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The power of technology: online service delivery

We’ve seen so many changes in online service delivery. What does it all mean to a mid-market business? Our IT and technology experts discuss the pressing topics in online service delivery, such as the big shift to ecommerce, adding value post-purchase, better integration with vendors to save time and money, and meeting the needs of demanding corporate clients.

Also, visit our Technology Roadmap for Growth Knowledge Centre, which includes more on this topic.

 

Freeman Clarke is the UK’s largest and most experienced team of fractional IT leaders. We work exclusively with ambitious organisations, helping our clients use IT to beat the competition. Contact us and we’ll be in touch for an informal conversation.

Online Service Delivery: Don’t forget job satisfaction

Your systems strategy should focus on what the clients want. But staff must be a consideration as well. Our IT and technology experts discuss how systems strategy can be a crucial factory in the attraction and retention of staff.

[Watch the full Online Service Delivery video here]


Online service delivery series:

Part 1: Ecommerce in the mid-market: The new normal

Part 2: Adding after sale value

Part 3: What it really comes down to…

Part 4: Don’t forget job satisfaction


 

Visit our Digital Transformation Knowledge Centre which includes all content related to this topic.

Freeman Clarke is the UK’s largest and most experienced team of part-time (we call it ‘fractional’) IT leaders. We work exclusively with ambitious organisations and we frequently help our clients use IT to beat their competition. Contact Us and we’ll be in touch for an informal conversation.

Online Service Delivery: What it really comes down to…

What’s the real point of Online Service Delivery? Delivering value, not just the lowest price. Our IT and technology experts get to the bottom of it.

[Watch the full Online Service Delivery video here]


Online service delivery series:

Part 1: Ecommerce in the mid-market: The new normal

Part 2: Adding after sale value

Part 3: What it really comes down to…

Part 4: Don’t forget job satisfaction


 

Visit our Digital Transformation Knowledge Centre which includes all content related to this topic.

Freeman Clarke is the UK’s largest and most experienced team of part-time (we call it ‘fractional’) IT leaders. We work exclusively with ambitious organisations and we frequently help our clients use IT to beat their competition. Contact Us and we’ll be in touch for an informal conversation.

Online Service Delivery: Adding after sale value

New tools have made it much easier and cheaper to deliver information, offers, and new services to customers after they buy. Our IT and technology experts discuss new ways to add value after the purchase is done.

[Watch the full Online Service Delivery video here]


Online service delivery series:

Part 1: Ecommerce in the mid-market: The new normal

Part 2: Adding after sale value

Part 3: What it really comes down to…

Part 4: Don’t forget job satisfaction


 

Visit our Digital Transformation Knowledge Centre which includes all content related to this topic.

Freeman Clarke is the UK’s largest and most experienced team of part-time (we call it ‘fractional’) IT leaders. We work exclusively with ambitious organisations and we frequently help our clients use IT to beat their competition. Contact Us and we’ll be in touch for an informal conversation.

Online service delivery: E-commerce in the mid-market

We’ve seen a huge increase in Freeman Clarke B2B clients moving into the ecommerce space. Whilst many mid-market businesses have resisted the shift, it’s been a boon for our clients. Our IT and technology experts provide their thoughts on this ecommerce in the mid-market.

[Watch the full Online Service Delivery video here]


Online service delivery series:

Part 1: Ecommerce in the mid-market: The new normal

Part 2: Adding after sale value

Part 3: What it really comes down to…

Part 4: Don’t forget job satisfaction


 

Visit our Digital Transformation Knowledge Centre which includes all content related to this topic.

Freeman Clarke is the UK’s largest and most experienced team of part-time (we call it ‘fractional’) IT leaders. We work exclusively with ambitious organisations and we frequently help our clients use IT to beat their competition. Contact Us and we’ll be in touch for an informal conversation.

Improving Business Performance: 5 Key Areas for the Mid-Market

An economic cycle is over. We’re entering a period wherein war, commodity shocks, worker shortages, and calamitous politicians have made a global slowdown very likely. Static or shrinking markets make good business performance harder, and yet business leaders need to deliver against the odds.

We believe that the right systems and digital strategy can help any mid-market business navigate the coming slowdown. So as 2023 approaches, we recommend focusing on five key areas below. (Further content on improving business performance can be found here).

    1. Data and information management

Many businesses are now drowning in data and struggling to meet compliance regulations when they could be drawing value from this asset. There is an increasing gap between organisations with up-to-date, accurate management information on-demand, and those who do not.

No business improvement initiative will be successful unless there is clear data to measure and monitor the changes. Of course, in many cases significant systems, process, and organisational changes are necessary to enable improved reporting, so it can be a complicated journey.

