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Blockbuster vs. Netflix – Signs and Symptoms of Outdated Business Processes

by | Oct 16, 2020

Evolve Now or Regret it Later

It was Eckhart Tolle who reminded us that we are in a modern landscape where we must “evolve or die.” Whether you apply this to a species, human consciousness, or an organization itself—the lesson is clear: A forward-thinking philosophy is the only way to avoid extinction; To remain relevant, one must have an insatiable thirst for innovation and a sincere distaste for the status quo.

Innovative digital business models are one of the main driving forces behind why more than half of Fortune 500 companies have fallen off the list since the year 2000. Either these companies failed to evolve their business model, or where unable to adapt to the what competitors were offering.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” It’s a saying that harkens back to an era where people kept everything—just in case. Forged through the Great Depression, believers of this mantra had first-hand experience living through a time period where you couldn’t always replace what was lost. It’s a quote that has many applications, but certainly not modern business. If you are waiting for something to break, or be obsolete, your competition will be waiting for you at the finish line.


Case Study: Blockbuster vs. Netflix

Take Blockbuster for example, one of the original pioneers of late-fee revenue. In their case, the solution to evolving was right in front of them—literally. His name was Reed Hastings, now better known as the co-founder, co-CEO and chairman of Netflix. At the time, he owned a struggling, but forward-thinking company. Blockbuster was an industry giant, but most of their revenue came from charging their customers a fee for not returning a movie on time—something Hastings offered a solution for. But Blockbuster wasn’t broke, so they didn’t need a fix at the time.

The lesson here is “if it ain’t broke, you should still inspect it.” As the story goes, the partnership proposed by Hastings was rejected, despite offering a solution that could have revitalized Blockbuster’s deteriorating model. Perhaps it was hubris, or shortsightedness, or simply the belief that the giant they had built could never be taken down by a mere David like Netflix. Regardless, only twenty years later, Netflix is now worth $125 billion and Blockbuster is obsolete.

So what happened? One definition of evolution is the belief that individuals with characteristics best suited for their environment are more likely to survive. Netflix possessed these characteristics, because they identified where the market was going rather than attempting to replicate the current market. The environment at the time was a fee-based system, but as soon as the subscription-based Netflix penetrated the market, it was clear that this was the only model that would survive.


Robotic Process Automation – A Futuristic Business Model

Regardless of whether your organization is thriving, treading water or barely staying afloat—looking ahead is far more beneficial than glorifying successes and lamenting failures. One key element of all business processes in the modern world is automation, and the gains in efficiency and accuracy that an organization can realize by implementing Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

Here are a few signs that are common symptoms of an outdated business process:

  • Your employees are manually entering data from documents
  • Your organization manually classifies and/or files documents
  • You are paying employees to sort, extract and route data
  • Information is received in different languages and translation is a barrier
  • You are worried about fraud and/or the security of your content
  • You are struggling with enforcing regulatory compliance
  • Your employees are working with multiple interfaces, systems, platforms, etc.

If any of these symptoms are something you want to address within your organization, contact Western Integrated Systems today to discuss your options. Western has partnered with industry leaders to bring an end-to-end RPA solution to the most vital aspects of your business.

Call us email us today, and we can evaluate your needs and illustrate how RPA can transform your organization into a more efficient, productive and sustainable operation.

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Written by WIS



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