Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can look towards innovation, automation, and collaborative tools to save costs during the recession and a global pandemic.
Small & Medium Enterprises have to deal with various entities such as vendors, suppliers, customers, and financial firms. It can be challenging for SMEs to manage increasingly complex operations.
The shift to digitisation is needed to optimise operations and make the best use of limited resources. Then, automation tools can also be introduced to make them more efficient.
Large tech players such as Google and Microsoft have an eye on acquiring thousands of Indian SMEs for a while now. The SME is a massive target for selling software tools such as process automation, CRM, accounting, invoicing, taxation, chatbots, etc.
Critical data can also be automated in an encrypted format, so SMEs don’t have to keep physical copies of all the docs, receipts and other statements. A lot of the bookkeeping processes can also be automated using automated digital tools.
As the cloud expands and SME customers adopt digital tools, onboarding analytics, and other applications, it is expected to solve a number of challenges which the sector faces currently. A lot of SMEs look towards robotic process automation (RPA) to perform business tasks which involve manual and repetitive tasks on the business premises, achieve real-time tracking and streamline processes.
Automation tools can also reduce errors that could cost a lot of money. Users can leverage web-based solutions to connect all data on sales, purchases, payment and tax data together. This can be used for actionable insights using the data.
Robotic Process Automation is also very effective for analytics as it has the ability to collect data at each step, and the aggregated data can be beneficial for analysing and getting relevant insights. In the end, it serves the business to find its views of the market trends, feasibility in relation to products, find its flaws and strengths and sort out the challenges related to supply chain and market strategy. Using the aggregated data, SMEs businesses can climb up and be on par with their rivals.
Monotonous work can be done by software robots with very large accuracy, at a more economical cost, saving their time to concentrate on much more valuable work. This may involve converting offline processes in SME/Enterprises to cloud-based platforms.
Cloud Platforms For Indian SMEs Can Be Valuable
While all automation software can be effective, cloud-based services are often more adaptable and affordable than on-premise software products. So, rather than putting large amount of money in new computers and expert staff, a cloud-based service model enables SMEs to achieve automation immediately and deliver changes gradually as per the requirements and capabilities of operations. This holds true particularly during the lockdown.
One example is how the digitised invoice is sent on a platform and gets linked to a purchase order. Cloud-based ERP and CRM solution is flexible with complete power and connected transactions across the value chain.
Small and medium-sized enterprises can look towards innovation, automation, and collaborative tools to save costs. Let’s take an example — Jio wants to support millions of SMEs by connecting them with Jio’s digital infrastructure. The company stated SMEs would be given cheap digital services, right from computing to storage and connectivity for integrating with the Jio platform to get rid of the inefficient processes in various Indian SMEs.
This will help the SMEs to access unlimited enterprise-grade voice and data services, video conferencing, security solutions, marketing and sales solutions and many more productivity tools that will help them run their business efficiently and at par with larger enterprises.
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Vishal Chawla is a senior tech journalist at Analytics India Magazine and writes about AI, data analytics, cybersecurity, cloud computing, and blockchain. Vishal also hosts AIM's video podcast called Simulated Reality- featuring tech leaders, AI experts, and innovative startups of India.