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Five out of ten small and medium businesses are still using paper

Press Release   •   Nov 02, 2017 14:18 GMT

Small businesses in the service and trades industries are unlikely to use apps and digital tools to improve the efficiency of their business. Furthermore, five out of ten still register orders using paper-based methods. Telenor is now launching a number of IT solutions and mobile phone apps for overworked businesses in the service and trades industries.

- We have to ensure that we do not end up with a digital class difference between small and large businesses. This is why we are now launching a number of streamlined IT solutions for small businesses in the service and trades industries, said Ove Fredheim, Head of Telenor's Corporate Market Division.

Under the "Smartday" umbrella, they are providing a range of key IT solutions for the trades and service industries. These include "Smartday", a customised app which can be used to input new orders with ease, enter hours on timesheets, generate documents and issue invoices. They are also launching "Telenor Websites" which provides small businesses with a professional website that is easy to find through a Google search.

Working with Virke on the digitalisation pledge
Vibeke Hammer Madsen, CEO of Virke, the Enterprise Federation of Norway, believes that there is a great deal of demand for these types of services.

- Our members and small businesses are generally looking for easily available, low-threshold systems which are easy to implement, and this is what Telenor is launching here. We need to stop talking about how difficult digitalisation is and start doing something about it, said Madsen, who represents thousands of small and medium enterprises.

Virke is launching STYRKE, a new, independent start-up business. One of its tasks will be to promote both Telenor's and other systems, which could help small businesses to work smarter.
- We are looking forward to working with Telenor, said Madsen.

No more time wasting
Telenor has conducted extensive surveys which have identified which time-wasting activities are slowing down small independent businesses in the trades and service industries.

- Many people talk about long evenings spent on administration, a paper-based order system and systems which do not talk to each other. Our aim is to allow people to do everything digitally, wherever they are, using their mobile phone, said Fredheim.

A recent survey conducted by Norstat on behalf of Telenor, of employees from companies with 1–100 employees inservice and trades industries shows that:

  • Four out of ten do not use mobile phone apps to simplify their work.
  • Five out of ten still register orders on paper.
  • Only one in four use their mobile phone to enter hours on timesheets.
  • The most common time wasting activities are responding to enquiries (36%), logging hours and jobs (18%), performing calculations and issuing offers (17%) and dealing with orders and assigning jobs (16%).

The survey also shows differences in the degree of digitalisation between small and medium businesses. In businesses with between one and five employees, six out of ten stated that they do not use mobile phone apps to make their work easier, while seven out of ten stated that they still register orders on paper.

One app for key tasks
- The app is being provided in partnership with GSGroup, which specialises in solutions for these industries. We have focused on making the most important functions for a trades or service company available on an app, thereby eliminating the issues presented by paper-based systems and duplication of work, said Stephen Parsli, Head of Telenor's Cloud Service for Businesses.

The solution will also help to make invoicing easier as the service communicates with the most commonly used accounting systems such as 24SevenOffice and Visma E-accounting. Invoice documentation is automatically received by the accounting system, from which invoices can be issued directly.

Making it possible for everyone to have a professional website
A survey from the analysis company Forrester showed that 90% of all customers start looking for a supplier on the Internet and 70% prefer to buy online.

- Competition is tough between the various providers and if you do not have a professional website and online visibility, you are guaranteed to miss out on jobs. We have been running this service as a pilot since April and have already sold 40 websites before the product has even been launched, said Parsli.

The websites are optimised for use on mobiles and come with a contact form for easy customer contact, a Facebook page and an app for visitor statistics, not forgetting encryption for extra security. Telenor provides customers with a dedicated advisor and support service, which means that their business does not need to have an IT department. All the services appear on their Telenor mobile bill.

Facts about Smartday and Telenor Websites

Smartday

  • Digital planning tool which provides a quick overview of planned, initiated and finished jobs.
  • App which employees can use to receive new assignments, register hours worked, material used and document completed assignments.
  • Templates and reports which ensure compliance with official requirements.
  • Cloud-based system which requires no investment.
  • Continuously upgraded with new functions.

Telenor Websites

  • A professional web advisor helps you identify the unique features of your business, your target groups and the objectives of your website.
  • A professional web designer builds websites for your business, based on your company's objectives, or you can build your own website based on Telenor's templates.
  • Free access to a web designer for changes and updates to your website.
  • Cloud-based system which requires no investment.
  • App showing traffic statistics for your website.

Norstat's survey was performed during weeks 39–41 and included 428 employees in Norway's trades and service industries. 

Telenor Norway is Norway’s largest digital service provider in the field of telecommunications and data services. We spend every day working at the forefront of the digitalisation of Norway. Our 3900 employees are based at our 24 offices across Norway, and we are part of the Telenor Group, which operates in 13 countries. Our services and products help to improve productivity and provide access to all digital content. Our security and preparedness organisation works around the clock to keep our customers safe, and we are particularly focused on our social responsibility to provide security and safety for children and young people online. Our head office is located at Fornebu in Bærum. 

Read more about Telenor Norway at www.telenor.no