tomorrow.
The theme of the event was exploring how smart data capture technology is helping to empower workers, customers and businesses to deal with the macro-challenges that are top of mind today.
1. Data: the key to customer and employee acquisition and retention
Nowadays, businesses that do not extract and make proper use of data are effectively limiting themselves. Whether this is through outdated data capture tools and processes or not capitalizing on the data they do collect, both have a negative impact. Why? Because making informed business decisions based on actionable insights can help optimize operations, save money, predict trends and identify opportunities. Ultimately, it can give you an edge over your competitors.
But there’s another reason. Both customers and employees now expect businesses to have accurate and real-time data, and anticipate their needs. If someone ordered the same item three months in a row, the lack of an option to quickly reorder it may aggravate the customer — “they should have known I’d want this!”. And when it’s out for delivery they want to know where it is and when exactly it’s arriving.
Indeed, customers and employees are increasingly demanding in the post-pandemic age. Most importantly, they know that, just like in other areas of their personal lives, there’s state-of-the-art technology (both software and hardware) that can help, should businesses only choose to invest in it. For instance, workers should no longer scramble to share dedicated devices; they should be equipped with their own, so that access to data is accessible when they need it.
Bottom line, disregarding data that can bring convenience into the lives of customers and employees will only raise the odds of losing talent and clients. In an already cut-throat economic environment, businesses cannot afford this.
2. Happy employees = happy customers
Employees are your greatest asset, your biggest brand ambassadors, your most important influencers. Not focusing on their satisfaction and feelings will not only detrimentally affect your talent pool, but will also negatively impact on your customer satisfaction.
There’s an interdependence between the two groups that cannot go unnoticed. According to an IDC survey, 85% of respondents agree an improved employee experience translates to higher customer satisfaction, a correlation further backed by prior Harvard Business Review research.
When it comes to employees, however, the real deal is about giving them tech solutions, the right tools and access to data they need. They should be armed with the information to better serve customers, unburdened from tedious and manual processes by letting technology help, and instead be empowered to create more value for the customers — all in an enjoyable and stress-free manner.
For example, say a shopper wants a medium-sized jumper and the retail associate checks and tells them this is available in the back room. When they go to fetch it and come back empty-handed due to inaccurate stock data, they may be left feeling frustrated at having to now explain this to the disappointed customer who was left waiting for nothing.
Moving forward, employees need to be self-sufficient, informed, efficient and quick in order to be content in the workplace. And what better way to achieve this than using smart devices they’re already familiar with, like their smartphones?
3. Unpredictable times call for flexible technology
Considering how fast the economic winds change, businesses must be ready for anything with the help of technology.
But not just any technology. Technology investments should aim to be future-proof, keeping in mind the following aspects:
- Flexibility and time-to-market. The ability to pivot quickly has made the difference during the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s safe to say that it will probably continue to do so in any crisis or window of opportunity. Look for technology that fits multiple use cases and has a short deployment period, on top of offering you a holistic view over all business operations.
- Scalability and low TCO. With soaring inflation, supply chain disruptions and geopolitical tensions, an investment made today needs to be flexible and keep on giving long after tomorrow, ideally without many further costs. In this scenario, scalable, low-CAPEX solutions are the way to go, because they still enable business growth in tight-money periods.
- Customer- and employee-centricity. As previously mentioned, you’ll want to keep customers and employees at the forefront of your plans. These two stakeholder groups will have enormous power over business success, so tech solutions should target their demands and behavior.
Smart data capture as the solution
In a changing and unpredictable world, smart data capture can successfully tackle some of the most pressing industry challenges, offering sought-after business agility and intelligence.
Simply put, smart data capture is a tech solution that enables real-time decision making and workflow automation by capturing data from barcodes, text, IDs and objects. It can be integrated into smart devices people are already familiar with, even their own personal devices if desired, ensuring scalability and cost-efficiency.
But smart data capture goes beyond just capturing data. It addresses many of the trends and challenges we’ve touched upon above, as follows:
- It empowers workers to forget about repetitive and time-consuming tasks, positively impacting job satisfaction;
- It provides insights that enhance customer convenience, increasing their loyalty;
- It is flexible and easy to implement, often without the need for significant CAPEX.
Smart data capture can future-proof your business by transforming your customers and employees into everyday superheroes — today and tomorrow, in an ever-changing world.