"No staff, no people." That is increasingly the answer to the question of why things are currently stuck. Finding new employees is difficult. That's why you need to lighten the load on your existing team. How? Automate work steps with smart solutions and make them more efficient. In this article, you will learn in four theses how you can optimize the processes in your company by using digital technologies and specialized software. In this way, you can reduce the workload of your staff and increase their productivity.
What interests you in particular?
- Identify time wasters and use digital processes efficiently
- Relieve your team even with growing demands and lack of time
- Use established platforms that can be used without your own store infrastructure and a lot of previous experience
- Make your company fit for the future through simplified workflows
1. Identify time wasters and use digital processes efficiently
Some steps in the bearing trade are real time eaters: You will be familiar with the fact that searching for offers on the buyer's side takes an unnecessary amount of time. Until now, purchasing went like this: You check which trader has which product in stock and in what quantity, and you request the product. Until these requests are processed and you receive a response, a lot of valuable time passes. Of course, this is easily multiplied if you obtain several offers for different bearings.
Despite your efforts, there is no guarantee that the goods are available or that the stock has not changed in the meantime.
The situation is similar on the seller side: Here, several hundred inquiries per week trickle in. It takes too long for you to read and answer them all. And in the end, only a handful of closed deals result from your work.
It's a big challenge, because there's more and more work and fewer and fewer people to do it.
By far not all roller bearing traders have their own online store. However, those that already have one are already using a digital tool. The wind is blowing in the right direction. Unfortunately, it is not enough and is associated with high costs. Especially in the IT area there is a lack of staff and even if you want to, it takes forever to build an online store. On the shopping side, hundreds of different stores - each one individually designed and not directly intuitive to use - don't exactly make life easier. It requires its own access and you have to browse each one in turn ..... that takes time.
The further digitization of the bearing trade and smart tools give you more time for the really important things. In practical terms, this means that tools eliminate time-consuming work steps and processes, making them practical helpers in mastering the challenges posed by the growing shortage of skilled workers.
2. Relieve your team even with growing demands and a lack of time.
Digitize and automate processes when you have few employees and even fewer applicants. In this way, you consciously support your existing employees and make your company more attractive to potential applicants. By wisely deciding which processes can be digitally simplified, you optimize many areas of your day-to-day business:
- Stocks and offers: With the right digital system, you can keep your inventory up-to-date with a few clicks and post new sales offers at lightning speed. Customers can always see what's available and buy just as easily. Order confirmations are sent automatically by e-mail or can be accessed digitally. All this can be done by a single person from the team - with digital support.
- Direct and secure communication: You communicate with this customer by e-mail, with that one on the phone and a third one would like to be informed by mail? That ties up resources and personnel! With a secure and direct digital communication option, you bundle all customer conversations in one place and can process them in a structured and efficient manner.
- Transparent processes: If you enable your customers to buy your products via an account on a digital platform, they can view all processes and transactions themselves at any time. Your employees are less busy answering customer inquiries and have more time for the important things.
- Transaction security: Have you had a bad experience with a trading partner or don't want to trade with certain companies for various reasons, such as fake bearing deliveries? Look for safe trading locations with reputable trading partners for secure quality trading. This way you save the manual pre-selection of customers. How BEARING X ensures quality trading - peer-to-peer; blacklisting; community.
- Reliable troubleshooting: If you work with an external, digital trading platform, the ways to solve problems are short. You have contact persons who take care of your concerns and do not have to employ your own staff for time-consuming troubleshooting.
The reasons for the staff shortage? Demographic change & fewer and fewer trainees.
Let's make it short and sweet. There are generally fewer employees available to the labor market than in the past. As a result, the roller bearing trade is having to cope with ever greater cutbacks. In very practical terms, this looks like this:
Fewer and fewer trainees
The number of students continues to rise. As a result, fewer and fewer young people are opting for an apprenticeship. This is clearly noticeable when looking for an apprenticeship: Ten years ago, there were 20 applications for one position, but today there are less than half that number. The reason for this is that more and more students are obtaining a general higher education entrance qualification and then going on to study. While 26% of students earned a high school diploma in 2002, 39% will have done so by 2021. The university degree has long been mistakenly perceived as "better" because it is supposedly associated with better-paying jobs and better career opportunities. In addition, there have been some social dynamics that have caused a decline in interest in traditional vocational education. For example, concerns that apprenticeships are less valued or more monotonous than academic occupations. All of these are simplistic assumptions that every trainer and job fair quickly disproves.
Reduced team strength
The number of available personnel is also shrinking. Colleagues from the baby boomers (those born between 1955 and 1969) are retiring or leaving the company for other reasons. On the other hand, there is a shortage of young talent: Whereas traders used to be able to spread the workload over several shoulders thanks to a thicker personnel cover, this is no longer the case today.
The shortage of staff has 5 far-reaching consequences for companies
Not only for the management itself, but also for the remaining workforce, the effects are already clearly noticeable:
3. Use established platforms that can be used without your own store infrastructure and without much previous experience
With a digital buying and selling platform, you can immediately take advantage of the possibilities of efficient, digital bearing trading. Try it out and integrate it directly and seamlessly into your workflows:
- Thanks to intuitive handling, your employees work with it immediately and do not need a long introduction. They see how easy it is and are more motivated.
- When you use a platform, it's much more cost-effective than having your own online store, because the costs are low: You only pay when you actually sell.
4. Make your company future-proof through simplified workflows
Thanks to automated processes, you can get by better with fewer staff. In addition, simplified processes mean that your employees no longer have to specialize as much - there is no longer a need for expertise in operational trading and there is more time for important things:
- You finally have more time to train new colleagues properly. And to devote more time to personnel development.
- It's easier for your staff to stay on the same level of knowledge. This facilitates communication among them.
- You can focus on the company's strategies and think about how it wants to position itself in the coming years.
- You have more time to look at the movements or trends in the market to know if your company is up to date.
- In the future, you can invest the thousands of euros a month you save on your own online store and its development in other areas.
The shortage of staff need not present the roller bearing trade with an insurmountable task. New trading options and the broader and more attractive positioning as an employer are solutions that provide new impetus and a breath of fresh air.