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ecommerceIQ, together with Sasin SEC, created the Leadership Ecommerce Accelerator Program (LEAP) to provide the fundamental knowledge and skills needed to successfully run an ecommerce business in the world’s fastest growing market.

Originating from China, Singles’ Day online shopping festival has become Asia’s official Black Friday and Cyber Monday since 2009. Taking place on November 11th of every year, it was initially set up to celebrate the individualism of Chinese consumers but became an annual online shopping extravaganza that Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales combined cannot even touch.

Southeast Asia’s very own Singles’ Day, nicknamed the Online Revolution, happens on the same day.  For the last class in the Leadership Ecommerce Accelerator Program, students learned how knowledge was put to action through a practical look at ecommerce operations in a 21,000 sqm fulfillment center handling B2B and B2C orders for 11.11.

Project Management is the Backbone of Your Fulfillment Center

Lai Tze Siung (TS), Operations Director aCommerce Thailand

Lai Tze Siung (TS), Operations Director aCommerce Thailand

Whether you are preparing for 11.11 or beginning to set up a fulfillment center, frequently asked questions often revolve around the capacity and resources needed to run the warehouse efficiently.

So how do we answer such questions?

Proper project management.

At aCommerce, TS explains there are 5 stages: Initiate, Plan, Execute, Control/Monitoring and Closing. Some vital areas to watch out for is demand forecasting, which requires active communications with clients to plan for upcoming promotions and campaigns equating to high influx of orders.

For special sale periods such as 11.11, the warehouse floor is re-adjusted to increase efficiencies for the shortest process cycle time. Customer expectations during the holidays are much high than normal and must be managed.

Other tips? Ensure to call COD customers before arriving at their doorsteps to collect cash because many times they aren’t at home or don’t have the exact change.

Over the years, the entire ecommerce landscape has changed and shifted the way our warehouses are built. The packing tables, shelves and racks need to accommodate larger items as more consumers become comfortable with ordering items such as refrigerators and TVs online.”

After the presentation, TS and the operations team led the class through the fulfillment center to understand how customer service reps answer product questions.

More people are using social media to connect with their brands. We have seen the number of phone calls declining drastically over the years.”

The class was also showed how high-value items are stored in a secure location, which operations technology systems were running the backend and the entire picking and packing process.

The flow of our fulfillment center

A quick introduction of the safety measures and the fulfilment center operations.

The tour started at the inbound station, where goods are delivered to be stored according to brand. Items are also categorized according to its popularity. The fast-moving items are placed near outbound for quick pick-and-pack and delivery.

A walk through the large, bulk item section where 50” television, refrigerator, air conditioning units, etc. are stored.

aCommerce uses movable workstations to bring the labels and processing to the large items.

aCommerce staff explains the information each employee needed to complete the process. This includes the identification the location of the items or what are the items ordered in a basket.

At aCommerce’s pick-and-pack stations, where the items are being packed into boxes and the system will automatically choose suitable logistics supplier to complete the delivery.

As we come to the end of the first Leadership Ecommerce Accelerator Program, we look forward to celebrating the success of our senior executive class as they move forward in their companies with the new knowledge gained.

Thank you to all of our lecturers from leading industry players such as Lazada, Pomelo, eatigo, Kerry Express, honestbee and aCommerce. Thank you to Sasin Graduate Institute for the support and input. And congratulations LEAP graduating Class 2017 for the completion of Southeast Asia’s first ecommerce executive program!

For those interested in learning more about upcoming classes and workshops, please send us a message here.

If you haven’t had a chance to catch up on the past nine highlights from the 10-week program, here are the links to the past insights:

[LEAP Week 1] eIQ Insights: The New Ecommerce Opportunity in Thailand

[LEAP Week 2] eIQ Insights: Refinement of an Ecommerce Channel Strategy

[LEAP Week 3] eIQ Insights: Market-Product Fit First Before Anything

[LEAP Week4] eIQ Insights: Central Marketing Group’s Shares Phase II of Digital Strategy

[LEAP Week 5] eIQ Insights: Startups Need to Have an Independent Source of Income to Survive

[LEAP Week 6] eIQ Insights: In Mobile Commerce, App Install is Only the Starting Point

[LEAP Week 7] eIQ Insights: Logistics and Fulfillment, The Other Side of The Ecommerce Coin

[LEAP Week 8] eIQ Insights: Looking to Succeed in Fulfillment and Logistics? Start with Data and People

[LEAP Week 9] eIQ Insights: Thailand Must Do More With Less to Achieve a Digital Economy

ecommerceIQ, together with Sasin SEC, created the Leadership Ecommerce Accelerator Program (LEAP) to provide the fundamental knowledge and skills needed to successfully run an ecommerce business in the world’s fastest growing market.

