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Humanising Finance
May 2017
Business agility through digitisation
   
 

Business agility through digitisation

Digitisation has been one of the buzz words since the announcement of the Singapore Budget 2017. How can you as a Small Medium Enterprise (SME) adapt to changes in consumers' behaviour brought about by digital technology, and what can you do to ride on the digital wave?
 
 
Showing your digital presence
More people nowadays are doing their research on goods and services online before shortlisting vendors, and increasingly consumers are directly shopping via the Web. This has increased the importance for SMEs to set up a website to let prospects know about your business, as well as your range of goods and services.
 
Showing your digital presence
 
Using your business webpage, there are different tracking mechanisms such as Google Analytics which you can put in place to let you better understand the profile of your website viewers. Analysing this customer data will help you in predicting customer trends and preferences more quickly and accurately. You can also use the data to more effectively target your audience through the relevant marketing channels. This means you spend your resources more meaningfully, which translates to costs savings.

Furthermore, you can enhance your company's online presence by enrolling for Google My Business which will place you onto Google Map, so it's easier to locate your company.
 
 
Improving your business management
You can also look at how best you can leverage on existing digital and mobile services to aid your business. For example, banks provide online payroll and mobile funds transfer/remittance services, and telecommunication companies provide digital tele and video conferencing services.
 
Improving your business management
 
Start-ups or entrepreneurs who are working on initiatives involving various stakeholders can also rely on freeware such as Google Docs or Forms for better project management. Different people can access and update the documents at the same time, enabling faster turnaround and decision making.

Enhancement of processes and communication through the adoption of such online services will definitely increase your company's efficiency.
 
 
How to start?
The move for SMEs to go digital will involve change management, and it should be started as soon as possible, beginning from the top. Buy-in from all the senior management is key to ensuring that digitisation truly becomes a company-wide culture.

When taking the digital leap, you should be careful to avoid trying to fit technology into existing processes, which often stifles the full benefits that digitisation can bring. Instead, you should leverage on your company's nimbleness to create new work processes aligned to the digital services or platforms you have selected.
 
How to start?
 
Given the plethora of options available in the market, it can be confusing for SMEs to decide where to begin. You can learn from the best practices of other businesses that have done this successfully, including overseas companies. You can also network and exchange information with peers at events held by business associations, chambers of commerce, or at industry conferences.

Another avenue to consider is to look out for initiatives granted through government agencies such as the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) which provide SMEs with solutions to adopt Information Communication and Technology (ICT). Some of the websites you can refer to for more updated news and information include SPRING Singapore's SMEPortal.sg and Singapore Press Holdings' sgsme.sg portal.
 
 
We recognise that running a business is not easy. It can be helpful to speak with someone who can advise you on the solutions that are available to you in your business journey. Maybank has a dedicated team of Business Development Managers to help you understand your business banking needs. To speak to one of our managers, you can get in touch via our Business Banking hotline 1800-777 0022 or request a call back via this form on our website.
 
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