7 Common Reasons Why Strategies To Digitize Field Operations Fail
When it comes to digital transformation strategies for field operations, understanding why strategies fail is important. Organizations are rapidly turning towards digital solutions for workers out in the field. These solutions are designed to add value and streamline operations. However, if they’re not adopted properly, it will only slow organizations down.
And without digitalization in today’s world comes unsustainability and additional risk. Failing to digitize can really hold organizations back. Moreover, it can have a serious negative effect on your field workers.
7 Main Reasons Why Digitization Strategies Fail
Field workers today should digitize their operations to improve their success and make jobs easier. Even though there are some incredible digital solutions available for field operations, the process of digitizing often falls short.
Here are some of the most common reasons why digitization strategies fail. Understanding these points and knowing what to avoid is important for anyone wanting to introduce new digital solutions.
Digital solutions come from the top down. They are introduced by management and utilized by employees. One of the main reasons why strategies fail for digitizing field operations is a lack of communication from the top down.
Field workers need to understand why the organization is adopting a new digital solution. They also need to be clear on how it works and what the overall digitization strategy looks like.
When management makes the decision to introduce a new change, they need to have a clear line of communication in place. They need to clearly outline the adoption process and pass it down from top to bottom.
If there is a lack of communication anywhere along the line, field workers might struggle to see the value in changing their processes. This will lead to them reverting back to the old operation and avoiding the digital change.
To avoid this, managers should offer real-time communication to field workers throughout their operations. Managers should be there to help implement new digital approaches and provide support. They also need to ensure field workers are able to access relevant help and information whenever necessary. Setting up regular training sessions, workshops, and making information clearly accessible is important.
This level of communication should also be an ongoing process. Even once the digital solution has been adopted, ongoing communication is necessary. It helps to ensure that the new digitization of field operations is sustainable.
Lack of Engagement From the Top Down
Beyond offering clear communications and implementing a clear strategy, management also needs to be actively involved in the digitization process. Field workers aren’t going to embrace a new digital solution if management isn’t setting the example first.
A lack of engagement from the top down is a key reason why strategies fail in terms of digitization.
There needs to be a clear connection between head office and field workers. Without the leaders driving the change forward, workers will probably be hesitant about the new solutions.
So, instead of just telling field workers to digitize their operations, management should get involved and adopt the change where possible too.
It should be a process of unified adoption, where management is able to lead by example. The more engaged the entire organization is with the new solutions, the better their chances of success.
Focusing on Technology Before People
With any kind of digital transformation, it’s easy for the adoption process to shift away from the people who are actually utilizing the new technology. In many cases, organizations place all of their focus on the technology itself. In doing so, they forget about the driving force behind this – the people.
This is a common reason why strategies fail. Successfully digitizing field operations actually relies on the people, not the technology.
So, focus on the field workers and how the technology fits into their operations. Look for ways to make this more accessible and more valuable to them. Accept feedback about challenges, and make the goal of digitization focused on human success.
Trying to Digitize Operations too Quickly
Digitizing field operations takes time. It’s an investment into the future, and it needs to be done carefully and sustainably.
One of the most important things to remember about digitization is that it’s a process of quality, not quantity. This means organizations need to digitize their process in small sections, but in the best possible way.
The best way to do this is to create a step-by-step digitization plan. Identify different areas of operations that require digitization and implement these one at a time. Focus on getting each area of digitization down perfectly before moving on to the next one.
Doing this will achieve two things. First, it will make it a lot easier for field workers to digitize their processes. This is because there is less new information to focus on each time. Secondly, it creates a more sustainable, long-term digitization strategy.
Not Adopting the Right Solutions
When field workers take on new digital solutions, the solutions need to add value directly to the field worker.
Let’s say upper management introduces a new time-tracking system to monitor the field workers’ performance on-site. Sure, this is useful, but only for the manager. Field workers won’t gain any direct value from this, so they may not embrace the new technology as willingly.
Instead, digital solutions that offer more to field workers will result in greater adoption rates. For example, a solution like Field1st will help field workers to save time, cut down on paperwork, and enhance their daily safety. This gives the fieldworker more reason to use the new technology, which accelerates its rate of adoption.
So, always implement relevant solutions that are designed specifically for field workers. If digitization is only focused on a broad solution based on capturing transactional data, then field workers may be hesitant to use it.
Of course, the technology also needs to be practical for field workers to use. Things like a simple interface, mobile compatibility, and offline capabilities (important for field operations) will all help to make the solution more widely adopted.
Not Making the Benefits Clear
One of the biggest reasons why employees struggle to follow through with digitization is because they don’t realize the value and benefits that the new technology offers. Instead of just introducing a new tech solution as the way forward, organizations need to make the benefits of digitization clear.
Field workers need to understand that the new processes will help them save time, effort, improve their safety, and help them work smarter. This goes back to using the right tool for field operations that workers can actually appreciate.
As long as the benefits are clearly presented and understood, digitization should happen more easily.
Not Leaving Room to Scale
One of the most important reasons for field workers to digitize their operations is the ability to scale easily.
Many digital tools hold organizations back, as they work in different formats and are difficult to integrate with existing systems. If you add new technology to the mix, and it uses yet another format for data, then you’re only going to make operations more difficult.
The solution is to use a fully integrated digital tool that works with the systems you already have. This way, you can use a single solution to take care of many processes. This makes scaling operations far more efficient.
Digitalization is essential in today’s world. It plays a major role in helping field operations achieve their goals, remain compliant, and make regular operations more efficient.
By understanding why strategies to digitize field operations fail, organizations know what to avoid for better long-term results.