Issues for Small and Medium Sized Businesses

The coming of the euro will profoundly affect the European market place. Companies are facing a plethora of important strategic, technical and organisational issues that they need to analyse and address.

As early as November 1996, the Prisma supermarket in Mikkeli Finland has been part of an EMU project of their central organisation SOK.

Heikki Hämäläinen, directing manager of Prisma supermarket in Mikkeli on what changes they expect for their company

How Prisma has prepared for the coming of euro


Strategically, European businesses need to assess the impact of increased cross-border competition. In theory, a common currency will make European businesses and products easier to compare and therefore market forces should exert pressure on prices. In turn, increased competition might make business mergers within the euro zone more likely. Likewise, distribution and purchasing issues might become simpler and cheaper since businesses will not have to worry about currency fluctuations.

What will be the impact of the euro on Prisma's Information System?
What are the costs involved in implementing new software?

Among the technical issues facing European enterprises is the need to adapt their financial and accounting systems. How will the euro affect the company’s accounts? How and when will the company change pay-slips to the euro? If your enterprise uses information systems, you may want to find out whether your IT system will be able to handle the euro. If not, will you provide and install new euro-compatible version? At what cost?

Organisational issues appearing with the euro will include the necessity to find programs to educate, train or retrain your staff, and possibly hire more staff to help during the transition period  and beyond. In the retail business, you will need to raise the awareness about the euro, how it will come about, which countries are involved, etc. Your staff should be able to negotiate in euros – both buying and selling. They will need training in cash handling and operating the till.

What should SMEs focus on according to Heikki Hämäläinen?


Euro - uusi raha (Finnish)

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© Isto Felin & Stéphan Martin / Nettiradio Mikaeli 1998