Jocelyn Théoret
Senior Manager | Eng., MBA, PMP | Management consulting

Now more than ever, technology can help you put your clients at the heart of your actions. So, offer them the unique experience they’re looking for.

In this digital age, some of yesterday’s practices have not been valid for some time. Nevertheless, one thing remains: there are still clients to listen to, understand, serve and that a business would like to foster unforgettable and positive interactions with that go beyond the everyday transaction.

The client experience: win-win for all

Today, business models are being transformed or created, product or service offerings are more modern and the delivery of the client experience is going digital. In this digital whirlwind, the client experience can still be defined as the result of all the interactions a client can have with a brand or business, what they perceived and especially, how they felt!

Basically, how your business can generate more perceived value for its clients who, in turn, through their loyalty or references, will generate more revenue, will help increase your profitability and enhance your brand image.

Digital opportunities

Process digitization and the use of powerful computer systems open the door to perfect opportunities for enhancing the client experience. Here are three examples.

1. Increasing knowledge of clients for a more in-depth experience

Let’s be honest here. How well do you truly know your clients? What are they looking for? Which positive emotions contribute the most to their experience? What creates value for your business?

Currently, advanced analytical methods and tools can be used to conduct more critical analyses of the structured and unstructured client data available (satisfaction surveys, record of complaints, feedback or comments on a blog, history of transactions with the business, etc.).

These analyses make it possible to see clients from a different angle and obtain an unparalleled level of understanding of their needs and expectations and the emotions they need to feel to create long-lasting relationships, knowing that the emotional impact is the most important vector of the decision to purchase.

Furthermore, sharing these new client data analyses throughout the company is a great motivator for breaking the internal organizational silos that often hamper a totally integrated, smooth client experience.

2. Personalizing the product and services offering, and complementary services

Traditionally, better knowledge and segmentation of clients resulted in a business adapting its product and services offering, thereby attaining a certain level of personalization. This rings true even more so today with in-depth knowledge of your clients, thanks to the advanced analysis of your client data.

However, more precise personalization was often hindered by the related costs. Today, with the opportunities offered through digitization, several steps of the offering development process can be automated, thereby significantly reducing costs and opening the door for investments to further personalize.

Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton - image
Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton - image

3. Reducing clients’ efforts…and increasing speed of experience delivery

Do you feel it’s easy to do business with your company? What would your clients say?

Smart digitization of the client journey can result in major opportunities for decreasing the work required of clients and increasing the speed of the experience delivery, such as:

  • A true omnichannel client experience offering a choice of channels for the clients’ interactions with the business;
  • Clients who are automatically recognized, regardless of the different channels used;
  • Personalized recommendations based on their purchase or behaviour history, which makes buying decisions easier;
  • The possibility of completing part of their client journey at their own convenience, wherever they want, how they want;
  • The possibility of completing transactions 24/7.

You win too: the same digitization methods and tools can also help you become more agile and efficient when delivering this new age experience.

Avoid creeping featurism in your client experience!

Digitization offers many excellent opportunities to those who know when to seize them, but it also sets traps for businesses that, swept away by market trends, imitate their competitors without thinking about their own business challenges and strategic objectives.

Begin your thought process… with the client! You must first know your clients well and have a clear idea of the client experience you wish to offer.

Then, redesign your clients’ journey by imagining the ideal experience from start to finish, then pull out all the stops, especially, the digitization lever, that will enable you to deliver an unforgettable and positive experience.

This will make it possible to fully benefit from business opportunities resulting from digitization that will not only project an innovative image for your clients, but also, which is even more important, generate perceived value to each of your interactions with your clients, thereby yielding actual benefits for your business.

07 May 2018  |  Written by :

Jocelyn Théoret is your expert in Customer experience (Management Consulting) for the Montréal...

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Gilles Fortin
Lead Senior Director | B.A.A. | Financial advisory

For businesses, the development of Industry 4.0 leads to the financial investments to adapt to these new technologies.

These investments are:

  • The acquisition of equipment,
  • Wages and fees.

In order to determine which financing sources are appropriate for your business, you must first identify your needs and define your financial structure.

Then, prioritize your needs and establish a reasonable timetable to complete the different phases for implementing these technological innovations.

Then, you will be able to finance an analysis of your situation and a 4.0 diagnostic . A considerable portion of this step could also be financed through a subsidy from the Ministère de l’Économie, de la Science et de l’Innovation (MESI).

Optimize your processes

Once you’ve determined your investment needs for additional equipment, you can then carry out a process optimization analysis processes. Up to 40% of the cost of this procedure can be subsidized by the MESI and Investissement Québec and the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ) for specific sectors.

