Industry Talk

Regular Industry Development Updates, Opinions and Talking Points relating to Manufacturing, the Supply Chain and Logistics.

Eighty-one per cent of SMEs say digitisation boosts output but many still rely on manual processes

Eighty-one per cent of decision makers working for small and medium sized businesses that use vehicles believe they could get more jobs done if they could digitise more of their workflow, according to a new study from TomTom Telematics.

Yet, when asked how they handle everyday tasks such as expense management, customer updates and quoting and invoicing, the majority revealed they either manually or somewhat manually do so.

Elsewhere in the study, 59 per cent of respondents agreed that reporting working times took up too much time. There was also a general consensus that fuel and vehicle management was an area for concern, with 66 per cent saying they could do more to reduce fuel costs and 55 per cent saying their vehicle costs were higher than necessary.

“We spoke to over a thousand companies from across the EU and the USA,” said Beverly Wise, Sales Director UK, TomTom Telematics. “Two things came up again and again. First, SMEs are frustrated by the costliness, time ineffectiveness and potential for error experienced when handling essential tasks manually. And two, managers want digital solutions to take care of these jobs.”

The respondents also expressed frustration regarding internal communication and team management. Fifty-one per cent said the inability of their field teams to follow the assigned schedule has a negative impact on their business and 53 per cent indicated they are not certain their drivers are behaving safely on the road. Meanwhile, 55 per cent agreed they have an issue regarding miscommunication with their field team.

“This is another area in which decision makers are using automation to cut out inefficiencies,” said Wise.

“Twenty-three per cent of respondents now fully automate the process of identifying and dispatching the best team member for the job, while 41 per cent mainly automate it.

“At TomTom Telematics we are heavily invested in the success of SMEs that use cars and vans as part of their business and want to give them the fullest support in adopting powerful digital processes that improve their workflow. Our latest eBook, Digitising the Workflow, offers insight based on this exclusive research to show SMEs how others in their industry are approaching digitisation and automation.”

The full report is available free on the TomTom Telematics website.