KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 28 — Creating and maintaining a business is definitely not an easy task, what more in times of a pandemic.
While some things may look good on paper, it is often the execution that makes or breaks a business, be it a large corporation or a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME).
Challenges abound for SMEs as they do not have much at their disposal including a generous budget, infrastructure and manpower.
In such tough current times, some companies and individuals may have been forced to rethink their business strategy or enter a different market altogether.
It can be observed that many have decided to try their hand at the food business, considering how other businesses are not allowed to operate due to the movement control orders in place from time to time.
However, the impact of pandemic has changed the way of how food and beverage (F&B) businesses operate.
Many have transformed their business model with food delivery platforms corresponding to the reduction of footfall and change of consumer behaviour.
There is also the issue of having to pay additional commission to food delivery platform providers where some may charge more than what an SME can afford.
During these critical times, what may work more effectively for food operators will be an affordable and practical food delivery platform.
One of the effective solutions are the point-of-sales (POS) systems such as StoreHub, Oddle, GemSpot, HeyHo and Sapaad that have embedded with on-demand delivery providers like Lalamove to provide one-stop online retail solutions for the food operator.
These solutions are hassle free and with as low as 10 per cent commission charges to the merchants.
Lalamove Malaysia managing director Jane Teh said its partnership with the POS operators ensured that food operators would have a seamless and smooth operation from the time orders are placed to food being delivered.
“We always emphasise on the flexibility and affordability of our solutions to ensure our users especially the SMEs can scale their businesses anytime following their needs and objectives, without wasting a single cent unnecessarily.”
The leading on-demand delivery platform entered Malaysia in 2018, and now matches more than 250,000 regular customers and SMEs with a pool of active drivers of vans, trucks, lorries, cars and motorcycles to provide faster delivery services.
They fulfil up to 1.5 million orders per month across Klang Valley, Penang and Johor Baru.
Malay Mail also looked at some of the POS system providers that Lalamove has forged a partnership with to help SMEs run their businesses.
Beep Delivery (beepit.com) was launched in March 2020 by StoreHub in response to the Covid-19 movement control order.
StoreHub marketing head Xin-Ci Chin said Beep Delivery’s significantly lower transaction fees allowed restaurants to run profitable and scalable food delivery services.
“Beep Delivery is a food delivery feature on StoreHub’s ecosystem of cloud-based services for retail and F&B businesses,” Chin said, adding that businesses are provided with their own website link that they can then send to customers.
Chin believes the platform can help the restaurant partners to run scalable and sustainable businesses.
She said restaurants should be able to focus on serving their customers with good food and be able to pay their bills, staff and operating costs.
“As Beep was launched in response to national lockdowns and within 48 hours, we knew that we needed to work with third-party logistics partners to help small F&B businesses reach their customers effectively.”
“We were familiar with Lalamove’s long standing reputation and branding, and this gave us the confidence we needed to move ahead as time was of the essence.”
Country manager (Singapore and Malaysia) Tan Wei Lin said Oddle helped restaurants by providing a consultative approach to growing their online takeaway and delivery business with the customer data that is also shared with the restaurant.
The company helped restaurants capture a different segment of the online consumer market who wanted to order directly from restaurants.
Wei Lin added that with Oddle providing digital marketing services, it helps restaurants access a wide target audience and drive customer traffic.
It helps them to deliver both pre-scheduled and last-minute orders for both individuals and for families and groups.
Wei Lin said Lalamove had a high fulfilment rate even for pre-scheduled deliveries where most deliveries were assigned a driver a day before the actual delivery date, a wide range of delivery service available from motorbikes, cars and vans to fulfil various delivery needs of the SME merchants.
This is a platform that enables users to make bookings at restaurants and venues, have food delivered to them and also to send gifts.
GemSpot’s CEO Charissa Lim said they did not have any hidden costs to merchants and they were inclusive when determining the marketing direction.
“In that, we invest heavily in merchant’s advertising and promotional value. We treat our merchants as our partners rather than just a simple store on our platform.”
She added that having Lalamove as a partner has been great as it had transparent chargeable fees, responsive support line and easy access.
Heyho Sdn Bhd
Company founder Datuk Jovian Mandagie said it helped SMEs, particularly home-based businesses, to reach more customers, quicken the ordering process, manage orders and delivery and also record daily business transactions with no hassle and with as low as 0 per cent commission charges to the merchants for a promotional period.
Heyho actively works with home businesses to help them expand and mature better into the scene, regardless of whether it is F&B, retail or digitalisation.
“It will be crucial for SMEs to start looking into digitalising their business seriously to sustain the businesses and stay up to date in the current market.”
In terms of ensuring products are delivered, he said Lalamove had proven itself to be the best delivery service for Malaysians adding that it enabled his company to fulfil its promises to users through a fast and reliable delivery.
Sapaad Pte Ltd
Country head Kate Ryndina said the company was a cloud-based POS and restaurant management system.
“With Sapaad, merchants can manage all their online orders and deliveries in one centralised cloud POS,” she said.
Sapaad.Online allows merchants to create their own commission-free online channel in minutes that also covers orders placed from merchants’ websites or social media channels.
Through a module called Sapaad Connect, the integration eliminated several pain points such as data entry, manual reconciliation, incorrect orders, human error, and manoeuvring multiple tablets to run both their in-house and online stores.
It has a pay-as-you-go pricing model, allowing merchants to opt for a subscription plan.
She added that the pandemic had brought on a challenging business environment across all industries, with the F&B and hospitality industries being severely hit.
“It is evident that for SMEs in the F&B industry to future-proof their business, ensure business continuity, and grow revenue, they must leverage the power of a fully-integrated restaurant management solution.”
She added that Sapaad was seamlessly integrated with Lalamove where merchants could manage their entire order fulfilment cycle in one place.
Those with SMEs in the F&B industry who need help can consider signing up with POS system providers or use Lalamove for deliveries.
Visit their website for more information about Lalamove or to subscribe to their business account package.
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