Automating business processes have other uses other than generating revenue, according to a Hong Kong-based executive who is betting on the Philippine Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software market.
“Some objectives may not be purely for revenue. Some customers may use the [ERP] system for collecting [data on their] carbon footprint,” ZhenHub Technologies Ltd. CEO Vince Poon told the BusinessMirror.
Poon added that some firms use ERP to automate business operations, lower risks or wastage.
“Obviously, that should relate to profitability; but it may not be as immediate” as the business owner wants it to be, the executive added.
Poon believes the ERP software being sold by ZhenHub, called “Aratum,” can still capture the burgeoning market in the country.
Several analysts forecast the ERP market in the country to post a compounded annual growth rate of 12 percent from 2022 to 2028. Statista, in particular, forecasts the enterprise software market in the Philippines would to grow by 9.71 percent beginning this year, resulting in a market volume of $552.30 million in 2028.
Poon considers the market potential to have been born from demand as several businesses coped with supply-chain issues especially during the mobility restrictions against Covid-19.
He is also banking on the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028 as it promises government’s mainstreaming of the use of technologies to predict supply-chain disruptions; again, as a lesson during the battle against Covid-19.
One strategy adopted by the PDP is to support “entrepreneurs leveraging technology-enabled business models.” The PDP also recognizes that AI-based cloud analytics and ERP “will continue to expand” in the next decade.
Poon added that as the Philippine economy grows vis-à-vis enterprises, an ERP software is becoming a must-have for companies wanting to scale up.
To note, an ERP software connects and automates business processes: planning; purchasing inventory; sales; marketing; finance; and, human resources.
What ZhenHub offers is micro-customization, so that business owners could choose among several modules to manage their supply chain.
According to Anthony Ison, ZhenHub’s Philippines country manager, they offer an “a la carte” type of menu to customers.
Ison explained that a business owner may opt to automate first the warehouse management system and later the other business processes like inventory management, order management, transport management, finance and up to merchants.
Ison said they could install the transport management system to a business relied upon for such service by ZhenHub’s customer.
Realization of return on investment is time to market, Ison told the BusinessMirror.
“We don’t leave until our customer is satisfied,” Poon said adding that ZhenHub’s solution is made to adapt to the business and not the other way around.
Ison added that Aratum also offers inter-operability, meaning it can work with the ERP software of other companies.
However, some processes couldn’t be addressed by ERP, especially if these are bound by traditional values particularly held by family businesses.
“Technology enables the process, the policy,” Poon told the BusinessMirror. “What we can do is build exemptions in the system that would enable [the business owner’s decision.”
Still, Poon said there are some things that goes beyond technology.
But, at least, there’s an ERP software for most of the business processes.
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