Tuesday 18th June 2019

81% of SMEs recognise digitisation boosts output yet most rely on manual processes

Published on March 18th, 2019

Beverly Wise, sales director UK, TomTom Telematics looks at the main findings of new research into small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that use vehicles in the US and EU. Workflow inefficiency is prompting them to use automation to improve productivity, communication and costs.

81% 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.

The survey of 1,350 car and van fleet decision makers was conducted in partnership with TomTom Telematics in industries including construction, engineering, food and beverage, delivery, healthcare, hospitality, real estate, retail, telecommunications and utilities.

Respondents were based in, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the US.

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% 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% saying they could do more to reduce fuel costs and 55% saying their vehicle costs were higher than necessary.

Beverly Wise

Two big issues

We spoke to over a thousand companies from across the EU and the USA and 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.

51% said the inability of their field teams to follow their assigned schedule has a negative impact on their business and 53% indicated they are not certain that their drivers are behaving safely on the road. Meanwhile, 55% 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; 23% of respondents now fully automate the process of identifying and dispatching the best team member for the job, while 41% mainly automate it.

TomTom Telematics’ latest eBook, Digitising the Workflow, offers insight based on this research to show SMEs how others in their industry are approaching digitisation and automation.

The author of this blog is Beverly Wise, sales director UK, TomTom Telematics 

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