Australian Fusionex suffers uniquely from a business “disease” called “The Tyranny of Distance”. This “disease” ravages remote and regional businesses, stunts their growth and isolates them from their city cousins. Researchers have now come up with an antidote to the present condition! The antidote, called “Digital Technology”, is predicted to possess an enormous impact on the health of regional and remote businesses
Australia’s leading role in digital engagement
It may come as a surprise to you, but Australia may be a world leader in “digital” engagement! Yes, that’s right, we are the planet leaders.
Nearly 50 years Fusionex the web was even thought of, Australia was already leading the way in remote communication. In 1950, Adelaide Miethke, an influential Adelaide schoolteacher, proposed a faculty of the Air to be found out through the radio network. This was a world-first in “digital” engagement and was driven primarily by the necessity to affect the tyranny of distance, a condition unique to Australia. With this ground-breaking background, it should be a natural progression for Australian business, to interact with the new technologies emerging within the digital space, that enable collaboration and communication in real time, over vast distances. One would presume that, given our history, Australia would be leading the sector in digital uptake, but reality doesn’t always meet expectation, and during this case Australia lags sadly behind world technology leaders.
Dealing with misconceptions
If you follow the govt advertising on TV, you’ll be forgiven for believing that the NBN goes to be the panacea to our digital woes which its introduction will magically bring us into line with other developed countries. What should be understood here, is that the NBN, while it’ll increase speeds and make engagement more accessible, won’t in itself, solve the problem! The world’s fastest broadband may be a white elephant if the buyer doesn’t engage it.
It’s okay to await the NBN rollout before aged line
The problem with this idea is that if you await the NBN rollout, you begin from an edge of weakness, not strength.
Those who engage NOW, are going to be able to cash in of the NBN when it rolls out, while those that wait, are going to be playing catch-up.
Digital technology is simply another add-on that takes up my time and money; I’m too busy “doing business” to even believe internet sites and social media
If you employ digital technology as an add-on, you’re probably right – it’ll take you time and money. However, digital engagement shouldn’t be seen as an add-on to your business, it should be viewed as an integral a part of your total business package
When you write a business plan, don’t write a separate “digital engagement” plan, write your digital engagement into your total business plan
Engaging digitally is about internet sites and social media
True, it’s about internet sites and social media, but it isn’t almost that. Digital engagement is far broader than that. It’s about collaboration, it’s about communicating and connecting, it’s about sharing and learning, it’s about systems and processes that prevent time and money and it’s about easing the tyranny of distance.
Effective digital engagement would require you to re-think your business model. Executing a digital process management system will end in tears if you do not have your traditional process management in situ and dealing effectively first. Digitizing an inefficient business process won’t fix the matter it’ll merely offer you a business process that becomes inefficient more quickly!
If you catch on right from the beginning , the top results of digitization is that the creation of lifestyle
Where the Rubber Hits the Road
All this sounds great in theory, but what about the practicalities of creating it add a regional or remote business?
I worked because the CEO of a foreign Indigenous community within the heart of the Pilbara. once I first arrived on the community, everything was done on paper – if you wanted to send money to subsequent community (380kms away), you came into my office, handed over the cash which was placed within the safe. a sale order was then written out and faxed to the community; they then took the cash from their safe and handed it to the person. They then made out an invoice to me and faxed it through to me. When it arrived, I had the board log off thereon (if I could find them!) then faxed the signed invoice through to the accountant in Adelaide!
By the time I finished on the community, every one had internet banking found out . All our invoicing and buy orders were done electronically and that we never transferred another cent off the community or faxed a sale order or invoice. additionally , a number of the younger members connected with friends on Skype where they were ready to chat to every other, play games and entertain themselves.
While i used to be there, we built a replacement store. With just one mail plane every week , getting an architect out there, accommodating him/her for every week and paying a wage for 8 days, would have cost us a fortune. However, using an on line collaboration program, i used to be ready to connect with the architect remotely, and that we designed the whole store on line, 380km apart!
I have a client during a regional area. He approached me about digitizing his business but hadn’t though about what that entailed. In an examination of his processes, I discovered that his teams performed badly, his management structure was ineffective and his process management was almost non-existent.
Six months later, we are now at the purpose where all those issues are resolved and that we are able to implement the digital process. When finished, the whole management of the interface with customers are going to be handled on line. Customers will book their job on line, the administrator will assign and allocate teams to the project on line, (regardless of where they’re – the work could also be in Rockhampton, but it doesn’t matter) the system will automatically follow-up the purchasers , record details of the work completion, generate invoices and pay details and produce a series of reports.
The real great thing about this technique (which is ready-made to the actual needs of that company) is that the Director not must be running around after paperwork, checking on things and monitoring progress; because the system runs itself, he can go and sit on the beach in Hawaii and run the business from there, if he really wants!