Digital transformation born out of COVID-19

Fri, 21 Aug 2020  

From small business to large enterprise and government agencies, so many businesses have felt the impact of the global pandemic. The crisis has forced businesses to make changes to their service offering that they were not prepared for.

In March 2020, Capability Wise was engaged by a state-wide wholesale food distributor to support the business rapidly pivot to meet the needs of the market as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.

The distributor is well established, using traditional business to business sales methods and channels. Our client had been wanting to introduce a compatible digital solution into their service offering for some time, however had been experiencing a number of barriers to entry.

When we first met with our client, they had minimal awareness of the solutions that were available to them. Their awareness was limited to information received from vendors who were promoting off the shelf products that had been developed for the food service industry but weren’t meeting the specific needs of our client. These solutions were costly, technically complex and required a time investment that our client just didn’t have. After a brief discussion, we were able to demonstrate solutions that would be fit for purpose, able to be tailored to the customer’s needs and also evolve as the business and its customers become more comfortable with the technology.

Time was of the essence when Capability Wise was engaged, as trading restrictions had been announced and it was thought that they could become harsher, impacting our client’s ability to continue to operate. Many of their customers had already been impacted by the restrictions, so an alternative service offering was required.

The transition to a digital service offering had a few initial challenges to work through:

  • Investment in digital solutions had historically been limited,
  • The client had outdated online presence and limited social media presence,
  • The client did not have dedicated IT support, so the solution needed to be tailored for non-technical users,
  • As part of the pivot, the client wanted to expand their services to the new consumer market segments and offer home delivery.

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Fortunately, the client had the home delivery solution sorted, being able to redirect existing delivery capacity to support home delivery.

Capability Wise a undertook review of the current product offering and worked with the client to create a refined product offering suitable for the target market segments. Corporate and industry knowledge was key in this activity and the client was instrumental in building the product offerings to address the new market segment.

Capability Wise established an eCommerce solution over the course of 48 hours. Normally, this kind of delivery would involve weeks of current process review, analysis, planning, training and implementation. As our client was under immense pressure to have a solution available to the public in a short timeframe, the team at Capability Wise worked around the clock to ensure that the client had a market ready product by the deadline. The delivery of an engaging eCommerce solution would not have been possible without client participation in the development and testing of the solution, skills and expertise contributed by Capability Wise paired with familiarity of the industry.

In parallel to the build of the new online service, Capability Wise also launched a new social media presence that was utilised over the course of the initial 48 hours to commence a marketing campaign promoting the new service offering. The audience was built organically through existing customer networks and leveraged off the fact that home delivery being offered by our client was filling a market gap left by the suspension of large supermarket home delivery services.

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The online service continues to evolve, our client experiencing benefits that were largely unexpected. Their suppliers are approaching them to partner in cross promotional activities, unveiling a new revenue stream that wasn’t attainable before, a by-product of these promotional activities has seen the relationship with their suppliers growing stronger and opening more opportunities for business growth in previously unexplored ways.

The impact of COVID-19 has been devastating to millions of people, however, those who have embraced digital transformation and pivoted in some manner have been able to stay in business and in some cases, realise opportunities that may not have happened without the crisis.


Tags: Business Transformation Digital Transformation COVID-19 Response e-commerce