Information technology has greatly transformed how international businesses such as aftermarket caterpillar parts manufacturers run their global operations. Today, a manufacturer based in Vietnam can deliver tractor parts to the doorstep of a client in Brazil with the entire transaction initiated and completed online.
If your company sells a tangible product and has an international market for it, it’s time to take advantage of the numerous possibilities brought about by telecommunication technology and cloud computing. The following are just some of the ways technology facilities, streamlines, and speeds up international business.
Building A Functioning And Efficient Team
The modern business has become so deeply dependent on data that some have argued that data is the most valuable asset of today’s enterprise. While this is debatable, one thing that isn’t is that great data won’t be of much help if you don’t have the right employees to leverage its power. Building an effective team is, therefore, the foundation of a successful international business.
So how does technology help you build and manage a global team? It begins with the hiring process. A cloud-based human resource management (HRM) application that drives the recruitment process via vacancy announcements, job application processing, job descriptions, employee surveys, and organization communication.
Knowing And Tracking Customer Activity
This is one of the most crucial elements of running a successful global enterprise. By collecting customer data (with their authorization and in compliance with the relevant laws), you can better target them with the right products. The more you understand them, the greater the likelihood you can offer them something they’ll be interested in buying.
To do that, you need a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution. Add customers, create contacts for each, track customer transaction activity, schedule calls or meetings, and regularly generate reports. For an international business, CRM is especially useful because it allows businesses to segment their global customer base by location for more targeted marketing and cross-selling.
Harness The Power Of The Internet
The Internet provides plenty of advantages for a multinational corporation. First, it eliminates the distance between buyer and seller by negating the need for a physical meeting. Second, it allows you to tap into a far larger audience than that in your immediate vicinity. There are more than 4 billion internet users.
Use the Internet to send emails, make VoIP calls, communicate via live chat, and interact with customers and prospects on your social media pages. Internet infrastructure also allows you to better liaise with raw material suppliers, work with warehouses providers, coordinate with logistic firms, and interact with partners around the world.
Of course, none of this can be realized if it doesn’t run on robust network architecture and service such as Nexcom or Akamai. Make sure that all online communication channels you use are integrated with the CRM so that no conversations fall through the cracks.
Incorrect forecasting can cause your product to stay too long in a warehouse and eat into your profitability. Yet, forecasting for an international business can be a complex process with numerous moving parts.
It is not just based on a set of rules but it is also time-phased. You must factor sales trends, seasonal variations, weather changes, purchase history, and retailer forecasts. In addition, you have to tweak the forecast based on unexpected changes that occur along the way. Technology makes forecasting easier. A forecasting app can even adjust final forecast numbers in real-time whenever the factors used to calculate it don’t follow the trajectory that was initially anticipated.
While technology plays such a pivotal role in global business, it’s important to remember that just throwing IT systems at a problem will not magically resolve your company’s international operational difficulties. Not all technology is created equal. If you want something that eases your ability to do business across borders, you must develop a list of requirements then shop for the system that best meets these requirements.