Local food company Ha Li Fa improved the efficiency of its supply chain after adopting a digital integration solution.
BoBo's assorted fish balls.
While food manufacturer Ha Li Fa has made its mark in the industry with its BoBo brand of fish balls with both local and international customer base, the 26-year-old company’s rapid growth and success came with its share of challenges.
To maintain the quality of its products, Ha Li Fa needs to have full control of the entire production and logistics process – from the storage of raw ingredients, to food processing and storage of the final products.
While its production processes were efficient, sales and administration staff were spending a lot of time manually entering sales transactions into the company’s web portal. This was very tedious and unproductive. Furthermore, to resolve any disputes with retailers, staff had to personally deliver hard copy forms to the retailers’ premises for signing.
Ha Li Fa streamlined its processes through Supply Chain Integrated System.
Two years ago, Ha Li Fa implemented a Supply Chain Integrated System created by local tech firm, Pracbiz.com, to streamline its processes and improve efficiency. The system is one of the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA)’s pre-approved solutions under the SMEs Go Digital programme.
They had learnt about the system after attending a briefing from their key customer NTUC FairPrice regarding its new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, which was also developed by PracBiz. Wanting to integrate their own system with NTUC FairPrice’s, Ha Li Fa approached PracBiz, who introduced the pre-approved solution.
PracBiz, which specialises in supply chain solutions, understood Ha Li Fa’s challenges and offered an integrated supply chain solution which comprises an e-purchase order and e-invoice system that links a customer’s ERP system with the company’s own.
Initially, the team at Ha Li Fa were concerned about technical issues, such as inconsistent formatting of data between the two systems. However, PracBiz allayed their concerns and managed its solution to ensure consistency in data.
Every staff of Ha Li Fa is trained to use the Supply Chain Integrated System.
“Before we started using the digital solution, a lot of time was spent on manual data entry. After the integration, we created a customised user interface to automatically match all orders. We trained our staff to use the new system, so that they no longer had to manually match orders line by line on a hard copy,” said Randall Ang Ghim Hui, Ha Li Fa’s Business Development Director.
The results were almost immediate. Ha Li Fa saw significant improvement in its productivity, reducing time taken to resolve customer disputes from an average of 16 hours to 4 hours.
“With the integrated system, we have managed to save so much of our employees’ time. Instead of having to physically travel onsite for negotiations when a dispute arises, we can now resolve these disputes using information on the portal,” explained Mr Ang. Customers such as NTUC FairPrice have also benefitted, as they no longer need to key in invoice numbers for each transaction.
The boost in productivity has also allowed the firm’s employees to take on higher value tasks. For instance, one sales employee was rotated to other departments in the company to pursue more challenging roles.
“With the reduction of manual work, our employees are offered the opportunity to take on additional projects. It has also changed the culture and mindset of users by demonstrating to our staff that what they once viewed as an impossible task – the integration of two different systems from two different companies – is now possible,” said Mr Ang.
Supply Chain Integrated System helps Ha Li Fa maintain good quality of its products.
Moving forward, Ha Li Fa plans to extend the use of PracBiz by linking it to more customers. “We will also continue on our digital journey by exploring other solutions that can help improve performance, including an initiative that involves moving more staff from using desktop computing to mobile computing solutions,” shared Mr Ang.
About SMEs Go Digital Programme
The SMEs Go Digital Programme helps to make going digital simple for SMEs. Under the programme, SMEs are able to gain access to a number of pre-approved solutions to take their businesses to the next level using digital technologies. There are technology packages for a range of sectors, including environmental services, food services, retail, security, wholesale trade and logistics. SMEs can receive funding support when adopting eligible pre-approved solutions. Interested to know more? Visit SMEs Go Digital Programme. #SMEsGoDigital
For more information on pre-approved solutions supported under the Productivity Solutions Grant, visit at SME Portal.
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