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.”