Digital Transformation Initiative
About the initiative
NEMRA appointed Brian Ragan as its Director of Digital Transformation. The appointment underlines our vision to lead a digital transformation strategy, as well as the initiatives that focus on ensuring members can use digital investments to the fullest capability.
Brian has been talking with members, both representatives and manufacturers, as well as solution providers, to understand the current state. Many of you have raised some key questions that we want to begin addressing through regular, brief updates from NEMRA.
To begin with, a broad definition of digital transformation is “the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how you operate and deliver value to customers.”[i] In fact, a great perspective to maintain is that it’s about becoming easier to do business with you.
Fundamentally, this must begin with solid and integrated data systems whereby across the value chain, each stakeholder is seeing a consistent view of the customer information, whether it’s transactional data or CRM details. A common example of this is that as a representative enters an opportunity into his CRM system and the manufacturer’s CRM system is immediately updated without the representative separately logging into that system. Today, far too often, the method of keeping systems’ data in sync relies on the tedious “swivel-chair” method of integration.
One important observation to note is that no one solution will likely make this a reality for everyone’s business. In fact, a common misconception is that users have to use the same system to make this a reality. The great news is that there are modern solutions and tools that can bring separate systems together with appropriate security and role-based data sharing and synchronization. There are many dimensions of digital transformation, but this is where we can and must begin.
Finally, a major requirement of driving successful digital transformation is transformational leadership on your part, and we are here to support and partner with you for this journey.
[i] Red Hat, Inc. (2021). What is digital transformation?