• Retail Industry
     
    Automate Supply Chain for Retail Industry in Malaysia


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    Most leading retailers in Malaysia are trying to automate their supply chain processes to
    improve efficiencies and reduce costs. B2B had been working with most of the retailers
    to provide the neccessary infrastructure and support services that are required to create an online supplier community for the retailers in Malaysia.
     

    B2B e-Supplier Service Extends The Backend System Of Retailers To All Suppliers
       
    Introduction
    The retail industry, especially the Hypermarkers and Retail Chain Stores, are growing
    rapidly in Malaysia. Most of these retailers are targeting the mass market which is very
    price sensitive. For retailers to reduce cost and improve sales, supply chain optimization
    and automation can be one of the important contributing factors. Furthermore, most of
    the retailers are foreign owned and they are familiar with supply chain automation. As
    supply chain automation requires business-to-business data exchanges and
    collaboration processes, B2B is well positioned to provide such a service and that's
    what B2B had been doing for the retail industry in the past few years.
       
    The Business Challenge
    Most retailers have hundreds if not thousands of suppliers. The huge number of document exchanges and complexity of business processes between the retailers and suppliers create probems in terms of cost and efficiency as the exchanges are mostly done manually. The following are some of the main problems:
       
     

    Documents are sent as faxes which are costly and inefficient as well as hard to verify data transfer integrity.
    Documents received by either the retailers or suppliers cannot be loaded into their respective backend systems directly without manual data entry which is costly, inefficient, time consuming and error-prone.
    No visibility of document flow and cannot take prompt action in exception cases. For example, a retailer may realize that a supplier did not receive a purchase order only when goods are not delivered after delivery date.
    Long order-to-delivery time as data flow is labour intensive.
       
      In some cases, a retailer may establish direct connections with certain key suppliers in order to transmit purchase orders and invoices electronically or send them via mail. However, the cost and time involved in connecting with more suppliers are beyond the capability and interest of most retailers. As for the suppliers, the cost and time involved in connecting with retailers directly are also not tenable.
       
    The Solution
    Most retailers and suppliers in Malaysia have chosen B2B e-Supplier Service as the solution to supply chain automation. With e-Supplier Service, connections are established to enable retailers and suppliers to exchange documents through a single platform and thus creating a shared infrastructure that promotes cost and operation efficiencies. Furthermore, each retailer can still adhere to individual business process requirement and suppliers can also comply to the business processes of all retailers easily. The following are the main features of the solution:
       
     
    Retailers can send or receive documents directly through system-to-system integartion with B2B.
    Suppliers can send or receive documents through web browser, direct system integration or even emails. In this way, all big and small suppliers can participate in supply chain automation.
    Retailers can ensure that own document formats and business processes are used as B2B provides data transformation and proces design services for each retailer.
    Retailers and suppliers can rely on B2B to manage the on-going operation and support issues of the online community.
       
    The Results
    The benefits enjoyed by participants of supply chain automation are:
       
     
    Improve efficiencies and exception handling because it eliminates routine paperwork, which reduces administrative costs, product delivery delays and related supply chain inefficiencies.
    Reduce cost as the cost of electronic data exchange is lower than the cost of manual processing.
    Improve business process visibility which will lead to better business process monitoring and design.
    Shorten order-to-delivery cycle which will reduce out-of-stock situation and improve sales.
       
      More benefits can be realized in future when the number and types of document exchanges increase over time and the collabotion between retailers and suppliers are tighten to further reduce exceptions and reworks. The most notable example is data synchronization that will lead to lower frequency of wrong orders.

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