The Speed of Now

The Speed of Now

Just as we look back and review our accomplishments this past year, we must also look forward to and plan for 2014 and beyond. So many things to consider; but we need to always be conscious of delivering the best products and services for our customers, (when and where they want them) thereby maintaining their loyalty, and continually be growing and prospering our businesses.

In December 2011, John M. Bernard published a book, entitled Business at the Speed of Now: Fire up Your People, Thrill Your Customers, and Crush Your Competitors. The book states that the ability to understand emergent issues and act upon them with appropriate speed will mark the difference between the winners and the losers. This is what is happening in many industries today; and not least of all in the printing industry which is very much in a role reversal (from print service provider, the end of the production supply chain to a marketing services provider, a partner with traditional marketers).

Bernard’s book contains some of the best management insight with specific examples of how “now businesses” need to respond. “Businesses need to learn how to function in the biggest economic shift ever. The mass-production revolution (that was then) made it possible for businesses to deliver the same product to millions of customers. The mass-customization revolution (this is now) demands that we vary our products and services to meet the unique needs of our customers who want what they want NOW.” Businesses must act quickly, or they run the risk of losing out to more flexible competitors. They need to conduct business at the speed of now.

Why? Because according to Bernard, “the coming of age of the NOW generation, the millennial, unlike previous generations, never wait for much of anything. Their mindset, which combines skill in social media and the latest communications devices with the appetite for instant gratification, will profoundly impact the workplace and the marketplace.” If the millennial generation can’t get what they want when they want it, they will go somewhere else. They will also probably tell their friends that you couldn’t deliver what they needed in a timely fashion.

The book talks about three game-changing drivers that make it possible for any organization to grow: social media, cloud computing, and a “millennial mind set.” These three forces will not only change the printing industry as we know it forever, but the way marketers choose their service partners.

In addressing these three drivers, service providers have already indicated:
• They now use social media to build brand and connect with customers, building communities of loyal followers
• Cloud computing has dramatically driven down the cost of computing and accelerated the “time to implementation” and the delivery of value-added services
• Most importantly, the transforming force of a millennial mindset has driven them to re-tool their business for the NOW generation, the millennial … re-evaluating their customer delivery model to include all facets of accessibility, customization, ease-of-use, and “need for speed.”

Now is the time to ask yourself if your service provider has met these three challenges and can provide your company with the speed of NOW.

Source: InfoTrends, 2012

A&H Digital on Demand, A Division of A&H Lithoprint, Inc. Moving at the Speed of Opportunity

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