Digital transformation is important to ensure our business is still relevant in the market.
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One of the biggest lessons gained from the pandemic is that small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) form the backbone of Malaysia’s economy. Yet their survival has been wavering under the weight of a world that is transforming at lightning speed.
As we proceed more and more into the digital age, the gap between those who have the means to adapt and innovate with the progress of the online business landscape, and those who don’t, is growing larger.
To not fall between the cracks, even the smallest of businesses must go digital to stay efficient, relevant and competitive against even the largest of industry giants.
Though the process of digitization may seem complex, costly and at times unnecessary, there are ways for businesses to size up the digital landscape according to their needs to make their enterprises run easier and expand further from thereon.
1. Stocking up on supplies
Technology has made supply chains much simpler. By utilizing digital procurement software and inventory management systems, the whole process of sourcing and restocking inventory can be simply automated.
Instead of expensing manpower to manually check and update the supply closet, businesses can gain an advantage by having systems that use analytical models that can even predict price fluctuations and consumer demand to stock up whenever necessary.
2. Bookkeeping made easy
Why worry about math when thinking machines can handle bookkeeping more efficiently and with significantly fewer errors?
Nowadays, things like digital accounting software can accurately handle all of the accounting, keep the books balanced without any help from a human, and even track down tax records to keep everything in check.
3. Connect to customers
People now live and breathe online, and by taking advantage of digital marketing campaigns, businesses can reach a much wider customer base that extends beyond the view of their brick and mortar enterprises and some of the more traditional advertising tactics.
By promoting their products on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, or even making a few videos for YouTube and TikTok, businesses can cost-effectively and efficiently get the word out and make themselves known, better and faster
4. Digital customers
E-commerce is THE commerce in the digital age, and having products and services made available for consumers to easily acquire online helps businesses overcome geographical limitations and makes it easier for entrepreneurs to set up shop and enter the market.
Online shopping solutions like Lazada and Shopee also lower the cost of entry for SMEs to allow them to compete toe-to-toe with more established firms and brands.
5. Techno cash register
Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) devices paired with contactless payment systems are winning the way with how business is done in the current day.
Although they might seem like a slightly upgraded cash register machine, the advantage of having them means any incoming sales, outgoing payments and inventory are accurately recorded, tracked, and remain up-to-date.
This enables businesses to engage in things like data analytics to generate more revenue and optimize their performance according to consumer demand.
Things like e-Wallets and other contactless payment systems also present a great improvement for customers who prefer not to fiddle around with cash and reduce transaction times besides ensuring that the transaction process runs securely.
It’s all about staying relevant
“Digital transformation is important to ensure our business is still relevant in the market,” said KUEH Café owner Ezwan, breathing a sigh of relief as their humble pastry shop in Shah Alam, Selangor was able to stay afloat during the worst waves of the pandemic.
Like many SMEs, KUEH Café faced hurdles during the lockdowns: opening at limited capacity, with less staff, and on shorter hours.
And like other F&B outlets, they no longer had the ability to cater to dine-in customers, which unfortunately meant less business.
Also, because of the pandemic, people were doing most of their shopping online anyway, so by moving their menus onto the world wide web, F&Bs were able to capitalize on this marketplace growth and cast a wider net to reel in more customers.
With this in mind, Ezwan chose to partner up with unifi Business and ‘go digital’ under the national SME Digitalisation Grant scheme.
Ezwan confessed that transforming into an online business gave their shop new hope and he was glad to have unifi Business as their personal SME consultant to provide the connectivity tools and solutions needed to put their brand and products on the map, and better serve their customers.
Now, Ezwan also has access to the unifi Business Club (uBC) that provide members with exclusive webinars and masterclasses that teach and give out business tips to entrepreneurs free of charge.
With uBC, members can also get a hold of some exclusive products and partners at special discounts to enhance their digital journey.
That’s not all, KUEH Café is now also endorsed on the cari@unifi marketplace – a service by which they can be featured on the cari@unifi monthly article and electronic direct mail (EDM) to more than 400,000 existing unifi Business Customers, and on social media platforms to reach even more customers.
For more information on unifi Business product offerings, please visit www.unifi.com.my/business.
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