In today’s hyper-connected, real-time world, an old-fashioned, hierarchical business model just doesn’t make sense.
Think about Henry Ford’s assembly line. Decisions flowed from the top down, and every employee, from the loftiest executive to the lowliest intern, had a specific role. That rigid way of doing business bears very little resemblance to the way we work today.
At successful, NetSuite-driven businesses, the business model is marked by fluidity, collaboration, and transparency.
Instead of staying within strictly defined departments, employees may work on several different teams to support varied business initiatives. In fact, one of the key features of a fluid business is that it empowers those employees who are closest to an issue or a problem to form a team and take action.
To do their best work and make effective decisions, employees need access to real-time data. And they need to be empowered to act on that data.
Rigidity vs. Fluidity and Chaos vs. Synergy
The difference between a rigid, hierarchical business and a business that takes a more fluid approach can be clearly seen in call centers.
Most people dread calling that 800 number because they think they know what to expect—a bored functionary who has no real interest in problem-solving but instead serves as a gatekeeper to those with the real power to get things done.
Think about it. How often have you had to request escalation to a supervisor before your issue is taken seriously?
A rigid, hierarchical approach may purport to create order, but often, the opposite is true. Chaos ensues because team members aren’t working together to serve the overall needs of the company. They can only see one small piece of the big picture, and they aren’t given the data they need to understand how their efforts can make a difference.
In contrast, a call center that’s run using fluid business principles is much more productive. It provides a better customer experience, too.
Think of Zappos. Zappos realizes that when customers call in, its customer service reps are on the front lines, gathering key information. They’re closest to the issue, and they have the data (and empowerment) they need to solve it.
And when employees have the data they need at their fingertips, they can sync their efforts to advance overall company goals.
The Importance of Data Transparency
Let’s take a look at how NetSuite data can be used to encourage employees to do their best work.
In a call center, it’s important to be able to assess how customer service representatives are servicing calls. Real-time NetSuite data can be pulled into a data visualization to show the high-, medium-, and low-priority cases handled by each representative.
Here, we can see that Steve, Michael, and Larry are successfully closing out the most high-priority cases, while some representatives have only closed low- and medium-priority cases. This visualization provides important performance data to the whole team. It may even indicate that certain representatives need additional training in handling high-priority calls.
Management can also review a visualization of overall case status by priority and use that information to set KPIs for the call center team.
Making Relevant Data Available to All
Successful NetSuite-driven businesses succeed by making relevant data available to all. That way, all employees can monitor their performance and see how their efforts help drive the company forward.
In a sales department, for instance, the sales manager can pull real-time NetSuite data to quickly share production information with the entire team.
The bottom line is that successful, NetSuite-driven businesses know how to harness the power of real-time data. They embrace transparency, and they empower employees to take action on problems closest to them.
The hierarchical, top-down way of doing business simply won’t provide the necessary competitive edge. And real-time data makes all the difference.