October 16, 2023

Debunking Digital Product Myths: A Must-Read for Australian Businesses 

This blog post aims to debunk myths surrounding these products, assisting Australian businesses in informed supply chain decisions.

Debunking Digital Product Myths: A Must-Read for Australian Businesses

In industries across the country, the ‘digital product’ concept has piqued the interest of companies big and small, and this doesn’t stop at the Australian trucking industry. As businesses strive for efficiency and cost-effectiveness in their logistics operations, misconceptions and myths about the use and impact of these products have emerged. This blog post will explore some of these myths and set the record straight, helping companies across Australia make informed decisions about their supply chain operations.

Myth #1: Digital Products are a One-Size-Fits-All Solution

Flexibility is essential in the Australian trucking industry, where unexpected challenges and changing customer demands are commonplace. Some companies fear that adopting a digital solution approach will limit their ability to adapt to these changes. However, productisation is not synonymous with inflexibility. In fact, it can enhance flexibility by providing a framework for quick adjustments and customisations when necessary.  

Digital products offer standardised services that can then be customised to suit unique requirements. Whether a business is shipping perishable goods, oversized freight, or time-sensitive deliveries, digital products can be adapted to address specific challenges. Plus, with business-as-usual tasks automated, companies can direct their focus to more strategic decision-making.

It is important to remember that businesses don’t need to fit the mould of a product, but rather, the other way around.  

‘A good product will automate the mundane’ (i.e. business as usual processes) and ‘configure the exceptional’ (i.e. amplify the unique offerings of the business). - Nicole Dixon, VP Product at Ofload.

Myth #2: Digital Products are Only Suitable for Large Companies

A common misconception is that digital products are reserved for large corporations who have extensive resources. This couldn't be further from the truth. Digital products are equally valuable for small and medium-sized businesses in the trucking industry. One of their most significant benefits is the ability to scale. Small companies can start with basic tools and gradually expand their digital infrastructure as their business grows. This means that businesses can adapt to changing market conditions and customer demands without the need for extensive resource allocation upfront.  

By leveraging standardised services and automated processes, even smaller businesses can benefit from increased efficiency, reduced costs, and improved customer satisfaction.

Myth #3: Digital Products Sacrifice Quality for Efficiency

Another myth that needs debunking is the idea that these products prioritise efficiency at the expense of service quality. In reality, a well-executed productisation strategy can enhance both efficiency and quality. Standardised processes and workflows allow for better monitoring and control of operations, ensuring that shipments are handled with care and precision. By streamlining operations, digital products enable logistics providers to offer consistent, high-quality service to their customers.

What users will also experience is the second-hand benefits of innovation from the product developers. With a good digital product comes user-friendly solutions that, in turn, empower end-users to drive innovation within their own companies.

Myth #4: Tech Adoption Demands a Total Business Overhaul

This misconception suggests that technology will autonomously handle all logistics processes without any human involvement.  

While technology plays a crucial role in modern logistics and productisation, it is not a standalone solution. Instead, it serves as a powerful enabler that enhances efficiency, visibility, and automation within logistics operations.  

Think of technology as a tool, a catalyst for change. It provides you with the means to streamline processes, enhance efficiency, and access valuable data and insights. However, leveraging tech is about aligning your tools with your business objectives, not reinventing the wheel. It should complement and enhance your existing processes, not replace them altogether.  

Read more about the Australian road freight market digital overhaul.  

Specifically, human input and connection remain vital components of the logistics equation. Logistics can be unpredictable and complex, and that's where technology shines, helping us plan and adapt. But team decision-making remains essential for solving problems and nurturing customer relationships. At the end of the day, freight must move from A to B, using a truck and its driver.

“Imagine a puzzle: technology gives us all the pieces, but it’s our team that puts them together to create the bigger picture. Whilst technology is core to our business model, it’s not the whole story” - Stan Steinwolf, Director and CPO at Ofload.

Myth #5: Digital Products are Too Costly to Implement

Cost is a significant concern for many businesses, and some may believe that implementing a productisation strategy is prohibitively expensive. While there may be initial investments involved, the long-term benefits of a digital product far outweigh the costs. By reducing operational inefficiencies, minimising errors, and optimising resource allocation, this strategy can lead to significant cost savings over time. Companies should view it as an investment in the future of their logistics operations.

The Australian trucking industry is ripe for tech disruption. Now more than ever is a perfect time to explore the ways in which digital products can enable companies to thrive in this competitive environment.  

By considering strategic partnerships with logistics providers, businesses can overcome their limitations, leverage expertise to bridge gaps in areas where they may be lacking, and ultimately propel themselves to success in this evolving industry.

Learn more about Digitising global supply chains & diversity in logistics

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