What’s your business strategy to take on existing wholesale players in India?
We are part of a Thailand-based CP Group company SIAM Makro. We entered India with a brand name LOTS Wholesale Solutions and are committed to setup 15 stores in a threeyear timeframe in India. We will leverage our integrated experience across food supply chain and three decades of experience in running our 126 cash-and-carry stores, serving over 3 million registered customers. India and Thailand have similar distribution and market structures that will be to our advantage here.
In line with our international approach, we will be developing clusters and aim at achieving excellence in assortment, distribution, and delivery. We are looking at strategic tie-ups with manufacturers, supply chain and power of big data for sales pattern analysis across customer groups and geographies to grow stronger in Indian market.
Being a wholesale player, how important is technology in B2B operations?
The success in wholesale distribution is defined by an organization’s ability to quickly rotate inventory month-on-month, quarter-on-quarter and so on. To achieve higher number of rotation of inventory it’s imperative tohave an efficient supply chain, which requires a replenishment engine, demand forecast predictive analysis capability and an effective price optimization capability.
It is very crucial to keep our store, warehouse and dark store inventory in sync all the time to avoid loss of sales and aging inventory. To make this a reality, it’s important to have a seamless integration between all sales channels that include brick &mortar, catalog and eCommerce. We recognize that these different aspects of business processes need strong backing of technology; hence we strongly believe that technology is indeed the back bone of any B2B business.
What are the challenges when it comes to deploying modern tech in the wholesale business?
Bringing together people, hardware and software in a seamless and a truly integrated manner is a challenge any technologist would want to overcome. That said, an ever-evolving business environment that brings constant changes in business processes, systems and supporting infrastructure should have resilience and flexibility to deploy amends and improvements quickly. An organizationshould also factor in challenges while deploying modern technology due to long implementation cycle of IT systems and sizing hardware to account for agility, scalability and performance - some of which are alleviated by the cloud.
Tell us about your strategic relationship with Oracle.
We are looking to technology to provide answers to improving operational efficiency, enhance customer experience and integration across levels. All of this cannot be achieved in-house; therefore, we rely on strategic partners to help us through our journey. Oracle has been a partner-of-choice and a support system we depend on. We run all our systems and databases on their cloud technology.
How has Oracle Cloud helped you make your business better and improve your customer experience?
We chose Oracle Cloud because it is the broadest and the most integrated public cloud currently available. Oracle Cloud offers us industry-best cloud services running on secured and standard based platform as service (PaaS) and cloud infrastructure (IaaS). With Oracle Cloud, we are able to connect cloud-native applications to legacy applications at the speed of network and also have full control over mission-critical applications,completely in line with our requirements. Oracle’s flexibility in deploying applications on-premises, coupled with a flexible, subscription based pricing model, certainly provides a huge advantage to customers like us.
Tell us about your technology innovation roadmap.
We’ve embarked on an organization-wide digital transformation journey. As part of this as well as to better streamline our systems, we have actively started working with our partners to implement new technology such as geo-tagging for efficient deliveries, e-mark all products and electronically display prices and expiry dates on shelves, among other tech-enabled initiatives. We will soon be launching our e-commerce platform as well to enhance customer experience and processes. At LOTS, we’re trying to think exponentially with respect to our business goals and we will use technology and digital mediums to achieve our business goals as we turn them into success stories.