SME/SMB - (Small and Medium Enterprise / Small and Medium Business) are often the main driver for a country’s economic growth. However, as the number of SMEs increase, competition increases, which then results in a decrease in prices, customer base, or both. This in turn then erodes existing profits, creating less incentives for the people to scale or start SMEs. It is generally observed that, greater the number of SMEs, larger is the competition, resulting in a slower growth rate for the SMEs. To counter the increasing competition, firms consider various options from lowering the prices, increase promotional activities of their product, improve their product, add new distribution channels, and/or improve their internal processes. The challenge is to beat the competition to remain ahead in the race. Otherwise, once the pressure of competition erodes the SME’s profits, it will no longer have resources to counter the competition and will have to exit the market.
Besides these options to counter the competition, there is another effective tool of IT (Information Technology). Often IT / Software Solutions are either neglected or misunderstood mainly due to lack of knowledge or wrong implementations of such solutions. A right IT adoption strategies for SMEs can exploit the true value of IT solutions and find an effective way of outperforming the competition and get at the top spot in the industry.
Let me share a very basic example of how IT can make life much easier in any organization. For a manufacturing unit, there was a routine task to scan through the order book, prioritize the orders and generate a report, which tells what task is allocated to which resource and when and what would it complete. Generating such a report would take about 6 to 7 hours of time every day, in other words a dedicated person’s daily job. A IT solution was designed, which took 15 days of design and development work in the beginning, but now the same report gets automatically generated every night in under 2 minutes and is available for the review at the beginning of day. This IT solution has saved minimum USD 3500 PER MONTH and improved the accuracy of the report to almost 100%.
If the IT solutions are implemented where they are needed the most and implemented in the most user-friendly manner, then they can yield valuable results and can make your organization a much more leaner and efficient company by cutting down your overall cost of operations and can directly improve your profits. Due to great technological advancements, in today’s time there could be an IT solution or automation solution to almost every portion or department of your company. You can conduct an Information Technology (IT) audit of your organization to identify such areas of automation.