2020 was a difficult year but there are some positives in the way businesses have adapted during Covid, says Howard Thompson, Project Manager at Superfast Business Wales.
Welsh businesses have turned to digital to drum up sales and maximise resources in the fight back during the pandemic, according to a recent report. The latest Digital Maturity Survey for Wales 2020, produced by Cardiff Business School, shows over 70% of Welsh SMEs are conducting sales online, and two-thirds have switched to remote working.
With over 6,400 additional hours of digital support provided since April last year, Superfast Business Wales (SFBW) has seen first-hand Welsh firms’ desire to adapt.
SFBW Project Manager Howard Thompson said: “Our advisers have worked with businesses to consolidate what they learn during webinars, giving them a digital action plan to navigate the future. That’s why we’re asking businesses which need digital help to get in touch today.”
“Swapping the classroom for the cloud saved the business”
Tutoring firm Educalis is one such business. The Caerphilly company bounced back to pre-Covid income levels by moving lessons online during the March lockdown, with help from Superfast Business Wales.
Owner Emma Blewden said: “Our adviser showed us how to use G-Suite so we could easily plan and run lessons online, as well as safely back-up files and record sessions.
“The feedback for online learning has been really positive, and we know if we hadn’t switched over to digital, we would have lost all our revenue. “We’re so grateful for the support, it has undoubtably been our saving grace!”
“We supplied critical PPE to the NHS”
For supply chain management company, Freight Logistics Solutions (FLS), digital provides agility.
It upscaled from 6-8 vans a week to 8-10 a day to make 3,600 deliveries of over 1000 lines of PPE to the NHS by the end of June. And it was due to digital foundations laid 18 months earlier, following advice from Superfast Business Wales, which enabled it to quickly respond to meet the huge demand for freight from the healthcare sector.
Ieuan Rosser Managing Director said: “We invested heavily in intelligent, freight tracking and client booking portals and switched to superfast broadband, cloud server and back-up, and digital telephone system.
“So, when staff were sent home to work in the first lockdown, they were fully operational within the hour and allocating drivers and vehicles to service the NHS at its critical time of need. Digital gives us a competitive edge.”