The Way of Doing Business Has Changed Forever as COVID Forces Small and Minority-Owned Businesses to Undergo Digital Transformation

Published : August 5, 2020
Posted by : Julie Russett

Companies Flocking to Auburn Hills Based eProcurement Services (‘ePS)
Digital eCommerce B2B software Solutions

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., August 6, 2020 – Small businesses have found that not only is the digital transformation of their companies vital to their future, but in a COVID world the demand from business buyers has increased dramatically. For minority small businesses, which are growing 10 times faster than non-minority businesses, future growth, and survival during a pandemic is dependent on eCommerce Marketplace capabilities and integration to eProcurement platforms.

“Only two percent of minority businesses have gross receipts of a million or more and they just don’t have the scale to transform digitally on their own,” said the former National Director for the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce and now founder and CEO of the Minority Wealth Commission in Washington, D.C., Henry Childs. “Large cap companies went through their digital transformation five years ago. When COVID hit, they were ready and increased their market shares in a matter of months.”

Childs has been working with Auburn Hills, Michigan based ePS to help assist small minority-owned companies to move to the world of eMarketplace technology, using a$2.5 million ePS’s backed funding program.

“It’s critical for these minority small businesses to get technical assistance on how to do this,” added Childs. “ePS has a great track record with a national scope and they basically coach you up and help those companies which have never entered the digital space.”

ePS, since 2010 has provided solutions for small businesses to compete in the public sector and private sector corporate space. The company’s fully-automated solutions for custom eMarketplace store fronts, integration to Amazon Business and integrations to all 3rd party eProcurement platforms has become the playbook for ePS’ minority-owned small business customers.

“Within the last few months, ePS has launched 50 small businesses, including six African-American owned companies in their digital transformation,” said ePS founder and CEO David Saroli. “In the midst of COVID, the demand for our solutions has grown exponentially. For instance, we’ve been able to transition 40 new small business sellers to an Amazon Business platform and 10 more onto their own private eCommerce Marketplace.”

Retired Army Colonel Rudy Burwell found himself, through several unusual circumstances, running an electrical supply company in Virginia called Encompass Supply, which offers a full line of electrical construction supplies. He also found right away that moving his company quickly to a digital platform was instrumental to its survival and said the ePS solution for minority-owned businesses was the key to keeping his company relevant and growing.

“Honestly, our relationship with ePS is a great story. They approached me because I was originally working with Grainger online as a reseller of our products, but it was ePS which got me on the State of Virginia eProcurement system with ePS Connect and on Amazon Business with ePS Integration+,” said Burwell. “We had really not done anything digitally at that time and ePS was terrific to work with in helping us with our integration and offering their seamless support. It’s resulted in 15-20% growth for Encompass.”

Saroli sees ePS’ role in digital transformation continuing to grow amidst and post-COVID, which is changing the way all small businesses operate. “Because of COVID, standard eCommerce storefronts are effectively finished for B2B. Unless small and minority-owned companies find a true digital transformation through their own eMarketplace or sell on marketplaces such as Amazon Business, they just can’t compete in the new online B2B world. We’re going to be very busy for the foreseeable future,” he said.

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