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Digitization: Emerging business trend of the century

Update: September, 19/2014 - 09:44
Leonard Tan, General Director, DKSH Viet Nam.

Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and DKSH have published their latest Global Market Expansion Services (MES) report, which highlights digitization and how it is impacting corporate business models. It also offers valuable insights to help decision makers gain a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges of digital market expansion.

Leonard Tan, General Director, DKSH Viet Nam, speaks about the role of digitization in the MES industry.

What is digitization and why is it called a "new trend"?

Digitization is a vital driving force of the 21st century and is moving up in the companies' list of business priorities. The three digitization trends - mobile commerce, business intelligence and smart infrastructure - are changing not only the way consumers make purchases, but also the ways in which companies inform customers and influence their buying decisions.

While digitization is not changing the fundamentals of doing business, it enables new business opportunities and opens up possibilities for growth and efficiency gains. Social media, digital marketing or big data analysis strategies are reshaping the customer-producer relationship and enhance the customer experience across existing and new sales channels.

How is digitization impacting the MES industry in Asia Pacific, the biggest market?

Digitization will have a meaningful impact on companies within the next years. It enables new business opportunities and opens up possibilities for growth and efficiency gains. These trends will affect the ways business transactions are conducted and how companies interact with their suppliers, customers and other stakeholders.

As highlighted in the report, digitization is expected to grow strongly - though from a low base - in emerging markets and especially in the Asia Pacific region. Leading market research institutes forecast that, as of 2018, Asia Pacific is set to become the most busy region in the world for e-commerce activities.

Many companies - especially in Asia Pacific - have realized that future business success requires an active digital expansion. MES providers are the preferred choice for clients, as they are well positioned to provide them with the best mix of offline and online market expansion services.

Your advice on how MES providers need to prepare for digital market expansion?

Successful MES providers have managed to adapt their business models and strategies when it comes to digital market expansion. They excel in combining the best of the old and new business environments. Cross-regional MES providers are in an optimal position to drive such omni-channel market expansion.

As companies often lack the key resources and capabilities to drive digital initiatives through omni-channelling, they are turning to qualified partners that have the experience and competence in providing integrated Market Expansion Services.

What are DKSH's achievements in terms of digitization in Asia and Viet Nam?

The global MES volume is forecasted to grow from today's US$2.7 trillion to $3.8 trillion by 2018. This means that MES are expected to increase globally by 7.4 per cent annually between 2013 and 2018, one percentage-point faster than the total underlying consumption market. DKSH's addressable markets in Asia are expected to grow 7.8 per cent annually.

At DKSH Viet Nam, our IT back-bone runs on a standardized global SAP platform, which enables digital technologies that optimize our business processes and enhance the interaction with our clients and customers. Within our digital offering, Added Value Business Tool and Echoplus are our most remarkable examples.

The Added Value Business Tool updates our clients on news in the pharmaceuticals industry, to provide general information about our products and customers and to keep track of sales reports, tender status and sales force management.

Echoplus is a mobile application that helps sales representatives to take orders from customers and to transfer the information to our logistics teams in the most convenient and fastest way.

What are the actual benefits DKSH can offer clients in Viet Nam through digitization?

DKSH can offer a one-stop-solution with reduced complexity and seamless integration of all channels. All in all, we provide our clients and customers with better synchronisation through omni-channelling.

DKSH can help both international and local clients with digital Market Expansion Services when expanding in Viet Nam.

What are the focuses on your plans for digital market expansion?

Mobile commerce, as a segment of e-commerce, is still a niche market, but is expected to grow significantly, especially in Asia with consumers leapfrogging existing technologies and using new mobile applications.

DKSH is the leading Market Expansion Services provider in Viet Nam with a comprehensive network that bridges nearly 230 international and local clients and 100,000 customers nationwide. We will continue implementing our strategy for sustainable profitable growth.

DKSH is optimally positioned not only to benefit from digitization trends, but also to support its clients and customers in implementing a successful omni-channel approach.

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