The Role of a Trusted Advisor in Addressing Industry-Specific Challenges During Digital Transformation

For an OEM with partners in multiple verticals, it can be a daunting task to address each new, unique challenge that can arise during digital transformation. From bridging the digital divide and addressing generational complexities to overcoming language barriers, a partner can face a multitude of obstacles. These challenges often occur while working in mission-critical environments where downtime is not an option.

Due to the complex nature of working across multiple environments and how quickly challenges can escalate, it is important to prepare. A partner must ask the following questions prior to undertaking significant digital transformation:

1. Am I aligned with an OEM with industry-specific knowledge of the unique challenges arising as a result of digital transformation?

2. Does the OEM have personnel on staff with on-the-job experience working in the vertical market to quickly and efficiently address each of them?

3. How can I get ahead of these issues by working alongside a trusted advisor to avoid any unnecessary, mission-critical downtime for my customers? 

The answer to the above questions comes down to one thing — experience. The right OEM will offer more than solutions to challenges as they arise. They will act as a trusted advisor, offering firsthand experience across multiple industries. This will allow for more informed decisions, which will lead to circumventing challenges before they become mission-critical.

Addressing the digital divide and generational complexities  

The healthcare industry is a prime example of a vertical industry where the importance of a trusted advisor with firsthand knowledge and expertise is critical. Global staffing challenges and day-to-day operations management put continued pressure on healthcare staff—from front-line medical staff to the administrators that supported them. Any strategic decision that helps relieve some of this pressure makes a real impact.

Upgrading technology can reduce the workload of both administrative staff and frontline healthcare workers, freeing up more time for actual patient care. Not only does technology free up time, but it also increases operational security and resiliency while offering scalability and predictive services at the edge of hospital operations. 

The result is long-term efficiency gains including proactive management of supplies, automated service reporting, greater control of costs, and improved sustainability, which allows clinicians to administer the care their patients deserve.

Another example of reducing workload stress in healthcare is enabling the capture of clinical information, right at the point of care.  By leveraging MFP technology, providers can develop customized solutions to integrate seamlessly with existing systems and vendors to meet a hospital’s requirements. From improving care, getting the most out of existing systems or shortening revenue cycles, point of care scanning can add value to every step of patient record processing.

Your OEM needs to understand the barriers to workflow and how to address them with solutions that fit the needs of the business — whether they are a healthcare provider or a retailer — and offer solutions that can flex and grow with the business needs. 

Bridging language barriers

One of the ways this access and understanding gap can manifest is through language barriers — a growing, universal challenge regardless of industry. 

More and more, businesses need to be able to communicate with customers who speak different languages. Unfortunately, breaking this barrier costs both time and money. Additionally, businesses, schools and government agencies tend to be at a disadvantage when using traditional translation services. This creates disenfranchisement and potentially tarnishes the brand of the business or organization. 

An OEM partner should be able to help break down this barrier by offering translation services. These services should offer real-time document translation, convenience and availability of use, and rapid access to translate documents whether that is via print or email. 

We also find a need for translation services in the education setting. Large school districts can have parent communications in varying languages. Schools must provide these communications in the parent’s native tongue to ensure that students receive the most comprehensive level of instruction possible. By providing translation services, schools provide the same level of communication to everyone. This is key to overcoming any of these language challenges. Employees need to be empowered to do their jobs, and students to learn with technology and solutions that work effectively for them regardless of native tongue.

An additional language barrier to consider is the need to consult with an advisor that is knowledgeable about industry jargon. While less obvious than cultural and regional dialects, being fluent in the terminology and lingo of the industry being targeted is of crucial importance when positioning messaging.

OEMs with firsthand experience can speak the language of the customers and stakeholders fluently. This uplevels confidence and clarity in partnerships and offers a considerable advantage over competitors.

Identifying the right partner for your industry challenges

Generating the knowledge needed to approach customers in a targeted, industry-specific way can drain budget and resources. And yet, that’s exactly what businesses expect.

The right OEM partner will help relieve some of this burden by combining expertise with education. They will provide the resources to engage with seasoned industry consultants so that businesses themselves do not have to hire personnel or invest in new training. This expertise will not only allow for a competitive advantage but positively impact the bottom line as businesses will not have to absorb these costs themselves. 

When looking for the right OEM partner, it is essential to keep in mind: 

• A partner should offer firsthand experience relevant to your industry – this will allow you to efficiently identify and effectively solve the many challenges that can arise each day. 

• A partner should be comfortable in mission-critical situations – when the stakes are high and downtime is not an option, you need a partner that knows how to navigate your industry. 

• A partner should empower you – sharing insights and knowledge via their first-hand experience will uplevel your team’s skills. 

The reality of today’s hyperconnected, technology-based world is that people want answers to challenges quicker and in a more personalized fashion than ever before. Addressing these challenges at this rate and at this level of detail can be time-consuming and costly and hiring experts for each challenge is unrealistic. That is why it is vital to ensure any potential OEM partner speaks your customer’s language, has the industry-specific experience and acts as a trusted advisor at every stage of your digital transformation. 

Clark Bugg is sales director for the North American copier channel, Lexmark.