Pre-Built Solutions: The Building Blocks of Transformation
Blog: Solutions Review - Business Process Management
As part of Solutions Review’s Contributed Content Series—a collection of contributed articles written by our enterprise tech thought leader community—Christian Floerkemeier, the CTO and co-founder of Scandit, explains why pre-built solutions can be the secret ingredient to a company’s transformation initiatives.
Whether they’ve seen their ranks diminish due to the ‘great resignation’ or have lost colleagues to the ripple effects of a weak economy, stretched IT teams are only getting leaner. Large swathes already report being overworked, which is difficult timing given how much businesses are prioritizing digital initiatives to boost efficiency.
This burdens technology departments across the board, particularly at smaller and mid-sized businesses that rely on smaller IT teams—or lack them entirely. They need to maximize efficiency so costs can be kept low without results being compromised while also ensuring transformative effects reach all areas of their business, from the boardroom to the boots on the ground—and all with less support than in past years.
Industries like retail and logistics have smaller, more stretched IT teams, and their frontline workers are often particularly hard to reach. In addition, there is a disconnect between the tools workers use to capture and digitize critical information and the near real-time requirement for businesses to translate physical data into the digital world.
Currently, most industries rely on a patchwork of solutions to solve individual problems rather than attack data capture head-on. But as any software engineer will tell you, building custom integrations is hard work for teams of any size, not least those working with tight budgets and limited human resources—making the need for out-of-the-box solutions all the more critical.
Why Pre-Built Solutions?
Operating with a small IT department means juggling day-to-day firefighting and larger technological projects, which is all the more difficult. Relying on legacy tools only creates more fires that need putting out, which takes away resources that could be spent implementing long-term solutions. It’s a vicious cycle that needs to be escaped from, as the consequences can quickly snowball.
For example, logistics errors alone cost the pharmaceutical industry $35 billion annually. While technology that improves how accurately data and information are collected can minimize mistakes and further improve revenue by as much as 32 percent, this can be incredibly costly to design in-house, both from an investment and time perspective.
Shrinking IT teams, particularly in sectors that rely heavily on frontline workers, are pulled between fulfilling the different needs of headquartered staff and their deskless counterparts. That’s why easy-to-implement solutions that demand minimal in-house resources and expertise to install need to be the priority, particularly those that leverage existing assets and tools and can be rolled out swiftly.
A Starting Point That Works
When it comes to data capture, pre-built solutions are every stretched IT leader’s savior. Implementing a tech project is much like picking a house. You could build exactly what you want, brick-by-brick, but that’s expensive, time-consuming, and requires contractors, architects, designers, and the like for many companies’ IT teams, representing resources they don’t have.
On the other hand, low-code and no-code solutions are more like buying an existing home. While a personally commissioned home might mean one gets every single item bespoke to exact needs, it’s an expensive and time-consuming process in comparison. Tools that work out-of-the-box or with just a few slight tweaks lower the barriers to entry and simplify the buying process. And just like moving into a new house, incremental improvements can be made as and when needed rather than ensuring everything is in order beforehand. This gives businesses better value for money and makes it easier to allocate resources during the rollout and refinement processes.
Customizable, pre-built solutions are available to solve people’s biggest data capture challenges across industries, analyzing specific frontline processes to develop ready-made solutions. While some use cases require custom builds—just like some home buyers might have particular tastes—pre-built solutions are ready to meet many businesses’ everyday needs. With both no-code and low-code options available, companies gravitate to these systems because they’re simple to integrate. Enterprise technology may never truly be ‘plug-and-play,’ but for data capture workflows, it can be pretty close.
Laying the Foundations for Customer Success
Field technicians have been the victim of legacy tools for years. For example, they have to use a dedicated barcode scanner wired to a laptop, a clunky setup that extends the time each service call takes and makes workflows awkward.
The answer to the issue is simple: replace these scanners with a pre-built, customized, low-code solution. It can be as straightforward as downloading it from the app store. In doing so, the amount of time spent on service calls will be cut almost immediately, and workers can focus better on connecting better with their customers.
That’s not to say the process is easy for all involved. Specialist vendors work hard to ensure the user experience and interface delivered to businesses are as close as possible to what they need right out of the box—taking the burden off them to find that expertise in-house. IT teams can leave the nitty-gritty engineering and design work to the specialists, confident the final product will slip seamlessly into their existing applications and be easily used by workers.
So, as you look towards modernizing how your business captures data, consider the ready-made options already on the market before jumping headfirst into a complicated software-building project. The tech world is brimming with solutions, so it may be worth thinking twice before breaking ground on your own.
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