Ruairí Ó hAilín
Manager, Operational Excellence & Digital Innovation, Enterprise Ireland
Innovative, Irish-owned companies are economic cornerstones around the country, which is why it’s important to support them on their digitalisation journey, so they can achieve greater scale and expand their global footprint.
For Enterprise Ireland, an important part of helping Irish businesses grow is supporting them to become more agile, productive, competitive and innovative. Globally, successful companies invest in their people, processes and systems to build capability, be competitive and drive higher performance across their business — and digitalisation has a key role to play in that.
Digitalisation and achieving operational excellence
We take a broad view of digitalisation — encompassing mindset, skills, process innovation, as well as technology adoption as part of an overall operational excellence journey for a company.
When we think of operational excellence, we are looking at key performance measures around quality, delivery and cost. An important question for business leaders to consider when reviewing this is: ‘Are we consistently delivering the right product, at the right time, at the right price?’ Other variables to consider are the adaptability and sustainability of the organisation’s operations.
Digital innovation is about redesigning your
business to serve your customers better.
Focus on helping the consumer
It is always important to try to look at the business from your customer’s point of view. Consider whether you have done all you can to ensure that the customer gets the best service possible or if a digital solution could be used to enhance communication or automate some processes. Take time to consider the end-to-end flow in delivering a product or service and what technical systems could help.
Have a straightforward digital strategy
When looking at layering technology solutions on your operations, it is important to be very clear on what problem you are trying to solve. Companies often delay action because they don’t know where to start or attempt to address too much at once. Companies must be strategic, and a good first step is often to integrate simple systems that can be connected together, rather than going for a complex IT system that promises everything but may be a challenge to implement and deliver. Modern cloud-based systems are designed to integrate, so this ‘digital plumbing’ approach may be the way to go.
Digital innovation is about redesigning your business to serve your customers better, and the most important first step is to have a deep understanding of their needs. Digital technologies can, ultimately, enable you to increase productivity, streamline your operations and deliver an excellent customer experience.