Philippine Paper Products Maker Focuses on High Tech, Low Touch

Tom Hansford, Content Specialist

June 4, 2020

When social distancing and quarantine restrictions were introduced in the Philippines, Sanitary Care Products Asia (SCPA), a leading provider of paper products, experienced a 70% spike in demand. 

“For the first time in history, [toilet paper] is more valuable than oil,” joked Ven Sio, president of SCPA, in a Zoom interview with NetSuite’s Tom Hansford.

SCPA is now realigning its focus to adapt to new customer behaviors, industry trends and societal shifts.

“It’s a good time to re-examine all our strategies,” Sio said. “This is a new reality. All the past assumptions are gone.” 

Cash Flow

SCPA has made cash preservation a top priority, which has resulted in a more cash-oriented business culture. “We’ve had to review every expense, every plan (and) program for this year,” Sio said. “Everything has been reconsidered.”

This budget rethink means funds assigned to activities such as advertising and marketing are being moved to more pressing and tangible priorities, such as raw materials and inventory, Sio said.

B2C, Not B2B

After experiencing a huge surge in demand, SCPA is anticipating that orders will level out, albeit with a shift in buying behaviour. The company will naturally plan to receive fewer orders from businesses, especially hotels and restaurants, forced to shut their doors for now. However, Sio thinks greater demand from consumer customers will balance things out. 

‘High Tech, Low Touch’

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, SCPA has benefitted from its automated, cloud-based ERP system.

“Being in the cloud, being digital is really important,” Sio said. “[It’s] allowed us to run relatively smoothly.” Looking forward, he sees this continuing at pace. “Digitalization will be the cornerstone,” he said. “High tech, low touch.”

SCPA’s commitment to technology has allowed its office-based team to work from home throughout the pandemic. Sio is now looking for ways to embrace remote working, while ensuring business efficiency.

 “We’re expecting a lot of work from home will continue, a lot of flexible time, a lot of new practices,” Sio said, “How do you monitor working from home productivity?”

Although Sio is looking to tackle these new challenges, he acknowledges that the business is more focused on the bigger picture right now.  

“A lot of the KPIs have been removed. In fact, I’ve thrown out most of them,” he said. “It’s more about effectiveness than efficiency.”

Watch the full interview with Hansford where they discuss the importance of keeping employees safe, ensuring suppliers are happy, and the impact of mental health and wellness programs at work. 

To view all of its products, head to the SCPA website(opens in new tab).

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