Use Digital Transformation to not only foster new connections but also to improve the connections you already have. Ditch your snail mail advertisements and upgrade to an entirely digital presence. Take advantage of the social media boom and engage with your customers on their favorite social channels — it’s now easier than ever to keep in touch with more frequent and concise digital communication. These small acts help strengthen the customer’s relationship with your company and cultivate a lasting connection that can help increase future business.
As part of our series about “How To Use Digital Transformation To Take Your Company To The Next Level”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Zach Lipsky.
Zach Lipsky is the founder and President of BOSS Logics, a leader in innovative software solutions. Zach and his team of software developers, strategists and creatives deliver engaging, interactive brand experiences for some of the world’s leaders in fashion, jewelry, and retail. Building on his deep industry knowledge and experience, Zach was the driving force behind the development and launch of the company’s most recent product, BOSS Logics Live, which uses personalized virtual brand experiences to revolutionize the way vendors and retailers sell in a post-COVID world.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series. Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
Thanks so much for having me! I’m excited to be part of this series. It all started in 1998 when I was 17 — the Internet was starting to become more widely used and I was a bored teen at home who wanted to get involved in the tech boom. I started creating websites for small companies and had an “aha” moment that I could make a business out of this, which I grew through my college years. Eventually, this small business turned into BOSS Logics. We started as a digital agency and over time, we gradually evolved into a software company with a focus on automating and streamlining the way companies create and manage products. Last year at the beginning of the pandemic, I realized there was a gap in the market as businesses started to use video conferencing platforms for virtual sales meetings. I wanted to help businesses pivot their sales approach and knew we had the capabilities to change the way businesses connect and engage with their customers, which led to our latest solution, BOSS Logics Live.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
Throughout college, I was simultaneously studying and working on building BOSS Logics. During my sophomore year, shortly after I submitted a final project for one of my Java classes I received a call from my professor telling me that I was under investigation for plagiarism. What my professor didn’t know was that I had based my project on work I was doing for BOSS Logics, so essentially, I was “plagiarizing” my own work. After explaining this serious miscommunication to my professor, he ended up nominating me for Collegiate Entrepreneur of the Year (and I won!). This was the greatest lesson in communication and transparency that I could have received, and ever since then I’ve carried the importance of ethics with me through every step I’ve taken. I’ll never forget to sign my name on my work again!
Another great mistake I know many working parents will relate to stems from a rambunctious toddler and an unlocked door when I first started to develop BOSS Logics Live. Like many parents working from home know, juggling work and kids who want to be entertained all day can be a challenge. I was coding for BOSS Logics Live and like clockwork, my daughter ran into the room and began hammering at the keyboard, effectively disrupting all the code I had been working on. While I would’ve welcomed the visit any other time, I hadn’t saved any of my work. I definitely learned my lesson — constantly save what I’m working on and think about investing in a lock for the door!
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
I wouldn’t have been able to achieve anything without my wife, Hayley, who’s always there for me. On top of doing incredible work with a humanitarian organization, she’s been my biggest supporter as we tag-team taking care of our kids amidst both of our busy work schedules. I’m so grateful for my two kids, who are a constant source of excitement and inspiration, and I can’t forget my dog Buddy, who’s been with me through the many evolutions of the company as our mascot and District Manager.
Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
I read the novel The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving many years ago and it’s always stuck with me. The book is a coming-of-age story about perseverance, and one passage in particular has made a lasting impact on me — “We dream on and on…And our dreams escape us almost as vividly as we can imagine them…” I’ve kept this quote in mind throughout my career as an inspiration to ensure my dreams do come true. So far, I think I’m on the right track!
Extensive research suggests that “purpose driven businesses” are more successful in many areas. When your company started, what was its vision, what was its purpose?
The purpose of BOSS Logics has always been to create solutions to simplify the way people work. When we first started, I made sure to emphasize the fact that our goal is to develop solutions oriented toward the end-user. With this focus in mind, we’ve been successful in creating solutions that both benefit and address the needs of the end-user, rather than an executive who might not actually use the product.
Are you working on any new, exciting projects now? How do you think that might help people?
