Most South African businesses, shocked by a contracting economy, lockdown, looting, global supply limitations and conservative consumer spending, face the monumental difficulty of turning things around.
But, while the task may at first appear insurmountable, from the adversity there is a groundswell of opportunity based on hard data and innovative adaptations that offer hope, evidenced by improving business optimism.
Business confidence dipped from May to July this year, dropping from 97 to 93 according to the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry. But CEIC data shows confidence making a welcome return with a 15.8% improvement in August following a 12.9% decline in July.
Find out more about Spaces at get.ricohspaces.com
It’s good news and perhaps testament to the potent South African ability to adapt and overcome. Perhaps because of the immense adversity we face, moving through allegations of graft and fraud, the economic impact of lockdown, looting and failure to reignite foreign direct investment, South Africans and the businesses that employ us have brought new efforts to improve efficiency and productivity into sharp relief.
Perhaps there was never a time when businesses did not live by the phrase “do more with less”. What’s changed is that we now have not only better tools to make that happen but a new perspective to stimulate the desire that drives it.
Many people are afraid of losing their jobs if they don’t get back to the office. Equally, many business leaders are afraid their companies will sink if they don’t find new ways to identify new customers and reach them with new value propositions. They need to manage cash priorities, improve competitiveness, and better support sales, trim overheads and adapt to market changes fast. A many need new suppliers to replace interrupted or ruined global chains.
How do ordinary people, employees, achieve all of that? We work smarter with the support of the businesses that employ us. People are prepared to do more, to achieve more — all they need are better tools for the job, ones that are aligned to the conditions they face.
Our R&D engineers create solutions that help businesses transform digitally, among them Ricoh Spaces. It’s a modular platform that drives efficiencies by creating truly connected, smart workplaces. It unites people, places and experiences with user-centric technology so people can return to work safely. Desk management, wayfinding, service requests, signage, room management, smart building Internet of things (IoT) sensor integration and visitor management provide a complete toolkit to enhance the office. And it’s all controlled from a simple app that people can use to be safe, efficient and productive.
Find out more about Spaces at get.ricohspaces.com.
Ricoh is empowering digital workplaces using innovative technologies and services that enable individuals to work smarter from anywhere.
With cultivated knowledge and organisational capabilities nurtured over its 85-year history, Ricoh is a leading provider of digital services and information management, and print and imaging solutions designed to support digital transformation and optimise business performance.
Headquartered in Tokyo, Ricoh Group has major operations throughout the world and its products and services now reach customers in approximately 200 countries and regions. In the financial year ended March 2021, Ricoh Group had worldwide sales of the equivalent of about US$15.1-billion.
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- Jacques van Wyk is CEO of Ricoh South Africa
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