Codelitt’s Blake Grewal sat with Codelitt partners, Todd Green and Andrew Priadka, from TM2 Consulting to discuss their expertise and thoughts on the current market and how to pick the right partner for innovation.

TM2 Background

TM2 began in 2016 when Todd and Andrew left Regis in pursuit of taking their skills and expertise to provide consulting services to the retail sector and beyond. Todd brings executive and strategic technological management expertise, while Andrew complements with his financial management and supply chain operations knowledge.

Since Launching TM2 the team has had the opportunity to work with a large base of customers; from small businesses to large corporations in multiple industries spanning from Retail to Manufacturing to Medical to Real Estate.

Todd and Andrew found that the franchise and small business world got hit hard by the pandemic as it was difficult to be prepared for what was to come. These disruptions to the space provided a unique opportunity for TM2 to add value to businesses as they continue to recover and move forward from the pandemic.

Let’s dive into the conversation!

Are businesses using technology to the fullest and making themselves more efficient?

The short answer is, no. But, more and more businesses are understanding that leveraging technology can transform your business model in a positive way for the future. Of course, at the core businesses are focused on the short term and damaged cash flow. It is important to focus on the long term and understand the benefits that technology will bring to the future of your business.

Businesses are coming to terms that the environment is not going back to pre-pandemic levels. For example, just-in-time inventory was widely adopted by businesses but with supply chain disruptions due to the pandemic this caused some issues. Technology can help businesses manage relationships with employees, customers, and vendors to work on mitigating risks such as supply chain disruptions as much as possible.

Where do I start when evaluating the health of my business?

It is crucial to look at your current customer base and understand how they are interacting with your business as well as if there has been a shift in customer demographic. The omni-channel shift was always present but there was a gradual increase in adoption. The pandemic accelerated the importance of omni-channel interactions for a business.

Technology is crucial in having an omni-channel presence. No matter what industry, real estate or retail, customers are looking to have the same experience whether they are online or in-store. Additionally, technology can aid in getting your product or services to your customers in a profitable way.

If my business is experiencing difficulties reaching profitability or scaling, where do I start?

The best place to start is to look internally and understand your business goals. It is tough to approach something by just saying “I need help”. TM2’s expertise and flexibility in their approach has allowed them to scale solutions appropriately within a business. It is important to understand the business requirements and end-goal instead of going in blind.

Todd and Andrew also discussed the importance of not choosing your technology first. Begin with understanding your business at the core; how do you make profit? From there, establish a business process that can allow you to articulate where the gaps are.

TM2 recommended bringing in a partner that looks at your business first and understands the situation at hand, while also being a champion of technology. This will allow your partner to select which situations work for you, not everyone else.

Additionally, take a look at not only the tangible ROI of a technology solution, but also the intangible aspects the technology will bring. For example, does the technology allow your employees to do less time-consuming tasks so they can focus on more important initiatives and things that will produce consistent revenue for the business?  

Lastly, the management of risk has become increasingly important for all businesses. When you are making technology decisions it is important to look long-term and understand how this will help you mitigate risks, as well as grow your business and relationships.

What are some of the biggest push backs businesses give?

To begin, expense of benefit and timing of benefit is always in focus especially when dealing with small. This mean what is the current cost of this solution and when will the business reap the benefits of the implementation. Next, businesses want to ensure that if support is needed on this shift they will have support as they progress.

It is important to give a businesses staff the right tools and support to understand the technology that has been adopted. Owners continue to become more and more aware of how important it is to retain staff, especially in the tight labor market that we are currently in. Helping employees improve efficiency with technology will create a happier work environment and less retention among staff. So, when evaluating the cost of a solution, it is crucial to drive the benefit of technology replacing labor cost rather than creating more headaches.

In your experience, what have you noticed as the main differences between working with small and large companies?

The scalability of solutions tends to be the main issue when working with companies of different sizes. Small businesses need less buy-in and can implement solutions rather quickly, while larger enterprises need more buy-in and assistance in switching solutions. Also, larger companies tend to have older solutions and more resistance in changing their day-to-day structure. For example, you can’t buy new technology and expect it to run like old technology so larger enterprises need to buy into the full process and vision for the solution.

TM2 has been able to break through barriers by truly scoping out the project at hand before diving into a solution. This entails running through steps of discovery to understand the issue and walking through workshops to build a solution that is right for the client.

What are you most excited about in 2022 and beyond?

Todd is most excited about the paradigm shift of businesses of all sizes accepting technology. The willingness to not only accept technology but to keep transforming with it is exciting. Another thing that excites Todd is the seamless integration technology can offer so businesses can make their customers feel valued across their entire experience.

Andrew talked about the growth and openness he sees with businesses interacting with customers on multiple platforms. It is not just brick and mortar or online, companies are realizing they must do both to survive. Customer interactions are constantly evolving and companies are using technology to improve interactions, which is fueling their growth for the long term. Technology will continue to show that the benefits of adopting solutions truly outweigh the cost when looking ahead for future growth.

We hope you enjoyed the discussion! Check out our blog to learn more!