The following post is provided by the Singapore National Co-operative Federation, a direct member of World Council of Credit Unions.
Today, we are living in an environment in which technologies like Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and data analytics are changing the way we live, work and play. This environment is described as the fourth industrial revolution.
It is important that cooperatives embark on digital transformation to continue to be sustainable, relevant and impactful in the future.
Many businesses have been investing in digitalization by leveraging the cloud and upgrading their technology infrastructure. COVID-19 has accelerated the push for digitalization. Working from home may soon be a new norm. With digitalization, your cooperative can be more efficient and effective.
The word digitalization may sound intimidating, but these steps will help your cooperative to embrace a digital future.
Some questions to ask yourself are:
- Do you have any manual work processes that could be automated?
- Can digital solutions help enhance interaction with members and employees as well as deliver excellent customer experience at the same time?
If your answer is to increase productivity or engage your members, you are on the right track. These objectives will enable you to kickstart a digitalization project, zooming into specific areas that are in need of enhancement.
Many are also taking steps to digitalize in order to generate greater brand awareness, smooth member experience, innovate products and services, and dive into data and business analytics to improve revenue.
Set digital goals
While your objective is to increase productivity or engage your members, you can break it down further by setting smart goals.
Staff productivity can be improved by automating manual processes. For example, instead of recording new members’ details manually, you can provide an online form for members to fill in, allowing their data to be automatically captured and stored in the system. This can help improve productivity, as staff can be channeled to focus on other tasks.
If your cooperative has already implemented digital solutions, you can consider adding more functions. For example, integrating analytics to have a greater understanding of your members’ behavior can help you better serve their needs.
Your digitalization project may be ready to go, but it will not be successful if your staff members are not trained on how to use the systems. Every individual’s knowledge on using technology differs. It is thus paramount to ensure your staff is equipped with the right skills to operate the systems in order to optimize your digitalization plan.
With the right know-how, employees can be empowered to carry out their tasks confidently, be the key drivers of change and bring your cooperative to greater heights.
A system or platform which your cooperative has implemented may not realize its full potential if there is no tracking of performance. Tracking the system's performance will reveal the success rate of your executed plan.
If you have the answers to your digital goals, you will know how to adjust course and innovate further.
We should always think how the online sphere can help sustain our business plans. When seizing the opportunity of digitalization, consider both operational improvements and effective customer touchpoints.
So, what do you think? Is your cooperative ready to accelerate digitalization?