Amid ongoing disruption and uncertainty, Hong Kong businesses are prioritizing their long-term wellbeing with digital solutions that help them respond to changes and capture opportunities, SAP Hong Kong Managing Director Fabian Padilla Crisol said earlier at a forum held by SAP Hong Kong.
"Over the past 18 months, we have seen the rapid evolution of consumer behaviour, unprecedented supply chain disruption and widespread adoption of new ways of working. Businesses are responding by taking advantage of cloud technologies that bring their operations to the next level. "
"Over the past 18 months, we have seen the rapid evolution of consumer behaviour, unprecedented supply chain disruption and widespread adoption of new ways of working. Businesses are responding by taking advantage of cloud technologies that bring their operations to the next level. While every company has its own unique challenges and objectives at this pivotal time, Hong Kong's business leaders agree on one thing: the deadline for business transformation is already upon us," he said earlier at SAP SAPPHIRE NOW 2021 in Hong Kong.
Hosting the forum, Mr. Padilla Crisol asked distinguished local business leaders how their companies are transforming to cope with operational and marketplace changes. He praised the willingness of Hong Kong businesses to step up as digital innovators and emphasized the need for all companies to make flexible transformation a priority. To better support business transformation, SAP recently launched the RISE with SAP offering to help companies digitally transform at optimal speed without heavy upfront investment.
Combining the physical and virtual
The pandemic has enhanced the importance of digital customer experiences for all businesses, including Hong Kong's homegrown theme park resort Ocean Park. Its IT team has been focusing on the park's digital presence in order to deliver a reliable, secure and hassle-free digital experience.
"Whether we are serving a visitor in the Park or via our ecommerce offerings, or indeed supporting our colleagues, the challenge is to combine the physical and virtual experience in a way that is seamless and that improves the overall interaction. As IT professionals, we have to take the lead in the transformation process; drawing on the ideas of diverse in-house stakeholders and our technology partners to sustain the park experience for visitors within our grounds and beyond," Eric Ho, Executive Director, Information Technology, Ocean Park Corporation, said.
Accelerating agility with technology
Established in 1862, Towngas is not only Hong Kong's oldest utility but also one of its largest energy suppliers. During the pandemic, Towngas introduced, in mid-2020, a new loyalty programme and online shopping platform called Towngas Fun to strengthen customer engagement. Its SAP solutions helped to connect the Towngas customers and their gas billing points to the Towngas Fun platform.
"At Towngas, we use technology to help us accelerate our agility. Over the past several years, we have kept enhancing our digital platform for customers to empower the customer-facing self-service capabilities, and deployed virtual desktop infrastructure. Together, these capabilities helped us stay connected to customers and pivot rapidly to remote working to reduce the pandemic's impact on our business," explained Susanna Shen, Head of Corporate IT, The Hong Kong & China Gas Company Limited. "We have also set up a powerful big data platform that allows us to extract insights from our data and perform predictive analytics," she continued.
"SAP solutions have rich functions and features. Going forward, we expect SAP technology can help supporting our future growth in achieving our smart energy initiative."
Leveraging inhouse knowledge and AI automation
With an extensive range of products distributed via a complex mix of traditional and online retail channels, GP Batteries has streamlined its core business processes with Intelligent Robotic Process Automation from SAP.
"Data helps us better understand our business and our customers as well. Building on an SAP platform with machine learning technologies, we are transforming our business operations from end to end and empowering our ecosystem. As a next step, we look forward to leveraging our deep experience and industrial knowledge by making more use of artificial intelligence (AI)-driven automation in our ecommerce and manufacturing operations," Wilson Wong, Head of IT, Group Information Technology, GP Batteries, said.
Connecting the power of virtual and physical infrastructure
Hong Kong's largest e-commerce platform, HKTVmall has built its technology infrastructure from the ground up over the past six years. It has developed turnkey warehouse automation and merchant management systems, as well as advanced logistics systems that efficiently operate Hong Kong's largest residential-area courier service. Big data analytics, AI and different technologies play a key role in HKTVmall's enduring success.
"With intelligent analytics, we are better able to capture changing customer demand and help merchants better understand and target consumers," HKTVmall CEO (Hong Kong) Jelly Zhou explained. "We also rely on SAP Commerce Cloud to help us offer a simple and seamless shopping experience, with a customer-facing search function that integrates with our backend ordering and transaction systems. The SAP solution also connects with our commerce channels to handle content, catalogues and orders and help us keep our fulfilment costs to a minimum."
Staying one step ahead
Pandemic-related disruption continues to impact supply chains and trade, highlighting the importance of supply chain visibility and better forecasting and responsiveness. In the high-tech manufacturing sector, chipset shortages continue to grow thanks to surging demand, with lighting systems among the many product categories impacted by the ongoing crisis. This will be particularly acute in Hong Kong this year as tens of thousands of people seek high-tech lighting solutions for new apartments as the economy rebounds, according to Timothy Mak, Group General Manager of Signify Hong Kong Limited.
"Traditional forecasting is no longer enough in such a volatile and complex environment. We're staying one step ahead with the help of SAP Integrated Business Planning. With AI and machine learning, it gathers data from retailers and the web and helps us manufacture our products on time and deliver them to retailers and customers in Hong Kong as needed—despite industry-wide challenges around the availability of components and materials," Mr. Mak said.