Technology adoption is advancing in an unprecedented way, making it impossible to keep up with the constant changes. However, every company that sells directly to the end consumer, or shoppers as we like to call them, needs a decent amount of data to make educated business decisions.
This data comes from a minimum viable technology that drives the business in the right direction by providing precise, reliable, and congruent information.
This is usually easier said than done because adopting new technology is always a challenge, especially in two main key points. One, choosing the correct technology for your particular business, and two, managing the change and adoption of the new technology.
Why is this important?
You may agree that staying on top of the latest tech is crucial for any business to thrive, but it’s especially important for FMCG companies, given the highly competitive and rapidly changing market they operate in. So, this time I’d like to dive in and explore the challenges, opportunities, and benefits that come with embracing new technologies in this space.
To realize all the benefits of digital initiatives, you need to have a structured adaptability approach. This adoption will generate change, and change impacts how nearly all personnel tackle their jobs from day to day. This requires proactive organizational change management to ensure business success.
Let’s get to it.
Challenges of technology adoption
It might seem obvious, but it is important to clarify the challenges that new technology adoption will bring not only in the short term but in driving the business objectives for the next 5 years.
This might also provide valuable insight into how deep or wide the new technology should be, and if it should integrate or replace any existing one.
Resistance to change on technology adoption
People generally resist change, and this is true for employees in FMCG companies as well. They might be comfortable with the existing systems and may feel threatened by the introduction of new technology.
Integration with existing systems
Implementing new technology often requires seamless integration with existing systems, which can be a complex and time-consuming process. This may cause disruption in the company’s daily operations.
Training and skill development
Adopting new technology usually means employees need to learn new skills or update their existing ones. Providing adequate training and support for the workforce can be challenging and resource-intensive.
Opportunities of technology adoption
Every new technology adoption is triggered by frustration in inability to obtain proper information. It might also be triggered by inefficient processes that turn into high costs of doing business.
Sometimes doing business as usually dampens the cry for change, but eventually, these triggers will arise even more frequently until a change is unavoidable.
Implementing new technologies can automate repetitive tasks and streamline processes, ultimately leading to increased efficiency and reduced costs for FMCG companies.
Modern technology enables better data collection, analysis, and interpretation, which allows FMCG companies to make more informed and strategic decisions.
Improved customer experience
By adopting new technologies, FMCG companies can enhance their customers’ experience, offering personalized services and products that cater to their needs and preferences.
Related content: Customer experience and how to improve it in 7 easy steps
Benefits of technology adoption
When adopting new technology, you primarily solve the needs that triggered the change. However, the new technology does bring additional benefits that Will transform your business in the long term.
This will also change the mindset of your entire organization positively, which everybody can understand and embrace.
This in turn will make it easier to permeate future changes when updating the newly adopted technology.
Staying ahead of the competition is crucial in the FMCG industry. By adopting the latest technology and incorporating change management practices, companies can maintain a competitive edge and capture a larger market share.
Scalability of technology adoption
Technological adoption often leads to increased scalability, enabling FMCG companies to grow and expand their operations more efficiently and cost-effectively.
Embracing new technology can drive innovation, leading to the development of unique and improved products that cater to the ever-changing consumer demands.
Impact on your organisation
The difficulties associated with adopting new technology in FMCG companies can have far-reaching implications for all departments within the organization. Understanding these challenges and their impact on various departments is crucial for effectively managing the transition and reaping the benefits of technological advancements.
Let’s look into the most common departmental impacts.
Production and Operations
The introduction of new technology in the production and operations departments can lead to temporary disruptions, as employees need time to adapt to new processes and systems. Additionally, there might be a period of decreased efficiency as the company fine-tunes the new technology and addresses any unforeseen issues.
Sales and Marketing
The sales and marketing departments rely heavily on data-driven insights to make strategic decisions. Any delay or difficulty in adopting new technology can hamper their ability to analyze consumer trends and develop effective marketing campaigns, ultimately impacting the company’s bottom line.
