The twenty-first century is all about going digital, especially now, when the world is recovering from the Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Businesses are struggling to get their footing back in the industry and reach the targeted clientele who are probably sitting at home in front of their screens, working, instead of going out. What started from the simple transition of telephones to smartphones and handwritten letters to instant messages or emails, have now taken a turn for the better and become a medium for people to interact and run their business on without any glitches. In lieu of this situation, there are two terms that come to the fore – digitization and digitalization. Often confused and used interchangeably, each of them has its distinct meanings. What are they? Let’s find out!
In layman’s terms, digitization can be defined as a process used to convert analog information (those present in a physical form) to a digital format without changing anything. By digitizing documents, images, and other forms of information, you can easily preserve, share, and access the same from any part of the world.
Digitalization can be defined as the use of digital technologies to provide value-producing new revenue options by changing the business model from analog to digital. In simple words, digitalization is the process used to move to a digital business. It takes digitization a step forward and leverages digital information technology to revalue, reengineer, and reimagine the way business is done. The best example of this would be digital logistics.
To understand the fundamental differences between digitalization and digitization at a glance, let’s take a look at this table:
|WHAT IT MEANS||Taking analog data and converting it to a digital form||Incorporating digital technologies into business interactions & processes|
|WHAT DOES IT DEAL WITH?||Information||Interactions and Processes|
|MOST COMMON EXAMPLES||Scanning a document to pdf or jpeg form, turning a VHS recording to mp4, converting handwritten reports to editable digital data||Sending instant messages, video conferencing, monitoring equipment using digital sensors, assembling products with a robot|
|WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?||Faster access to information, easy access to historical data globally, permanent storage of information||Productivity and efficiency gains, the accuracy of the information, better decision making, enhanced visibility||IMPORTANT TOOLS THAT ARE USED||Digital camera, OCR software, storage and retrieval systems, scanners||ERP software, predictive maintenance systems, robotics & controllers, computers and networks|
Now that you have a fair idea of how digitization and digitalization differ, we can discuss how you can incorporate them both into the field service businesses. If we look at the definitions of both words closely, you will see that it makes sense for field service operations to convert their data into digital form. As the field services store information such as their service records, customer details, or invoices online in a digital format, the parties involved in the transaction would be able to readily access the same from anywhere in the world, anytime. This would, in turn, render a much higher quality of customer service experience.
Digital supply chain platforms have become common and popular over the years for this very same reason. The feature-rich platforms allow sharing of information and real-time updates which anyone associated with the company’s privy to the transaction can access.
Centersource Technologies is one such company that deals with digital supply chain management and aims at automating the entire process. Through its product Timber Exchange (TE), Centersource Technologies has made it simpler for exporters, importers, and freight forwarders to keep track of the global wood market from one single platform. Even though it is a plug-and-play model, Centersource has a team of experts to guide every brand through the implementation of TE in their company’s operations and train the employees on the platform. If you’re interested in shifting to a digital logistics model, feel free to check out https://www.centersource.io.
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