Possibilities Podcast Episode: 14
Tim Eisenmann joined American Tire Distributors about two years ago, right as they were on the verge of transitioning from being a tire distributor to becoming a digital first data driven solutions provider.
And a lot of companies are making a similar shift in their business model these days.
So, how are they doing it? And is this shift something that might benefit your own company?
Tim came on the latest episode of the Possibilities podcast to answer all of these questions.
Here’s what he had to say.
First things first...why are companies making these innovative business model changes?
We have more data today than we’ve ever had before.
And tomorrow we'll have more data than we did today.
On top of that, computers are becoming cheaper.
With this ability to crunch data at such a low cost, companies can do things they’ve never done before.
Traditionally, companies used this opportunity to increase efficiency, focusing on doing what they already do, but cheaper, faster, and with fewer people.
But a lot of businesses are starting to realize that their data offers so much more.
That’s why companies like American Tire Distributors are leveraging their data to generate new streams of revenue as solutions providers.
This business model shift is intriguing.
But how do you know if your company is truly a good candidate for this type of shift?
Signals your organization might be ripe for this type of investment
- Look at your industry. Is it characterized by a lack of innovation? What about a lack of investment in technology, data science, or analytics capabilities?
- Look at the players in your industry? Are they struggling to find a competitive advantage?
- Look at the talent in your industry. Has your industry typically struggled to attract talent with data science or analytical skills?
If you answered yes to these questions, you’ve probably got a pretty good shot at turning your business model around and generating a new revenue stream with your data.
How to get the talent you need to make these changes
There’s a lot of things you’d need to do to make this sort of business model shift.
But one of the keys to successful making this shift is attracting the right talent with the right kind of skills.
It’s easy to say, “Well, the best data people are all tied up in Facebook and Google.”
But that’s not a good excuse.
There’s plenty of things that you can do to attract great talent to your company.
Here’s a few to think about.
The length of your hiring process. If your HR department takes 4 months from making contact with an applicant to hiring them, you won’t get the best machine learning engineers, data scientists, or whatever you’re looking for. So, if this is your company’s situation, work with your HR team to get that process down to 3 weeks, because talent simply won’t be on the market for that long.
Your company dress code. People that want to work for Google and Facebook probably want to wear jeans and a t-shirt to work. So, take a look at your company dress code and think about how that affects the talent you’re attracting.
Professional development opportunities. Do you regularly send your employees to training and professional development opportunities? If you don’t that’s probably something you need to consider adding if you want to attract top talent.
This is obviously not a comprehensive list, but it should at least get you thinking in the right direction.
One last thing
There’s a lot of companies that try to focus more on data...but these initiatives often fail.
And we wonder why.
There’s a lot of reasons.
But here’s the thing:
If you don't have any initiatives that fail, you're not working on the right stuff.
You're working on things that are too easy.
Tim says that your success to fail rate should be about 75% to 25%.
So, don’t be afraid to fail a little.
That’s how true innovation comes to be.
To listen to this episode, click here