Agility. Innovation. Flexibility. These are the innate qualities that have resulted in startups becoming the new darlings of the B2B industry. So much so that it is currently estimated that the majority of start-ups (61%) now offer some type of B2B solution – demonstrating just how much they’ve changed the landscape of enterprise procurement processes. Despite having deeper pockets and more resources, larger companies are often unable to keep up with the lightning speed at which startups can adapt to market changes – leaving them at a competitive disadvantage.
But there is hope! From leveraging existing resources to investing in timely research and development, here are five ways large B2B companies can remain agile and stay on top of their game.
1. Utilize the Latest Technology
Nobody likes doing tedious tasks, least of all employees of large businesses. Yet manual processes can often bog companies down and take away from the time that could be used to focus on more important matters.
Fortunately, automation tools have significantly evolved in recent years to the point that organizations can now quickly set up automated processes with minimal labor force input – resulting in substantial time and cost savings.
Moreover, automation also means that businesses don’t have to depend on individual expertise or tenure when it comes to executing processes – software can easily be programmed according to specific criteria, ensuring that operations are carried out accurately and quickly each time.
Businesses also have the potential to take their operations to the next level by leveraging powerful data apps. These tools provide invaluable insights into customer behavior, employee performance, and trends in the market – all of which enable organizations to make more informed decisions that are tailored to their individual needs. Companies can even use AI-driven tools that go one step further and carry out tasks automatically without any human involvement whatsoever. This reduces workloads and allows teams to focus on value-added activities rather than mundane chores.
2. Invest in Research and Development
To keep up with the changing customer expectations and continuously adapting new technologies, enterprises must be proactive in their approach toward innovation and technology implementation – otherwise, they risk being left behind.
As such, research and development initiatives can be used to anticipate potential threats and opportunities across industry verticals, thus allowing you to keep your pulse on emerging trends and anticipate future developments in your space. If you don’t want to succumb to disruption by letting startups steal the march on your business with the latest tech trends, then you need to invest time and resources in R&D.
3. Leverage Your Existing Resources
Smaller organizations often have an advantage when it comes to agility because they don’t have as much bureaucracy as larger companies do. However, larger businesses that are facing stiff competition from startups do still possess some advantages that can work in their favor – such as access to funding, established customer relationships, superior infrastructure, or the ability to access longer-duration contracts with suppliers that offer more stability in pricing.
With this in mind, don’t try to reinvent the wheel; instead, leverage your existing resources and use them as a competitive edge over your up-and-coming challengers.
4. Increase Collaboration Across Teams
Startups have been historically successful because of their agility and ability to rapidly collaborate. Unlike many traditional corporate structures, startups are often built on a culture of openness, flexibility, and creativity. With this capability, they can spot opportunities faster, address issues with superior efficacy, and swiftly conform to the ever- shifting market.
However, many larger companies lack this culture due to either outdated management systems or the fact that there is simply too much bureaucracy between departments that prevents collaboration across teams from happening efficiently (if at all).
To remain nimble, B2B corporations should make sure they are breaking down these barriers by increasing initiatives around collaboration among different teams within an organization so solutions can be rapidly created without fear of turf wars getting in the way. Cloud-based collaboration tools and open-source applications enable teams to interact in ways that were previously impossible. This can revolutionize the way organizations operate since it means that departments can communicate and make decisions much faster and more accurately.
5. Outsource Non-Core Tasks
Finally, outsourcing non-core tasks can help speed up processes and allow your organization to focus on higher-value activities. Many B2B organizations have already been utilizing outsourced services for some time now — but with the rise of startups and their disruptive business models, this process has become increasingly important in order to remain competitive.
In addition, outsourcing non-core tasks allows companies to benefit from greater scalability as well as cost savings since these operations are often carried out by external specialist teams. This can also help drive down the cost of production and speed up time to market as solutions are developed quicker than if they were done in-house.
As the startup scene continues to thrive, established B2B organizations face mounting pressure to adapt and stay nimble in the face of competition. Despite the challenge, enterprises possess the tools to not only survive but thrive. To do so, they must actively explore and innovate with new products and services, effectively leverage their existing resources, promote teamwork and cooperation across teams, and delegate non-essential tasks to external partners.