How Small And Midsize Businesses Run Live – Better Than Their Bigger Competitors

Meaghan Sullivan

Part 3 of “The Road to Live Business” series

Most companies view access to relevant data as an essential part of running a business. However, increasing demands for real-time decision making and immediate response are changing how data analytics is used – and this is especially true for small and midsize businesses.

With brains, eyes, and ears attuned to every change and emerging trend, firms can unite employees, suppliers, partners, customers, and assets into an adaptable, in-the-moment value chain – all qualities of a Live Business. By demolishing the walls between information silos, companies like yours can gain the visibility needed to build a fluid, nimble, real-time digital business.

Although this principle sounds ideal, many business owners are scratching their heads wondering how they can realistically achieve such transparency. Learning about companies that are successfully transitioning into a Live Business offers a view of the fundamental capabilities that drive high-quality business visibility. Forbes Insight recently published a report that includes case studies of some companies that are making great progress.

M.R.K.T.: Running a Live Business in real time with simplicity

From totes to backpacks and more, Mad Rabbit Kicking Tiger (M.R.K.T.) always has its finger on the pulse of fashion design. And M.R.K.T. wanted that same proficiency in its business operations.

By uniting its sales channels in a way that is simple and accessible, the company gained the speed and agility necessary to compete in today’s high-pressure fashion retail market. Every M.K.R.T. employee can better identify existing and emerging opportunities, as inventory, sales, orders, and customer data are connected in a single cloud-based system. Now, the company has real-time insight into inventory at the point of sale, as well as the marketing tools required to keep customers coming back for more.

Gray Gallery: Elevating the customer experience with in-the-moment shopping

For art lovers worldwide, Gray Gallery is a must-stop place for artwork created by an eclectic group of artists, ceramicists, jewelers, and furniture makers. Known for its tactile customer experience, the gallery quickly realized that maintaining this level of service became more challenging as the company grew and gained popularity.

Infusing the customer experience with a Live Business approach is enabling Gray Gallery to mirror its physical space in the virtual world. Since the gallery’s e-commerce site is united with its inventory data, shoppers no longer have to wait until a location is open to find out whether an artwork they want to buy is still available. They can find a piece they love and buy it immediately, at any moment and on any device, knowing that they now own it. While its customers are benefiting from the live shopping experience, Gray’s artists are just as enthused about having their work exposed to a worldwide market full of potential and real-time opportunities. 

Medistance: Turning home healthcare into a cost-effective, instant service

On-demand access to data is a critical component of patient well-being – and for Medistance, this required an intelligent healthcare workflow and medical device fleet management platform. By transforming home healthcare into an in-the-moment service, the company is driving down costs and increasing patient comfort and security.

Patients with ailments such as hypertension, diabetes, and critical heart conditions can instantly send clinically valid readings from their homes, thanks to machine-to-machine communication. Doctors and lab experts then receive the data to diagnose the patient from their labs and offices. By removing the common obstacle of waiting for an appointment, a physician or clinician can readjust a patient’s care plan in real time, improving patient well-being and lowering healthcare costs.

Live Business: Driving simplicity, insight, and outcomes – in the here and now

When you compare these three small and midsize companies, one thing becomes apparent: a Live Business is more than just the data it generates; it’s what it does with the data that counts.

A full view of all data that is relevant to the here and now enables your company to be proactive. For example, if you can see that your material costs are rising, you can phase in small, incremental price increases to offset your rising material costs over time – and maintain customer loyalty by avoiding a large price increase all at once.

It’s incredibly powerful when you can view trends as they happen, connect them to historical evidence, and relate them to the future. Not only will it help your business operate more intelligently, but also serve your customers better and uncover unprecedented opportunity.

To learn how your business can become a Live Business, check out Forbes Insights’ recent report “Doing Business In-the-Moment: How SMBs Run Live in the Digital Economy.” Over the next three weeks, we will share additional insights from this research. Be sure to check every Tuesday for new installments to our blog series “The Road to Live Business.” 

Meaghan Sullivan

About Meaghan Sullivan

Meaghan Sullivan is the head of Global Partner Marketing and General Business. In this role, she is tasked with accelerating awareness and consideration in the Small Medium Enterprise (SME) segment for SAP as well as global partner revenue through channel marketing and commercial sales practices. Sullivan focuses on Demand Generation activities to provide SAP partners with innovative programs, campaigns and resources that enable them to more efficiently market their SAP solutions and services.