Business Digital Transformation: Are We At A Game-Changing Moment?

Business Digital Transformation: Are We At A Game-Changing Moment?

Faced with unprecedented challenges of adapting to operational and supply chain changes overnight, remote customer acquisition and economic uncertainty, going digital is right back at the top of the agenda for businesses and corporates in Asia Pacific.

Rewind a year and businesses were still in the early stages of their digital journey with less than one in four (24.8 percent) large businesses in the region having a clearly defined digital strategy, despite most recognising the importance of digital transformation to improve their ability to survive and thrive (http://eastandpartners.com/uploads/files/research-notes/2019/2019-07_Research_Note.html).

So where do we stand now with business digital transformation? The DBS/East & Partners second “Digital Treasurer” benchmarking research is out.

 

Businesses Are Making Strides in Their Digital Transformation Journey

As businesses reshape their overall business strategy in response to the Covid pandemic, taking into account the shift in customer behaviour, supply chain disruptions, business model opportunities and operational continuity, they are having to take a step back and reassess their roadmaps. Many businesses are reporting a shift in their priorities and resources for the digital roadmap itself.

Despite these challenges, a larger proportion of businesses in Asia Pacific now have a clearly defined digital strategy relative to a year ago, according to insights research conducted by East & Partners for the DBS Digital Treasurer Index II. This figure has grown by 7.7 percent to reach 26.2 percent. At the same time, there is a material drop in the proportion of businesses with no strategy, falling from 25.1 percent a year ago to 18.7 percent. Taken together, these highlight an accelerating growth in digital strategy development among businesses in the region.

Current State of Digital Roadmap Development

% of businesses

Insights Research: Current State of Digital Roadmap Development (Graph)

Source: East & Partners insights research for DBS’ Digital Treasurer Index II – H1 2020 (N count = 1,686)

Businesses Are Making Strides in Their Digital Transformation Journey

Reducing cost and improving efficiencies in the long run have always been the emphasis in many business cases for digitisation. But increasingly, enhancing customer experience is rising as a key driver and for good reason. Having a user friendly and seamless digital platform is now integral to ensuring business continuity, especially when direct interactions with customers are becoming increasingly remote.

In fact, improving customer experience has been highlighted as the greatest ROI from investing in technology solutions by treasuries in the region, alongside reducing cost. Perhaps unsurprisingly, our research suggests that middle-market enterprises stand to benefit more relative to the larger corporates when it comes to customer experience enhancement, levelling the playing field for market participants.

“Cost efficiencies were where we began developing business cases together for digitisation investments but we’ve actually found lots of other benefits that flow, in particular making our customers more sticky and spending more with us.”

- Treasurer, US$2.5Bn, Hong Kong Regional Hotel Group

Key Returns to Investment

Rating on a 1-5 scale, with 1= high return and 5=no return at all

Insights Research: Key Returns to Investment (Graph)

Source: East & Partners insights research for DBS’ Digital Treasurer Index II – H1 2020 (N count = 1,686)

Where Are Businesses Investing in Treasury Services?

There has also been a shift in treasury investment focus. Cash management digitisation has initially led treasury digitisation in the region, as evidenced by the higher level of automation reported in cash management for large Asian businesses relative to other functions such as trade and supply chain financing, cross-border payments & FX, and risk & compliance reporting.

But now, businesses seem to have already eked out efficiencies in their cash management operations and looking to digitise their physical and financial supply chains. This is particularly prominent in Malaysia, India, Japan, Hong Kong, China, Singapore and Indonesia where a majority of businesses are investing in new technology solutions related to trade and supply chain financing.

“We’ve currently got 3 supply chain funding and management development projects happening which will then drive a redevelopment of our cross-border payment operations.”

- Treasurer, US$1.4Bn, Malaysian Importer/Exporter

Top Investment Area for Each Market

% of businesses

Insights Research: Top Investment Area for Each Market (Graph)

Source: East & Partners insights research for DBS’ Digital Treasurer Index II – H1 2020 (N count = 1,686)

What is your experience implementing digitisation projects in your organisation? What is the most valuable learning point that helped you along your journey?

We'd like to hear your thoughts and opinions, get in touch with us below.