As ecommerce widely becomes second nature around the world, developing countries must take charge with new models, mindsets and regulations to assist businesses in catching up with their consumers. Thailand has long been making moves towards a new economic model – Thailand 4.0.

In the ninth week of LEAP, global payments unicorn, Adyen, shared insights on the region’s check out habits and Korn Chatikavanij, former Finance Minister of Thailand, discussed the country’s much needed progression to new policies and attitudes.

1. Why a Payment Can Fail?  

Bradley Riss, Adyen Head of Business Development APAC

 

ecommerceIQ, LEAP

Not many students in the room or across the Southeast Asia for that matter have heard about Adyen, but that’s because the global payments provider works in the background for clients such as: Uber, ofo, MANGO, Spotify, Dropbox and ZARA.

While the concept of payments may seem extremely simple for those accustomed to digital transactions, in a region where bank accounts and credit cards aren’t trusted, facilitating ecommerce payment can be tricky.

LEAP2017, Payments

According to the World Bank, over 150 million adults above 25 do not have a bank account and based on Adyen’s data, these are the top reasons why a payment can fail:

LEAP2017, ecommerceIQ

The “Do not honor” or Invalid Service Code messages indicate that the customer’s card issuing bank will not validate the transaction and provide an authorization code or the credit card being used for the transaction has been rejected by the bank.

To resolve the issue, the shopper must contact their credit card issuing bank and obtain a verbal authorization code for the transaction. Once obtained, the transaction can be captured manually.

A student asks, “if my customers haven’t adopted online payments yet, what can I do as a business to facilitate transactions?”

Bradley’s reply?

You can only offer a local solution. For example, work with convenience store providers like 7-11 and allow them to facilitate transactions.”

2. Korn Chatikavanij: Technology is Coming to Save Us

Korn Chatikavanij, President of Thai Fintech Club

 

LEAP2017, ecommerceIQ

The former Finance Minister of Thailand started with encouraging words about the country’s development such as the country’s national income per capita has grown by 300% from 1986 at $800 to $2,500 at 1994. But he also highlighted certain issues that have caused the government to decide that it requires a new economic model in order to keep up with the world.

The income inequality between the richest 20% and the poorest 20% has remained at a 13 times difference for the last 30 years. And while this means that the entire Thai population has benefited from the booming economy, 13 times is severely high in even the most unfair circumstances. This is especially true when looking at a developed economy such as Japans, which has an income gap of only 3 times.

What is the best solution Korn believes can tackle this problem?

Access to good education and technology.

Urbanisation in his eyes is a good thing. When farmers become city dwellers, they will have more money in their pockets because economic opportunity is better in cities. And when people have more money to spend, their behavior changes to that of an urban middle class – more leisure travel, more consumption.

 

And even if more farmers move to the city, the country has enough natural resources to sustain itself and for export but without technology, the Thai people cannot capture and utilize its full potential.

The way we manage a key source as a country that calls itself an agricultural center is damning.”

He is referring to the amount of natural rainfall that occurs in Thailand. If the quantity is scaled to 100 droplets, the country only uses four out of the hundred.

ecommerceIQ

Korn concluded with a word of advice for the entrepreneurs and C-levels in the classroom,

Consumers don’t change just because your tech is better. They change because the service provider has not adapted to their needs.”

My Thai channel provider stopped providing me with HBO, so it was only then I finally decided to switch to Netflix and now I’m hooked because their technology is superior.

The final class of the 10-week program will conclude on Thursday November 16th, with a tour of a fulfillment center to understand how 11.11 and 12.12 campaigns impact day to day ecommerce operations. Stay tuned for next week’s takeaways and keep up with learnings from the last eight weeks.