Clear data both drives improvement and supports effective business-as-usual processes. In one recent example, we helped drive information improvements that enabled a healthcare products provider to increase revenue from £25 to £150M!

    2. The digital customer experience.

Since the pandemic, any aspect of business that can be online is now expected to be so—engagement, sales, service, and fulfilment. And since most businesses are aiming to avoid pure price competition, then the online customer experience is crucial—effectively, the business’s brand becomes defined by their customers’ experience online.

Many companies want to excel in terms of customer service. Ironically, their efforts are hamstrung by their IT, rather than enabled by it.

One the other hand, one of our clients—a mid-market, high-value homewares company—relies on their IT and technology for customer service excellence. They stay ahead of the competition by providing quick and accurate updates on manufacture and delivery through their online portal and telephone support—which is enabled by the streamlined systems and processes below the waterline.

    3. Staff experience and engagement.

This is another situation in which IT can create problems or solve them.

Great businesses prosper because their staff are highly engaged and able to do great work! Unfortunately, in many businesses, people are bogged down by frustrating, time-consuming issues created by IT and systems. IT seems to get in the way rather than guide the way.

Across the world it’s increasingly difficult to attract good people, and broken systems and processes can be a source of attrition, which is a hugely expensive distraction. Any business leader can tell you that when key people are leaving it’s very difficult to make progress.

People deserve modern IT and systems that enable them to do rewarding work and to adopt office, home, or hybrid working as appropriate.

Increasingly RPA (software robots) and machine learning allow each person to be backed by multiple automated agents, reducing drudgery and amplifying their efforts.

    4. Integration up and down, inside and out.

Systems integration dramatically impacts company performance, internally and with customers, suppliers, and partners.

As above, too often staff spend a considerable amount of time rekeying and wrangling between systems, either to fulfil process requirements or to provide reports and analysis. In the past, the frequent remedy was to roll out an ERP solution. But the challenge is becoming more complex, as businesses increasingly rely on SaaS services to provide everything from financial systems to line of business and offline analysis and optimisation.

Many subscription services are cost-effective and of high quality. But they are often purchased ad-hoc and used by individual departments in a disconnected way, creating ever-greater integration challenges. Vendors described this strategy as ‘best of breed’, but it can rapidly begin to feel like an ugly mutt.

Your systems strategy needs to enable strong internal integration and to allow for integration up, down, and across the value-chain. This makes your business easier to work with and stickier. It also enables you to work with corporates who expect systems integration as normal.

    5. Transaction readiness.

The fast beat the slow. For many mid-market businesses, opportunities to acquire, merge, or exit come unexpectedly and with a brief window. The businesses who can capitalise on these opportunities are ‘transaction-ready’ all the time.

This means you need important things available on short notice: access to capital, of course, as well as the skills and capabilities to conduct due diligence, make purchases, and efficiently integrate systems between companies. Or it means being ready to come under scrutiny from a potential purchaser when you come into their sights.

IT and technology are often-overlooked aspects of transaction readiness. But in every economic climate, we’ve helped our clients find and deliver on transactions and value opportunities by focusing on their IT, systems, and processes.

If there’s one point we want to make here, it’s that a business is only as good as the choices its leaders make, no matter what’s happening politically or economically. Our advice has always been to first get clear on which aspects of business performance you need to focus on, and then design your systems and technology accordingly.

It’s undeniable that the past few years have been uniquely challenging. But we’ve been through several downturns, and we’ve seen our clients weather them—and even thrive—when they got clarity on these five key areas of their IT and technology.

In good times and bad, systems and digital strategies are an absolutely critical part of mid-market success.

Here is more content about improving business performance
And for a no-strings, no-pressure conversation about IT and Technology, get in touch

Business Reporter

The year is still young. Set your business priorities now

New Year’s resolutions are a common way to set goals for a year. Unfortunately, they’re seldom achieved. Back in 2007, a University of Hertfordshire study found that 88% of people who made New Year’s resolutions failed to achieve them, and there is no reason to believe the situation has improved.

If you make the shift to reconsidering your priorities, however, you’re more likely to see results—especially in times of uncertainty. An unachieved resolution creates a sense of failure; focussing on priorities, in contrast, helps you to remember what’s truly important whilst allowing for flexibility.

It seems likely there is another difficult year ahead politically and economically. In our experience, mid-market businesses can still enjoy stability and growth if they focus on some or all of these priorities.

