When speaking to customers about digital transformation I often get very mixed reactions about how they should adapt to this digital age that’s happening all around them. Most SMEs are still trying to manoeuvre to achieve this transformation internally with their own company processes. But many more company executives I meet see digital transformation as a future goal and want to embrace digital thinking and practices to get more out of their staff but are often unsure where to start.
When I talk about digital technology, some manufactures instantly think of robotics and expensive automated production processes. Whilst improved machinery is a very big part of transformation, it’s not necessarily the logical first – this should always be a sound, solid Digital Core which needs to be fully integrated with all processes including stock control, delivery, orders, inventory, invoice processing.
SAP Business One provides this crucial digital core to SME businesses – proving as the most crucial stepping stone towards more sophisticated, digitally enhanced processes. For a wide range of SMEs in different sectors, the business software functionality and purpose of this Digital Core is very similar.
Whether you are an SME providing cutting edge technical service contracts, or a wholesaler for standard household products, the strength, flexibility and efficiency of your Digital Core is what can make the difference in your performance.
The Digital Core is at the centre of the things that SMEs do everyday with different levels of efficiency and success:
- Receipt and process of customer sales orders
- Raise customer invoices for delivery of products and services
- Update stock of components and finished products in real time
- Allocate resources required to deliver new contracts
- Communicate with the purchasing and finance departments to highlight any issues
Having a Digital Core that can deal with the increased pressure and demands driven by digital enablers, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), advances in machine learning and innovations like Blockchain, can mean the difference between success and business growth, or being left behind as others gain a competitive edge.
Why is this important for SMEs?
With a lot of industry focus on Digitalisation linked to IOT devices and Production Automation, it is now even more important than ever that SMEs run their business with a digitised ERP solution.
Part of ensuring they don’t fall behind their competition is ensuring they have a stable Digital Core in place to act as a platform for the new Industry 4.0 standards.
Feedback from the marketplace and government funding bodies suggests that a high percentage of SMEs have not recently invested in these Digital Core areas and are still utilising legacy ERP and Finance systems. Systems that still work, but will fold under the pressure of digitalisation in the coming years and leave the owner stranded.
What should SMEs be doing now…
As your business evolves to meet the changing demands of consumers, you want to keep your focus on running your business whilst keeping a competitive edge, enabling cross departmental collaboration for improved efficiency, and having easy access to data to make informed business decisions. You can’t do this without a solid underlying foundation… a Digital Core.
Don’t wait around until your systems start to fail, be proactive in your approach to running your business.
Implementing a new ERP system isn’t as daunting as many people believe, and if you work with a reputable, knowledgeable partner, you will receive support and training throughout the entire process.