The Covid-19 pandemic has been shaping improved business processes and designs for different enterprises to adapt to the changing practices of the consumers. Because of the ‘new normal’ and the acceleration of the use of digital technologies, people shift from their traditional shopping habits to contactless purchases, online shopping, and a more engaging journey. These are made possible by automation and digital transformation of the companies.
Though digital journey comes forth before the pandemic, the RGC/Uratex Group of Companies, the owner of the leading manufacturer of foam products in the country and is known for producing car parts, food packaging, and textile among others, continuously advances its digitization and automation projects. This home-grown brand is speeding up its digital transformation to adapt to the consumers’ changing needs in this pandemic.
The RGC/Uratex Group Corporate Director Mr. Teodulo L. Manlubatan shared that going digital and automation is an essential factor for the business to survive this pandemic. He emphasizes the importance of digitization and automation saying, “We escaped from the limitations of traditional technologies and conventional business models to be more proactive in conforming to the changing market trends and consumer demands.”
Manlubatan added that they have several projects under their digital transformation program and added that they are moving towards different levels of these projects since its commencement in 2017.
The company developed its own Manufacturing Execution System (MES) called Electronic RGC Production System (E-RGCPS), a software intermediary that allows two or more applications to connect to each other and has the capacity to communicate to the company’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software-Systems Applications and Products in Data Processing (SAP) and other systems through Application Programming Interface (API). This system integrates monitoring, controlling, and tracking of manufacturing operations from the point the customer places its order, to preparing the purchased products until delivery service.
The E-RGCPS is working by phases and stages and is currently on target despite the challenges brought by the pandemic. The main focus of the project is to provide seamless and best service to our customers.
Internally Developed Order System
Implemented in 2019, order taking was shifted from manual process to web-assisted and automated process done through an internally developed system. This is the result of the company’s continuous drive for internal process improvement and consistent objective of delivering the best, efficient, accurate, and effective service to their customers.
The internally developed system enables consistency on order processing, faster order taking and production request, less paper consumption, and shorter turnaround time of special order to purchase order conversion.
Engaging and Efficient Customer Experience
As the company widened its touchpoints, it has established its digital presence with the availability of multi-platform consumer purchase channels which includes having its own ecommerce sites, presence in online marketplaces such as Lazada and Shopee, and social media pages.
The company shows how it values its partners in the industry who offer Uratex products in shop floors through creating a Dealer Portal. National and general trade accounts can directly encode their orders without waiting in queues and avoiding order errors. However, the company maintains its traditional method of phone-in and text messaging of orders from all its valued customers but persuasively encourages them to try and explore the automated process.
The company is currently working on the improved Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system which will integrate all inquiries from social media platforms to customer portals. This will allow a quicker response to customer’s inquiries and provides sales leads analytics.
Improved Warehouse and Production Management
From automated order taking, there were improvements applied in the warehouse and production management. Mainly, the improvements focused on digital inventory management, collection and control of reports and issuances, visibility and monitoring, and cost efficient process.
All information from order taking to delivery is digitally transferred thus eliminating manually encoding and other tedious tasks that add to the stretching of lead time. The overall E-RGCPS has a 9.1 million pesos budget which includes all the gadgets and technology, training and employee needed to implement the whole project.
Environment-friendly Business Solutions
The company recognizes the mutual relationship between sustainability and digital technology. The digital transformation of the company opens opportunities for environmental sustainability.
As the company remains committed to creating business solutions that would help the environment recover, the processes involved in digitization and automation would eventually result in paperless transactions. Real-time monitoring will help the manufacturing section maximize and save energy while error-free orders will eliminate resources and energy waste.
“We believe that our digital transformation will gear the company to be resilient to crises like this pandemic and will help us respond immediately to customers’ demands,” Manlubatan said.
The RGC/Uratex Group’s automation and digitization projects will also contribute to the company’s mission of creating meaningful moments in every Filipino household with convenient service, world-class products, and environmentally responsible business operations. ###