Industries in Europe are mostly based on manufacturing capability in automotive, defense, and machining industries. These manufacturing plants have some disadvantages: increased energy consumption, lack of skilled workers, less focus on tech innovation, etc.

To tackle those disadvantages manufacturing companies need more co-operations with SMEs which are located in close regions. For this reason, companies are to be aware of SMEs' capabilities, which are potential partners of bigger companies. They can support them in terms of raw materials and semi-products. All they need to do is find and talk to each other.

How to make them talk?

Traditionally fairs are the common places to meet each other. However, Covid-19 is a big setback of international fairs. Covid-19 has taught us to use more digital platforms in commerce. Digital platforms are less costly than international fairs. So SMEs should be digitally present, available, accessible, and reachable by larger companies. They also need to present their quality of products, capabilities, certifications, and capacities.

Main sectors do not necessarily produce from scratch to the final product. They need SMEs for outsourcing semi- products. However, the requirement of semi-product can be procured from all Europe zone. Especially some products that need high energy consumption can be directed to the zones where alternative energy sources such as wind and solar energy are available. Major companies' costs can be lowered by outsourcing some of the semi-products in the European zone. By empowering SME capabilities, major companies' focus is directed to design and technology so they more invest in innovation. Their employment strategy will be based on innovation as well. 

SMEs increased availability on digital platforms is of utmost importance to increase their sales. Therefore larger companies can procure semi-products from SMEs. So they can release the manufacturing part of their business to SMEs and focus more on innovation and technology. Another benefit of digital trade is to power SMEs. Their production capabilities will be able to grow and employ more skilled workers.

Those SMEs should not be in the center of Europe. They are found in East European countries and candidate counties like Turkey. Those places are relatively cost-effective since labor fees, energy prices are less than in central Europe. 

We can conclude the session with the assumption Gartner; “ By 2025, %80 of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels."