In our digital world, more and more data are being collected, drastically transforming the way companies work, communicate and engage with their clients. BEAST met with Edith Magyarics, CEO of Victor Buck Services, to exchange on the topic of digital transformation and how it has affected the company, its customers and its people over the last years. The future of the service provider was also tackled.
"The first thing to do, starts Edith Magyarics, is to take a step back. ’Digital’ can hold different meanings to clients, service providers, us… even within Victor Buck Services, people understand it differently". With that in mind, the CEO thinks that digital transformation, in some way, shape or form, has become necessary for the survival of companies, especially Victor Buck Services, because data has always been at the heart of its activity. "We have different kinds of activities, but their core element, their entry point is always data", she says. Indeed, the company receives millions of highly confidential data every day to transform, amalgam, enrich then deliver in some way all around the world. Today, 99% of the incoming data is already digitised. The remaining part is still on paper and is sent to Victor Buck Services for digitisation.
The link between the service provider and digital does not stop there, as the company also has a PSDC certification – Prestataire de services de dématérialisation ou de conservation – granted by the Luxembourgish Institute ILNAS for the legal conservation and dematerialization of data. This means that any document archived or copied through the PSDC process has the same legal value as the initial version, reducing the use of paper and other physical documents, and therefore the costs. Whereas some companies can only digitise or only store these documents, Victor Buck Services has an authorisation for both digitisation and conservation services.
Let’s not forget that at the beginning in 2000, the company was created as a setup linked to the Imprimerie de la Cour, dealing with paper only. Victor Buck Services is therefore a great example of successful digital transformation. As its CEO puts it: "Without it, we would be behind. We need to innovate and rethink our processes all the time". Beside its own transformation, the company helps its clients with theirs. "Client-centricity is very important. Everything depends on what ‘digital’ means to them.
We listen to what they and their underlying customers need to help them in the most flexible way. Our policy is not to build solutions in silo then sell them, we work with our clients to be there when they need us and deliver what they want, bearing in mind all the requirements and regulations," she continues
Change while remaining the same
Obviously, these changes did not come without challenges. The first one, according to Edith Magyarics, is making sure that the different teams are on board and understand the new solutions. The new products need to be client-friendly, available everywhere, with a clear interface, and to have all the required information. "Time to market is also essential. People want everything in a quality way, risk-free, and immediately," highlights the CEO. Still, while Victor Buck Services is paying much attention to this, transformation is always a challenge. The solution lies in proper communication. "Without proper communication and explanation on why some things change, there are rumours and interpretations around the positioning of the company. That is why there needs to be a defined strategy from the start and clear communication".
All of this without losing track of the clients’ interests, always at the heart of the decisions and solutions. "Ideas are nice, and obviously we have R&D, but companies need to keep in mind that they will not be the ones using these tools, but their clients and end users." In this matter, customer service is impacted as well. Once again, people within Victor Buck Services and customer care teams need to understand everything so they can then explain it to their clients properly. The CEO continues: "People from Sales and Account management are our eyes, ears and mouths when they meet with clients. In our digital world, everything needs to happen quickly, from capturing the needs of the clients to selling them our solutions properly". This acceleration often needs agility. On this topic, Edith Magyarics is more prudent: "Flexibility has always been in our DNA. When it comes to agility, we started working on it some time ago and today we are proud to include it in our core values." Indeed, some changes have already been made, like grouping teams so they work together, share best practices etc. The service provider implemented new processes and tools while working on the PSDC certification, which led to quicker results without damaging the flexibility, core value of Victor Buck Services. "It is not for the clients to adapt to us. We need to adapt to them," says the CEO. According to her, service providers need to be able to have open discussions and to challenge clients. That way, they help them find the best solutions.
"Our role is not to create products or solutions. We are an enabler. If it means that we need to develop something, we do it, but we can also use existing solutions or combine both."
What about the future?
Because transformation is a continuous process, Victor Buck Services keeps a close eye on several trends that might disrupt their field. Obviously, artificial intelligence is one of them and the company has even started implementing it: "We are transforming our production centre in Bettembourg in a 4.0 factory, in which AI will have a lot of importance". Robotics is also on the top of the list, with the automation of basic tasks allowing people to focus on the more important parts of their jobs. Once again, as Edith Magyarics puts it, the service provider has to "make sure that the teams follow. If we do not communicate properly, rumours spread and people start to be afraid of the transformation."
The imminent coming of GDPR, cyber-security and data protection are all closely linked to digital transformation. By automating processes, according to the CEO, human touch points are reduced and so is the risk. Of course, other types of risks arise. That is why companies need to pay attention to cyber-security and data protection during their transformation. "Thankfully, she continues, there are plenty of initiatives and discussions at high level. We get involved as much as we can in these because it will benefit us and ultimately our clients." The goal is to think ahead instead of reacting. Concerning GDPR, "Victor Buck Services has already set up important and reliable technical and organisational measures to ensure security and confidentiality of data processing." Data protection has always been in the DNA of the company, and it has not waited for GDPR to apply the highest standards of security to protect the highly sensitive information and data processed every day. Still, Victor Buck Services shall implement any further improvement required to ensure compliance to the GDPR when it comes into force.
How to have a good digital transformation
"Companies need to take the time to analyse where they are and where they want to go. Then comes the strategy, which has always a betting dimension. Not everything will succeed." Her advice is to start with a few easy changes with great return on investment, then to take steps towards more innovative ideas. For this, the key is to think ahead about what is coming next and to make the best with the resources and people already on board, even though "one must not be afraid to get outside help if required. It is all about balance".
This article was already published in BEAST #11 / www.beastmagazine.lu
Publié le 11 mai 2018