"Digitalisation begins with print.”
Mr Jozefiak, what requirements does digitalisation pose for a company?
PJ: Digitalisation requires four essential disciplines which enable companies to handle the transition successfully. Two of these disciplines are currently in the limelight: the data basis (systems) and the communication channels. Systems are to be transferred to clouds; communication channels such as e-commerce and market places are being made available to customers. Furthermore, the organisation itself and the processes based on it are important for the process of digitalisation. What do I mean by this?
Digitalisation requires, more than ever, the restructuring and in some cases even reinvention of tried and tested processes. This frequently affects the organisational structure, which has to be adapted to the new processes. A good example of this is over-the-counter retail: the processes, from purchasing the product to advertising it at the various touchpoints, have to be consistently standardised so as not to miss the time to market. To do this, it is crucial that a category manager is responsible for his or her product range from beginning to end. However, sellers have begun to form silos (such as e-commerce departments, print departments etc.) which interrupt the process and slow the organisation down. This means that companies have to adjust the processes required by digitalisation and re-direct their organisation. A category manager should be responsible for his or her product range, whatever the channel.
What must companies make sure to do?
PJ: They must make sure that the four disciplines I mentioned are compatible with and build on each other in order to achieve the desired goal: to make their customers happy at the touchpoints and to inspire their individual target groups with enthusiasm for their (new) products. At the same time, it is equally important for the company not to lose sight of its own vision.
You say that digitalisation starts with the printed word. Why is this?
PJ: Because "print" is often an analogue and conventional channel in the multichannel mix offered by a company, which nevertheless still has great influence on customers’ shopping behaviour. However, print is a cost-intensive channel. To remain a fixed component in a company’s marketing mix, the printing production process has to be standardised, which means digitalised. Comosoft has accompanied this process for over 20 years for all kinds of retail companies. For example, digital briefing of pamphlets and catalogues and the subsequent digital correction process can achieve cost savings of 30–50 percent in the very first year. The process is digitalised, and individual divisions such as category management (purchasing) or marketing can concentrate on their core tasks, in order to offer the customer consistently new experiences in the purchasing process.