Disruption has always played a major role in business.
The automobile all but ended the horse and carriage industry. Air travel accelerated the demise of ocean liners. Personal computers and desktop publishing turned the printing industry upside down.
These days, disruption doesn’t require a major leap in technology like the invention of the airplane. Think of the likes of Uber, Postmates, and Airbnb—companies that achieved $1B valuations seemingly overnight, not by creating entirely new products and services, but rather, by simply putting a twist on long-established ones.
So, with disruption being a question of when and not if, how can you prepare your own company to weather the inevitable storm? The answer is to disrupt your industry before your competition can.
In other words, break yourself to make yourself stronger.
The next major disruption
In today’s business climate, there’s constant pressure for companies to both increase efficiency and reduce their environmental impact. And the top companies are leaning into that pressure.
Take a little company you might’ve heard of called Apple.
When it announced the latest version of its iPhone, it also announced a charger would no longer be included in the packaging. The company has rightly assumed that most people who buy their products already have at least one (if not two, or three, or four) chargers on hand, which means Apple can substantially cut down on potential waste by simply not giving customers yet another adapter.
This self-inflicted disruption to its longstanding business practice is not just good from an environmental and P.R. standpoint, it’s going to save Apple a substantial amount of money in the long run.
Self-disruption doesn’t just mean removing products, however. Sometimes the best way for a company to create efficiencies and help the planet means adding technology.
For example, one of Redapt’s recent projects has been helping a packaging company improve its efficiency. To do so, we’ve worked with the company to better use its data to optimize its operations, reduce downtime, and greatly cut down on the amount of waste it produces.
By infusing data throughout its production line, the company is revolutionizing a mature industry. It’s also creating very real cost savings that can be better put to use building out and modernizing its operations—creating a competitive edge in the process.
Things to keep in mind
Self-disruption doesn’t mean completely changing how your company operates. It simply means being open and proactive to exploring change. You want to:
- Recognize that disruption and new competition are inevitable
- Consider how you would challenge your own business if you were a startup
- Understand that by investing in a goal, like reducing your environmental impact, will also increase your efficiency
- Whenever possible, utilize the data you have access to in order to make informed decisions on where your company will benefit from changes
Most of all, you want to always be looking for ways to keep your organization from being entrenched in its way. Competition is always around the corner, after all, and if you let it sneak up on you, chances are your business is going to suffer.
For help finding ways to disrupt your own business in order to create efficiencies and increase your innovation, get in touch with one of our experts.
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