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Industrial businesses are being transformed by three powerful and disruptive forces: evolving social needs, economic localization, and a technological revolution. In this new era, great performance is no longer good enough to sustain a Panel Builder’s business. And the old playbook to build competitive advantage is no longer sufficient. For successful Panel Builders, the time has come to fully embrace the opportunities that digital transformation can provide their businesses and their customers.
The COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated this pace and has profoundly impacted each of these three disruptive forces by increasing market volatility and creating broad swings in customer demand. This volatility has driven the need for business agility, supply chain flexibility, and an increased call for business transformation.
The pandemic inevitably accelerated changes in consumers’ consumption habits and caused digital purchases to grow. Despite that, many of us miss interacting with sales associates and the personalized service that comes with a face-to-face meeting. These are the reasons that I, as Director of Global Panel Builder Channel for Schneider Electric, and Mike Hughes, SVP End-to-End Digital Customer Relationships, intend to host a series of conversations, designed to help our panel building partners understand how to best address this new set of challenges.
We want to start by considering how the vast spectrum of digital transformation initiatives can position Panel Builders, no matter their size and type of application orientation, to enter new markets and help sustain their business growth. This is about the future of panel builders and winning through partnerships.
Lou: While everything is available at your fingertips, do you know what components and technology sit behind all the data you use? Do you know about the challenges of bringing digital transformation to the healthcare industry and the strategies to overcome them? The promise of the digital revolution has loomed large over the healthcare and datacenter industries for over a decade. COVID-19 placed an even greater demand on these emerging technologies.
How can Panel Builders accelerate their businesses through digital transformation to become more effective and competitive than ever before?
Lou: Progressive Panel Builders, of all sizes, must do more during this volatility, to build sustainable business advantage benefiting all stakeholders. It can be challenging, but we are here to discuss how this is possible.
Mike: Business leaders must adopt a radically new playbook—one that helps their companies become resilient in the face of even the most volatile situations. To build enduring business advantage, Panel Builders must adapt—by crafting a new growth strategy, rethinking their operations, and designing new organizational structures.
Lou: And to achieve business advantage, leaders will have to make changes on these major fronts:
- Redefine what great growth looks like
- Rethink how their companies operate
- Constantly reinvent how their company is organized
Let’s look at how digitization can support these transformational changes.
Mike: Digitization is shifting the way organizations accelerate their business models. Companies today are focusing on developing high performing, digitally enabled solutions and experiences as well as extending their core offerings to underserved markets. Leading organizations are displaying crucial foresight by augmenting low-cost delivery models with high-speed and flexible delivery networks.
Furthermore, they are rapidly leveraging new e-commerce channels or attempting to improve the quality and performance of their existing online businesses. They are taking advantage of digital ecosystems to partner with companies in various sectors to complement their offerings with digital products and services.
Lou: These market changes complement our Panel Builder business strategy, which helps connect our partners with potential customers through the mySchneider Panel Builder program. While the program helps our partners assemble their agile teams to showcase their services through Exchange and social media, it also focuses on upskilling them with digital tools, software, and capabilities like e-FAT. Furthermore, the program certifies participating organizations and individuals on EcoXpert and segment specializations. It also helps them embrace always-on business transformation that is aimed at sustaining business advantage in volatile times.
Mike: Absolutely, and we’ve seen that to make this happen, companies need to stop focusing on individual tools and instead define how digitization’s full value potential can be deployed across the end-to-end processes.
Lou: Will making these changes prove challenging? Certainly, if you do not partner with the right vendor that can help you through the transition. But Panel Builders can’t afford to shy away from this effort. Those who do so will risk being left behind. This is why now is the perfect time for all Panel Builders to ask themselves if they are ready for a successful digital transformation?
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