Just about any industry contains inefficiencies. That is, until someone comes along, scratches his head, and decides to do things differently.
The problem is that companies and industries become fossilized in the way they do things. Certain assumptions become seen as a necessary part of the process. Infrastructure gets built around a specific way of doing things.
And let’s face it. It’s much, much easier to introduce incremental change than to turn an industry on its head!
It’s just so easy to continue doing business as usual. As a result, inefficiency sneaks into the market. It often takes a new player, with a fresh perspective, to shake up an industry, approach solutions from a completely different vantage point and eliminate inefficiencies.
Companies are always looking for ways to beat the competition. As mentioned in the prior article in this series, Build Big Barriers, an effective means for outmaneuvering the competition is to build barriers to entry. Automation is one of these barriers, and building automated solutions through your website is an effective strategy for eliminating inefficiencies in many industries.
Automation is an especially useful competitive edge. Through automation you can concurrently shorten delivery times, reduce costs and increase consistency.
In effect, by introducing new automated solutions you throw your competition into a tizzy. Their perspective becomes discombobulated, and they typically react initially with a state of denial.
This provides you with an opportunity to take advantage of their paralysis by driving as much investment, effort and focus into the quality of your automation as possible. The more you do this, the more you can make further gains against the competition, creating a stranglehold at your tier of the market.
Automation in Action
Clearly, website automation can help you gain a competitive edge. So, what does it look like?
Website automation can take many forms. To see examples of effective automation through websites in eliminating inefficiency and in building a competitive advantage, we can look to the following companies:
Through the FourSpots.com website, you customize templated video ads and distribute the ads across TV, Web, mobile and out-of-home digital display at a fraction of the cost of the traditional process for video advertising.
- VistaPrint.com and StockLayouts.com
Through the VistaPrint.com and StockLayouts.com websites, you create business cards, letterhead and marketing materials from a variety of templates at a fraction of the cost of traditional designers and printers.
Through the LegalZoom.com website, you answer questions and then are delivered professional legal documents, covering everything from incorporation, trademark registration to partnership agreements. The LegalZoom.com service goes beyond mere paperwork as well, taking responsibility for submitting your document to the appropriate government agencies.
Through the Dell.com website, you configure and order computers. This is quite common today, but Dell was the first major manufacturer to offer this type of self-serve customization through its website. Consequently, they became the first computer company to sell more than $1 million worth of products through its website on a daily basis.
- Tethys Solutions
Through Tethys Solutions’ AutomationAnywhere.com website, you automate all sorts of web-based business processes, from simple, online form-filling to data transfer, website testing, web data extraction or image recognition.
How about your website? What type of automation would save your customers time, hassle and money? Put yourself in your customer’s shoes, and walk through the processes that they use to achieve their objectives and to solve their problems. Introduce automation, and see if you can discombobulate and strangulate your competition.