Consequently, the business will also have to plan on making up the 60% difference from its working capital.

As for the financing for the equipment and technologies to be acquired, several sources are available:

  • Investissement Québec (marketing, equipment acquisition),
  • Banks and Caisse Desjardins (term loan on equipment purchased),
  • BCC, Roynat (term loan on equipment purchased).

If the business expects strong growth by upgrading with Industry 4.0, it could consider additional financing, e.g. a loan with repayments based on funds generated, known as:

  • Debentures,
  • Senior debt,
  • Royalty financing,
  • Cash flow loan.

Do you have questions about the best ways to find financing for your innovation project? Our experts can help!

04 May 2018  |  Written by :

Gilles Fortin is your expert in corporate finance for the Québec office. Contact him today!

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Annik Doiron
Senior Manager | LL.B., M. Fisc. | Tax

The owner of new or substantially renovated residential rental property has two years to claim a partial refund of the GST and QST paid. Did you know that failure to comply with certain obligations could result in major penalties?

 

30 Apr 2018  |  Written by :

Annik Doiron is a canadian tax expert at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton. Contact her today!

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Ghyslain Cadieux
Senior Manager | B.B.A., CPA, CMA | Management consulting

Use Industry 4.0 technology to boost operational and financial data cross-referencing to determine production costs more quickly and be more competitive.

Production cost and measuring processes

Production costing could be described as cross-referencing operational and financial information that are often in separate systems together into a common structure.

The purpose of operational data is to measure a business’s various processes (speed, quality, satisfaction, etc.) while financial data indicate the cost of resources needed to operate these processes. The two data help determine the cost of the manufacturing process, distribution, sales, client experience, etc.

Individually, operating and financial data do not provide the same informational value or foster quick and efficient decision-making.

The operational data challenge for production costs

The level of corporate informational maturity varies greatly, and data collection methods range from notes on paper to integrated management systems (ERP), and the ubiquitous Excel spreadsheet. Until recently, we were rarely able to access structured, quality data. Instead, data compilation, validation and transformation exercises were required to obtain accurate data that could be used in costing. Today, organizations are facing two major revolutions:

  1. Easy access to digitization
    There has been an abundant supply of products and services in this field in Quebec for several years now, making it possible to quickly obtain accurate, structured operational data;
  2. The enhancement of existing data
    Many companies have an unsuspected information asset in their hands. They accumulate data in ERPs, machine tools or other systems without exploiting them.

With artificial intelligence et advanced analytical techniques, it is now possible to enhance these data and gain an important competitive advantage.

With the data acquired by digitizing processes or using existing data, the company can determine the production cost more quickly and often more accurately. It is also possible to exploit the benefits of costing and to analyse profitability by product, customer, order, etc., based on available information and the company’s objectives.

A practical example

A summary analysis provided the following information: 47% of the costs incurred are operating costs, 53% are selling and administrative costs. An analysis of the 53% production costs revealed that they consist of the following services:

Findings:
To support its distributors, for several years the company has been hiring more resources to prepare bids and technical drawings with no corresponding rise in sales.

Exploiting data to understanding how costs behave

By analysing six variables over time and adding qualitative data, it was possible to define measurements that characterized each of the distributors:

  • Measurement 1: Success rate (sales $/bid $);
  • Measurement 2: Bid cost per distributor;
  • Measurement 3: Technical drawing cost per distributor;
  • Measurement 4: Sales per distributor.

The above graph indicates that distributors 1 and 2 account for less than 10% of the bids and technical drawing departments’ efforts and 50% of sales. On the other hand, distributor 6 accounts for 50% of the bid department’s efforts and 25% of the technical drawings department’s effort.

Return on investment

On the basis of this analysis, the company drew up a clear portrait of each distributor’s contribution. Using this information and an analysis of the six underlying variables, the company:

  • Discussed potential improvements with distributors;
  • Targeted training efforts;
  • Identified the efficient distributors’ good practices and passed them on to the others;
  • Introduced fees for certain services;
  • Eventually, dropped the distributors that did not show any improvements, despite the measures taken.

Whether data come from an ERP, artificial intelligence or elsewhere, if they are not used, there is no return on investment.

Our consultants are available to help you initiate or continue your 4.0 transformation and support your projects, from the smallest to the most ambitious. Go for it!

Did you know?

The Ministère de l’Économie, de la Science et de l’innovation’s PME en action program offers subsidies to support the implementation of projects to boost productivity, including industry 4.0 initiatives. You could qualify for a non-refundable contribution of up to 40% of eligible project expenses.

30 Apr 2018  |  Written by :

Ghyslain Cadieux is expert in management consulting at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton. Contact him...

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