By Mohammed Vachiat, Head of Sales, and Innovation: Konica Minolta South Africa
The frenetic pace with which 2023 has started for the vast majority of companies shows that there is a real desire and urgency amongst business owners to continue building on the momentum that was achieved during 2022. For the vast majority of businesses in South Africa, one of the pillars on which this rebuilding is taking place is digitisation, and many recognise the importance and value of collaborating with digital partners that share their vision for the future, as well as their commitment to making that vision a reality.
While the majority of organisations are investing massively into trying to predict what the future holds, for us, the key to sustainable success is to focus on the basics of business. That’s not to say that having your finger on the pulse of future trends is not important. It most definitely is, and we are very much future-focused. However, in our experience as a business, trends are becoming increasingly fleeting and short lived, so a more effective approach is focusing on what you know to be true – which is that getting the basics right in business is the key to success, irrespective of what the future holds.
So, as 2023 steams ahead, it’s a worthwhile exercise to spend a little time considering what these basics are that most businesses, including ourselves, need to be getting right this year:
- Enhancing your productivity
The essence of productivity is working smarter rather than harder. The challenging economic environment, coupled with steadily increasing competition on multiple fronts, will make it more important than ever to maximise productivity smartly. And that means not only identifying new markets and opportunities, but also leveraging innovation – particularly in the digital sphere – to optimise growth. Striving for higher levels of productivity is a trend that will never go out of fashion, which is why for example, every Konica Minolta South Africa device is a digital enabler to enhance our customers productivity.
2. Improving operational efficiencies
These are closely connected – efficiency is the foundation of productivity. Optimising and streamlining workflows needs to be a top priority. As a business, there is no benefit to be had from spending any time on tasks that don’t directly feed into your desired outputs. For our business, this entails collaborating with our clients to minimize distractions that are not essential to achieving their business goals. For example, most of our customers have the right people they need to get the jobs done, but few of those employees have access to workstations to get day-to-day admin tasks done. This creates a situation where these employees need to ‘borrow’ time from their colleagues who have workstations, resulting in loss of productivity. Our Digital kiosks (business hub solutions) are centralised workstations available to our clients for their employees – our devices come already equipped with this function enabled. These digital kiosks enablers allow employees to login and perform an array of administrative tasks, via the cloud, without needing to access a full workstation or a colleague’s PC.
This example demonstrates our understanding of the importance of operational efficiency, and we strive to deliver this for all our clients, whether in the form of better management of documents to improved workflows, more efficient processes, and more inclusive employee access to technology.
- Thinking and acting sustainably
As the world becomes increasingly aware of the imperative to protect and save our planet, environmental sustainability must rise to a position of prominence in any business strategy. While contributing to environmental projects via CSI initiatives is important, one of the most valuable contributions any company can make to the future world is sustainability and caring for the environment. The rise of advanced digital technology has made this a possibility for any business, of any size to evolve and be a sustainable business partner with its clients by providing equipment with the lowest possible energy requirements and an array of features to help them to reduce energy costs and achieve lower environmental impact.
Agility is essentially the ability of a business to react quickly and effectively when change happens. In a post-Covid-19 world, businesses need to be more agile than they ever have been. There is simply no way any company can stay in business by continuing to do the same things, or do things the same, as it has until now. As a result, our goal is to maximise the productivity of the resources we deliver to our clients, by constantly growing the range of jobs we enable them to do and increasing the speed at which they get them done.
For the majority of businesses, achieving excellence in these, and other, business basics should be the number one trend they strive to follow. And the value of a reliable business partner with the necessary insights, and the proven ability to leverage them, should never be underestimated. With the Covid-19 pandemic, we have proven ourselves to be such a partner; and we stand ready to continue helping our clients to achieve what we call ‘the art of the possible’ as they continue their growth journeys.