Alexandre RUIZ : employing digitalization is not an option but a necessity for a SMB

As part of our series of interviews with heads of companies and financial directors about growth issues and its structuring, this week we interviewed Alexandre Ruiz, CEO in AR Consulting.

Description of the activity

The human is resistant to change, the key of success of the transformation of the company is the support of all actors in the understanding and implementation of new processes. The speciality of ARC is to support companies in their way of changing and in their digital transformation to improve their operational efficiency. Within the framework of our missions, we particularly insist on the automation and securisation of processes as well as the compression of time value.

We position ourselves like an interface between SMB and firms that offer SaaS on both consulting and training as well as deployment.

Obstacles to growth of SMB

The human factor is crucial in order to allow the growth of SMB. In a company with polyvalent colleagues, it is often difficult to add a workload and their work in a continuous flow complicates their involvement in a project of digital transformation.

Facing an increase in competition, longer payment terms as well as the difficulty to delegate in confidence, SMB have to find gestion models which are more efficient.

Thus, SMB do not use every new methodologic and every new tool which can be available for various reasons :

  • They don’t have the information or the technological appetence to deploy it
  • They don’t have the will to change their patterns and they way of work
  • They focus on their commercial efficiency to the detriment of their operational one
  • They don’t have in-house human resources having the technical or methodological knowledge
  • They have difficulties in recruitment as well as in retention of important key skills
  • They don’t have the financial resources or they didn’t budget both their way of changing and their digital transformation.

Resistance to digital transformation is one of the most important obstacles for the growth of French SMB since, with globalization and the access to information and technology, if a technology is not digitized, it remains behinds its competitors in a single market, offering services which are no longer necessarily in adequation with the customer expectations which have evolved.

The understanding and support towards digitalization

Because today digital takes a more and more important place, at a professional level as well as at a personal one, employing digitalization is not an option but a necessity for SMB. Mutualizing data and accumulating information are strategic stakes to secure the value of company by basing it on processes and not only on people.

Integrating a digital information system leads to change in terms of management and business process which need an adaptation time as well as a close support.

In this climate of unceasing societal and digital change, we support colleagues and we give them the means to prepare them not to suffer from this evolution, but to become real actors. Thus, the colleague is at the heart of the change to guarantee the adaptability and relevance of the different tools. We support him so that he creates his own change by wondering about his role, his posture, his objectives in this transformation.

The change management is conducted by the company and co-built with every colleague. A SMB is represented by its directors. From the moment that they are fully implicated, the involvement of their colleagues to move into action will be maximal.

In order to succeed in implementing the digital transformation of SMB, we are closer with directors and colleagues to offer them a support of proximity according to four axes :

  • Strategy : adoption of a coherent strategy with the identity of the company according to its needs, the objectives are defined before.
  • Organization : preparation of the company by informing and determining the tasks of each colleague. Our goal is to succeed in establishing a virtuous circle between mission, assessment and remuneration.
  • Tools : research and deployment of tools adapted to the needs of the SMB to facilitate the compliance of colleagues and limit the costs.
  • Training : train colleagues to new ways of working and to new tools deployed for an optimal organizational performance.

An overview is implemented in the SMB to follow the KPI and help directors in their decision making. Employees also benefit from high quality data to successfully complete their mission.
We position ourselves like a real strategic partner for the SMB by supporting it during and after its digital transformation.

Stakes in the organisation

World is changing more and more quickly. The adaptability allows a company to face these changes, as societal and technological as regulatory.

Four factors shake the functioning of SMB up :

  • Customer experience : both in B2B and B2C, the level of exigence and the instability of customers imply for the company to move from a logic of product to a logic of use. This change leads to an in-depth review of the value chain, the organization of the company and its businesses that contribute to the customer experience.
  • The over-information and hyper-connection of customers : SMB have to take into account this new aspect of customers as well as the multiplication of contact points in the company, with its intern actors and its products and services.
  • Competitiveness of prices : it is an obvious and direct consequence of the evolution of customers and the expansion of the competitive field.
  • Weakening of competitive advantages : the apparition of new competitors in various parts of the globe with, for some of them, a destructive potential of disruption and innovation.

 

The opportunities offered to SMB by the digital transformation are various such as :

  • Increasing in the turnover by reaching a number of customers more important
  • Improving the productivity of the company by rationalizing operational processes
  • Developing innovation by decreasing the costs of deployment
  • Competing with big companies by being visible inexpensively and using the same tools
  • Enabling more flexibility to the employees by bringing them quality information and new ways of work

Conclusion

Digital transformation does not have to be felt like a threat but like an opportunity for SMB which have not yet taken the plunge. 2018 is the year of change with new regulatory obligations in accounting for example and data protection measures defined by RGPD and applicable at the end of May in Europe.

We support every actor in the company to climb on the bandwagon and differentiate themself from their competitors. We are the interface , as in the advice part as the technological one, when internally resources are not available to complete the digital transformation successfully.

In a human-sized structure like a SMB, it is easier to put the customer in the center of the company, so why not do it ?


charlotte

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