This study focuses on a typical SME, the barriers they face both short and long-term, and the struggles of making proactive steps to grow the business.
A Brief Background
Take the case of a small dairy distributor running his business on a paper-based system. All the time spent apart from doing deliveries is filing reports, writing invoices, scheduling and managing orders.
Day-to-day, this business has to plan routes, control stock manually, file invoices, complete admin tasks and respond to customers manually. This paints a picture of a roundabout that never stops.
When the business first started, this system was the easiest option, but as the business has taken on more customers and more products, there is less time to grow, and most of the time and effort has to go towards administration, planning and contacting customers.
The paper-based system relies almost entirely on manual efforts to maintain the business, along with being prone to error and requiring costly supplies. The business also has issues with filing space and waiting to collect reports at the end of the day slows down the invoicing process massively.
When looking for digital systems, the business' main concerns are around a lack of current IT knowledge, uncertainty about costs and doubts about the setup and learning curve. This has meant the business is unsure how to progress, and instead sticks with the paper-based system despite it requiring a lot of manual effort to sustain.
The owner was provided with the opportunity of a new, intuitive System which showed how easy it can be to set up, learn and use, in less than a few weeks.
The learning curve was overcome in a matter of weeks, and the business was able to have a clear picture of the way it was running costs, and profits on a day-by-day, week-by-week basis.
All the data can be accessed at any time throughout the day; Proof-of-deliveries can be printed on the spot and electronically sent back to the Office immediately.
It allows the business to process an order, proactively handle stock electronically, provide reports on accounting and have an overview of outstanding invoices. Paper reports can still be created, but the option means the business doesn't have to juggle with endless paperwork and can securely store reports digitally.
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