“The pace of change has never been this fast, yet it will never be this slow again”.
That’s a quote from this year’s the World Economic Forum – and when you think about how it applies to modern working and workplace technology, it’s so accurate it’s almost scary.
Massive changes in the way people work are creating a huge challenge to organizations, and a big opportunity for companies who want to win.
So workplace technology clients are not just seeking a product supplier; they need a consultant, an experienced advisor and partner they can trust.
How do you tell the difference?
Product suppliers sell the features of their workplace technology, hoping they can convince you it’s a good fit for your needs.
Consultants ask you deep, functional, non-functional, cultural and sometimes confronting questions. The answers identify what the client REALLY needs – today and for the future.
What two key elements make up a consultative approach?
- Flexible offerings
- Expert knowledge
Sales reps with a closed set of products can only make recommendations that suit the functionality of their products.
A consultant who understands the marketplace and has a flexible open ecosystem can create a tailor-made solution for your needs.
Did you know:
Workspace projects often launch 2+ years before go-live, particularly for new premises.
The scope and requirements creep throughout the project can be significant. It’s inevitable and can even be desirable, if you manage it properly.
Workspace management should be seen as a continuous process and not a project with an end date.
Here’s what happens when it goes badly wrong:
The solution you’ve been sold is based on a rigid set of requirements that have not changed up to the go-live date, even though it’s years since you first dreamed up the project.
Your workers move into the building and try to start using the new workplace technology.
But the space design no longer meets their fluid needs, and the solutions do not feel relevant.
Your disappointed workforce fails to fully adopt the technology and productivity and engagement fall.
And when it goes right?
Your consultant talks with you throughout the process and encourages you to think about your workspace as a living interface that flexes and reconfigures with your workers.
This process is built on data.
Your consultant analyzes behaviours constantly to see if they are desirable and to determine how your environment supports or discourages them.
With flexible offerings, you can make minor or even major changes to the solution set.
It means your workplace technology keeps pace with the most up to date needs of your users, long after go-live.
Too many workspace technology projects fail to deliver value because of:
1. Too much focus on functional requirements.
2. Too little focus on desired outcomes and company culture.
Workspace projects usually go through a tender process including a Product Requirements Document (PRD).
The problem with PRDs is…
They often request features clients don’t need, but miss features they definitely do.
Too often the client’s project manager writes the PRD, but fails to identify genuine needs.
Even worse, a supplier’s salesperson, write them, using questions that favour their own product.
So you ask the supplier: “can your solution do x, y and z?”
It’s easy for a supplier to say yes, but the real value lies in understanding WHY you have asked the question – and what you really want to achieve.
It means consultants like NFS can deliver outcomes in a more cost-effective way that fits better with your company culture.
“Business culture eats strategy for breakfast” – Mark Fields, President at Ford.
Right – and failing to realize it makes workplace technology fail because employees will not use it.
How we work with you to avoid this
At NFS, we combine our experience and knowledge of solutions with a deep understanding of your needs and goals to deliver planned outcomes and ROI.
Our super-flexible solution has a constantly evolving eco-system that is open to innovative third-party technologies.
It means our consultants work closely with you to flex your workplace technology so it stays relevant.
That’s one reason why our clients stay with us so long – our business relationships last an average of 7 years.
So when you ask us: “Can your solution do….?” we say: “What do you want to achieve?”
We’ll bend over backwards to accommodate your ideas, and offer extra suggestions based on best practice and our experience of similar challenges.
Best of all, you’ll know that our recommendations are not limited by an inflexible solution set or inexperience.
So forget suppliers with aggressive sales targets.
Working with NFS, you’ll be confident you are partnering with a trusted advisor motivated solely by client delight. That’s the true power of the consultative approach.