Elie Haibi
Co-founder and CEO
Hermes Systems
View from the Top

Gradual Changes Lead to Full Digital Transformation

Wed, 05/08/2019 - 13:02

Q: How do you market your services among hesitant clients and what business opportunities have you detected?

A: A digital transformation (DT) impacts a company’s business strategy and its operational, organizational and technological initiatives. It is motivated by technology capabilities, such as AI, IoT, the cloud, mobility, blockchain and Big Data, that enable new operational mechanisms and help better execute a company’s business strategy.
Facing such a broad and complex DT program can lead to a long and costly sales cycles if combined with a hesitant market. That is why we came up with our micro-DT concept. While limiting the scope of the transformation to a specific part of the company, we focus on the capabilities brought by mobile technology. Almost everybody uses a smartphone and understands well its capabilities, from scanning a bar code to filling a digital form and keeping up with the geo-location of a vehicle. As a result, we deliver smaller but impactful projects and the customer is open to implement more changes, allowing us to progressively broaden the scope of the DT.

Q: How can the banking and financial system benefit from the DT solutions offered by Hermes Systems?

A: There is room for growth in financial services but that comes with challenges, such as the required infrastructure, operational performance, customer expectations and risk. Our advice for companies is to go digital, mind the culture of their organization and explore new business models. To achieve this, we have solutions intended to enable new strategic capabilities in three specific areas in the financial sector: customer attraction, collection and agency banking with services aggregation.
Filling a web or mobile application and receiving the credit approval in less than three minutes has a “wow” effect that is key for customer attraction. When the end-to-end credit origination process becomes digital, there are gains in quality, operational efficiency and cost of risk mitigation. Meanwhile, exploring new business models with agency banking allows the growth of financial services institutions’ operations without investing large amounts of money. Companies that want to reach the large underserved population in Mexico need to grow with speed and quality. Therefore, they must consider whether to open hundreds of new branches or partner with a retailer that has thousands of stores and equipping them with a mobile terminal enabled with basic, low-risk, customer service functions. The answer is a no-brainer. 

Q: What opportunities does Hermes Systems offer to retail and e-commerce players and what strategies is it pursuing to position itself as the market’s best option?

A: Our focus in retail is on three axes: delivering a differentiated customer experience, building informed and engaged teams and optimizing store processes. The most successful customer-experience models follow practices from the hospitality industry. Hermes Systems can offer technological capabilities, such as customer identification through beacons or face recognition, social listening and sentiment analysis and personalized service based on data insights from all past interactions across all channels, to deliver a superior experience. But these elements are useless without a solid value proposition in customer experience, coupled with systematic mechanisms to make it consistent.
Regarding sales teams, connecting with customers who are often more informed than the employee requires coaching, teacher-led and online self-paced courses, gamification of education, closed customer feedback loops, the opportunity to constantly provide management with feedback on employee experience and aligning incentives with an omnichannel strategy to avoid sales cannibalization. Finally, optimizing store processes requires the implementation of strategies that include tracking merchandise from the warehouse to the shelf, performing accurate and rapid stock checks, instant product identification through scanning and monitoring the performance of individual items. Such initiatives are based on worldwide retail best practices and are carried out with the help of our technology partners: Apple and IBM.