Meeting customer expectations is harder than ever today. The bar has been raised. Many leaders in the equipment and rental business recognize that technology can help, but don’t necessarily know how to get started—so they don’t. In this paper, we break down the process into an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide to help you integrate technology into every aspect of your dealership or rental firm. We can’t tell you what your strategy should be, but we can give you a game plan to help you get ready for the new digital economy you’re competing in.
By Nick Castellina, Director of Industry & Solution Strategy at Infor®.
The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) has been mistakenly stereotyped as a back-office miser, worried about only one thing: the company’s bottom-line. CFOs have often been frugal, protecting the company’s wallet with an unwavering vow to be prepared for the proverbial rainy day. At least, that is the old-school notion.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is the highest-ranked executive in a company. The CEO has many responsibilities, ranging from setting strategy and direction to configuring the company’s culture, values and behavior. The chief executive is also responsible for building an executive leadership team and allocating funds to match the company’s goals and priorities. Some CEOs have even more on their plate, especially those at the head of startups. Oftentimes they are responsible for more than just the traditional duties, and can include anything from brewing coffee to marketing their product.
The list, compiled by ERP's Solution Review, includes Infor CEO, Charles Phillips.
Digital disruption is the new normal. And, as part of their digitalization journey, manufacturers now have a whole spectrum of modern tools to embrace. Greater agility is often touted as one of the important benefits of these digital tactics. Greater speed is a coveted prize, sought after by manufacturers since the era of Henry Ford’s assembly line.
Now, though, responding to change with lightning fast reflexes is not enough. Manufacturers must anticipate future trends and strive to predict customer demands before the customer even has acknowledged the need. Being the first in a market pace is often the key to owning it.
So, having a view of tomorrow is now more important than ever. Today we call it predictive algorithms and data science. We strive to speed product releases and adopt new features as quickly possible. Accelerating speed in one department drives the need for acceleration in other departments. The continuous rush of change, when not controlled, can start to resemble a hamster spinning in its wheel—but getting nowhere. Without meaningful objectives, speed for the sake of speed starts to become fruitless.
As manufacturers undertake digital initiatives, they should pause and consider the ongoing quest for speed and understand its true value. It’s important to be cautious about blind, over-emphasis. Speed has its risks, from higher levels of errors, quality issues, and a workforce that isn’t trained on new policies or processes. There is a fine line between efficient decision-making and rash, knee-jerk responses which can take a company down circuitous routes, far from the prime objectives. In fact, some would contend that reactionary measures lacking cost analysis and thorough financial impact study are simply reflexes, with a 50-50 chance of being right or wrong.
How did we get here?
By Carol Fitzgerald Tyler
Global Senior Practice Director, Organization Change Management | Infor
Challenging though it may be to create a vision that will transform an organization, it is crucial to effectively spread the message of digital innovation. Communication is often cited as the number one challenge for business transformation and change management. A strong communications strategy can lead an organization to a successful transform. Leaders can encourage teams to innovate by communicating both the organizational vision and the acceptance of occasional failure. Companies with a clear vision are on average more effective in their efforts, and as a result, more profitable.
A strong communications strategy can lead an organization to a successful transform...
Two Equipment Industry CFOs discuss how their roles have changed over the last five years.
When markets change we sometimes need to take on new responsibilities and employ different strategies. Such has been the case in the heavy equipment industry for Gayle Humphries and David Leavitt.
“2013 was our recovery year from the recession. It was about building cash reserves back up. We proceeded slowly and cautiously,” says Gayle Humphries, chief financial officer for Low Country Machinery, with locations in Statesboro and Pooler, GA. Today the situation is dramatically different for the dealership. Sales volumes have tripled since 2013 and Low Country also formed a completely new dealership. Low unemployment has made finding good people the dealership’s biggest challenge.
Topics: Rentals & Equipment
Most construction equipment and rental dealers will admit that there is less differentiation between products today, resulting in increasing pressure on prices and lower margins. Parts are available from a proliferation of sellers and it’s easier than ever for customers to shop for the lowest price. Customers want to own less and rent more. We have technology with the potential to improve productivity and profitability for dealers and their customers, yet adoption lags. Why? In a Fast Company article , authors John Elkington and Richard Johnson argue that we need more breakthrough business models, not breakthrough technology.
“Business models are what connects a technology’s potential with real market needs and consumer demand,” says the authors.
Strategy consultant and author Kay Plantes, believes that business models have become a key way to differentiate from the competition, replacing product features and benefits. A business model defines how will you create, deliver and capture value for your customers.
Consider how these innovative business models enabled these companies to differentiate themselves in their markets:
Topics: Rentals & Equipment
ICCG provides some resources - by industry - to provide you with the information and education to get started. Download and read at your own pace and if you have questions, we look forward to answering.