According to the results of the survey, which was conducted by Digital Anatolia with SMEs, and which asked the question “What is the Biggest Problem You Face in Digitalization?” it can be seen that 48,4% of the people face difficulties regarding the high costs. This percentage was followed by the lack of personnel who have adequate knowledge, by the rate of 35,5%. The remaining answers were “limited options” by the rate of 6.5% and “confusing processes” with 9.7%.

No matter what sector it operates in, digital transformation is deemed absolutely necessary in the world we live in today. Digitalization is an ongoing process that starts and keeps on going from the moment you put your mind to it, and one can face many difficulties and mistakes along the way. Trying to adapt to the situation and struggling while doing so is, of course, a part of the job itself…

In this article, we would like to share the 8 mistakes that you can make in the digitalization process and solution suggestions with you. Facing failure while you are in the digital transformation process, can and will cost you valuable time and money. And your efforts will be wasted. As Coimex, we continue to share our suggestions and tips with you in order to increase your success in the foreign trade field and digital transformation to ensure the permanence of your success.

1. Not clarifying your goals in the digital transformation process

Technology is constantly evolving, the digital world has almost become an ocean. One needs to clarify their needs in order to avoid getting stuck in the middle of this ocean and fluttering helplessly. Is your goal focused solely on your digital presence or doing your work digitally? Identify your resources, your team, and your time and integrate them all according to your designated goal.

2. Not having a roadmap for the digital transformation process

As you embark on your journey of digital transformation, it is essential to have clear planning. So many companies think that things will figure themselves out along the way, and consequently, they fail because of that. So if you think as they do, it is possible for you to fail too. So be clear about your goals and make a plan that fits best to your goals.

3. Inability to digitize your company as a whole

This is one of the most common mistakes that are being made in the digitalization process, for digitalization is not the task of a single department. On the contrary, the digitalization process succeeds when all departments and the whole company take part in it. The entire company and the entire team must take part in this transformation.

4. Not dedicating a person responsible for the digitalization process and failing to educate the team accordingly

As in all business processes, you should have a person who is responsible for the digitalization process. You need a person who monitors and controls the process, distributes the tasks, and measures the compliance of the results with the target. In addition, even if your team has good foreign trade knowledge, the results will not be optimal if their digital knowledge is inadequate, so you should make sure that your team has adequate training for digitalization.

5. Not considering customer needs while digitalizing

Although digitization happens inside your company, focusing only on your own needs and ignoring customer needs will result in the process being incomplete. For example, overlooking customer needs, such as a secure payment system in the digital environment, may cause the customers not to prefer to work with you.

6. Not being able to give up traditional methods and old habits

Pre-X and Generation X (1946-1980) are more accustomed to traditional methods when it comes to foreign trade because they did not grow up with computers as Generations Y and Z did. That’s why this generation hasn’t gotten used to using technology and digital platforms to their advantage. You too can be from the X or pre-X generation. Although it may seem difficult for you to use and get used to technology, it is not impossible.

7. Being impatient as the digitization process continues

While going digital, you could be making a decision today, taking a step tomorrow, and expecting everything to happen the very next day, but you should remember that digitalization is a process, not a daily or a monthly issue. Digitalization is a long-term journey, so it is best for you to set your goals clearly, take your steps accordingly, follow the process, measure the results and be patient.

8. Disrupting the digitization process

In business life, things come to a conclusion when they are sustainable, that is when they continue steadily. This is also the case with digitization. If you use paper and pen to do your work today and decide to digitalize them tomorrow, things will not work out properly. From the moment you take a step on this road, you must continue with determination, for when your process is interrupted, you go back to the beginning.

Digitization is not just about technology. This process takes place by combining technology with vision, change, being open to innovation, adapting innovations to life, being determined, ways of thinking, giving importance to education, being consistent, way of thinking, and combining it with strategy.

“Digital transformation is about strategy and ways of thinking, not technology.”

David Rogers

In the digitalizing world, every time you do not take immediate action, keep a distance, and resist digital transformation, you continue to lose customers. When you fail to establish a presence in the digital world, you fall out of competition. This is why digitalization is a must now. You gain to the extent that you take action early and adapt to the digital world.

If you still think “why do I have to digitalize my work” we recommend you to read our article titled 5 Reasons to Realize Your Digital Transformation in Foreign Trade

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