Letter To Incoming Minister Stuart Nash

Dear minister,

Improve your business productivity by 1 percent using New Zealand software services.

That’s a one liner call to action you can use when talking to small business and manufacturers. Three years is a long time in opposition, so it’s about this time of year we all look at who to choose for the next 1,000 days or so.

Not knowing when this article will be published, you may already be back in power… so let’s assume that you are. What next? Small businesses who make products locally in New Zealand are both resilient and creative, and have benefited greatly from the wage subsidy you provided this year.

What's next
Buy New Zealand Made has experienced record growth in businesses adding the official NZ Made logo to what they make, helping them attract new customers domestically and abroad.
Kiwis are supporting local, and equally what we make for the export sector has continued to grow this year. Next year, however, the temporary wage subsidy will have gone and the bumper sales of Christmas 2020 will be in the rear vision mirror. There will be more focus on costs, if there isn’t already.

Business digitisation creates real opportunities to replace inefficient with efficient.

Here’s three examples Buy New Zealand Made has adopted in 2020 for your 2021 crib sheet when people talk about the minimum wage:
Outsourcing — outsourced all labelling logistics, picking and packing to a company that does this work all day long. Those resources are now redeployed to more business promotion.
Automating —  the onboarding of new licence holders, so we can now process more applications with the same amount of people.
Creating — video assets selling the value proposition 24x7 and avoiding having to hire more sales staff.

Cost benefit
These aren’t new, but the costs for implementing are tiny in comparison to the benefits. Saving five minutes a task for a task done five times a day using software services can add up to two-and-a-half weeks of time saved and at the new minimum wage, that’s worth $2,100 plus gst.

Now let’s add New Zealand software services into the mix.

Arcanum builds AI tools so your team can work on things that are less repetitive and frankly, a lot more enjoyable. Counting widgets encourages yawning at a cost of $20 per hour, computer vision can easily do that counting for a monthly service fee.

New Zealand software service Ambit, creates contact centres for large enterprises that can update customers at scale without scaling the number of employees. Again very smart, particularly if there’s an outage when a tsunami of calls come in. Maybe this would be a good company to help IRD out in 2021.

Lastly, JoyousHQ is another software service company, this time helping keep distributed teams happy. Admittedly, their focus is on large companies with more than 1,000 employees which gives them more of an export focus. However, I would like to invite you to see their software and perhaps encourage the New Zealand government to become their customer. It pays to remember many of our best manufacturers from the 20th century got their confidence to grow from long term government contracts.

Grow, grow, grow
OK, we’ve reached the end of this letter sharing some real world applications that will shift the needle on productivity - if New Zealand businesses and manufacturers collectively pledge to improve their own productivity by 1 percent in 2021 using New Zealand software services. Here’s another bonus one liner — every manufacturer should have a direct to consumer product line to understand how to grow revenue online.

Rocketspark are hiring our brightest and giving them jobs right here in New Zealand designing and building the next evolution of hundreds of ecommerce businesses. BluTui have built the digital infrastructure so web agencies aren’t hamstrung by overseas platforms or costs as they scale. 
Good luck in 2021, however the government forms and thank you for your service to the New Zealand people over the last 36 months.

Article republished from New Zealand business news publisher BusinessDesk.

Ryan Jennings is executive director of Buy New Zealand Made.


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