Theo and Philo’s unique bean-to-bar, single-origin Philippine artisanal chocolate hit a sweet spot in the market shortly after its launch in 2010 – with demand growing at a rate of 700 percent to reach 14,000 bars a month. But it knew efficiently scaling to meet that demand with its current system would threaten to sour customer relationships. Its inventory management and accounting, which were previously running on spreadsheets and a disparate QuickBooks system respectively, didn’t lend the business the robust functionality that it needed to efficiently manage operations, nor afford the scale to accommodate growth.
In 2015, it implemented a cloud-based platform, NetSuite OneWorld, for end-to-end business management – including inventory, orders, financials and purchasing – empowering operational efficiencies, streamlining inventory management and lending the business multi-currency and tax functionality that enabled it to expand sales globally into Germany and Japan.
“NetSuite is an integral part of our day-to-day operations and a scalable platform for our continued growth,” Theo and Philo Founder Philo Chua said. “We’re a lot more efficient and, as we grow, the automated process flows and checks and balances that we need are already in place within NetSuite.”
Manila-based Theo and Philo is one of the growing number of Philippine businesses leveraging the power of cloud-based ERP to innovate and grow. The Philippines is also quickly leading in the Asia Pacific region in terms of cloud adoption, overtaking Thailand and climbing up a spot to land in 9th place in the Asia Cloud Computing Association’s “Cloud Readiness Index.” The country scored highly in terms of freedom of information and protection of privacy, which are both considered critical factors in cloud adoption.
Cloud computing is at the center of a confluence of trends that include mobility, social, and analytics and big data, and is the next logical step in how applications should be developed and delivered, making full use of the transformative power of the Internet. That’s why companies are increasingly leaving their aged, legacy systems behind in favor of cloud-based alternatives. They know that systems designed before the advent of the Internet and mobile won’t be able to keep up with the realities of doing business today, requiring constant change, adaptation, agility and innovation.
As such, cloud computing is extending across industries – including manufacturing, wholesale distribution, retail and services – and helping to blur the lines between them as business models transform and adapt to the changes brought about by digital technologies. For example, we are seeing manufacturing companies starting to distribute products themselves in a bid to improve margins by cutting out middlemen, or distributors augmenting revenues by selling direct to consumers by taking advantage of online channels. We are also seeing service companies starting to reconfigure their processes to offer more “productized”, repeatable, turnkey versions of products, and we see the opposite as well— product companies differentiating their offerings via value-added, digital or premium services.
Those businesses that empower innovation with the cloud are uniquely poised to capitalize on this trend – and transform their businesses to meet the demands of today’s markets and consumers.
Take Dowi Hosiery Mills, a nearly 40-year old manufacturer of socks and other hosiery products, selling brands such as Darlington and Exped through nearly 100 retailers. It implemented NetSuite in September 2014 to replace a multitude of legacy, homegrown, custom software systems, manual processes and multiple databases --- which it felt harmed the company’s ability to strengthen its retail relationships, and made it difficult to accurately match manufacturing output with demand. Dowi Hosiery Mills now uses NetSuite for financials, order management, invoicing, billing, purchasing, receiving, shipping, RMA management, multi-location inventory, reporting and analytics. With NetSuite cloud ERP, there is no longer a need to endure version lock, painful upgrades and maintaining on-premise systems. Instead, Dowi can now get automatic product upgrades twice a year and a platform that allows for easy customizations and integrations. Dowi Hosiery saved eight full-time employees that it otherwise would have needed to add just to keep up with the order processing and inventory tracking demands under the old systems and accelerated the path to market for new lines of socks with high-tech fibers. The company is also able to deliver much better service to its retail partners.
The Philippines needs more of these types of businesses: world class, globally competitive business, disruptors and innovators which can transform their industries, pioneers who can provide newer and better services for consumers. By innovating in the cloud, Philippine businesses can continue to lead, and adapt at the speed demanded in today’s global economy.