Countless research studies reaffirm the digital transformation imperative. The data proves that in order to remain relevant – and meet the changing needs of the 'connected customer' – organisations must transform.

Driven by technology, customer expectations have evolved to include connectivity, immediacy and simplicity. Today, customers expect every experience they have with a brand or provider to be fast, easy and convenient. 

For many years, considerable emphasis has been placed upon the notion of enterprise digital transformation. Analyst and consulting firms alike have built their business on the backs of this challenge. 

Regardless of your business size, the expectations of the 'connected customer' remain the same. 

SMB's (small-medium businesses) act as the economic backbone of society, providing jobs and growth opportunities. According to Deloitte, there are over 30 million SMB’s of fewer than 500 employees in the U.S. representing 99.9% of the total business community. In Europe’s biggest economy, Germany, SMB’s employ over 18 million people. 

While the focus has been disproportionately placed on large enterprises, digital transformation is just as critical for SMB's. 

To support this notion, consider the following. More digitalised SMB’s are three times more likely to experience revenue growth, are two times more profitable, and are three times more likely to develop new products and services than their less digital peers. Around 90% of all SMB’s believe that digital tools have fostered innovation in their business, particularly in entering new markets and communicating with customers.

Despite this data, a Deloitte study found that the majority (64%) of SMB’s are at the ‘basic’ or ‘intermediate’ stages of their digital journey. 

 

What’s holding them back? 

SMB's face some of the same challenges as enterprises, including legacy technology and changing regulations. However, they also face barriers that are unique to smaller-sized businesses.  

Most don’t have the luxury of large, experienced IT teams. Further, they may have apprehensions about the perceived costs and complexity of implementing digital transformation solutions. The good news, however, is that SMB’s benefit from an IT infrastructure that is less complex than their enterprise counterparts – meaning that fewer systems need to be integrated into communication workflows. In addition, communications pass through fewer levels of approval before being sent out, and most applications don’t require real-time two-way interactions with customers.  

Many SMB’s are still owned and operated by their founders, and they (rightfully) have a personal vested interest in overseeing processes to ensure business integrity remains in-tact. Some have been reluctant to change existing processes that have been in place for years – and have always ‘worked’.

When the crisis hit, the world saw an accelerated push to digital transformation. The ‘new normal’ of enabling a remote workforce, arguably, may have hit SMB’s the hardest. Assembling (skilled) employees in the boardroom once per week to compile and distribute customer invoices or statements was no longer an option. SMB’s were forced to make integral changes to their business processes in the blink of an eye – with few IT resources to lean on. 

And many experts predict that remote work is here to stay. Gartner found that 75% of surveyed CFO’s plan to shift at least 5% of their previously on-site workforce to permanently remote positions post-COVID-19. Regardless of whether you plan to adopt a more permanent remote-work strategy, support a hybrid approach, or promote a full return to the office – one thing is clear: to get back to a place of growth, organisations must focus disproportionately on what they do best. That means streamlining processes, minimising time-consuming manual work, and becoming as agile and efficient as possible. 

Correspondingly (and luckily), much has changed in a very short period of time when it comes to the introduction of new cost-effective cloud-based solutions that enable SMB’s to reap the benefits of advancing their digital transformation journey.

With new SaaS-based tools, like Quadient Impress, digital transformation is no longer reserved for multibillion-dollar companies. SMB’s with few IT resources can get up and running quickly, empowering business users to automate business-critical processes, become more agile and efficient, and improve the customer experience.

Quadient has helped many SMB’s ensure business continuity when it comes to critical customer communications – with solutions that are initiated and installed quickly, and embraced by business users with little to no reliance upon IT. From preparing and delivering mail from the comfort of your home office, to sending and tracking invoices and statements through a secure, branded document portal, Quadient has helped organisations around the globe stay connected with their customers during this time of crisis.

For a Quadient customer in the manufacturing industry, Groov-pin, the shift to a work-from-home environment because of the COVID-19 pandemic quickly put a spotlight on process issues related to the distribution of both physical and digital invoices. Due to the limitations of an outdated ERP system, Groov-Pin was emailing customer invoices one at a time. The process had been handled by a highly tenured employee who suddenly left.

Groov-Pin Controller Ed Fox received information about Quadient’s Hybrid Mail solution and quickly realised the potential benefit to automating their accounts receivable invoice delivery.  According to Fox, the implementation process was quick and easy. Automation of the email process was completed in only one day. A more complex application with multiple business rules to manage key accounts was implemented in less than a week. “The Quadient implementation specialist was great to work with and helped us move from concept to practice in an extremely short period of time,” Fox said. “Quadient’s Hybrid Mail solution has transformed the way we send customer invoices and has freed up employees to focus on higher value tasks.”

 

What is Quadient Impress?

Quadient Impress is a user-friendly, cloud-based, and flexible platform that enables SMB’s to automate their entire customer communication workflow. It provides the flexibility to send transactional documents via any combination of channels - Print, Digital, or remote fulfilment, enabling you to respond and adapt quickly to customer, regulatory and environmental demands. 

Replace inefficient, manual processes
Impress Automate helps SMB’s automate and streamline manual processes related to the creation, distribution, and output of invoices, statements, notices, and letters. It centralizes outbound document preparation and distribution, providing complete control over the customer communication process.

Offer digital delivery through a branded, secure portal
Impress Portal makes it easy to send critical customer communications through a dedicated, branded and secure document portal – from anywhere. 

Centralize critical business communications
Quadient Impress Dispatch consolidates desktop communications from multiple office locations and is ideal for organisations with an on-site and a remote workforce. Users simply prepare outgoing ad hoc documents from their desktops and send them directly to a centralised mail production centre or to a secure document portal.

Prep and deliver mail without leaving your desk
Quadient's unique remote hybrid mail fulfilment solution allows you to print, sort, stuff, meter as well as deliver the mail to the post office all without leaving your desk. This solution handles the preparation and delivery of your business communications from your computer in just a few clicks.

All users and operators receive extensive and practical training immediately, getting you up and running in just days. Our plug-in architecture gives you the flexibility to configure your solution with a variety of integrated applications and services. Quadient Impress is a platform that grows with you, enabling you to solve today’s challenges while being prepared for whatever tomorrow may bring. 

Whether you are just beginning your digital transformation journey, or looking to advance your existing strategy, Quadient is here to help.

Click here to learn more.



 

Alyna Wnukowsky

Alyna Wnukowsky

Chief Solution Officer Business Process Automation

Alyna Wnukowsky is Chief Solution Officer Business Process Automation. Of German nationality, she has experience of more than 15 years in managing growth in digital solutions, marketing and e-commerce. Prior to becoming a member of the Executive team in 2019, she was Director of Marketing and Digital Business Development at Neopost, responsible for Austria, Benelux, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Northern countries and Switzerland since 2016. She joined Neopost in 2013 as Managing Director of Germany and Austria.

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