[LEAP Week 1] eIQ Insights: The New Ecommerce Opportunity in Thailand
[LEAP Week 2] eIQ Insights: Refinement of an Ecommerce Channel Strategy
[LEAP Week 3] eIQ Insights: Market-Product Fit First Before Anything
[LEAP Week4] eIQ Insights: Central Marketing Group’s Shares Phase II of Digital Strategy
[LEAP Week 5] eIQ Insights: Startups Need to Have an Independent Source of Income to Survive
[LEAP Week 6] eIQ Insights: In Mobile Commerce, App Install is Only the Starting Point
[LEAP Week 7] eIQ Insights: Logistics and Fulfillment, The Other Side of The Ecommerce Coin
[LEAP Week 8] eIQ Insights: Looking to Succeed in Fulfillment and Logistics? Start with Data and People

ecommerceIQ, together with Sasin SEC, created the Leadership Ecommerce Accelerator Program (LEAP) to provide the fundamental knowledge and skills needed to successfully run an ecommerce business in the world’s fastest growing market.

A shopper tapping the ‘buy now’ button is often seen as the last stage in the ecommerce funnel, but companies should understand that it doesn’t stop there.

The warehouse hustle bustle, weight of package, and even presentation of the delivery man not to mention the possibility of a return all can determine the extent of local success a company finds and whether if their operations make expansion plausible.

In the eighth week of eIQ x Sasin: LEAP, lecturers stress the details that make e-fulfillment successful and how each tiny misstep can lead to additional man power, longer work hours and missed deadline.

1. Setting Up a Fulfillment Center Requires A Lot Data and Elbow Grease

Kenneth Thean, aCommerce Regional Director of Solutions Design

 

LEAP2017, ecommerceIQ, aCommerce

Ask anyone about a warehouse and they’ll probably draw a building with some shelves and people in it. While these elements exist, creating the right framework to manage the flow of inbound and outbound goods means companies need accurate data.

ecommerceIQ, LEAP2017

First step in designing a fulfillment center, analyze. Source: aCommerce

Before investing in a large costly warehouse, sophisticated technology and assets, use data to assess your actual requirements. Kenneth shares a few mistakes clients often make when planning.

“Very commonly, companies expect to see exponential growth and overestimate order volumes. Always consider the accuracy of your data, do a check to avoid unrealistic forecasts to ensure the sustainability of your fulfillment center.”

2. Kerry Express: How We Grew From Nobody to Somebody

Alex Ng, Kerry Express Executive Director

 

LEAP2017, ecommerceIQ

Kerry Express launched in Thailand in 2013 and in four short years, the company ships 500,000 packages a day, operates 500 distribution centers and is the number one parcel delivery company in the country.

How did they grow and ensure customer satisfaction at the same time? Alex attributes it to having the best people and keeping it ‘stupid simple’.

ecommerceIQ

The growth of Kerry Express in five years. Source: Kerry Express

A student asked Alex, “how do you ensure that the workplace environment is genuinely a happy one?”

“Reduce the mundane routines, bureaucracies and eliminate workplace politics. There is no room for politics at Kerry, only for real work.”

3. Market Expansion? It’s Ok to Copy and Paste

Kawin Prachanukul, Country Head and Co-founder ShopBack Thailand

 

LEAP2017, ecommerceIQ

The components Kawin had to assess when launching UberX in Thailand in only 10 days.

 

“Uber has its ups and downs, but what they have been able to accomplish in terms of market expansion is admirable,” says Kawin, ex-Uber Thailand Operations Manager.

While at Uber, Kawin shared how his first major task was to launch UberX in only 10 days. How?

“It was only possible because the company’s global team has documented and tracked each and every one of their multiple steps when launching a new market, including learnings and failures. It makes expansion easier because all the local market needs to do is copy and implement.”

The last in-class session of the program will finish on Thursday November 9th, covering payments with case studies by global unicorn, Adyen. Stay tuned for next week’s takeaways!

[LEAP Week 1] eIQ Insights: The New Ecommerce Opportunity in Thailand
[LEAP Week 2] eIQ Insights: Refinement of an Ecommerce Channel Strategy
[LEAP Week 3] eIQ Insights: Market-Product Fit First Before Anything
[LEAP Week4] eIQ Insights: Central Marketing Group’s Shares Phase II of Digital Strategy
[LEAP Week 5] eIQ Insights: Startups Need to Have an Independent Source of Income to Survive
[LEAP Week 6] eIQ Insights: In Mobile Commerce, App Install is Only the Starting Point
[LEAP Week 7] eIQ Insights: Logistics and Fulfillment, The Other Side of The Ecommerce Coin