Adapting to Changing Market Conditions and Customer Needs

How well is your business adapting to change? Agile businesses are ready to adapt to changing market conditions and can respond quickly to challenges. They are also equipped to deal with a rapidly changing business environment and customer needs that are constantly evolving in the digital age. Agility allows businesses not only to compete but to thrive in changing markets. 

Why do organisations need to adapt to rapidly changing business environments?

Business is increasingly complex and often volatile because many changes worldwide are happening right now, including environmental issues, the recent COVID-19 pandemic, and in the UK, rapidly rising inflation and an increased cost of living for customers. The “digital revolution” continues to transform industry, economies, and society. In such an environment, there is a need to operate in an agile way and react to rapidly changing conditions. Agile practices allow companies to be nimble in their response to all challenges. This way of working can make a business more resilient and able to tackle the unknown. Building a business that thrives in a changing environment requires a different approach. So how can your organisation become more agile?

Agile Business - how can your organisation embrace business agility

Here are ten tips for helping your organisation embrace business agility:

#1 Shared vision and purpose

Aligning everyone in your organisation to a shared purpose and objective can help drive employee engagement. A 2020 Edelman Report found that 80% of respondents expect organisations to “solve society’s problems”, and employees expect to have meaning behind their work. McKinsey research during the pandemic found that 70% of employees said work defines their sense of purpose. 

#2 Gather customer and market insight

Use insight to monitor changing market conditions and customer needs and tastes, and use that insight to shape new initiatives. By unearthing useful customer insights and changing customer needs, you can better resonate with and serve customers, and this can also be the key to innovation. Shipping giant, Maersk uses Docusign Insight’s machine learning and natural language processing capabilities to analyse thousands of supplier agreements to spot opportunities to respond quickly to supply chain disruptions and new regulatory requirements. 

#3 Clear and rapid decision-making process 

Predicting what will happen in business is becoming trickier. For instance, which taxi companies would have predicted Uber would rise up to impact transport in such a considerable way? Which travel providers could have predicted the rise of Airbnb? In addition, very few organisations could have predicted the COVID-19 pandemic and how it affected all kinds of businesses. To adapt to this ever-changing environment, companies need to have access to good, transparent data and they also need to be able to make decisions on how to respond quickly. Quick decision-making requires empowering a team to take on accountability for those decisions rather than the decisions made via one person. The team must also identify what information they need to make the best decisions like who needs to be involved or who needs to approve. Managers can empower their teams to make decisions by giving them the support and guidance they need.  

#4 Design a work environment so people can do their jobs as effectively as possible

Today’s environment means that organisations should be set up to adapt continuously. Organisations should simplify and digitise internal workflows and processes across all functions, including HR, legal, sales, finance and procurement. For example, with Docusign eSignature, customers can sign 80% of agreements in less than a day, and contract processing time can be reduced by 83% with Docusign CLM

#5 Allow people to collaborate and communicate easily

Use rituals to encourage regular communication and provide tools to allow people to work together easily and effectively. If part of your team works remotely, provide tools to encourage collaboration. Here are some tips to enable remote working.

#6 Standardise repetitive activities, and administration

Effective businesses standardise repetitive activities to allow them to be performed quickly and with ease. Manual and paper-based processes can bring business to a halt. Move ahead with digital solutions that propel the business forward. For example, financial services firm Funding Circle digitised their entire end-to-end application process for customers. The simplification ensured a 98% reduction in processing time for an application for a new loan from 2 days to 1 hour.

#7 Continuous learning with rapid iteration and experimentation

Agile businesses create solutions to problems and test them. For example, you may create a solution to a small problem in one area of a business before refining the solution and rolling it out to other areas or all customers. 

#8 Continuous Feedback

Employees are asked for feedback continuously in agile organisations, which can help identify areas for improvement, speed up product development and encourage collaboration. 

#9 Shared and servant leadership

In an agile company, leaders, inspire others through coaching and development and inspire others to work as a team. They encourage others to develop new initiatives, skills and knowledge in their daily lives.

#10 Technology is seamlessly integrated with key processes 

Use technology to help employees respond to changing business needs. It’s much easier to use one system rather than have to manually input information into more than one system. For example, Docusign eSignature has over 350 integrations with tools many organisations already use, like Google and Salesforce, and you can streamline your workflows with connected integrations.

What are the benefits of agile working?

Being agile and able to move quickly helps your organisation in several ways. As the speed of business innovation accelerates, agile working helps to make a company adaptable, quick to respond and quick to make decisions. A McKinsey Survey with over 2000 respondents suggests that highly successful agile transformations typical deliver 30 percent gains in efficiency and organisational performance in addition to gains in customer satisfaction and employee engagement. Agile transformation also made those organisations five to ten times faster and increased innovation. 

Docusign is leading the way to a digital-first future; discover more about how we help businesses continuously adapt and get things done faster.


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