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An agricultural equipment manufacturer partners with Infosys to ensure farmers have the tools and capabilities they need to feed the world
In a relatively short period, business leaders have shifted the focus of their competitive lens from their industry neighbors to those in verticals further afield. In many respects, digital transformation has broken down traditional barriers, accelerated by the encroachment of ubiquitous tech giants. For forward-thinking business leaders, pursuing innovations in other verticals can reveal opportunities to transform their operations. There are many examples of firms using their service provider partners as the lens to contextualize digital innovations.
One firm taking advantage of its partner’s ability to cross-pollinate ideas from inside and outside of its sector is an agricultural equipment manufacturer that has the straightforward goal of ensuring farmers have the tools and capabilities they need to feed the world. Recently, the firm partnered with Infosys for help with a multi-year global digital transformation program.
The traditional view of farming has become so ingrained in our culture that it is sometimes hard to see agriculture as a business. With billions of people to feed globally, this traditional view is out of pace with its industrial necessity. As the world’s population expands further, the agriculture industry is adapting to several challenges:
The firm’s customers are being squeezed between fluctuating prices and expanding costs. This squeeze is driving the industry to examine new ways to remain profitable and productive while adhering to ever-demanding regulatory frameworks. The squeeze is particularly challenging in the agriculture business. Technology needs to operate, quite literally, in the field. Agriculture is embracing and using technology more, but it’s still a conservative and risk-averse industry with demanding buyers who want predictable returns from tried-and-tested approaches. Farmers don’t want to be guinea pigs. They expect R&D to be finished before technology arrives on their land.
The company recognized early that it needed more than one response to help its customers keep pace with modern agriculture’s demands and challenges. The first is the industry’s increased use of technology; agriculture now sits on a high-tech foundation, and every year it brings fresh innovations. The second is the new wave of talent entering the customer base—the new generation of agricultural leaders, as with all industries, are increasingly tech-savvy and have higher digital expectations than the previous generation. To tackle these challenges and continue its mission to deliver the tools farmers demanded, the firm set about building a transformation roadmap.
Finding a partner with the right technical expertise and the capability to bring fresh ideas to engagements is key to success
According to the client, the engagement started with the need for a partner to help build out its new digital customer experience program. The client selected Infosys because it submitted the most attractive proposal, based on a comprehensive blueprint, in the tender process. Infosys and the client kicked off the project by selecting the best resources to deliver on the ambitious goals, focusing on finding the appropriate blend of onsite and offshore resources. While there were initial challenges onboarding talent and freeing top-performing professionals to work on the program, the client advised that throughout the project, Infosys demonstrated tremendous strength in being a fair and performant partner.
This large agricultural manufacturer was focused on top-line growth as an outcome of the program, with an emphasis on using new channels and approaches for customer engagement to bring in fresh revenue. The broader transformation project enabled the firm to integrate platforms across the business from front-office sales and marketing to core operations in the back office. The project meant the firm could service customers more efficiently, and it highlighted new areas for incremental improvements as the program continues.
Further, the digital customer experience project is designed to bring all business stakeholders closer together—from distribution partners through to farmers as the end consumers of the firm’s products—all linked in a digital platform. According to executives at the client, the approach has also enabled the company to focus on agile models that enable the firm to react to customer feedback in real time and ensure its products and services meet demands.
Outside of the broader transformation program, the customer could leverage Infosys’ broader expertise outside of manufacturing to bring fresh perspectives and insights to ensure the best tools, technology, and approaches are used to deliver real business results.
We can attribute this engagement’s success to the value Infosys adds as a trusted technical partner that brings fresh perspectives from its work with other clients and other industries. HFS Research has observed that many of these engagements have similar grounding philosophies and approaches. Here is some key advice from the trenches:
The Bottom Line: Executives must leverage their service providers’ insights and experience across industries to ensure they stay at the spearpoint of innovation.
The reality for many enterprises, regardless of their industry, is that relevant innovation is no longer restricted to specific domains. However, finding the right best practices is a challenging endeavor without an experienced partner present to help contextualize them. The vital process of cross-pollinating ideas, then, is a task best done with a collaborative partner looking to help its clients drive measurable digital change into their business.