Small and medium-sized companies have historically been weak at digitizing. The result of this is that they lose competitiveness, both in the short and long term.
In fact, most businesses are categorized as small, so this is a cause for worry. Fortunately we see positive changes and that more and more small companies start digitzing their workflows.
What can small and medium-sized businesses expect by devoting more time to digitization?
Areas where you can benefit from digitizing
Digitizing is far more than converting from paper-based to file-based documents. At the same time, it’s not about implementing all available technology, resulting in drowning the entire organization with new systems to adapt to.
Nevertheless, we see some areas that small and medium-sized businesses easily can benefit on digitizing, and where there are easy-to-use systems available.
- Electronic document management: Many companies still have a culture where documents are stored locally and sent back and forth between employees. There are many document management systems available that will make their work more efficient
- Meeting activity: Sometimes it is most appropriate to meet face-to-face, but many businesses can increase efficiency by using cloud-based video meetings
- Project Management: Most project teams know about Gantt charts and other manual follow-up tools. Today, there are countless systems that specialize in project management.
- Accounting functions: Cloud-based accounting systems are gaining large market shares, and there are several reasons for this. They are cost effective to get started with and they are based on new technology that improves every day. Easy billing via mobile phone or time management are common features in many systems, and they are moving more and more towards automating bookkeeping.
- Procurement: Most companies carry out several purchases within a year, it be direct or indirect costs. You can achieve great savings on both the purchase costs and the time spent by using a purchase order system. Some systems are also super-easy to use.
Small and medium sized businesses can become digital winners
Historically, the big companies have led the way in digitization. Fortunately, we see some signs that this is about to change.
Important factors for this are that they are flexible and quickly adapt to new technology
Knowing that modern, cloud-based systems now are easily accessible, and no initial investments are required, there are no reasons why small companies should not partake in the digital revolution. Small and medium-sized companies will most likely be the main target for new technology as they represent such a large portion of the market.
How to ensure that YOU succeed in digitization
We often hear about failed digitization projects, and there are many different reasons for this. Weak implementation capacity is the most common one, and the causes vary. We have gathered some tips that we believe will help you succeed in your digitizing process:
- Establish a clear idea of what problems you want to solve.
- Ensure that problems are understood by everyone involved and how a new system can solve these problems.
- Do you need a customized system or you can adapt to a standardized system – The price difference can be significant. A standard system can often be set up without implementation costs, but a customization will often result in expensive start-up costs and will need system consultants if changes are required in the future.
- Consider choosing a cloud-based system. Cloud-based systems are gaining market shares rapidly and have many benefits if it suits your company. In addition, many cloud-based systems have standardized and open APIs that can make integrations to other systems a lot easier
- Do not underestimate user experience, for all involved users. – if the primary users avoid the system it is worthless.
- Spend enough time testing the systems before entering an agreement. Do not base your decision on fancy powerpoints from a sleek salesperson. In today’s software market you can get free trials almost everywhere. Use this test period to ensure that you get the expected benefits!