Jan 21, 2021
Corporate Foresight: 4 Advanced Technologies All Small Business Owners Need To Know About
Julissa Merius

Ever been served a cup of coffee from a BaristaBot? A South Korean cafe uses robot coffee baristas to promote social distance measures. Robots in the hospitality industry serve as a reminder that AI is currently being implemented in the brick and mortar industry worldwide.

  • To know and follow the activities of these Robotic Baristas is to have Corporate Foresight:

Corporate Foresight is a mix of processes, tools, and methods company leaders can use to understand drivers of change, predictions and the implications of each for their businesses.” (FSR Magazine)

Delightree believes in the power of knowing where your industry is headed. The future is heading toward technology, so that means your business should be running there too.

We are also dedicated to empowering our audience, so here are four advanced technologies all franchisee owners should know about + extra credit

1. The Internet of Things

Smart kitchen systems are the newest trend in hospitality. Commercial kitchen equipment like refrigerators and ovens can now connect wirelessly to a cloud and report real-time temperatures ensuring food safety 24/7. Connect all your machines and devices to the “Internet of Things” or “IoT.”

“The Internet of Things (IoT) is the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.”

Connecting all your devices via IoT allows business owners to assure food safety and compliance while also managing energy use. Many food retailers will be wary of making this jump. That does not mean it is not a move worth making. Smart refrigerators connected to “IoT” allow you to store different food categories in the same appliance. Store Ice Cream and Juice in the same place. This new tech can individually control shelves in your freezer.

2. Training Apps

Training apps allow you to digitize training procedures. Many significant franchises have already made this jump to digitized training as a way of keeping quality control. It ensures everyone across locations is being trained in the same way. Digitizing your training procedures also keeps your business adaptive to change. In manuals and binders, things are set-in-stone unless reopened, revised, reprinted, and refiled. Those folders and handbooks are also hard to distribute evenly among locations. So how should you do it in 2021? Serve up checklists, video tutorials, and interactive forms using a new tech app like Delightree.

3. QR Codes

Technology that makes your place of business as contactless as possible is where the future is headed. Hospitality industries are using QR Codes to adapt to these new norms. These little codes are popping up in restaurants due to the sheer power they hold. Best of all, most QR generators are free. If you’re looking for a way to innovate your business with low costs, this might be the best option for you. QR Codes can lead to a restaurant menu, reservation system, loyalty program, and more. Some restaurants have opted with forgoing physical menus all together in favor of these codes.

4. Augmented Reality

Take your corporate foresight one step further by investigating augmented reality for your store. Augmented reality creates a digitally enhanced real-world environment. To be transparent, objects that exist in real-life are enhanced digitally by technology with AR. Use AR to project digital product reviews over the item your shopper is viewing in-store. You can use AR to launch store price comparisons along with many more uses. This technology has seen growth in the past few years. Timberland was one of the first to catch on to the trend of using AR in-store, launching an Augmented Reality campaign in 2014.

Consider AR when you think about where your industry is headed.

EXTRA CREDIT:

Free WiFi

Last but not least is the best-advanced technology you can buy, Free WIFI. Business Owners may balk at providing internet service to customers primarily due to the costs. Still, a study found that 60% of customers spent more time, and 50% of consumers spent more money in business locations that hosted Free WiFi. While not exactly requiring strong foresight, this advanced technology is definitely worth the price.

The best way to stay competitive is to stay ahead. We hope you think of these new technologies when using corporate foresight to remain competitive in your industry.


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