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Why are some SMEs opposed to going digital?

Why are some SMEs opposed to going digital?

Weighing up the short term challenges vs. the long term benefits

Graeme Farquhar

If you’re finding it hard to embark on a strategy to replace manual, paper-based processes with new digital technologies, chances are that your reasons are to do with a lack of time and budget.

If so, you’re not alone.

According to an international study conducted by ERP giant SAP (read it here), 21% of SMEs say that lack of time and budget is stopping them from embarking on a strategy to transform themselves into a digital business.

However, even for larger businesses for whom time and budget may not be such an issue, the path to digital appears not to be completely straightforward. According to answers given by enterprise organisations in the same survey, the biggest barrier to digital transformation is lack of employee expertise.

Removing the SME digital transformation block

The time and budget blockages blamed by SMEs for their lack of progress towards digital transformation may, however, reveal more about their longer-term goals than about short-term challenges.

The survey found that larger companies who are successfully engaging in digital transformation cite improved customer experience as their main goal. And since improving customer experience is typically achieved by faster, more efficient processes that positively impact on customer satisfaction, it’s logical to conclude that companies which delay implementing digital improvements to business processes are going to fall behind in the customer experience stakes.

In response to the question of what they see as their biggest ‘profit driver’, more than half (57 percent) of all SMEs surveyed said that a shorter time to market was the key to driving profits over the next two years.

There’s a common thread here.

Improved customer experience and shorter time to market are both tied together with a common thread. Both require more efficient processes – in which “time saving” is a central and core element.

Saving time on processes to enable digital transformation

In common with larger organisations, SMEs want to capture, reduce, save and compress time – so they can deliver better customer service, execute administrative processes more efficiently, save money and drive higher levels of profit.

Thus, and particularly for SMEs, “time” is both a barrier to, and a goal of, digital transformation.

Finding time ‘upstream’ would result in profitability benefits “downstream”.

If your business uses Microsoft Dynamics NAV, you’ll be pleased to know that there are vast time savings to be made in your finance and accounting processes.

Using Zetadocs, you’ll be able to cut time spent on common finance processes such as sending invoices and purchase orders, and in storing and retrieving finance documentation.

By using Zetadocs in place of time-consuming and costly manual processes (i.e. by implementing a digital solution to transform these manual tasks), benefits also extend to other areas mentioned by survey respondents in their answers, including:

  • Improving customer experience
  • Saving money (e.g. on paper and postage)
  • Increasing employee engagement
  • Driving profitability

Whether your business is embarking on digital transformation, or remains to be convinced about the benefits because the time and budget challenges appear too great, try out Zetadocs for NAV or Zetadocs Expenses as an add-on to your existing NAV solution.

You’ll soon be convinced of the benefits.

To start with, read about how (after deploying Zetadocs Expenses) the Financial Times | IE Business School Corporate Learning Alliance saw a 50% reduction in time required to submit expenses.

Next steps

Contact Equisys now on 0207 203 4001 to find out how Zetadocs for NAV and Zetadocs Expenses can help you go paperless and deliver competitive advantage for your organisation. Or speak to your NAV partner.

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