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Industry Insight

The Power Of Intangible Value

Lead Strategist, Meeten Doshi, explains how digital transformation with their solution, PROPELLER, brings about a wealth of intangible values that reward companies to run leaner with lower operational overheads.

Concrete ROI’s are great.  We all love to hear them, some professional lives are defined by them, and the acronym comes up in – I feel compelled to hedge this with ‘almost’ – every boardroom on the planet.

However, not everything that can be measured is valuable, and not everything that is valuable can be measured.  Some value falls outside of that which can be communicated in a spreadsheet (sorry, CFOs of the world, but this is immutably true).

I am involved with SparesCNX’s business development efforts, both from a research and analysis standpoint, and in terms of delivering presentations about our solution to potential clients.  During these presentations people nod along when I deliver the cold, hard, numerically communicable value of our solution, how we help manage risk around procurement costs through more accurate inventory management on board.

What I find very interesting is when we see signals of approval (whether verbal or non-verbal) in response to what I refer to as ‘intangible value propositions’.  These are things that are either very hard, or flat out impossible to put on a balance sheet, but that still have considerable value.

Often enough for it to make it worth me writing this piece, people show a lot more interest when they see the slides that outline the intangible value propositions than the data backed slides.

Through research, and conversations with my team, clients, and industry peers, I have started to build my understanding of how some of these intangibles add value.

Digital Transformation

Staying at the forefront of digital transformation is a concept that consistently makes people’s ears prick up.

Leaders usually enjoy being seen as leaders. Staying ahead of the curve technologically, while potentially beneficial for organisations, also has positive reputational implications.

Being seen to be at the forefront of the adoption of technology (provided it actually works) within any industry feels good, makes a person look good, and most likely helps careers along.

Who wouldn’t want to be seen as a digital frontiersman/woman, going boldly into unchartered territory and making their fortunes?

While perception comes into play at the personal level, it is also noteworthy at the company level.

A company that is widely known to be using technology to run leaner, with lower overheads while maintaining (or even improving) standards, is in a better position to pitch new business that companies who aren’t.

Given a choice between a shipping company that uses technology to ensure that they only have the necessary spare parts on board, and a company that doesn’t have clarity on their inventory levels, people will go with the former.

Potential customers might assume that if a company doesn’t have accurate data around their inventory levels that there may well be other areas of the business that are not being managed effectively.  Moreover, if a vessel is carrying (in one instance $200k USD in) excess spares, it is burning more fuel to get from A to B than a vessel holding only exactly that which it needs.

This means that quotes from a company that is running lean are likely to be lower, or at least more likely to be fair, and grounded in accurate information about operational overheads.

There is no way to put a numerical value on being perceived as a company that is at the forefront of technological improvement until after you implement and rigorously test (long after the decision needs to be made on whether to adopt new technology or not).  However we can understand that in reputational terms, so long as you’re not buying hi-tech snake oil, being known to be ahead of the curve puts you in a position to win more business than companies that don’t have the same reputation.

What I believe I am seeing in those moments where the mention of digital transformation visibly lands with a potential client, is the client seeing the SparesCNX value proposition in the context of how it enables them to market and/or sell their services more effectively.  Moreover, they are seeing how it will bolster the standing of the company (and themselves as leaders within it) in the eyes of the industry. As well as, of course, the measurable benefits of our solution, but more on that in my next piece.

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