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Co-op 4.0 

 


At ACLC 2019, the term, Co-ops 4.0 was floated. Today, we are living in an environment in which technologies like Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and data analytics are changing the way we live, work and play. This environment is described as the fourth industrial revolution. It is important that co-operatives embark on digital transformation to continue to be sustainable, relevant and impactful in the future.

 

Coop4.0 Digitalisation
image: Freepik.com

Why are businesses working on digital transformation? Is the move to digital a strenuous one?


Many businesses have been investing in digitalisation – by leveraging cloud, upgrading the technology infrastructure etc. COVID-19 has accelerated the push for digitalisation. Working from home may soon be a new norm. With digitalisation, your co-operative can be more efficient and effective.

The word Digitalisation may sound intimidating, but these steps will help your co-operative to embrace a digital future.

Define Objectives

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you have any manual work processes that could be automated?
  • Can digital solutions help enhance interaction with members and employees as well as deliver excellent customer experience at the same time?


If your answer is to increase productivity or to engage your members, you are on the right track. These objectives will enable you to kickstart a digitalisation project, zooming into specific areas that are in need for enhancement.


Many are also taking the steps to digitalise - to generate greater brand awareness, smoothen customer experience, innovate products and services, and dive into data and business analytics to improve revenue.

Set Digital Goals

While your objective is to increase productivity or engage your members, you can break it down further by setting smart goals.


Staff productivity can be improved by automating manual processes. For example, instead of recording new members’ details manually, you can provide an online form for members to fill in and their data can be automatically captured and stored in the system. This can help improve productivity as staff can be channelled to focus on other tasks.


If your co-operative has already implemented digital solutions, you can consider adding more functions. For example, integrating analytics to have a greater understanding of your members’ behaviour which can help you to better serve their needs.

Train Employees

Your digitalisation project may be actualised, but it will not be successful if your staff are not trained on how to use the systems. Every individual’s knowledge on using technology differs. It is thus paramount to ensure your staff is equipped with the right skills to operate the systems, in order to optimise your digitalisation plan.

With the know-hows, employees can be empowered to carry out their tasks confidently, be the key drivers of change and bring the co-operative to a greater height.
 

Track Performance

A system or platform which your co-operative has implemented may not actualise its full potential if there is no tracking of performance. Tracking its performance will reveal the success rate of your executed plan.

Have business processes become seamless? Has the overall customer satisfaction rate increased?

If you have the answers to your digital goals, you will know how to adjust the course and innovate further.

 


 

Your business shouldn’t be hindered by a pandemic. We should always think how the online sphere can help sustain our business plans. When seizing the opportunity of digitalisation, consider both operational improvements and effective customer touchpoints.

Is your co-operative ready to accelerate digitalisation?

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Singapore National Co-operative Federation
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