Your employees

This is not an issue to consider occasionally; it should be a priority you revisit regularly. Because research shows that lack of job satisfaction is one the main reasons people leave their jobs. Replacing people is more difficult than ever, so in 2023 prioritise job satisfaction issues before they become…an issue. Here is what to focus on:

First, job satisfaction can be significantly boosted by providing efficient, easy-to-use systems and processes. Automating energy-sapping and repetitive jobs allows your best people to spend more time on things that matter and to enjoy their work more. It’s not something that can be done overnight; it’s a process in and of itself. For guidance, see our CEO’s briefing on creating an IT strategy for growth. See also our report, Do you actually need an ERP project?

Second, consider whether your people would favour more hybrid working. Here is a straightforward, three-step plan to ensure you’re taking into account the employee’s point of view.

Third, be realistic about pay. In 2023, your key people may be struggling with the cost of living. People will start quitting jobs, even jobs they love, simply because they have to pay the bills. So ensure your best people are appropriately compensated before they complain by resigning.

Business Continuity

We prefer not to have a doom-and-gloom outlook. But the evidence does show that an average company is affected by a serious calamity every three to five years. And if you’re not prepared, it could have a major reputational impact—or even spell the end of your business.

You should be revisiting your business continuity plan at least once a quarter to ensure it still makes sense. Is it absolutely clear who is responsible for what if (and when) there is a problem? Does it contain all the elements you need to keep your business up and running?

If you don’t yet have a business continuity plan, you’d better get started. Here is our tried-and-tested advice on how to objectively assess the risks to your business and plan accordingly. [CEO’s Briefing: IT Risks, Compliance, and Security]

Look after yourself and your team

The term ‘self-care’ can suggest incense and chanting, but the fact is that taking care of yourself and those around you must be a priority.

In the aftermath of the pandemic, the physical and mental health of CEOs has become an area of interest and study—see these informative articles in the Harvard Business School Journal and Sweden’s Institute for Management Development. So it makes sense to look after yourself, both for your own health and that of your company. You simply can’t run up a business when you and your leadership team are run down.

If you want to make your priorities stick, they need to be other peoples’ priorities as well. Create your list, commit yourself, and communicate it widely and often.

Freeman Clarke is the largest and most experienced team of part-time (we call it “fractional”) CIOs and CTOs. We work exclusively with ambitious organizations and we frequently help our clients use IT to beat their competition. Contact Us and we’ll be in touch for an informal conversation.

CEO’s Report: Your IT Questions Answered

Everything you always wanted to know about IT and technology but were afraid to ask

We wanted to know what mid-market business leaders were thinking about when it came to their IT and technology. So we solicited their questions. Then we had our own IT leaders respond.

The result is this free CEO’s report. It’s a fascinating collection of real-world questions and answers about cybersecurity, integration, ERPs, private equity, compliance and more. Download it now and feel free to share it with your colleagues. The answers may surprise you!

 

 

Visit our Technology Roadmap for Growth Knowledge Center which includes all content related to this topic.

Freeman Clarke is the largest and most experienced team of part-time (we call it “fractional”) CIOs and CTOs. We work exclusively with ambitious organizations and we frequently help our clients use IT to beat their competition. Contact Us and we’ll be in touch for an informal conversation.

Meet our technology experts

“Between us all, we’ve been there, we’ve seen it, we’ve done it.” Our IT leaders explain their extensive digital and business technology experience.

We’re a team of 85+ Board-level technology leaders (CIOs, CTOs, CISOs and IT Directors) who collaborate and knowledge share every day so that we can deliver the very best for our clients. We work across all industries including; retail, manufacturing, logistics, pharma, facilities management, professional services, construction, engineering, private equity to name a few. Its safe to say we’ve got you covered!

Visit our Knowledge centers, which include expert documents that will help your business improve and grow.

Freeman Clarke is the UK’s largest and most experienced team of fractional IT leaders. We work exclusively with ambitious organisations, helping our clients use IT to beat the competition.  Contact Us and we’ll be in touch for an informal conversation.

Book your FREE Fast Technology Audit TODAY!

Many CEOs and leadership teams encounter frustrations with their IT and business systems. The Fast Technology Audit helps you identify how you can streamline your business, improve customer service, and build business value.

We will provide you with a simple heatmap of your business technology and make practical recommendations for improvements.

We have a limited number of sessions available so book your audit today and unlock your business’ potential.

The Fast technology Audit

 

Space is limited, contact us and book your FREE Fast technology Audit TODAY!

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Graeme Freeman
Co-Founder and Director

Subscribe to our Business Insights

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Thank you.

You’ll now receive regular expert business insights.

Call us on 0203 020 1864 with any questions.

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