What gives us the courage to achieve transformative change? It’s a combination of leadership, perseverance, and community. The annual Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) Leadership Conference is an excellent opportunity to witness many different examples of leadership; learn from successes earned through perseverance; and experience the strength of community. It’s a chance to step back from the day-to-day to get reenergized and be inspired. Preparing to attend this year’s conference prompted me to reflect on the critical role these qualities played as we navigated a recent transformation in my organization, Tibersoft.
As it did for so many businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic brought about unprecedented challenges for foodservice manufacturers. They had to contend with widespread operator closures and re-openings. They then had to navigate supply chain issues and grapple with inflation.
During this time, foodservice manufacturers relied even more heavily on data to guide their decisions. But the issue for many manufacturers (as my colleague Quinlan noted in his recent blog post) wasn’t finding enough data or even the right data. It was extracting actionable insights tailored to specific functions like sales, marketing, and finance. Data can tell a sales director her volume is down, but insights show her how to address it.
Many teams spent too much time analyzing data, or they heavily relied on a few analysts to provide static reports that quickly went stale. Manufacturers were challenged to increase the quality and flow of insights at a time when resources were especially constrained, and the operational environment was swiftly changing.
During this difficult time for foodservice manufacturers, Tibersoft recognized a new way to serve our clients by delivering not just data, but insights. More specifically, actionable insights derived from our deep knowledge of both the foodservice industry, and its data and our technology. We also recognized it would require a transformative change of our own. We had to redefine how our clients thought about us and how we thought about ourselves. It required changes to our tools and technology as well as an expansion of how we support clients. In short, Tibersoft needed to transition from a data provider to a trusted business partner.
Transformative change is neither immediate nor effortless. It requires leadership, perseverance, and community.
- Leadership. Tibersoft leaders developed a strategy and inspired us with the vision. Members across the organization have stepped up to develop new tools and capabilities.
- Perseverance. Change hasn’t happened overnight. It has been a challenge to change clients’ ingrained habits of how they interact with our solution and how they perceive us. We, as a team, are leading our clients through the change.
- Community. It has been a journey we’re taking together with our clients, which make up the OPTRADE community. With the support of key champions, we’ve collaborated on delivering actionable insights tailored to specific user groups. We’ve leveraged the OPTRADE community to share best practices more frequently and share new ways clients were using insights to drive their businesses. We’ve integrated user feedback, repeatedly refreshing our new tools and refining our services.
Approximately 18 months into this incredible journey, I am excited to see a growing number of clients embracing our transformation and looking to us for actionable insights to guide their decision making and impact their revenue. I am inspired by the leadership, perseverance, and community that has made this possible. At this year’s WFF conference, I hope to share our story with other attendees and can’t wait to be energized by their own stories.
If you’re interested in connecting with me at the Leadership Conference, please reach out to me on LinkedIn.