On behalf of DBS, we are delighted to provide you with access to an interactive benchmarking tool, where you can find out how your organisation measures up against your peers in digital readiness.

Upon completion of the tool, you will receive an assessment of your digital readiness via 4 core digital values. Kindly access the benchmarking tool here: https://treasuryprism.dbs.com/digitaltreasurer

Have a conversation with DBS today.

Start your digital transformation journey today by finding out more about the latest, available digital solutions that can help to solve your treasury challenges. See our most recent articles on Digital Pulse, or sign up/login to Treasury Prism today to discover a world of opportunities.

 

This article was first published by East & Partners on 20 August 2020. The Digital Treasurer Index Research 2020 was conducted by East & Partners, in partnership with DBS and The Corporate Treasurer.

The information herein is published by DBS Bank Ltd. (“DBS Bank”) and is for information only.

The information is not directed to, or intended for distribution to or use by, any person or entity who is a citizen or resident of or located in any locality, state, country or other jurisdiction where such distribution, publication, availability or use would be contrary to law or regulation

DBS Bank Ltd. All rights reserved. All services are subject to applicable laws and regulations and service terms. Not all products and services are available in all geographic areas. Eligibility for particular products and services is subject to final determination by DBS Bank Ltd and/or its affiliates/subsidiaries.

Digital Supply Chain Solutions: Asia at the forefront of digital growth

Digital Supply Chain Solutions: Asia at the forefront of digital growth

COVID-19 has made it clear that digitalisation is imperative for organisations to survive and thrive. As the pandemic accelerates global adoption of digital supply chain solutions, Asia is emerging as a catalyst for digital transformation and a beneficiary of economic growth, says Mark Troutman, Group Head of Sales, Global Transaction Services, at DBS Bank.

The COVID-19 crisis has created a need for contact-free interaction between customers, suppliers and employees, directly impacting business strategy, sales transactions, trade finance processes and treasury operations. As a result, many organisations have accelerated their digitalisation plans and treasury professionals are leveraging technology to overcome supply chain disruption – from API-led connectivity to enable remote engagement and eliminate manual workflows in the order-to-settlement journey.

 

Amid all these trends, Asia – spurred by its relatively quick recovery – is at the forefront of global digital transformation and poised to benefit economically from post-pandemic opportunities in Asia.

“There is a serious move to digitalisation and we are here to help,” confirms Troutman. “We are seeing a particularly notable swing amongst organisations operating in Asia.” And within this new normal landscape, he believes banks are playing a greater role in helping businesses adapt to the reality of a post-pandemic world.

A new global supply chain ecosystem

As organisations recover from the effects of the pandemic, there is a need to consider their broader supply chain needs. This is where banks can take a more proactive and far-reaching leadership role in driving digital transformation for their clients.

“Banks can leverage existing strengths of connectivity across the supply chain ecosystem, linking manufacturing lines to supplier lines with data, along with their ability to help finance and deliver on logistics needs in a contact-free manner,” explains Troutman.

APIs are also key in the digital transformation of supply chains; they allow organisations to upload trade applications digitally and directly from their own internal platforms, offering an alternative solution to replace wet signatures, with enhanced real-time status notification capabilities. Recently, DBS offered same-day financing to distributors of products made by Haier, the Chinese electronics manufacturer, via Haier’s own digital supply chain platform. Through a series of APIs, DBS enabled distributors to obtain financing digitally and Haier to sell more products.

The digital priority

Digitised supply chains offer greater efficiency and more robust processes, ensuring access to fast and fluid working capital for all parties and enhancing connectivity across a horizontal ecosystem. Each step in the client journey can be digital – from online account opening and digital onboarding of suppliers, to uploading or presenting transactional documents, online platforms, managing application and resubmission processes, as well as receiving financing.

Shorter processing time is another benefit. For example, DBS completed the first transaction through the CamelONE Trade Finance portal early in 2020, becoming the first Singapore bank to join Contour’s network, enabling shorter settlement times, less paperwork and simpler trade processes for customers.

Efficient liquidity management - crucial during times of crisis – is improved by instant settlement, automated reconciliation and greater visibility of the organisations’ cash. In the wake of COVID-19, banks enabled digital solutions for organisations to leverage surplus funds across entities, enabling treasurers to better manage borrowing costs, and to enjoy greater transparency over transactions and increased control over cash as the result of more instant payment transactions.

