Digital for all now

Arnaud Affergan: « Digital technology reduces obstacles and increases productivity in companies »

Arnaud Affergan 22 Sep 2014

Maintenance technicians, sales reps, shop assistants, delivery staff and foremen: get connected! This is essentially the motto of Arnaud Affergan, dynamic chairman of Rayonnance, a company that specialises in B2B mobile equipment and digital services that works with companies looking to step up their digital approach.

Employees and consumers alike are well aware of the potential benefits of digital tools; now businesses need to take the next step and leverage this digital potential to boost growth. Arnaud Affergan has a few tips to share on this matter: with equipment tailored to each industry, companies can become more mobile, save time and improve employees’ efficiency and well-being.

 

Demanding consumer seeks savvy company

“What constantly surprises us,” says Arnaud Affergan, “is that consumers have become a lot more demanding. They didn’t used to mind queuing in shops or waiting for deliveries without knowing exactly where they were. But with digital, everything’s moving much faster these days: customers can go onto their PC, tablet or smartphone and find and buy a product in a few clicks and have it delivered the next day, or even on the same day.”

So are all companies ready for the digital transition? No, says the chairman of Rayonnance, but the process is well underway:

“When we first started implementing more digital, mobile processes, we had to explain to our clients that they could actually use these technologies in the workplace because they didn’t think they could. But with smartphones, tablets and the range of services these digital devices offer becoming more widely available, our clients have lots of ideas now. It’s often they who come to us with ideas for new business solutions!”

So it’s all about aligning businesses with our everyday experience as individual consumers. A growing number of people regularly use their smartphones to find and purchase products (79% of smartphone consumers use their phones to help with shopping, from comparing prices, finding more product info to locating a retailer, according to a survey commissioned by Google. It’s no wonder then, says Affergan, that consumers then wonder why these technologies, which have proved so useful in private life, can’t be used in the workplace.

It is urgent to speed up the digital transformation of companies: but it won’t happen overnight, and requires a methodical change management process.

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From maintenance technicians to architects: grab your tablets!

Arnaud Affergan has successfully overseen digital innovation projects for both SMBs and major multinationals, such as Nespresso:

“Nespresso’s problem was very simple – it had become a victim of its own success: huge queues in stores, sales staff rushed off their feet, customers losing patience. With competition in the coffee capsule market becoming fierce, we had to offer Nespresso clients an incomparable experience in terms of quality of service.”

The solution involved rolling out “queue-busting” technology, i.e. handheld product-scanning devices with dedicated apps, enabling sales staff to help customers throughout the in-store experience, from browsing and selecting, thanks to a sound knowledge of their purchasing habits, right through to payment, which is carried out quickly and easily via the store staffer’s device, without having to go to the till. The advantages of queue-busting systems are numerous, but don’t depend on the hardware alone: according to Arnaud Affergan, a good tool is nothing without a well-thought out process:

“As all our installations depend on our clients’ specific needs and context, we always study the shop’s organisation: its architecture, staff, needs, sales concepts. This is because, once they’re incorporated into the business, some tools radically change the way you work, sometimes requiring physically reorganising the workplace and reassigning tasks.”

Instead of the old paper forms to sign off on deliveries, staff now use a handheld device which contains all the stock and customer data. This is an example of innovation that totally restructures a company’s logistics and requires support and assistance from the outset.

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Organisation is key: digital takes care of the rest

A successful digital maker has to be involved from A to Z. As Arnaud Affergan explains:

“When implementing equipment, the main obstacle is not a technical one (with twelve years’ recognised, award-winning experience, our service can ensure that faulty equipment is replaced in less than 24 hours anywhere in Europe). It’s more in terms of change management that we need to focus our efforts, by conducting an audit prior to rolling out any solution. Understanding people’s needs, seeing the way their work, the advice they are given from the outset of a project: all these things determine what kind of solution we eventually implement.”

Digital technology can be a performance driver, but it’s vital to know which device is best suited to your particular business needs: setting up a giant 3D screen on a building site, for example, may not be the best solution.

“A big part of our job involves determining what the right device is,” says Arnaud Affergan. “For example, for the construction industry, we recommend more rugged devices for foremen, with longer battery life and sturdier displays.

In a shop, however, we’d choose smaller equipment: a store staffer can’t be holding cumbersome equipment when folding clothes. The range of sizes, degrees of ruggedness, operating systems and accessories is such that we can really find the ideal equipment to suit any industry.”

And having tools that are tailored to their working practices means staff’s working conditions are improved: high-quality services in order to better understand and serve customers, real-time stock management systems to ensure enhanced performance, access to sales records anytime, anywhere, etc.

All in all, a successful digital strategy ensures that everyone in the company shares the same beliefs and goals: mobility, efficiency, self-sufficiency and well-being. Digital for All, Now!

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