New technologies to reinvent old businesses
These times of rapid technological revolution and the exaltation of digital life over old uses can lead us to think about the technification of the future in a quick glance. However, a deeper study surprises us with the return to that perpetual evolution of metaphysics, which reminds us that we live in continuous transformation, that more than the future, it is better to focus on the present, and that our environment changes unceasingly because that is its nature.
Enterprises are no less. To the extent that they reflect our ways of living and consuming, and at the same time are presented as great products of our social life, they cannot remain unchanged, and generally, if they do not adapt, they shrink and disappear. Some may boast mastery and speed in this change, such as Nokia, which first reconceived itself to make mobile phones and then to stop doing so, following the pace of the market and society at all times.
Samsung also reorganised its activity around televisions and turned agilely towards the digital environment. Others were not so lucky, such as Kodak, which failed to take advantage of its dominant position in the photography market, and came undone like the traditional spool.
Business schools review large cases of both success and failure. The strategies are studied, analysed and copied. But beyond large enterprise and the showiness of the growing or declining emporium, the world is full of ordinary stories that discreetly settle in the everyday and that actually lay the foundations of true evolution.
The transformation of the traditional company sometimes goes unnoticed. It takes a look with a certain perspective to discover the simplicity with which technological innovation has quietly settled in longstanding traditional business.
Electronic supply management is invisible to the consumer, who nevertheless enjoys its benefits. The smaller the space of the establishment, the more important correct stock management becomes. Technology plays a leading role here, and allows the entire supply chain to be controlled and planning to be made in accordance with reality.
A small investment in software helps satisfy the customer by minimising those times when they leave the store without finding what they were looking for because it had run out. At the same time, it provides entrepreneurs with valuable information on the consumption habits of their clientele, which feeds their ability to satisfy them effectively.
The corner bar
also benefits from electronic supply management, but its geographic limits are additionally blurred by the home delivery companies. Anyone can order food from their computer, tablet or mobile, and not leave their homes or move from where they are at that time. By car, motorcycle or bicycle, hundreds of delivery people cross the cities delivering dishes to customers who will never come to the establishment.
Geolocation here plays a very important role, and allows the provider’s offer to spread as far as demand can allow, and as far as hot goods can be transported. Provided, of course, success does not go beyond their supply capacity.
The volume of ordinary mail that circulates each day has been considerably reduced. Beyond commercial correspondence and the odd certificate, few letters travel around the world. The traditional trolley is no longer sufficient for modern shipments, which come more in the shape of a package than an envelope. Small parcels from companies and between individuals now account for current correspondence.
The receiver enjoys the convenience of following the movements of the goods from their mobile phone from the time it goes onto the road, and helps them be in the right place at the right time for reception. Messaging also triumphs over mail. And for the more advanced, automated terminals allow you to pick up the goods without the need for keys or anything more than a mobile phone.
‘Street food markets’
Technology reaches even the most humble, or most delocalised, business. Who said that street vending requires payment in cash? They no longer move around with the safe in tow, which is always a risk. A small device can turn a simple mobile into a sales terminal, allowing electronic payment and providing the receiver with detailed information directly on the mobile itself. There are no barriers.
Other traditional professions
There is a wide variety of businesses that can enjoy the advantages of 3D printing. Prostheses for dental and surgical implants are popular. They allow totally personalised work, without rejections and without design flaws. The visionaries are already thinking even about the creation of organic pieces.
Outside healthcare, trades apparently as different as pastry and jewellery share one great benefit, which is to reserve the creative work for what really needs it. When no contribution is made, the machine does it, thus enabling the creation of identical pieces quickly and massively, and without wasting a pinch of raw material. For sketches, prototypes, series parts ...
Of course, beyond these trades, industries more used to working in series, such as the automobile industry or that of household appliances, have a great ally here.