The solution to EX, CX and OX? Solve X by focusing on why

For industrial companies with digital transformation initiatives underway, it is becoming increasingly clear that experience is central to success. Interactions between employees, customers and operations must work harmoniously to drive your desired results and long-term profitability.

Kiichiro Toyoda, the founder of the Toyota Motor Corporation, advocated a philosophy that “the ideal conditions for making things are created when machines, facilities, and people work together to add value.” It was part of the “Kaizen” strategy of continuous improvement employed by the auto manufacturer, which translates from Japanese as “kai” = “change” and “zen” = “good.” It speaks to an ongoing effort to improve products, services or processes by implementing changes constantly.

Part of the Kaizen philosophy is something called “Nemawashi.” This focuses on management and how management should listen to and educate employees before a change. It’s designed to draw on the knowledge and experience of all the stakeholders within an organization in order to inform decision-making by building consensus and getting buy-in. Conducting Nemawashi before making big changes makes stakeholders feel valued and that their opinions matter.

It’s something that I believe is central to the success of digital transformation initiatives. To be innovative, you need ecosystems and communities all pulling in the same direction. And the best way to achieve that is by improving the experience for every stakeholder. And for that, you need to emphasize and highlight the “why” of the change.

Experience drives adoption drives experience

A digital transformation initiative is nothing without adoption. And you drive adoption by proving the value of the thing you’re changing or transforming. So, while 71% of industrial companies accelerated their digitalization strategies despite the global pandemic and its lasting effect on supply chain, a massive 70% of digital transformation projects fall short of stated goals, even when company leadership is fully on board with the idea.

So, how do you bridge this gap between a strong desire by industrial companies to innovate and transform, versus a slow pace of large-scale digital project rollouts and limited user adoption?

Orange Business teams meet our enterprise customers at the central level through IT and telecom network contacts and on the shop floor in the shape of operational, maintenance, production performance, and health and safety managers. Building a clear business value use case and user onboarding always comes through as a key ingredient to digital adoption. The business value case is the aforementioned “why,” and the user onboarding is the experience element.

Put your people at the heart of it

Focusing on the “why” is central to helping drive the adoption of digital tools and solutions. If you show your teams the future benefits and how their job roles will become more satisfying and productive, they will buy in. Industrial companies deploy Internet of Things (IoT/IIoT) solutions to streamline operations and processes, enable predictive maintenance in mechanical assets, and generate and gather data from machines and customer interactions. Training your employees on how to onboard digital tools and make best use of data to meet their daily objectives is crucial, because change management remains a key enabler of digital transformation projects’ success.

Even more essential to scaling your IoT initiatives and driving continuous improvement in your organization is putting a user feedback loop in place. The employee experience (EX) is key. If your teams feel the value in your digital solutions, they will be happier in their jobs, they’ll be more productive, and they’ll want to use the tools more. You create ongoing adoption. And the exercise should become cyclical: your enhanced EX will drive greater customer experience (CX) and improve all the vital drivers behind the scenes in your organization, including your operational experience (OX). And it’s all powered by data, data that comes from new and enhanced use cases, enabled by network connectivity and digital that generate information to help you create impactful insights. Does it deliver? Yes, according to IDC, with 85% of companies saying an improved EX and higher employee engagement translate to better CX, higher customer satisfaction and higher revenues.

Real world use cases, real results

At a recent Innovation Roundtable® workshop hosted by Orange Business in Paris, Nicolas Torralba, Head of IoT, Platforms and Digital Solutions at Airbus, explained how his company drives enhanced passenger experience through digital tools and data. He talked about how understanding what IoT, data and AI can do for you is necessary when deciding whether to invest in a digital transformation project. And even more so in a closed, highly regulated, cost and weight constrained environment such as air travel. Using digital to offer flexible personalization of cabin features and providing new digital services onboard, enhancing CX, and enabling Airbus and its aviation customers to gather “live” data from the cabin and thereby automate adjustment of services based on user preferences. And it is cyclical. Watch the interview with Nicolas here.

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A user-centric approach

Orange Business understands the relationship between CX, EX and OX and how digital transformation can best power them. They are three parts of the same continuous improvement process, and they all rely on trusted data that can be used to drive change and create positive outcomes.

We also understand the importance of taking a user-centric approach to digital transformation in building enhanced CX. In the Airbus example, that might mean creating onboard passenger services like personalized catering or pre-booked private cabin baggage space. It could mean other CX initiatives like providing dedicated connectivity services or business applications to corporate travelers on a long-haul flight. Or it could be OX, such as predictive maintenance or remote assistance on infotainment tablets or flight kitchen equipment onboard a plane.

It’s about focusing on what matters most, something that the manufacturing industry calls “pragmatic innovation.” Orange approaches industrial digital transformation projects with this in mind – we bring network and digital expertise to the table, but we listen very carefully to what our customers have to say before our Smart Industries consultants formulate a strategy. It’s a lesson that has helped us ensure digital projects are successful at scale, deliver positive outcomes and will continue to do so on an ongoing basis.

Learn more about how Orange Business helps industrial companies leverage digital to drive enhanced CX, EX and OX and create long-lasting results.

Benjamin Spund
Benjamin Spund

As an Industry Business Developer at Orange Business, I provide my clients with the best technologies and innovations from the world of IT and OT. Together, we seek to improve the safety, quality and productivity of their industrial activities by using digital technology for the service of people.