Top Tips For a More Agile Business

Javier Lopez, General Manager, Vertical Solutions, OKI Europe Ltd, shares advice on how businesses can improve their ability to adapt to unexpected challenges
Agile is more than just a business buzzword. For some time, it has been used in the business lexicon to relate to flexible, collaborative ways of working. However, more recently, agile has come to relate more to how well businesses can adapt to sudden changes and shift to new operating models at a moment’s notice. No longer is business agility a ‘nice to have’, it’s now crucial to business success and the pursuit of agility has been accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic. 
With this in mind, here are some helpful tips to adapt a more agile business model:

1.    Always think ahead

While few could have predicted the Covid-19 pandemic or its impact, thinking ahead and having contingency plans in place for a range of different scenarios is vital in dealing with uncertainty. Scenario planning software can help with this, but it’s highly improbable that you could predict every scenario that might impact your business, or the software could be beyond your budget. Either way, it pays to keep a close eye on consumer and social trends as well as market data to help predict upcoming changes and take steps to prepare for them.

2.    Adapt & Diversify

Businesses that can quickly and effectively adjust in the face of adversity can do more than just survive – they can thrive by turning those challenges into opportunities. By diversifying your business, you can meet changing consumer demands and market trends through offering new services or entering new markets to access additional revenue streams.
Family-run tea import company TeaClub saw an increasing demand for personalised products and recognised they could not only increase customer loyalty but drive additional revenue by offering personalised products. By investing in OKI’s Pro1050 Five Colour Label Printer, it now has the flexibility to print personalised labels on-demand meeting the high level of customer requests for this service.

3.    Invest in tools that enable flexibility

Your people are your most important assets as ultimately, they will determine the success or failure of your business. However, in order to both excel in their roles and adapt quickly to unexpected changes, they need access to tools and technology that enable them to work more flexibly. 

Take the impact the pandemic has had on retail, for example. When required to quickly adapt to constantly changing regulations, helping customers navigate stores to find essentials quickly and easily, or simply reassuring customers the store is Covid-secure, retailers using OKI’s HD Colour Printers can readily print banners, floor and window stickers, posters, and waterproof and pre-cut media to help communicate effectively to customers and meet those requirements such as keeping a safe distance.

4.    Make decisions based on real time data

Many businesses make crucial decisions based on historical data rather than understanding what is currently happening to inform their decision making. Those decisions and all the effort and investments that are poured into actualising them can be wasted because the business is effectively taking a reactive approach instead of proactive. All too often this becomes a case of too little, too late. 
Wherever possible, look at real time data, or the most up-to-date data available. This will help the business to monitor current situations, adapt to events as they’re unfolding and can help to predict what might happen.
OKI’s Solutions include powerful tools that provide device usage statistics to help ensure you have the right device in place for your needs. Furthermore, The Design Hub, OKI’s creative platform monitors the status of your OKI device including consumables levels, automatically generating alerts when new consumables are required, for continuous hassle-free printing without the need to store large volumes of consumables.

Looking ahead

The objective of becoming agile is to be able to learn, adapt and optimise your business to find possible outcomes to what sometimes feel like impossible situations. This requires a strong sense of the changing business landscape, tools that enable flexibility, and ditching decision making that is based on past events. Combined with a strong dose of optimism, these steps can help to protect your business from the unexpected.  

Print can be instrumental in helping businesses adapt quickly and effectively in rapidly changing circumstances. Throughout 2020, OKI Europe has empowered over 700 businesses and organisations across a number of sectors including retail, hospitality, education, government, transportation and beyond. From providing social distancing signage to keep shoppers, healthcare workers, commuters and students safe, to ensuring food reached vulnerable families quickly with our in-house label and packaging printing solutions. Furthermore, with new laws introduced in many countries on the mandatory wearing of face masks, OKI’s Transfer Media and White Toner Printing solutions provided the opportunity to customise face masks and safety clothing quickly and cost effectively on-demand to help encourage people to wear them.

Please note, for information on specific media that should be used with OKI printers for the applications specified on this page, please contact your local certified dealer or contact us.

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