Recently I read a remarkable article: The drugstore chain DM, one of the biggest player in Germany, procures 25,000 smartphones for its employees:
For a long time, the drugstore chain DM was regarded as a digital despiser. But now the company has ordered 25,000 smartphones for all store employees and is obviously serious about digitizing.
Digitisation is a decisive breakthrough in the processes: AirBnB and Uber have made it clear that they are looking to penetrate established markets and enter the process with well thought-out solutions for the end customer. This is how parts of the margins, which are nowadays usually tight, are being used up.
How to establish completely new processes? This requires creativity. These can be generated by employees. Employees continue to be the most valuable potential to leverage creative ideas.
This includes a departure from micromanagement: new ideas do not thrive by atomizing existing processes and tracking them down to the smallest possible level. Just as a proverb says that electric light was not created by the consistent further development of the candle.
One of the most important bases for this is courage for new, different decisions that do not necessarily correspond to the previous mainstream of the company. This must be exemplified by top management. This is the only way to gain the necessary trust of the employees, to try out new ones or to question business processes that have been practiced for a long time. To depict the future in the dark and to assume that courageous competitors lack social competence is of little help here.
To return to DM: The fact that the procurement of a modern tool is worth a headline shows that there is still a lot of potential. A smartphone is not a gift for an employee, it is a tool. But not every employee can deal with it immediately, but “experts” should give recommendations for action: How and when can I use it how and above all, in the interest of the customer? An easy access to central databases and / or Google is a minimum requirement here, what you might expect in the project.
Speaking of trust: Most of the 25,000 devices, that DM delivers will probably not have a SIM card. Trust in employees in 2017 should look different