At the moment, my biggest project is continuing to perfect BOSS Logics Live, formerly known as together by BOSS™. During the height of the pandemic, we shifted to get people reinspired when much of our lives were filled with uncertainty. BOSS Logics Live aims to go beyond the new normal by introducing businesses in the jewelry industry to a virtual sales platform that’s more advanced and cohesive than what was available before. I knew that the industry was poised to take steps toward a more digital presence, but with BOSS Logics Live, the jewelry industry is sprinting.
We launched the platform in June 2020 as together by BOSS™; the platform flourished so quickly and outgrew its name, so as we continue to roll out new updates and make improvements to the software, we knew we needed to rebrand to a name that was more representative of BOSS Logics as a whole. Despite being physically apart during sales meetings, BOSS Logics Live ensures sales associates continue to sell and make lasting and meaningful connections with customers while maintaining a sense of normalcy during a year that was anything but normal.
With the successes we’ve already seen with BOSS Logics Live, our latest and most exciting project is tackling a hybrid virtual trade show model. We’ve partnered with JCK, the leading and largest jewelry event in North America open to all jewelry professionals that gathers 30,000 exhibitors and attendees from around the globe each year, to create an online marketplace for vendors and their retail customers. The goal of the partnership is to complement trade shows with an online marketplace and meeting platform to serve their buying and selling community year-round, as vendors and visitors safely connect and cultivate long-term relationships that span the sales-seasons.
Thank you for all that. Let’s now turn to the main focus of our discussion about Digital Transformation. For the benefit of our readers, can you help explain what exactly Digital Transformation means? On a practical level what does it look like to engage in a Digital Transformation?
In today’s world, new technologies are emerging every single day, and it can be challenging for businesses to keep up. Digital Transformation means taking advantage of these new technologies to enhance your already existing business practices in order to meet changing demands and customer expectations. Digital Transformation might be anything from going paperless to integrating new point-of-sales technology. At the end of the day, it’s about the importance of being flexible and ready to grow and adapt to keep up with your customers’ needs as new technologies emerge.
Which companies can most benefit from a Digital Transformation?
My experience is based in providing technology solutions for jewelers, so I know that industry can vastly benefit from a Digital Transformation. The jewelry industry is very successful with traditional sales techniques; however, things are changing to be less traditional. Through Digital Transformation, I’ve seen first-hand how sales methods and business plans are reshaping to benefit both the customer and the sales associate.
We’d love to hear about your experiences helping others with Digital Transformation. In your experience, how has Digital Transformation helped improve operations, processes and customer experiences? We’d love to hear some stories if possible.
Evolution is a constant in business and my main focus is supporting the jewelry industry in undergoing Digital Transformation — this means helping the companies we work with adjust to the current climate by adapting to virtual sales meetings. Much of the jewelry industry is dependent on personal connections and viewing products in meetings, so I designed BOSS Logics Live to help jewelry vendors and retailers transform their practices into a viable new method of conducting business and meeting sales goals amidst business changes and travel restrictions.
One of my favorite stories about how we’ve made a lasting impact in helping others with Digital Transformation comes from working with David Yurman, one of our longest standing clients. This past fall, we partnered with David Yurman to bring their Fall Market Week online for the first time, using BOSS Logics Live for the entirety of the event. Rather than meet with retailers in-person, the David Yurman team showcased their new collections in interactive virtual meetings on the platform. After the event was over, Maria Valim, Yurman’s Senior Vice President of Sales, shared that making the transition to conducting Market Week meetings through BOSS Logics Live completely changed the game for her sales team — they now had the opportunity to do their homework before a presentation and individualize the perfect assortment to showcase to specific retailers. Her team was more efficient than ever with the ability to create dynamic presentations and display the best part of each product for every retailer.
