The rise of e-commerce and on-demand solutions is changing the face of Philippine industries, with retail chains and business establishments now relying on mobile gadgets and solutions in field operations to deliver goods to customers, collect payments and issue receipts.
Zebra Technologies, an American company that started as a printer manufacturer, now equips enterprise clients with rugged tablets, mobile printers, RFID readers and mobile connectivity in 100 countries including the Philippines.
Tracy Yeo, country lead of Zebra Technologies Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. in the Philippines, says she is particularly bullish about the growth of retail and e-commerce in the country.
“Over the past three years, we have enjoyed double-digit growth in the Philippines. Definitely, it is one of the fastest-growing countries. We are still looking at double-digit growth year-on-year,” Yeo, a Singaporean national, says in an interview in Makati City.
This is because of the growing digital-savvy population in the Philippines who are leading the adoption of e-commerce in the country. Data show that in 2018, 70 percent of Filipino internet users made at least one online purchase.
“The Philippine e-commerce is growing very fast, with the middle-income rising with more spending power. We see retail and e-commerce continuing to grow in the next couple of years, followed by transport and logistics,” Yeo says.
Consumers’ growing preference for online shopping is spurred by the convenience that e-commerce provides, which in turn is fast-tracking the rise of the “on-demand” economy, revolutionizing commercial behavior not just in Asia Paciﬁc but also in the rest of the world, according to Zebra.
Zebra empowers the frontline of businesses in retail/e-commerce, manufacturing, transportation and logistics, healthcare and other industries to achieve a performance edge.
“Zebra Technologies is a company that sells enterprise rugged devices. We provide services and solution software. We connect people and give visibility to companies. We help them improve productivity in their operations,” Yeo says.
Founded in 1969 as a printer company, Zebra provided 50 years of technology expertise, leadership and innovation. “We are the global leader in intelligent enterprise solutions. We give businesses a performance edge. In 2018, we hit a record high of $4.2 billion in terms of revenues. That is the highest in Zebra years,” Yeo says.
With about 7, 400 employees in more than 100 offices across 45 countries, Zebra works with the world’s top companies and 10,000 channel partners in more than 100 countries.
Zebra is particularly optimistic about its operations in the Asia Pacific, its highest-performing region. “We consistently have a year-on-year growth of close to 10 percent. In the first quarter, we had 12-percent growth in terms of sales,” Yeo says.
Among the products and solutions of Zebra are mobile computing devices, printing supplies and equipment, data capture devices, RFID readers and antennas, location-solution products and real-time locating systems.
These products are particularly helpful in field operations, transportation and logistics which apart from digital technology make e-commerce possible. “With e-commerce booming, you need people to deliver the parcel,” she says.
Tan Aik Jin, vertical solutions marketing manager of Zebra Technologies Asia Pacific, says results of the Future of Field Operations Vision Study conducted by the company last year shows that 60 percent of Asia Pacific organizations are now prioritizing mobile technology investment.
The study indicates that investments will be made in disruptive technologies and enterprise mobile devices to enhance frontline worker productivity and customer satisfaction in ﬁeld operations, including fleet management, ﬁeld services, proof of delivery and direct store delivery work flows.
“Driven by the acceleration of e-commerce along with customers’ heightened expectations and increased focus within companies on differentiating service levels, the ﬁeld operations industry is rapidly changing the way it looks at mobile technology investments,” said Jin.
“Our study shows how growing challenges related to the on-demand economy drive organizations to adopt transformative, disruptive technologies such as augmented reality and intelligent labels to provide visibility and integrate business intelligence for a performance edge,” he says.
Yeo says the study highlights the top three trends driving changes in ﬁeld operations across the Asia Paciﬁc. These are the growing expectations of performance and convenience from end customers, replacement of paper in the ﬁeld by mobile technology and disruptions to ﬁeld operations caused by emerging technologies and faster networks”.
“In Asia-Paciﬁc, more than half of the organizations have a mobile-first mindset when it comes to adopting enterprise-wide mobile and emerging technologies. These forward-thinking organizations are setting their ﬁeld operations apart with three key strategies: scaling of mobile technology and supporting technologies enterprise-wide, evaluating total cost of ownership of mobile technology as a standard practice and utilizing emerging ﬁeld operations technologies more extensively to achieve competitive advantage,” she says.
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