What is Digital Transformation for an SME (Small and Medium Enterprise)?

In the last few years, we all noticed how digital technology has totally revolutionized things for businesses, be it in terms of buying, payments, logistics, warehouse handling or other operations. In fact, it has transformed even how people do things. My 3-year-old son can now operate TV using Google Home voice instructions.

However, the same can’t be said for the traditional ‘brick-and-mortar’ retailers. Those who didn’t change with the times have witnessed a reducing sales year over year, with them no longer being considered relevant by the customers who instead prefer buying stuff online.

All of a sudden a new phrase has come in called “Digital Transformation” So why is it important?

What is a digital transformation?

First things first, to make it big in the industry, every business, be it big or small, has to be competitive. Now the very fundament for this would be making the business processes as efficient as possible. How to do it? Well, constantly look for new ways to save time and reduce costs. Ultimately, it comes down to the more efficiently a business operates, the more competitive it gets.

And this is where Digital Transformation can change things. After all, that is what ‘Digital Transformation’ is all about. So simply put,

“Digital Transformation is about Integrating digital technology into all areas of business, fundamentally changing how you operate and deliver value to your customers.”

The digital technologies make current logistical & administrative business practices more efficient. This way a business become more efficient and competitive.

Gains that come with Digital Transformation of SMEs

  • Saves a lot of time,
  • Reduces the use of paper or Excel,
  • Reduces human errors,
  • Ensures faster response time
  • Improves customer service, It is all about making people more efficient and confident with their work.
  • This affects your team’s morale as well.

So how do I start?

Start from looking at the most time-consuming processes in your business. Don’t worry about the solutions yet. It is important to list out all the issues first before you get to the solution.

As a next step, look at the processes which are paper-based.

Also, the processes where you have more mistakes.

Once you have these processes. See if you can find a software which can automate some of these processes. If you are facing these problems, chances are others in your business have faced these in the past. Get recommendations from them. This is where advice from your local chamber of commerce or business associations like Small Firms Association come handy. An advisor there must be able to put you in the right direction.