PPB July 2022

DIGITALTRANSFORMATION Pillar Planning “Digital transformation” sounds like a buzzword, but it’s crucial to the future of your business and the promotional products industry as a whole. Here’s how it starts. by Edwin Gonzalez I like solving business problems, and I much prefer practical solutions as opposed to solutions that may sound exciting but are impractical to implement for one reason or another. That is why I am so enthusiastic about the opportunity to help drive digital transformation in the promotional products industry. I knew PPAI was moving in the right direction while interviewing for the job with our President and CEO Dale Denham. “What buzzwords do you hate and why?” he askedme (despite the irony of the buzzword inmy would-be title, director of digital transformation). Dale’s intention was to ensure that the person leading digital transformation had ideas that could be executed rather than a theoretical vision. He then proceeded to askme to define digital transformation. I don’t recall my specific answer at the time, but since then I’ve put a lot more effort into creating an outline of what digital transformationmeans. Digital transformation, as I define it, has four pillars: • IT uplift • Digitizing operations • Data-driven decision-making • Enhancing existing or creating new products The first pillar is very practical, even with the buzzy term “IT uplift.” Essentially, IT uplift consists of moving to the cloud, upgrading software to the latest version and providing staff with tools to effectively do their jobs, which also results in employee satisfaction. This sounds very simple on the surface but needs to be well thought out to be successful. For smaller businesses, this could mean switching to OneDrive and moving everything to the cloud, which makes accessing information a breeze from any device. For larger MiniStocker / Shutterstock.com .PEJm FE CZ 41"3, 1VCMJDBUJPOT 72 | JULY 2022 | THINK