The HR department plays a crucial role in managing the workforce during technological transitions. Challenges in adopting new technology can lead to increased employee turnover, as well as difficulties in attracting and retaining top talent.
The finance department is responsible for managing the company’s investments and ensuring a healthy financial outlook. Difficulty in adopting new technology can strain the department’s resources, as they need to allocate funds for unexpected expenses and manage the financial risks associated with the change.
The IT department is often at the forefront of technological adoption, responsible for integrating new systems and ensuring their smooth operation. Challenges in adopting new technology can put immense pressure on the IT department, as they need to troubleshoot issues, provide support, and ensure the security and stability of the new systems.
By addressing these issues proactively and involving all stakeholders in the change process, FMCG companies can navigate the complexities of technological adoption and maintain their competitive edge.
Simple strategy for technology adoption
Successfully adopting new technology is a critical factor for your company in today’s competitive business landscape.
As the leader of an organization, the CEO plays a vital role in ensuring a smooth transition while implementing new technology across the company.
Let me outline a strategy that CEOs can use to effectively manage the technology adoption process.
Assess the current situation and identify needs
Before diving into the adoption process, the CEO must assess the company’s current technological landscape and identify the areas that could benefit from new technology, as outlined before once the need has been triggered.
This involves evaluating existing systems, analyzing competitors, and pinpointing areas where the company can gain a competitive advantage by embracing innovation.
Set clear goals and objectives
Once the needs are identified, the CEO must establish clear goals and objectives for the technology adoption. This includes defining the expected outcomes, such as increased efficiency, cost savings, or improved customer experience, and setting a realistic timeline for achieving these goals.
Select the right technology
With a clear understanding of the company’s needs and objectives, the CEO must choose the appropriate technology that best aligns with these goals. This involves researching the market, consulting industry experts, and considering factors such as scalability, integration with existing systems, and the learning curve for employees.
Develop a comprehensive implementation plan
The CEO must create a detailed plan that outlines the steps required to implement the new technology. This includes identifying the key stakeholders, allocating resources, and setting milestones for each stage of the process. The plan should also address any potential risks and include contingency measures to handle unforeseen challenges.
Communicate the vision and secure buy-in
For successful technology adoption, it’s crucial to have the support of the entire organization. The CEO must effectively communicate the vision, rationale, and expected benefits of the new technology to employees at all levels. This will help to secure buy-in and create a sense of shared ownership and commitment toward the change.
The sense of ownership comes from a clear understanding of how everybody impacts the organisation individually.
Related content: Being shopper-centric starts from the inside out
Provide training and support
The CEO must ensure that employees receive the necessary training and support to develop the skills required to use the new technology effectively. This may involve organizing workshops, providing access to learning resources, or offering one-on-one coaching sessions.
Monitor progress and make adjustments
The CEO should regularly monitor the progress of the technology adoption process and make adjustments as needed. This involves tracking key performance indicators, soliciting feedback from employees, and addressing any issues that arise during the implementation.
Celebrate successes and share learnings
As milestones are reached and successes are achieved, the CEO should celebrate and acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the team. This not only boosts morale but also reinforces the company’s commitment to innovation and continuous improvement. Additionally, sharing learnings from the adoption process can help to inform future technological endeavors.
Final thoughts on technology adoption
Change is not easy. On the contrary, it is very challenging, because of the natural resistance of stakeholders.
The key to a smooth transition is thorough planning, clear communication, and involving everyone in the process. With the right approach and a strong commitment to innovation, you can lead your company to a brighter, tech-savvy future.
Today, companies are more data-driven than ever. With the fast-evolving pace of AI, real-time data is easily obtainable.
This is why the adoption of scalable technology is more crucial than ever.
Companies that embrace this change earlier will be the ones with the competitive advantage in this cutthroat market of Fast-Moving Consumer Goods.
The question remains, where is your company today? Don’t let this evolution pass you by.
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