ILO trains Ghanaian businesses on business digitization and e-commerce

In an attempt to circumvent the odds of COVID-19 pandemic, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE) Ghana Project educates SMEs on business digitalization and e-commerce. This initiative is aimed at equipping SMEs with the knowledge and the drive to design and promote their businesses in the digital space.

Article | 20 July 2020
© Ato Van-Ess, SCORE Trainer and Business Development Specialist
With the COVID-19 pandemic still disrupting business modules, all actors are exploring ways to survive the moment and also flourish in the midst of the crisis. Again, the brick and mortar approach to business management and marketing is no longer sustainable. To help enterprises reposition themselves and weave into the new normal successfully, ILO SCORE Ghana Project organised a Webinar on ‘’Business Digitalization & E-Commerce in response to Covid-19 Crises’’. The resource person for the Webinar was Ato Van-Ess, a SCORE Trainer and a Development Specialist.

The Webinar which was organised on July, 15, 2020 and hosted on Zoom attracted eighty four (84) participants made up of our Social Partners being representatives of the Trade Union Congress, Ghana Employers Association, and the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations. Also in attendance were our Implementing Partners, SCORE Trainers, businesses and a SCORE Technical Staff from the Head Quarters, Geneva.

Speaking on behalf of the Director of ILO Country Office, Abuja, the National Project Coordinator of SCORE Ghana, Samuel Onoma Asiedu said that, SCORE was a practical training and in-factory coaching programme that improved productivity and working conditions in small and medium enterprises. The training programme, which was sponsored by the Norwegian Agency for Development Corporation (NORAD) and State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), demonstrated best international practices in the manufacturing and service sectors and helped SMEs participate in global supply chains. As at June, 2020, 212 enterprises had benefited from SCORE training in Ghana with 1743 staff of enterprise participating in training workshops. Other benefits included : improved management-worker cooperation, improved worker attitude toward work, reduction of waste in production, improved housekeeping and production floor practices, reduction in cost of production, increase in productivity, reduction in accidents and improvement of safety at the workplace.

The resource person in his presentation outlined the benefits of digitalization to include integration of conventional records or files into a digitalized form; facilitation of a better information exchange; provision for customer service anywhere in the world and increase in work efficiency. Other include reduction of operational cost; provision of safe data storage in the cloud; preventing human error, and taking advantage of analytics and real user data. According to him, these benefits could be secured using of a combination of software and hardware e.g. computers, handsets, applications, and the internet.

On e-marketing, he emphasized that, the traditional channels for publicity remained relevant e.g. radio, TV, newsprint, billboard. He stated that e-marketing was rather complementary to the traditional channels. He identified e-marketing as a process of planning and executing the conception, distribution, promotion, and pricing of products and services online, to facilitate exchanges and satisfy customer demands. Some advantages of e-marketing are that, it can be properly targeted at the customer, various tools can be engaged to develop the interest of the customer, and results can easily be measured.

In conclusion, he said ‘’technology is no longer a choice, but a fundamental business strategy that must be interwoven with wider operative initiatives. Also, ttransformative technologies are penetrating the business environment at an exponential speed and bringing along the change businesses need, not only to survive, but also thrive.’’ Businesses must therefore be awake and take advantage of these opportunities.