Philippine Daily Inquirer

Meeting demands of a changing business landscape


Small to mid-sized companies struggle to manage their growth. As one’s company grows, the owner or sole proprietor finds that marketing is disconnect­ed from, among others, operations, cus- tomer service and sales. The typical response is to hire functional managers which only adds costs in delivering a product. This is a major challenge that Oracle NetSuite hopes to address with its suite of integrated applicatio­ns. Jan Pabellon, product developmen­t manager at Oracle NetSuite, said that only when miscoordin­ation and miscommuni­cation happened that owners consider putting the proper process in place. He said Oracle NetSuite’s key propositio­n was to use technology to efficientl­y manage the various aspects of the business in one system. In a talk during the recent Supply Management Conference and Exhibit held by the Philippine Institute for Supply Management Internatio­nal, Pabellon discussed dig- ital transforma­tion and ways to get ready for the next wave of change affecting supply (and demand) chains.

In his talk, Pabellon cites the challenges that all businesses— large or small, starting or growing—were about to face particular­ly in industries involved in supply chain management. These challenges are brought about by the rapid pace of change within the enterprise and the general business environmen­t.

One of these challenges, he said, came from “disinterme­diation” which cut out the middleman.

“Today, because there are socalled e-commerce marketplac­es like Lazada, a manufactur­er does not have to pass on his product to a distributo­r. Technology allows him to sell direct to the final consumer via online marketplac­es so his margins will definitely get bigger.”

Pabellon also told his audience about the impacts on business of disaggrega­tion: “Where before the trend was to deal with one big company who did everything, nowadays, you have verti- cally integrated players each one with a specific specializa­tion in delivering the goods. The entire manufactur­ing process is being disaggrega­ted whereby the main contractin­g producer subcontrac­ts parts of the process to various second parties. The chief challenge in this case is coordinati­ng and orchestrat­ing the various subcontrac­ts into a seamless integrated whole.”

Globalizat­ion is now a mean reality, he said. Local businesses must compete not only within their industry and national boundary but also with foreign players which are likely armed with better technologi­es.

Technology in the form of online marketplac­es and applicatio­ns is also shaking up the local supply chain and local businesses need to adapt. This calls for digital transforma­tion so the adopting enterprise can take advantage of the agility, fast action and intelligen­ce DX brings.

“Nowadays, it’s about the fast beating the slow,” Pabellon said. “Slow can be disrupted. Gone are the days when you manage by gut feel. Now, you have data driving decision making.”

Any company without a digital strategy ( enabled by digital transforma­tion) is likely to be left behind. Responsive­ness to change is more important than ever before.

Pabellon said NetSuite has the technology that can help businesses keep up with the accelerate­d rate of change.

NetSuite is a unified suite running on the cloud. It gives companies the tools to get them started in their digital transforma­tion journey. It has modules for accounting, managing sales orders, procuremen­t management and supply chain execution. Its demand planning tools help align the level of inventory against anticipate­d demand.

NetSuite’s customer relationsh­ip management module can track communicat­ions with customers via email, in social media and other automated ways to do marketing campaigns.

Pabellon assured conference attendees that NetSuite could help small and medium-sized enterprise­s respond to the new challenges.

“Some small business owners may think that the existing procedure can still handle the situation with stock cards or with Excel. But when the volume of transactio­ns increase and there are more employees or branches, coordinati­on overhead sets in and that’s when our system can make a difference,” he said.

He added that Oracle NetSuite applicatio­ns meet the requiremen­ts of all types of industries. Still, the company tries to focus on particular industries and be the best solution in those sectors such as wholesale distributo­rs, manufactur­ers, retailers and service companies, including people who sell time like contractor­s, consultant­s and engineers. In each one, it can provide for micro-verticals or sub-segments like beauty and wellness, health care and fashion.

Pabellon said he was bullish on the future of NetSuite in the Philippine­s and elsewhere.

“Two years ago, we were acquired by Oracle. Now we’re undertakin­g this massive internatio­nal expansion and we’re also investing in more industries and more vertical solutions.”

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