"Digitalization is the necessary step to make companies
fit for the future" - Ana Aldea
It is nothing new that SMEs need to adopt new technologies in order to be more competitive. This need has been further exacerbated in the aftermath of the pandemic, where online shopping increased exponentially, resulting in 3 out of 4 households making a purchase using this method. As for SMEs, the use of websites increased by 66% and their online sales by 61% compared to the pre-pandemic data.
The term digitalization can be complex and abstract for many small and medium-sized companies. However, this digitization can take many forms depending on the situation and needs of each business. Some need to have a presence on social networks, while others need to optimize repetitive processes in order to dedicate that time to other tasks. The purpose of this digitalization is to increase revenue while remaining competitive in an ever-changing environment.
Benefits of digitalization for SMEs
Digitalization brings numerous advantages for both customers and employees, among them:
- Improved customer response times – both for solving orders, questions, breakdowns, etc.
- Improved communication with suppliers and customers.
- Storing all documents in the same place and in the cloud to have them at your disposal whenever you need them.
- Easy access to information, in order to improve decision-making.
- Implementation of software that solves services that had to be outsourced due to lack of resources.
- Automation of processes that used to be manual.
Given the importance of the digitalization of small and medium-sized national companies, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation has created the Acelera pyme Program. Developed by Red.es, it aims to boost the transformation of Spanish SMEs thanks to a budget of more than 4,000 million euros. Within this program, there are three different focuses of action: the platform, the network of offices, and support and advisory service. In addition, the creation of the "Digital Kit" grants will facilitate the implementation of digital solutions to achieve this transformation of SMEs.
Digitalization for exporting SMEs
The digitalization of exporting SMEs has made it possible for them to compete with large multinationals thanks to tools such as marketplaces, which bring the products they sell to end customers wherever they are; social networks, which enable digital marketing campaigns to be carried out worldwide; and applications such as Zoom, Google Meet or Microsoft Teams, which enable communication with anyone with an Internet connection and a compatible device. In addition, all these tools are usually low-cost, making them accessible to all small and medium-sized companies.
After the international trade stoppage in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen the need for exporting SMEs to find importers that really market their product line. Because trade shows were suspended due to the health situation, those companies that needed to find new customers were limited to searching Google. Terms such as "importers of”, “American importers of" or "global trade data company" spiked in the most common search engines. However, this method is not optimal, and therefore platforms such as ours make it easier for export managers to carry out such a fundamental task as finding new customers.
Acelera pyme and the "kit digital"
As mentioned above, Acelera pyme aims to build an ecosystem of reference for the digital transformation of SMEs. This initiative not only aims to promote the transformation of these companies through advice and training, but also to provide a platform that generates a digital ecosystem and a national community around this transformation. In addition, it offers a support service to SMEs to drive this transformation and promote strategic objectives around entrepreneurship and sustainable development.
The digital kit is a financial endowment to implement a digital solution from the Program's Digitalization Solutions catalog. This economic endowment will depend on the size of the applicant company and has an overall budget of 3.067 million euros.
You can find the links of interest to apply for this aid here:
- Regulatory bases for the granting of aid for digitalization