Drills: having both hands on the digital steering wheel

Valerie Ferland, deputy general manager of Milton cider house, a family business based in Sainte-Cécile-de-Milton (Photo: courtesy)

digital transformation. Instead of delegating the task to a consultant, business leaders decide to take charge of digital transformation by pursuing courses on the topic themselves. Certificate of two entrepreneurs who developed a strategic plan or chose technology solutions within the framework of a “sector” training programme.

Focus on e-commerce

Helen Lavoie, a former economic development commissioner turned entrepreneur, is not someone who does things in half. Since December, the co-founder of Laval producer and micro-roaster Fincafé estimates that she has listened to more than a hundred hours of capsules and webinars on digital marketing and sales. Selected in the first batch of the Mon commerce en ligne program launched last October by the Association québécoise des Technologies, the entrepreneur decided to maximize her experience.

The program offers merchants a 14-hour bank of training as well as “asynchronous” training with the aim of helping them “increase their sales, develop new markets and improve their operations with digital technology.” Meeting Hélène Lavoie on a rotating basis with a coach during business development and a specialist in digital strategies, he had two goals: to choose an online commerce platform to sell “small units” of coffee, but also to understand the overall impact that the online store would have on the operation of his business.

“The exercises made me see the link between the virtual store and the real business,” she explains. When choosing a product code for a coffee bag in the online store, this same code is located in the accounting system, in the inventory management system, and then on the physical label of the coffee bag in the warehouse. Everything is connected. There has to be consistency between what we display online and what we have in stock,” she explains.

The co-founder of Fincafé wanted to understand the basic principles of e-commerce before engaging third parties in the process. “If we had entrusted the delegation directly to an agency, I think it would have taken longer to be convinced of the need to change our accounting system [pour QuickBook, afin de le connecter à la boutique en ligne] Or photograph the products you want to sell online. »

Helen Lavoie, who is related to her coffee-producing wife on the adventure, says she wants to create a company that is “sustainable,” “think long-term,” and that will exist for [ses] children.” Therefore, understanding the digital environment that retail is heading into in the future makes sense. This is why she has chosen to “do her homework well.”

Confirm intuition to maintain its operations

When Melton Cider decided to pursue Passeport Go TR4NSF.0 training created by Mouvement québécois de la qualité (MQQ), it wanted to “continue” its operations. “With our multiple calculations made in Excel files, we sometimes felt like we were doing a voodoo dance hoping our sales forecast was good,” says Valerie Ferland, deputy general manager of the family business based in St. Cecil de Milton.

By joining the MQQ beta, Valerie Ferland and colleague, Production Coordinator, Patricia Petti, have benefited from ten hours of targeted support to reposition their strategic plan and learn how to map their business operations.

By the nature of its operations, the Milton Cedar House faces significant planning challenges. As an agricultural business that grows and processes the apples used to produce cider – the cider they sell and distribute themselves – the cider house must ensure that the July crop meets the demand for the following year’s cider.

“We decided to replace the Excel files with a unit of operations,” explains Valerie Ferland. Recreating the strategic plan with the help of a mentor allowed us to confirm this intuition. »The training followed by Patricia Pettit in mapping then helped the company clarify what the unit should do, i.e. focus the planning of sales, production, inventory management and distribution departments. The production coordinator notes: “We are now in a position to clearly explain our needs to the suppliers we will meet for the platform.”

Knowing how to label your need is already half the work!

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