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OCBC SPOTLIGHT

Digitalisation must be a top priority for all companies

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Christie Chu, Head, Emerging Business and Commercial Banking Cash, Global Commercial Banking, OCBC Bank

ABOUT 36 per cent of respondents in the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry's annual business survey are making digitalisation a top priority. Yet, it is crucial for any business today. Digitalisation is not typically the first thing small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) think of, especially when they are starting out.

I say, start right, and start smart. You can experience efficiency in business operations and improve productivity in areas such as accounting, human resources, marketing, and customer relationship management.

SMEs often use social media for their marketing purposes. Using such platforms is an affordable and easy way for a business to broadcast messages about their products to bigger, and even overseas, markets. With data analytics tools, companies have insights into customers' profiles and buying behaviour so that they can improve their sales strategies.

When it comes to accounting, many business owners have little or no visibility of their cash flow positions, which is the pulse of the business. One way to address this is to adopt a cloud-based accounting software solution, which gives instant updates on the health of their business. Book-keeping is simplified and they can easily monitor their sales and expenses.

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With digitalisation, the business owner can keep a close eye on what matters to them and can make informed decisions.

My advice to those who are unsure of what tools are right for your business: Speak to fellow business owners on how they have brought their businesses to the next level using digital solutions. Take advantage of the Start Digital initiative by the Infocomm Media Development Authority, which allows SMEs to try out two digital solutions at no cost for at least six months.