Businesses focus on omnichannel, diversification and employees to grow after pandemic: study

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Business leaders in Southeast Asia are set to build back better by investing in a robust omnichannel approach, diversifying their supply chains, and…

Seventy six per cent of business leaders in Viet Nam have earmarked a comprehensive omnichannel strategy as a key priority in the next three to five years. — Photo courtesy of TMX

Business leaders in Southeast Asia, including Viet Nam, are set to build back better by investing in a robust omnichannel approach, diversifying their supply chains, and focusing on employees and business continuity, TMX, an Asia Pacific business transformation consultancy, has said in a recent report.

‘Building Back Better from the Pandemic: A Look into Supply Chains in the New Normal’ says 68 per cent of business leaders in Viet Nam (40 per cent in the region) have already invested in omnichannel strategies as a way to future-proof their businesses, while an even higher 76 per cent (46 per cent in the region) have earmarked a comprehensive omnichannel strategy as a key priority in the next three to five years.

This is in line with expectations that while e-commerce will stay, consumers will also start to get back to traditional brick-and-mortar shopping as social restrictions begin to ease.

An omnichannel approach thus allows businesses to ensure a consistent presence and a seamless customer journey.

TMX Asia president James Christopher said the insights showcase how challenges as a result of the pandemic in the last two years have provided valuable learnings for business leaders to improve their supply chains and operations.

“It is no longer news that the pandemic has brought about seismic shifts in the industry. Across the region, we have seen supply chains being pushed to new limits amid a backdrop of fast-changing consumer demands and behaviours.

“However, insights from the report show that there are silver linings to what we have experienced.

“Business leaders have been able to identify the areas in which improvements and investments are needed for their businesses and supply chains to become more resilient.

“Even with the new Omicron variant today, businesses are better prepared to overcome potential disruptions. We expect that the next few years will be marked by further digitisation in supply chains, diversification and growth in the industry.”

The report highlights that businesses today recognise diversification of any part of the value chain – whether it be third-party logistics providers, vendors or shipping routes – is key to helping them move forward after the pandemic.

Around 62 per cent of businesses in Viet Nam (52 per cent in the region) have started to diversify their supplier base, with another 34 per cent (35 per cent in the region) actively assessing their reliance on third-party vendors.

New business models and ways of doing business have emerged as a result of the pandemic.

According to the Viet Nam Logistics Research and Development Institute (VLI), one of the main strategies adopted by businesses has been to diversify their providers. At the very least, they will have alternative, back-up providers who can support the business in case there are disruptions.

“A trend we are seeing is that brands and businesses are investing in having micro-fulfilment centres in different districts around the country so that they do not need to depend on only one centre to get deliveries out,” Assoc Prof Dr Ho Thi Thu Hoa, director of the VLI, said.

The report also reveals that business leaders are expected to build on the digitisation wave with synchronised physical and digital supply chains that provide full end-to-end operational visibility.

Beyond operational and supply chain needs, businesses are also focused on ensuring the well-being of their employees and that they are kept engaged through upskilling.

Meanwhile, sustainability is expected to move up the agendas of business leaders as they acknowledge environmental, social and governance commitments are now a necessity to establish their social licence.

The report analyses the sentiments of over 250 business decision-makers and senior executives in the fast-moving consumer goods, logistics, ecommerce, retail, and manufacturing industries in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam.

Source: VNS

Many Vietnamese companies are able to reach the regional and international market after accumulating experience and financial resources in the domestic market.

While the majority of businesses have complained about difficulties caused by the pandemic, others have reported high profits.

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