Continuing the Legacy: The Rise of Next-Gen Leaders in Family-Run Businesses

We're finding more and more family-owned industrial businesses are having difficulty implementing the required technology to succeed in today's competitive business environment.

From invoices still sent via fax, snail-mail, and other hard-copy means, to the lack of tracking methods that monitor the flow of the transport of goods, most family-run companies are lagging behind technologically in a big way.

Many of these business owners are finding it difficult to use basic social media features and as a result, they need a software provider familiar with their fundamental requirements. Someone that can provide an easy-to-use solution. However, practically every software vendor out there focuses solely on banks, startups, merchants, and similar firms. In effect, family-owned industrial businesses are completely ignored.

Good thing we're not just "every software vendor" as we know, understand, and love working with companies just like yours!

A Decades-Old Problem Requiring a Modern Solution

So your boss, who also happens to be one of your parents, puts you in charge of getting a tech project done. Having grown up during the era of "Just Google It", social media empires rising and falling, and just generally spending the majority of your time online, you find you're a perfect fit for the task. However, the deeper you dive into this the more questions begin to surface:

  • How are my parents going to handle/use any of this?
  • What if my parents and upper management never get the hang of the new technology?
  • What if my parents don't understand the value versus the cost?
  • How can I convince them it’s the best move?

Don't worry; you're not alone.

Consider the case of Hank and Mackenzie, a father-daughter duo running a logging and timber company. One day, Hank complains that the truckers transporting timber to the sawmills have been taking long breaks during their drives and often stay on the clock the entire time to boot. Some truckers even work with the vendors to falsify receipts so they can slip some of the timber through to friends at a discounted price.

Mackenzie realizes that the truckers carry smartphones with GPS on them which would make tracking deliveries and unauthorized breaks manageable and they would be able hold the truckers accountable. She passes this idea to along to Hank who welcomes the idea.

While Mackenzie has a rough idea how this could work by adding a company app to the trucker’s smartphones to track them using geofencing there’s still the issue of forged receipts. Luckily Mackenzie remembers that she using a receipt digitizer for personal use and suggests this is a good way to manage delivery acceptance.

Seemingly having a moment of enlightenment, Hank asked, "How much does something like that cost?" Family-run industrial enterprises happen to be a valuable "blue ocean" market as virtually no one in the software industry markets to them. Unfortunately, Mackenzie is quickly realizing this. She begins searching for "app development costs" and "mobile app developers near me" to find someone who could lead her in the right direction. Luckily she finds Doc4 makes the smartest decision she has ever made.

Technological Adaptation

In the business world, the adoption of technology refers to the acceptance and integration of new technologies into current systems or the development of new ones. It's all about maximizing technology's capabilities in adapting to changing customer and/or business needs.

Adopting new technology is critical for firms that want to provide products faster, spend less money, and provide a better customer experience.

Family-owned industrial businesses face a similar situation as the Baby Boomers pass the reins on to Millennials. Baby Boomers are reaching that retirement age at roughly 10,000 a day. Although not all of them are employed and not all are retiring, the overwhelming majority are – or will be.

As the next generation of business executives, Millennials have lofty company plans with expectations of success far greater than the status quo. While Baby Boomers who are not familiar or comfortable with technology might be resistant to these concepts, Millennials recognize that they will be left behind if they do not begin to embrace the technology.

Most of these Baby Boomer employees, including business owners, understand that they must evolve at some point. However, just navigating social media is already too difficult for many of them. How is this older generation supposed to proceed with confidence when digitizing critical business processes?

Enter Tech Consultants.

Most tech consultants have worked in a variety of industries, and a select handful have experience managing these family-run businesses. Ultimately, family-run companies like yours can harness these new technologies to deliver essential business outcomes with the right consultant's proven technology adoption frameworks combined with installation and user support services.

The fundamental breakthrough is not in people's interactions with machines but in the company's increasing involvement with more people. Leveraging technology lets them ask and answer questions together and participate in developing more productive solutions.

The best family-run industrial businesses, in the end, are those who focus on using technology to help their employees rather than the other way around.

From implementing the necessary technology to user acceptance best practices, Doc4's experts will be with you every step of your adoption journey. Whether you're a Hank or a Mackenzie, trust that Doc4 Design will help technology work for your family's legacy.

Davis James
Davis James
Guest Author

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