Is the silo operation dead? That’s the big question on the minds of many marketers, personnel, communication and management experts. With the advent of digital technology, not only have our consumption patterns changed, but also our entire structural environment, starting with the organization of work. Today, siloed operations tend to disappear to improve transparency and collaboration between departments. However, this “old school” way of working persists in many environments and is sometimes difficult to circumvent.
So we can ask ourselves, is silo operation really dead or does it have a real benefit?
What is Silo work?
Silo operation means that each department works on its own specialties without looking after the others. To give just one example: It’s like having your sales department divided into different areas without working together. In many large companies, this way of working involves several departments within a single division. For example, a shopping center may have a purchasing department, another a sales department, logistics and other customer relations. These different departments rarely communicate with each other, which can lead to financial losses.
Operating in silos requires a hierarchical and pyramidal management system. This means that decisions are made from the top down and the level of responsibility is high.
This mode of operation is not only intra-departmental, but also inter-departmental. It is mainly the marketing and sales departments that have communication problems. However, all studies show that these two departments can only be more effective if they work hand in hand. Coordinating marketing and sales activities makes it possible:
Generate up to 30% more leads.
Align marketing metrics with sales strategy
Understand what the different teams are doing.
Use marketing tools and social media to gain better insights.
Why disrupt Silo work?
Silo operations in the digital age no longer meet the expectations of customers and even employees. Digital and new technologies like IoT are creating new consumables. Today, the customer experience requires the coordination of marketing, sales and post-sales activities.
The key to a company’s success today is the customer experience it provides to its customers. Today, 75% of customers are present in different media and networks. They exchange ideas and opinions, especially when they are not satisfied with a service or a brand. Customers are looking for a seamless service that can engage them from the purchase phase to after-sales service.
Siloed operations are naturally unable to meet all of these expectations because they communicate very little with each other.
Moreover, for customer recovery in the digital age cannot be done solely by phone. Digital tools are essential to facilitate customer acquisition. With the collaboration of marketing and sales, you can establish a cross-channel strategy. With a cross-channel strategy, you can meet all customer expectations. But you have to break away from a silo system.
Moreover, generations Y and Z bring a new wind and are not ready to work in silos. The need to understand their actions is a priority for them.
What do proponents of siloed operations think?
Despite the fact that digital technology is bringing structural and consumer changes, some companies are resistant to agile methods. They explain that operating in silos makes it possible to:
Better structuring of each employee’s tasks
Transmission of relevant information to a specific person
Not “polluting” an employee’s work environment so they can focus on their tasks.
Check information, especially in large companies.
The advocates of siloed operations are mostly Gen Xers. This generation is used to vertical decision-making, established structure and respect for hierarchy. For the holdouts, digital is an opportunity for them and an additional lever that differentiates them from others. However, multidisciplinarity and exchanges between departments are not a necessity. The defenders of the silo system want above all to control their employees, the information and the results of each department.
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