Another great Digital Transformation success story comes from wholesale jeweler Quality Gold, which has integrated BOSS Logics Live into their sales approach. In a review call with Jeff Wynkoop, their Director of Buying Groups and Ecommerce, he told my team he was skeptical about how the platform could benefit him since he was so accustomed to making connections with customers through in-person meetings. Once he began to incorporate BOSS Logics Live into everyday use, Jeff found retailers were able to see and discuss products that they actually wanted to talk about, since meetings felt more like a conversation than a sales presentation. Retailers were giving his sales associates their undivided attention without distraction since meetings were now pre-scheduled, as opposed to relying on cold-calling. Through the platform, Jeff was even able to connect with a customer whom he hadn’t previously had the opportunity to meet with in person — because of this pivot to virtual meetings, Quality Gold is now doing close to triple-digit figures in sales with this customer.
Has integrating Digital Transformation been a challenging process for some companies? What are the challenges? How do you help resolve them?
Digital Transformation can be daunting for many companies who might be a bit more old school and have established selling techniques. We’ve found that before onboarding onto BOSS Logics Live, many sales associates were hesitant to adapt to the platform and take their sales online — they firmly believed that an in-person meeting and connection was key to closing sales. Take David Yurman, for example. David Yurman has a tenured commercial team who are used to high-touch selling and were hesitant to digitize their market process — this was the first time in their careers that they couldn’t physically access the product they were selling. To combat this, we made sure to give their team (along with every new account that joins that platform) personalized onboarding, guiding them through the processes of making a sale and conducting a meeting. We know that a Digital Transformation can be daunting, so we provide help documents and FAQ sheets, and ensure that we’re available to address any questions along the way. In the end, it’s important for companies to be transparent with their customers, handling any concerns and guiding them throughout the Digital Transformation process as they’re also adapting to these adjustments.
Ok. Thank you. Here is the primary question of our discussion. Based on your experience and success, what are “Five Ways a Company Can Use Digital Transformation To Take It To The Next Level”? Please share a story or an example for each.
There are so many ways a company can use Digital Transformation to take it to the next level so it’s tough to pick just five. Here are my top tips:
- Use Digital Transformation to not only foster new connections but also to improve the connections you already have. Ditch your snail mail advertisements and upgrade to an entirely digital presence. Take advantage of the social media boom and engage with your customers on their favorite social channels — it’s now easier than ever to keep in touch with more frequent and concise digital communication. These small acts help strengthen the customer’s relationship with your company and cultivate a lasting connection that can help increase future business.
- Change the way you’re selling to your customers to adapt to their needs. In today’s world, staying at home is the new normal — if your business is based on selling products in-person, create an online store so your customers can shop from the comfort of their homes.
- What’s better than getting ahead of the competition? The key to staying ahead is using Digital Transformation — gather customer data to create targeted ads tailored to specific groups of customers to keep them interested in learning more about your business. Use this data to enhance your customers’ experience.
- Going off of that, Digital Transformation can take your company to the next level because there’s more of an emphasis on the customer. If your business is based on making personal connections with your customers, consider setting up regular video conferences to check-in and reinforceyour already existing connection, automatically taking your business up a notch as you prioritize the customer.
- One of the best ways Digital Transformation can enhance a company’s business practices is by reducing costs. If you have a product inventory, use the customer data you’ve gathered to understand buying trends and save money by only keeping inventory that’s known to sell.
In your opinion, how can companies best create a “culture of innovation” in order to create new competitive advantages?
I think one of the best ways companies can create a culture of innovation is by giving employees ownership and an emotional connection point to invest in. For example, last year we redesigned our office and I gave my team the chance to share their ideas for our new decor. We decided to decorate based on their suggestions entirely, which created an environment in which employees knew their voices and opinions were heard. Every morning my team and I meet to discuss our plans for the day, and I always end by asking if anyone has any new ideas — I think it’s incredibly important to foster a creative environment for employees where they are empowered to make decisions and share their input.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Going back to The Hotel New Hampshire — my favorite life lesson quote is “you’ve got to get obsessed and stay obsessed.” This quote is so important to me for so many reasons. Back when I was first starting my career, it inspired me to follow my dreams and open BOSS Logics, and this past year it’s been the driving force for me to develop BOSS Logics Live and continue to perfect the platform so it’s the best possible software for our users, despite any bumps in the road or unexpected challenges we may encounter. It’s also been a great motivating factor in stimulating both my team and myself to remain passionate in what we do.
How can our readers further follow your work?
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Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!