The necessity for digitalization has become more critical than ever since the pandemic began. Most organizations have moved their operations online out of necessity as hybrid work becomes the norm, with people working from home.
However, not all SMEs are as eager to embrace digitalization as a fish is to water. Some people have no notion where to begin their digital transformation journey.
Reduces grunt work
SME owners should first comprehend what “digitalization” entails, according to Highnix’s director and process consultant, KH Koh.
To digitally transform one’s workflow, work processes, and productivity is to enhance one’s efficiency. According to Mr. Koh, the first step for SME owners is understanding their work processes vs.. the digitalization process.”
The amount and name of the customer are typically recorded manually in a book when preparing a simple sales quotation. This is followed by opening an Excel sheet to save the information under a different file name.
They are provided when they are ready. Employee reviews invoice, records transaction and invoices customer after it is verified. She must follow up with the customer regularly if payment is not made.
There are 20 steps in the procedure, from quotation through billing. Steps in the work process can be decreased by 30 to 70% with a digital system. From “delivery” to “invoice” and beyond, the system should keep track of the order status. “Some systems allow customers to scan a QR code and pay that way,” he says.
Make implementation gradual
What is the best strategy for SME owners to get the digitalization process started in the right direction? SME owners should plan for the future while implementing a phased digitalization strategy, advises Mr. Koh.
The “sure-fail” method of trying to achieve everything at once, according to him, is not recommended. As a substitute, he suggests they take the crucial first step. Implementation should continue for one year, then move on to the next phase, and so on.
“It will take time for your personnel to learn the processes and become accustomed to the new systems.” A long-term plan and a notion of where you want your firm to go are therefore essential.
How will SME owners know if they’ve been successful?
He concludes that “in general, the lesser your expenditures will be the higher the success rate of implementation.”
Ensure they can integrate systems
According to Henley, other business owners overlook the importance of integrating human resource management systems with other systems.
Integratable systems are essential, says the author. Without a data exchange module, such integration is impossible.
Mr. Koh adds why using a “half-cloud” strategy will only lead to data integration issues in the future.
They may lack web services, which are critical for ensuring web-based applications can communicate helpful information.
Any cloud-based system relies on a frictionless exchange of data to function correctly and efficiently.
For example, an HRMS that handles salaries and leave can communicate data with other interfaces stored on a cloud-based system using Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).