Retail Excellence Round Table 2018: how are companies digitalising?
At the “Retail Excellence Round Table” event hosted by rpc – the Retail Performance Company on October 18 and 19, 2018, at the “Fünf Höfe” shopping center in Munich, decision makers from leading companies and rpc discussed the question of how to undertake the difficult task of a digital transformation.
This year’s Retail Excellence Round Table addressed the major topic of “Mastering the customer-centric transformation – how to delight customers, to leverage smart data and to inspire employees” – in short: the digital transformation. This is a topic that companies of all sizes and in all industries have been grappling with for a long time, and there are still a lot of unresolved questions. “Companies need new scripts if they want to be successful in the digital transformation,” explained Jan Schemuth, Managing Director of rpc. Open-mindedness in the face of change and adaptability throughout the entire company are needed now. “If companies leave the status quo as it is, they will not survive in the digital transformation.”
The key to the digital future is to always think from the customer’s perspective: How should a company be structured, how should employees be empowered and how should technologies and data be used in order to understand and satisfy the customers’ needs? In today’s age of digitalisation, the brands that win are the ones that inspire and establish a real relationship with their customers despite the fast pace of change. The more personalised, convenient, and creative, the better.
Developing a digital culture
The digital transformation was examined from different perspectives in three keynote speeches by selected companies. In her talk, Anna Freiin von Godin, Head of Digital Transformation eService at Telekom Deutschland, emphasised that “digitalisation is a process, not a result. Establishing a digital mindset within the entire organisation is the starting point from which the digital transformation can be implemented in the company on a long-term basis.” This requires the structure of the organisation as well as its behaviours and working methods to be scrutinised and adapted. Digitalisation calls for speed and flexibility; introducing agile methods and processes helps companies to keep up with the pace of change.
Picking up the pace with partnerships
Jens Monsees, Head of Strategy Digitalisation BMW Group, also confirmed this: “The most important differentiating factor in the context of digitalisation is the speed with which companies can react to the new framework conditions.” The digital transformation forces organizations to change their way of thinking and to come up with answers on how the customers’ ever-changing needs can best be satisfied. Exchanging ideas with digital, data-driven companies such as Google or Amazon not only provides fresh impetus: “Entering into partnerships with specialised digital companies allows companies to actively network instead of starting from scratch and being steamrolled,” Monsees explained.
Digital technologies providing room for creativity
We associate digitalisation with new, high-performance technologies. They drive the digital change and can be the game changer on the path to digital transformation. Innovative technologies are characterised mainly by their sheer infinite possible applications. They leave companies room for creativity and allow them to further develop the digitalisation. Tobias Gröber, Director Consumer Goods at Messe München, confirmed this: “Digitalisation means permanent change. And every change comes with new opportunities.”
About the event
At the annual Retail Excellence Round Table, selected experts and top managers at decision-making level discuss current and innovative topics at the interface with the customer in a networking and workshop format. Companies from different industries come together to discuss challenges and concepts for the future with the aim of providing new impetus for the strategy. The event provides a non-competitive platform for exchanging ideas on tried-and-tested and future-oriented approaches and establishing an exclusive network.