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August 9, 2021

A note on Deskless Operations

Bala Panneerselvam
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84% of the world does not work at a desk. Employees work around a warehouse or factory in driving around creating products and delivering services. But only 1% of the world's software is built for such people. There has been more and more innovation in the at-desk market especially with the pandemic. But the deskless market is increasingly ignored. This article from Forbes is a good read on this subject.

Running operations is very hard. It is often considered the boring part of an organization. But the success of any business depends on its ability to run its operations predictably and consistently for every single order over a long period of time even with changing dynamics of your business.

Imagine what you felt when Amazon could not do your deliveries within 2 days when the pandemic struck. That's the consumer expectation today. And any company that cannot match that expectation can no longer compete reliably. The traditional businesses are increasingly figuring out ways to bring their business to the new fulfilment first world. And new businesses are figuring out increasingly optimal ways to manage their operations. This is definitely an interesting time to be a customer.

When we think of technology for Ops, we think of optimisation. It's not about making people work hard. It is all about removing inefficiencies. Breaking it down to the smallest steps, clearly indicating what needs to be done and how it needs to be done and helping the actors do their jobs smartly. This is where technology comes in. Technology is an assistant that can work with the human actors and help them do their jobs efficiently. Such an assistant can improve the productivity of actors in the order of 50-70%.

Today, businesses are largely left to build the right products for themselves which is hugely inefficient. This has made almost impossible for new businesses to compete with the operational efficiency of the likes of Amazon or the Doordash. We believe over the next few years, a lot of investment will go in enabling the everyday businesses to run their operations on an equal footing.

Just like how someone can sign up to Shopify and launch an ecommerce store, running a successful operations will just be a click away. That will truly democratise operations.

Read our piece on choosing the right product for optimising your operations if you are interested in how to go about optimising your business.

If you like the content here, we write about basics of running operations and using products to manage them better. You can subscribe for more updates. You can also reach out to me at bala at zorp.one or DM me on linkedIn or Twitter.

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