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Community Blog Seeding Digital Transformation in Southeast Asia – Part 6: Resource Planning and Networking

Seeding Digital Transformation in Southeast Asia – Part 6: Resource Planning and Networking

Part 6 of this 8-part series discusses resource planning and networking scenarios to facilitate Buttercup Spices' digital transformation journey.

By Shantanu Kaushik

In Part 5, we discussed the business strategy-centric applications of our fictional company, Buttercup Spices, and their migration to Alibaba Cloud. This article discusses resource planning and networking scenarios to facilitate Buttercup Spices’ digital transformation journey to help their business transformation practice encompass customer-based scenarios without any interruptions.

Digital transformation has different goals to facilitate an optimized and wider approach to check all the check efficiently. This strategy goes beyond cost-optimization and includes operational and management cycles that can incur added costs and hinder business productivity.

Resource Planning and Management

Buttercup Spices has multiple locations that operate as satellite offices to bring an effective carrying and forwarding (C&F) practice into the mix. Being comprehensive in your approach is essential, and it is critical to discard the one-size-fits-all approach.

As we discussed in the previous article, lifting and shifting critical applications is a part of the digital transformation strategy. However, when dealing with a large customer base, you need to have an innovative lifecycle for your product distribution. A transformation approach to shift to the cloud requires an application strategy that provides an edge to your business process. This induces a revitalization factor to the operations of your organization.

Customer resource allocation is a practice that has made Buttercup spices what they are today. Their core business values stand because they have never sacrificed customer satisfaction. As a part of the product facilitation, Buttercup Spices implemented online order placement and payment services. However, since they are at the beginning of their digital transformation journey, Buttercup Spices accepted B2B orders online and accepted B2C orders and payments online. Alibaba Cloud offered their Alipay service for payments and transactions throughout China and other regions where the service is available.

Resource Management and Cleansing

The multiple satellite offices of Buttercup Spices feed different countries (regions and zones) with their spice products. They have different combinations and stand-alone region-specific products, such as spice mixtures for Tom Yum soup. These products are not billed or stocked for the supply chain at every locations. Buttercup Spices uses a model of business operations where they stock specific products according to the zone or country they are feeding. Also, these products cannot be billed from any other zones.

The digital transformation journey of Buttercup Spices will enable them to lead the market by introducing a centralized management approach for better customer/relationship management. This approach reduces the complexities in business operations and enables a wider product cycle and facilitation of products to their clients.

Buttercup Spices offers over two hundred (200) products in multiple regions. Digital transformation will cleanse their order to delivery cycle and provide them with a steady and robust solution to increase their customer base rapidly. An accelerated transformation cycle will enable you to witness the changes faster and make adjustments quickly. However, rushing into the digital transformation journey without considering different factors that require stress testing and management can be detrimental.

The DX Team at Buttercup Spices decided to allocate resources based on operations metrics to showcase a detailed view of where most of the business comes from, the effectiveness of the supply chain, and the number of in-demand products. We will discuss the aspects of the supply chain in the next article.

Networking to Connect Offices

As we discussed previously, Alibaba Cloud provides robust infrastructure services to enable an efficient workflow. The DX Team was looking for a solution to help them work seamlessly with multiple satellite offices countrywide and work with new locations they plan to set up in neighboring countries to increase their reach and visibility.

After going through the detailed transaction records, Buttercup Spices opened one office in China and one office in Thailand. Alibaba Cloud offered Buttercup Spices their services with solutions, such as the Cross-Region Hybrid Network. This solution utilizes industry-leading products, including Alibaba Cloud Cloud Enterprise Network (CEN), Smart Access Gateway (SAG), Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Server Load Balancer, and VPN Gateway.

Note: Smart Access Gateway (SAG) is an exclusive service that helps you set up your business in Mainland China.

Alibaba Cloud Cross-Region Hybrid Network enabled Buttercup Spices to build a secure and robust global business network with infrastructure services provided by Alibaba Cloud. VPN Gateway interconnected all satellite offices with multiple Virtual Private Clouds (VPCs) to provide perfect data isolation based on authorization. Cloud Enterprise Network (CEN) is responsible for the communication between VPCs.

The DX Team needed operation stability without interruptions, even if the underlying network has stability issues. Alibaba Cloud provided the Cross-Region Hybrid Network solution to Buttercup Spices to enable seamless collaboration and communication during their digital transformation journey. Buttercup Spices set up a centralized operations hub at their headquarters and connected 16 remote locations across Southeast Asia to handle orders better. As we discussed previously, Buttercup Spices was also keen on using online operations to create a marketplace to maximize revenue. Buttercup Spices used a custom solution to accept and process orders online with Alibaba Cloud PolarDB. Now, Buttercup Spices accepts millions of orders every hour.

Wrapping Up

Buttercup Spices invoked a standard practice to create a custom solution instead of using the one-size-fits-all approach. They chose their products very carefully and worked with Alibaba Cloud to enable a cohesive solution lifecycle to introduce and promote business intelligence.

In Part 7, we will discuss how Buttercup Spices enabled a smarter supply chain using Alibaba Cloud and how they can overcome challenges and bridge gaps between production and delivery.

Upcoming Articles

  1. Seeding Digital Transformation in Southeast Asia – Part 7: Building a Smarter Supply Chain
  2. Seeding Digital Transformation in Southeast Asia – Part 8: Introducing AI for Better Workflow
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