Digital transformation

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Why digital transformation is a must for your SME!

The past decade has seen the emergence of completely new media types, sales channels and payment solutions. Large corporations have both built entirely new business sectors, with Facebook, Amazon and Google basically ruling the internet.

Utilizing the services and big data that Silicon valley provides the rest of the worlds large corporations have gained a lot of ground, killing off a lot of SMEs, especially in the West.

While this gives consumers a very convenient and cheap daily life, it also leads to hard time for most mom & pop businesses, as well as larger SMEs, that have no way of achieving the raw and effective digital power of large corporations.

At the same time digital tools are available for almost all tasks possible, and especially the younger generation is very adept at quickly setting up a suite of tools and social media channels that helps building their brand.

But what about existing SMEs, who are challenged on effectiveness and visibility?

These are the companies that need to transform, even if it is a painful and challenging process.

Thailand has a very rich, vibrant and varied economy, with a lot of SMEs that are too small to do digitalization in a huge way, and too big to adjust in a nimble way.

The best way for these is to implement the right tools based on their actual, functional business, in a continual process where all employees and customers gradually get introduced to tools that work.

These are 5 tips on tools that any SME can implement with relative ease:

  1. Google spreadsheet and docs.While a lot of companies already use Gmail, a lot can be gained by migrating spreadsheets and documents to Google drive.Co-editing makes it possible to work remotely, to share drafts, and to make sure that sales teams or support always download the latest documents when handling requests.
  2.  Automation with Zapier.Zapier and IFTTT are two very powerful suites of tools, where almost anything can be automated. 1500 apps are available via their respective APIs, and internal logic can be set up, triggering at anything from keywords to updated documents in Google drive,
  3. Inbound marketing with Hubspot.Hubspot is a complete suite of tools, where anything from customer chat to a CRM workflow is easy to set up.For a medium sized company the basic tools in Hubspot can lead to both improved communication with customers as well as a much more effective workday internally, and when they are established and stable more advanced features can be implemented gradually.
  4. Video conferencesIn Thailand Line is used by virtually anyone, and might not need further introduction.There are other services like Zoom, which can be used to get better resolution, better screen sharing and a better experience for real online work.

Whatever technical solution the real gain lies in regular an planned usage. Why not do a daily meetup on video, where sales representatives or management who have a busy schedule of meetings do this essential, common task from where is the easiest for the day?

The aggregated sum can be much higher than expected, both in costs of travel and time spent.

5. Woocommerce with Line payments.

If you have a WordPress or plan to migrate, there is a Line plugin!

Woocommerce can handle almost any payment options, including crypto payments via third parties that provide both KYC, AML and conversion so that even your auditor wil be happy.

There you go! These tools can be tested for free, implemented by most people who are used to web technology, or delivered by providers.

For an SME, though, the hard work lies on the human side – getting everyone aboard, choosing the right tools, and making sure that they are used is often a hard slog…

This is why we recommend and run workshops, where we both identify the “low hanging fruits”, implement these on the fly, and set a goal for the period through to the next workshop.

Digitalization is often a pain, but for a SME that has to compete it the same as a painful workout – eventually it can lead to stellar results!

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