BRINGING THE BEST OF THE CONSUMER WEB TO CORPORATE RELOCATION
By Brynne Herbert
Jun 11, 2013
Many of the most popular features of consumer websites have not made it to corporate relocation solutions. Learn how MOVE Guides is innovating to bring your employees a modern relocation and technology experience.
For the past decade the consumer web raced ahead and developed faster than most of us could even imagine. Sites such as Facebook, Amazon, and countless others have shown how complex problems and user engagement can be solved with good technology. These sites, and others like them, have made significant inroads into their own markets. In the world of business this entire phenomenon passed by and few noticed, until now.
There is an entire universe of high value features, business models, and practices that can be transferred from consumer facing operations to business facing operations. At MOVE Guides we’re proud to be one of the trend setters in applying the best of the consumer web to corporate relocation. In the short time that we’ve been around we’ve seen the enormous effect of this trend in three areas:
Agile development practices For decades, and still today, software development planning in business was carried out using the waterfall method. This requires that research, design, and implementation is all carried out sequentially – with one being started only after the completion of the previous stage. More recently the consumer web has almost entirely shifted to Agile practices for developing solutions. This new methodology allows for a flexible approach that incrementally drives towards a goal. With each increment short term deliverables are released thus allowing value to be created in a much shorter time frame. The consequence of this new business planning approach is lower development costs, faster turn arounds, and customers who see results on a weekly basis.
Great usability drives satisfaction and engagement
For years B2B solutions providers have been developing third-rate solutions for customers as far as usability has been concerned. This was in part driven by a multitude of other factors including the fact until comparatively recently most end users didn't use software that much in their personal lives. With the rise of Generation X & Y, this has changed. Users are now well-educated and discerning buyers; they expect to get the same polished level of presentation and ease of use in their business software. The business world is only just beginning to realise this and the benefits it contains. Users who like the software they use engage with it better thus leading to higher levels of satisfaction, more thorough usage of the software, and ultimately better business results for everyone.
Crowd sourced pricing Crowd sourcing and automatic bidding models are common on the consumer web. You only need to look as far as 99designs or Ebay to see some great examples. These sites allow customers to get great deals at little effort by leveraging large supply chains (or shoppers in Ebay’s case) to fight for business. The real benefit for this lies in the significantly lower costs and higher levels of service that increased competition provides. Add quality control mechanisms and it’s a win-win situation for everyone. This is a sharp contrast to the tired fixed high-cost global supply chains used by most companies in the B2B space.
There are just a few aspects of the consumer web we are translating to the business web. We are already seeing the impact of this innovation on a day-to-day basis: our users are happier, our costs are lower, and we are more flexible as a company. This high level of impact makes us wonder where this will ultimately take us. Nevertheless, the one thing that is absolutely clear is how much we can learn from well established consumer business practices.