Flexibility is critical for most modern businesses. As the world keeps moving at a rapid pace and consumers are increasingly more influential on every aspect a company does, no longer just focused on the end product, but also on how things are made and if it fits within their belief system.
If a company wins the favour of the consumer, there are golden mountains to be had, and if a company irks the general public, it can be villainized as quickly as it can be praised. In a way, the consumer has gained influence on what a company does and how it does it.
This is why we see such a shift in the taxi, food and financial industry. In the taxi industry ride-hailing (and sharing) services are changing the field altogether. What people now expect from their taxi services has completely changed, from the way you call a taxi, to the way you ensure a good quality ride to the way you pay.
The same can be seen in the food industry where people are less willing to go to a restaurant and eat but will want to pay for high-quality take-out meals. Also, in terms of food delivery things have changed where consumers now expect to be able to track their delivery real-time.
Even more, significant ripples can be seen in the financial industry where app-based start-ups are entirely changing the way we conduct are payments and savings, completely changing the perception of what a bank should be.
In most cases, you will see that traditional companies will try to follow these disruptors and emulating the very essence what makes them (seemingly) successful. Traditional taxi companies are creating their ride-hailing apps, restaurants are either joining the larger food delivery services or are creating their versions of.
Even the large financial institutions, not necessarily companies you would consider having to change their ways any time soon, are launching their start-ups that explore the same innovative solutions as their fintech challengers.
Moreover, although the effort of traditional companies to emulate their start-ups’ rivals are valiant and to be admired and the traditional companies have deep pockets to fund these ventures themselves, they do have one big obstacle: themselves.
A taxi service usually has sunk cost in their fleet, a restaurant is not a logistics company, and traditional banks have the weight (and cost) of their branches and large (physical) footprint. As much as you might want to change the very essence of a company, there are some things you can’t change. You only need to look at every single department that doesn’t directly create the end product to see where the problem is.
That doesn’t mean there is no way for incumbents to stay competitive and survive industry disruption. It does mean companies need to shed functions that are not part of their core product and embrace outsourcing, such as managed staffing solutions like www.netwize.com. They need to listen more closely to their customer’s issues and wants.
Moreover, most importantly, they need to be willing to risk it all as a start-up would.