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Digitalisation offers SMEs enormous opportunities to become more efficient and competitive. The Fit 4 Digital programme, established by Luxinnovation in collaboration with the Ministry of the Economy, helps SMEs to launch their digital transformation and determine how and where to start.

Digitalisation has become part of our everyday lives: we check our bank accounts and the train times via our smartphones, speak to our friends via social media and reserve our holidays online amongst a myriad of other tasks.  “We live in a world where consumption modes evolve very quickly,” confirms Rémi Grizard, who is in charge of the Fit 4 Digital programme at Luxinnovation. “People search for information about all kinds of products and services on the internet and expect to be able to interact electronically with service providers. Companies need to quickly adapt to their clients: if they do not, their competitors will do it before them. Today, no one can disregard digitalisation.”

Support from analysis to implementation

Companies are increasingly aware of the need to digitalise their activities, but many do not know how to do it. “I often meet entrepreneurs who are passionate about their profession and the contact with their clients, but who lack the time to learn more about digitalisation,” says Mr Grizard. “We launched Fit 4 Digital to help them integrate information and communication technologies into their everyday activities and especially to benefit from them.”

The participation in Fit 4 Digital starts with a quick and efficient analysis of all facets of a company, such as production, sales, administrative procedures, human resources and marketing. The analysis is undertaken by experts who have been authorised by Luxinnovation, which guarantees their professionalism and neutrality. The consultants make concrete recommendations on the implementation of IT tools in the company. Each measure is proposed with a view to improve the firm’s competitiveness and to create value. The experts then provide support to implement the selected recommendations.

New clients, better organisation

According to Mr Grizard, “Several Fit 4 Digital participants have been able to gain new clients through a modern website that can easily be used on tablets and smartphones combined with an active presence on social media. The rational use of IT tools is clearly a great advantage for SMEs who can spend more time on the core activities of their profession when administrative tasks take less time. In addition, digitalisation means faster invoicing and therefore improved cash flows.

Digitalisation makes it possible for SMEs to fully exploit all the data collected within the companies. As a result, they can determine which products sell best and, consequently, manage their stocks better. They can also professionalise the management of human resources and accounting. If data are not stocked and managed by coherent IT tools, it is difficult to use them. “Some participants have created dashboards that allow them to have a global, updated overview of the performance and profitability of their companies at any time,” specifies Mr Grizard.

He explains, however, that the effectiveness of the tools and the quality of the data can only be guaranteed if the tools are correctly used. “Fit 4 Digital involves all the staff in the digitalisation process and allows for all employees concerned to be trained in the use of these new tools.”


An attractive financial solution

Fit 4 Digital targets small and medium-sized enterprises in Luxembourg. Based on a methodology developed by Luxinnovation, the programme, which is linked to financial support, is divided into a “Diagnostic” phase and a “Project” phase.

“Luxinnovation helps companies prepare their grant applications and guides them in their choice of experts,” says Mr Grizard. “Our role is also to ensure that each project is really beneficial for the company and is conducted in the best way possible, from beginning to the end.”

 

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