Asia at the centre of digital transformation

Troutman believes Asia, with its general resilience based on economic strength, robust domestic and regional demand and agility in digital adoption, is well-positioned to lead its Western counterparts in supply chain transformation and post-pandemic economic recovery.

“The overall recovery is slow, especially for major trading partners in Europe and the US,” explains Troutman. “There is also more economic interdependence between Asian countries as geopolitical and economic forces are impacting traditional relationships.”

As organisations look to minimise supply chain disruption and diversify production bases, this could mean a shift in procurement to countries such as Vietnam and India, where labour costs remain relatively low. In addition, organisations that built out their local and regional supply chains within Asia can benefit from shortened supply chains and expedited transactions as well as strong demand from a demographic that is highly receptive to digital services.

With attractive growth opportunities, Asia is expected to remain a nexus for trade, while propelling digital transformation across global supply chains in a post-pandemic world. This bodes well for organisations able to tap this potential first-hand and ready to embark on the next phase of their journey. “Organisations that prioritise digital transformation and look forward to the ‘new normal’ will position themselves to be more relevant, and improve their relevance in the post-pandemic world,” concludes Troutman.

Have a conversation with DBS today.

Start your digital transformation journey today by finding out more about the latest, available digital solutions that can help to solve your treasury challenges. See our most recent articles on Digital Pulse, or sign up/login to Treasury Prism today to discover a world of opportunities.

 

This article was first published in Global Finance in July 2020.

The information herein is published by DBS Bank Ltd. (“DBS Bank”) and is for information only.

The information is not directed to, or intended for distribution to or use by, any person or entity who is a citizen or resident of or located in any locality, state, country or other jurisdiction where such distribution, publication, availability or use would be contrary to law or regulation

DBS Bank Ltd. All rights reserved. All services are subject to applicable laws and regulations and service terms. Not all products and services are available in all geographic areas. Eligibility for particular products and services is subject to final determination by DBS Bank Ltd and/or its affiliates/subsidiaries.

DBS Launches Industry-first Solution to Transform B2B Payments and Collections Landscape in Singapore

F&B industry to pilot solution – with leading F&B heavyweights such as SG5 and Huber’s Butchery signing up for the trial

 

Solution to be rolled out to wider F&B ecosystem, logistics and trading sectors by year-end

 

Singapore, 20 Jan 2020 - Paying suppliers and vendors with cash could soon be a thing of the past for Singapore’s 28,000 coffee shops, hawker centres and restaurants[1]. DBS has launched an industry-first solution to transform the largely cash and paper-based B2B payments and collections landscape for businesses in Singapore. DBS’ QR-code based solution is powered by DBS RAPID[2]and DBS MAX[3]and addresses Singapore’s aim of enhancing productivity by eliminating cheques by 2025 and going cashless.

 

(From left to right) SG5 Chairman Lee Hong Kiat, DBS’ Group Head of SME Banking Joyce Tee.

 Huber’s Butchery’s Executive Director Andre Huber and SG5 CEO Alvin Chua.

 

The B2B payments and collections solution was developed after close to 20 digital workshops with F&B operators to map their payments journey and pain points. The workshops which were run by DBS also uncovered that on average, close to nine in 10 B2B payments in the F&B industry are still cash-based or done through bank transfers. The new solution which facilitates cashless and faster F&B payments is an end-to-end QR collection enabled platform that enables instant payments with automated accounts reconciliation functionalities in the backend.

Unlike other solutions in the market, customers can also consolidate multiple invoices into one QR-code based transaction. They also have the flexibility to make full or partial payments for one or multiple invoices, and in turn suppliers now have the option of enhancing credit terms for each invoice instantly. To bring customers greater convenience, suppliers can also send a QR code requesting for payment to their customers who are not on-hand to receive the goods in-person.

 

DBS’ new payment solution allows businesses such as Huber’s Butchery to make QR payments easily

 

SG5, the main distributor for Asia Pacific Breweries Singapore, is one of the first F&B operators to pilot the solution. The company, a wholesale distributor of beer and stout supplies about 5,600 F&B retailers from coffee shops to large chains such as Huber’s Butchery. Through this solution, SG5 believes the company will save up to 3,300 manhours a month.

