on demand services and API's

Two key trends in B2B digital transformation that demand your attention – “On Demand” and API’s

“On Demand” services have had a significant impact on our economy and the services we use today. It’s made life easier – from how we travel, what we eat and where we vacation (think Uber, Postmates and Airbnb). Traditional B2C firms are racing to adopt this approach as an enhancement to their customer experience.

The B2B world has picked up on this and now “on demand” services are transforming how companies interact with their customers. Old standards like the classic customer portal are getting a big boost, and thoughtful approaches to combining the digital with the physical can create a real competitive advantage.

“In a recent McKinsey survey of 1,000 B2B decision makers, lack of speed in interactions with their suppliers emerged as the number-one “pain point,” mentioned twice as often as price.” Significantly, about 86% of the respondents said that they prefer self-service tools for reordering rather than dealing with a sales person.

What you can do:

Your digital “On Demand” experience can address this and much more – from building quotes and keeping pricing current to order tracking and reorders, you can redefine your customer journeys and how they connect with you. Providing real time information, expertise and advice (on demand) to them can greatly enhance the relationship and the value provided.

While building the right systems can present a challenge, advances in Application Programming Interfaces (API’s) make this task easier. The ability to connect different systems with API’s has improved significantly and is a major enabler of “On Demand” platforms. While not the most glamorous tech trend, advances here have had a major impact on the use of technology.

Final thoughts:

In implementing your On Demand plans, consider a portfolio approach to your initiatives and adopting an agile, phased release plan to platform functions – this will allow you to react and create faster. The best way to learn (and get results) is by doing! Taking an agile, iterative approach and combining the digital with the physical is the most effective way to implement new ideas that transform your business.

For more on digital transformation, check out this McKinsey article.

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