Probably the greatest challenges of the present are demographic change and digitization. One thing is often overlooked: Both upheavals are closely linked.
Demographic change and digitization have serious effects on companies, markets and society. The upheaval in terms of population development is showing itself very slowly and will only show its full impact after a few years. It is different with digitization, which is revolutionizing companies and markets at breathtaking speed thanks to technical progress.
Does this mean that society is facing two trends at two different speeds? The answer is “yes”, but at the same time both developments are closely linked. Companies that want to prepare today for the changes of tomorrow have to realign their eyes. Because there are many new and undreamt-of opportunities when both trends are thought together.
Demographic change and its effects on the labor market
It is difficult to predict how the population structure will develop in the future, as demographic change is subject to many factors. Nevertheless, one thing is already clear today: For the economy and the labor market, population change is an important aspect that should definitely be considered.
The workforce of the future will get older and older, as current figures already show. There will be an increase in the average age of people of working age by 2.2 years by 2030/40. This does not sound like immense growth, but it is a mistake: this number is three times as high as it has been in the past three decades.
What effects does this change have on companies? The steadily aging society will lead to reduced productivity. If the retirement age keeps falling, people have to stay fit for work into old age. Therefore, numerous experts are already warning of a decline in the performance of the staff – simply because of age. In addition, there will be fewer and fewer young people who will be available to companies after completing their training – school, university. The economy is thus losing an important source of innovative thinkers.
Not only that fewer young high potentials resulted from a loss of know-how from the education systems, but companies will find it increasingly difficult to recruit suitable trainees to whom their own knowledge is transferred.
The shortage of skilled workers is therefore a topic that is being driven in particular by demographic change. The search for suitable employees will become increasingly difficult in the future. Not because the young people have a poorer education, but because there will be fewer and fewer candidates who are suitable.
Measures against the effects of demographic change
What options do companies have to compensate for demographic change? The effects can already be felt today and will intensify in the years to come. For this reason, it is important that companies adapt their personnel development policy and think about concise solutions for digitization. Alternatives for small and medium-sized companies are, for example, automated distribution channels, such as: investments in digital infrastructure, education and clarification as well as information and communication technologies. The problem is that the government is reacting rather sluggishly here.
In order to advance digitization faster in small and medium-sized companies, automated sales channels are a means to an end, for example through:
- Online marketing (e.g. Facebook advertising, Google Adwords): Offers targeted placement of advertisements with the target group, testing of new products, precise feedback and insights into the quality of the advertisements
- Online shops (e.g. Shopify, WooCommerce): Development of a larger customer base, global sales opportunity for your own products
- Newsletter (e.g. Mailchimp, Klaviyo): Provides immediate notification of the customer, an overview of the quality of the newsletter and the offer through insights, testing of new products and offers, free advertising, lower costs as postage is no longer necessary.
- Online appointments / reservations: Offers automation of reservations / appointments, no staff required for scheduling / reservations, possible 24 hours a day.
- Digital customer communication: e.g. price calculation via the web, customer self-service systems, FAQ, use of chat systems
The bottom line is that effective digitization increases work efficiency and effectiveness. At the same time, it has other positive effects such as reducing the individual workload on employees. In addition, productivity is increased and fewer staff are required for the relevant area.
What can the management consultancy bvm GmbH do in the field of digitization for small and medium-sized businesses?
- Support in analyzing the structures
- Recognition of processes that can easily be digitized
- Digitization of sales channels through partner companies of the bvm
The complete range of services of the management consultancy bvm GmbH can be found here !