Digitalising payments for F&B players is the first step in transforming the cash-intensive B2B payments and collections landscape, said Joyce Tee, Group Head of SME Banking, DBS Bank. “Many SMEs we speak to want to realise productivity gains by becoming more digital but they don’t have the expertise or infrastructure to do so. By understanding their pain points and then laying the foundation for enhanced payments capabilities one sector at a time, DBS aims to lead the way in digitalising and streamlining the payments landscape in Singapore. Our aim is to enable our SMEs’ time-strapped workforce to be able to spend more time serving their customers and exploring new business opportunities.”

SG5 CEO Alvin Chua is looking forward to utilising the 3,300 manhours saved on accounting and administrative tasks every month. “On average, our frontline staff spend around 3.5 hours every day traveling to different parts of the island to collect cash and cheque payments. With the new payments solution and precious man-hours saved, I hope to be able to upskill my staff so that we can work together to bring the business to new heights. It will also be a boon to our cashflow as we will be able to receive payments instantly upon delivery of goods.”

 

Andre Huber (right), Executive Director of Huber’s Butchery, using DBS’ new QR payment solution to pay for APB goods from SG5

 

Huber’s Butchery is a family-run business specialising in manufacturing and processing gourmet meat products for hotels, restaurants, marine and aircraft suppliers and caterers. In addition, it also has a consumer-facing retail shop and bistro. Together with SG5, Huber’s is one of the first F&B retailers to adopt the solution. “Consumers today are digitally-savvy and we have equipped our frontline staff with digital payments systems. Similarly, our business partners are learning to harness technology for greater efficiencies so that as an industry, we can all experience greater productivity. We are excited to work with DBS and SG5 on this new payment solution. It’ll definitely allow our employees to spend more time delighting our customers,” said Andre Huber, Executive Director of Huber’s Butchery.

DBS’ B2B payments and collections solution currently facilitates payments through PayNow in Singapore. Through a series of digital workshops with clients from different industries, DBS plans to introduce the solution to the wider F&B ecosystem, logistics companies and import/export merchants later this year




[1] Source: Euromonitor, from DBS Group Research report - https://www.dbs.com/aics/pdfController.page?pdfpath=/content/article/pdf/AIO/102019/191022_insights_fnb.pdf
[2] DBS RAPID is an API solution that enables DBS corporate customers to integrate their systems with the bank's so as to access real-time banking services seamlessly https://www.dbs.com.sg/corporate/cash/electronic-banking/rapid
[3] DBS MAX is Singapore’s first mobile-based QR payment collection solution that enables SMEs to receive funds instantly. https://www.dbs.com/newsroom/DBS_to_launch_Singapores_first_mobile_based_QR_payment_collection_solution_to_improve_cash_flows_for_SMEs

 
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About DBS
DBS is a leading financial services group in Asia with a presence in 18 markets. Headquartered and listed in Singapore, DBS is in the three key Asian axes of growth: Greater China, Southeast Asia and South Asia. The bank's "AA-" and "Aa1" credit ratings are among the highest in the world.

Recognised for its global leadership, DBS has been named “World’s Best Bank” by Euromoney, “Global Bank of the Year” by The Banker and “Best Bank in the World” by Global Finance. The bank is at the forefront of leveraging digital technology to shape the future of banking, having been named “World’s Best Digital Bank” by Euromoney. In addition, DBS has been accorded the “Safest Bank in Asia” award by Global Finance for 11 consecutive years from 2009 to 2019.

DBS provides a full range of services in consumer, SME and corporate banking. As a bank born and bred in Asia, DBS understands the intricacies of doing business in the region’s most dynamic markets. DBS is committed to building lasting relationships with customers, and positively impacting communities through supporting social enterprises, as it banks the Asian way. It has also established a SGD 50 million foundation to strengthen its corporate social responsibility efforts in Singapore and across Asia.

With its extensive network of operations in Asia and emphasis on engaging and empowering its staff, DBS presents exciting career opportunities. The bank acknowledges the passion, commitment and can-do spirit in all of our 28,000 staff, representing over 40 nationalities. For more information, please visitwww.dbs.com.