The Biggest Business Trend You Cannot Ignore
In a recent article, Trendwatchers describes transparency as one of the five big forces that drive the future of consumerism. At SLE, we don’t think it’s just a trend, we believe it’s here to stay. But what does transparency actually mean to businesses and consumers? How do you ensure a transparent relationship?
Transparency in business means staying open and informative about key pieces of processes and information. Keeping communicative with your customers isn’t the only important part; internal transparency is just as important. Keeping open lines of communication with employees about company operations increases team spirit and motivation. It all starts from within in order to be able to reflect the same values onto customers. As, with all of your company’s information out in the open, customers can see right through you.
The Information Age
But why has transparency become so important? Because this is the Information Age. With the world of information being just a click away for anyone, everyone expects to be constantly connected and informed as soon as they feel needed, whether it be about the age of their favourite actor or the financial records of a large corporation. It’s the abundance of information that is accessible to everyone that has made it so important for companies to be just as transparent in order to meet the consumer expectations. So withholding information is no longer possible or acceptable. Across all industries and markets, transparency has developed into being an obligatory integrated part of business models. According to a study by Label Insight in 2016, 95% of consumers surveyed state that they are more likely to remain loyal to brands that offer transparency, and 73% said they are willing to pay more for products or services that offer complete transparency.
Specifically in supply chain management, transparency is one of the eleven supply chain trends that businesses cannot ignore. Supply chains require responsibility and traceability as they expand globally. Wibo Feijen, CEO of SLE feels the same way, “I hate going to restaurants that have a closed kitchen. I find them untrustworthy. I want to know what happens to my food whilst it’s being prepared, just as I expect my clients want to know what happens to their products whilst being transported.” To ensure longevity in customer relationships, it is necessary that transparency goes both ways. Customers need to communicate their goals and expectations to their partnering companies so that they can work together in achieving them. Collaboration and communication are key elements of doing business transparently. And transparency is the key to doing business successfully. In order to retain and build the trust of customers, it is vital that companies have an open kitchen, and work on improving their transparency. Only then will they have a chance of growing in the future.