At Merchants Bonding Company, we’re always focused on innovating and adapting. International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) recently published a report that gives a nod to the idea of “reinvention” and we can relate – it’s in our DNA.
Disruption in many industries has traditionally come from outside that industry – a sentiment that is changing. The IBM Institute for Business Value surveyed 12,800 C-level executives from across a wide range of industries. Today, only 26 percent think competitors outside their industry “pose a significant source of disruption,” compared to 54 percent two years ago.
Why? The companies known as “reinventors.” IBM’s study shows this group outperformed their peers and led innovation, working to continuously adapt and create irresistible personalized experiences.
Eight in 10 of the “reinventors” are finding unmet customer needs by asking questions and approaching problems with a sense of empathy. The study’s authors make seven recommendations to companies to stay on top of their games:
1. “Boldly evaluate, experiment and engage with new business models, industry-shaping platforms and ecosystem strategies that you could adopt to significant advantage.”
2. “Create opportunities for frequent and intense interactions with customers, partners and competitors.”
3. “Test existing assumptions and drive totally new strategies. Commit with frequency.”
4. “Create market-shaping and capability-building investments that inject innovation, new talent and technologies into your enterprise. Acquire these if necessary; grow them organically if your enterprise is agile enough.”
5. “Maximize investments that build customer trust and brand value. On digital platforms – which are inherently transparent – community-generated feedback, if heeded well, can boost brand value in unimaginable ways.”
6. “Don’t solidify a competitive advantage; it’s likely fleeting. Expect it to be transitory and start working on the next audacious opportunity.”
7. “Create new motion through continuous innovation but don’t dismiss the potential to benefit from others’ ideas. Find opportunities to co-create with customers, partners and even competitors.”
Merchants continues to invest in new technology, enabling capabilities before our competitors. We’re actively working with surety technology providers on how we can collectively make our mutual customers’ jobs easier and faster. We’re reaching out to our customers and asking for your insight and help on what’s valuable to you and then delivering it. We are paying attention to things like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain and how we can leverage them in the future. Simply put, Merchants is committed to being an industry leader in innovation and “reinventing” surety bond industry practices to continue to deliver on our brand promise of first class service.