Why Local Services and Expertise Are Still in Demand in Times of Digitalization
The problem is often that companies lack a strong, skilled digitalization partner to advise them and provide effective support. With local services and in-depth knowledge, Proservia Field Services makes light work of obstacles. In the following interview, Tobias Rudolph, managing director of Proservia Field Services GmbH, gives his perspective on the challenges digitalization brings for high-end small and medium-sized enterprises.
How can a company benefit from digitalization?
From my point of view, digitalization is above all the automation of in-house processes and shouldn’t be seen as a driving force behind cost reduction and job cuts in our industry, but rather as an engine for increasing process speeds. Nowadays, speed plays a hugely important role from the moment a request for quotation or order is received to when a bid is submitted and delivery starts. This is where companies can get ahead of the competition. Of course, as a general rule, automation also reduces costs. It’s basically a win-win situation for us suppliers, our outsourcing customers and their end customers or users.
Is digitalization primarily a technical approach? Does the focus lie on changing company culture or processes?
It’s often impossible to alter processes without changing something about the culture and basic mindset. This part is also a lot more difficult because there is nothing quite so persistent as a decades-old company culture. Clever management sayings are also of no use here. The old adage goes “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Only when cultures adapt can a complete transformation take place. You can’t get all employees on board at the same time. Company management has to start by accepting digitalization and actively setting an example. Otherwise, this sort of thing tends to fail miserably in the implementation phase. Old reflexes often start to stir just when change is beginning to take hold.
Where should decision-makers make the first changes?
As discussed, the process of change has to start in the mind. It’s about identifying smart and fresh-thinking employees and nurturing their growth. It’s also important just to try out ideas. Not all of them will work but there will definitely be some very good suggestions that would never have come from “above.” This means that the transformation can start with seemingly small things, leading little by little to a culture of change.
What do you think are the main obstacles to overcome on the path to digitalization?
Outdated ways of thinking, providing better and less restrictive training for junior staff. Long-term investment is essential but this is often torpedoed by quarterly thinking and changing management structures.
Why are local services and expertise still in demand in the era of digitalization?
For us as “local service providers,” this is an exciting and, at first glance, alarming time. Technology is replacing jobs. However, I see opportunities for optimization here, through wider product ranges and making more effective use of access to industry. Proservia Field Services is making the move to IT easier for its employees. This means that we can offer skills in different areas, from medical technology, to classic hardware, right through to retail. This enables us to provide customers with a comprehensive service, supported by specialists at central locations. In my view, it is also very important to work with people and not to lose sight of the “human factor.” This is because people trust and buy from other people. This service ensures that customers develop a more personal relationship with the company, improving customer loyalty and guaranteeing long-term success.
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Source cover picture:Vasyl Dolmatov / iStock