According to the 2015 U.S. Census Report, 99 percent of all firms in the country employ less than 500 people. It’s really an amazing statistic. When you think of companies most representative of businesses in the U.S., your mind tends to default to the likes of General Motors, Microsoft, Boeing and Caterpillar, not the small shops and professional offices that most likely employ many of your neighbors.
More commonly defined, businesses that employ 10 to 500 people fall under the heading of small and medium-sizes businesses, or SMBs. These employers typically find themselves inundated with a cumulative wealth of information that needs to be catalogued, stored and retrieved at will. The digitization of this information, often referred to as “going paperless,” varies widely from simple purchases to maintaining medical records, and requires the determination to commit resources, make decisions, and embrace the process of digital transformation.
But once that investment is made, the benefits of digital transformation offer a plethora of benefits. Automating traditional manual processes such as accounts receivable, accounts payable and maintaining HR records are a burden lifted from the shoulders of the SMB proprietor. Digitizing records eliminates errors, speeds transactions and improves customer satisfaction and retention. In time, digital transformation becomes the new normal in your day-to-day operations, allowing more time to grow the business, not just keep ahead of all the paperwork.
You most likely saw a real-world example of digital transformation when you last visited your doctor. Instead of pulling out the old manila folder with pages of information and records from previous visits, out came a laptop that presented your entire medical history in one viewing. And that history is not limited to the doctor you’re visiting that day, but records shared from other healthcare professionals that you visited in the past – a digital amalgam of your medical history made available through the application of Electronic Health Records, or EHR, initiatives.
Another area rapidly experiencing digital transformation is in Education. While not a “business” technically, most public schools often face tight budget restraints with regard to spending and staffing. Digitizing student records, from grades to confidential health issues, frees up administrators and instructors to move on to more pressing tasks and focus more of their attention on teaching. The efficiencies realized through digitizing student files and records allows for more work to be done by fewer people. Also, achieving state-mandated instructional goals becomes more accountable and reliable through digital record keeping of student performance.
Lastly, consider other small businesses that face some form of regulatory oversight where digital transformation is a must. The legal, finance and insurance industries are good examples where the digitization of records has not only made their business more efficient, but also quickly accessible to overseeing government agencies entrusted to protect the publics’ interests.
The process of digital transformation within the sphere of SMBs will, of course, only continue to progress with time. Securing a trusted advisor to aid in moving the process forward though assessment, recommendations and providing solutions based on latest technologies will help ensure a smooth transition. Toward that goal, Konica Minolta’s Business Process Automation is a ready resource to guide your business through this process, bringing new order and workflow efficiencies that will help improve your bottom line.