Optimising efficiency in the workforce

September 05, 2023 | 18:06
(0) user say
Businesses are still facing challenges in attracting high-qualified manpower for their technology innovations. Christanto Suryadarma, Southeast Asia Sales vice president at Zebra Technologies Asia Pacific, spoke with VIR’s Bich Thuy about optimising productivity and efficiency for the workforce.

Which sectors in Vietnam are facing challenges around hiring and retaining a qualified workforce, as well as keeping pace with technological innovations?

Optimising efficiency in the workforce
Christanto Suryadarma, Southeast Asia (SEA) sales vice president, Zebra Technologies Asia Pacific

Human resources are valuable assets for manufacturing enterprises, yet they are easily lured away when better opportunities arise. The main reasons for staff leaving are because of low salaries, inferior training programmes, and the use of obsolete technologies and equipment by their companies. As such, Vietnamese enterprises are experiencing a shortage of mechanical engineering workers.

In the recently announced Provincial Competitive Index 2022, finding managers and supervisors was flagged as being much more difficult than hiring low-skilled labour. Technical and engineering fields are experiencing a shortage of skilled, professional, and technically qualified workers, besides limited technological capability, even though many enterprises offer accommodation benefits and have a good welfare regime.

Which solutions should businesses focus on to optimise productivity and efficiency in their workforce?

Warehouse operations of all sizes have been under immense pressure to keep up with both consumer and commercial customers’ customisation expectations and the growing need for speed ever since omnichannel sales models emerged a decade ago.

Notably, Vietnam’s e-commerce has been on the rise. According to the Vietnam E-commerce and Digital Economy Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the revenue of e-commerce in Vietnam in the first six months of 2023 has reached $10.3 billion, up 25 per cent on-year, accounting for 7.7 per cent of the country’s revenue.

One of the key factors in the strong development of Vietnam's e-commerce is logistics. Modernising warehouse management by applying new technologies is considered as an important drive to improve productivity and operational efficiency.

Optimising efficiency in the workforce
Warehouse maturity model framework

To help enterprises better understand the complexities of modernising warehouse operations, Zebra developed the Warehouse Maturity Model, which is a five-phase framework that aims to accelerate warehouse modernisation plans strategically.

No matter which phase businesses are in, there will be new ways to trim steps from workflows, increase productivity rates, manage their technology investments, and use data and automation to make operations more profitable across the warehouse.

Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution that businesses can adopt to solve all their problems. What solution to adopt really depends on the phase they are in and the challenges they are facing. Therefore, it is crucial to work with a trusted IT partner who works to understand the challenges before coming up with a tailored solution to suit their needs.

As a world leader in innovative digital solutions, hardware and software, how can Zebra support businesses in their journey to digitalise their workforce?

Zebra has been empowering the front line of businesses, including retailers, for more than 50 years. As a company that believes in innovation, we invest up to 10 per cent of our annual revenue in research and development ($567 million in 2021), and have also expanded our product portfolio through strategic acquisitions to bolster our product offerings throughout the years.

As such, Zebra has an extensive portfolio of end-to-end solutions (both hardware and software) to cater to the varying needs of our customers. Additionally, we work closely with more than 10,000 partners across over 100 countries, to better understand the needs of our customers before offering them tailored solutions that truly cater to their needs on their journey to digitalise their workforce.

Optimising efficiency in the workforce
Zebra service centre in Vietnam

Zebra also has a Circular Economy Programme that promotes sustainability through the buy-back of select Zebra-branded mobile computing devices, sale or rental of Zebra-certified refurbished devices, and recycling services for devices no longer in use. The scheme reduces the environmental impact of standard product lifecycles in the supply chains of both Zebra and its customers.

Could you share some regional case studies about empowering workers with digital tools to optimise productivity and efficiency?

Zebra has an extensive customer network in the Asia-Pacific region, and we are proud to support them with our solutions with the aim of optimising the productivity and efficiency of their enterprises.

One of our customers from Malaysia is Alpro Pharmacy, which is a prescription pharmacy chain with more than 200 outlets in Malaysia. It introduced Zebra’s mobile computing and RFID solutions to digitalise its manual inventory management system to advance its fast-growing business.

The solution has since enhanced Alpro Pharmacy’s efficiency by approximately 80 per cent and improved its overall accuracy through reducing human errors. It is estimated that the digitalisation has improved its business capacity five-fold and has helped meet increased orders with its existing workforce, resulting in a better experience for customers across both online and offline channels.

Another example would be Udon Thani Hospital, a multi-speciality, premier hospital in northeastern Thailand, which successfully deployed Zebra’s desktop printing and scanning solution to digitalise its patient registration process. The solution has helped to increase the hospital’s efficiency and accuracy by an estimated 20 per cent while reducing human errors.

What actions can the Vietnamese government take to encourage businesses to empower their workforce with digital skills?

The Vietnamese government is already working on this. In 2020, the Vietnamese government called for fundamental and comprehensive reforms in digital transformation to enhance labour productivity and the competitiveness of both enterprises and the nation.

One of the focused areas in its national strategy is to increase the digital economy’s share of GDP from the current 14 per cent to 20 per cent by 2025. Certain programmes and platforms have been introduced to help the country achieve its goals by raising awareness, popularising skills, and developing human resources for national digital transformation by 2025, and beyond.

As the Vietnamese economy undergoes digital transformation, there will be an increased need for businesses to digitalise their operations and equip their front-line staff with technology that can help them do their jobs more efficiently and effectively. This is where companies like Zebra can play a role by bringing them the right technology.

Zebra Technologies wins design awards Zebra Technologies wins design awards

Zebra Technologies Corporation, an innovator with solutions and partners that deliver a performance edge, on August 2 announced that it has won the iF Design Award and the Red Dot Award 2022.

Digital transformation-A key to success for retailers Digital transformation-A key to success for retailers

Amidst the acceleration of digital transformation in the country and globally, digital solutions are increasingly proving to be a key to success for retailers in Vietnam.

Zebra Technologies eyes potential of logistics, healthcare, and public sectors in Vietnam Zebra Technologies eyes potential of logistics, healthcare, and public sectors in Vietnam

Zebra Technologies, an innovator at the front line of business with solutions and partners that deliver a performance edge, is seeing good potential for future growth in transportation logistics and healthcare in Vietnam.

By Bich Thuy

What the stars mean:

★ Poor ★ ★ Promising ★★★ Good ★★★★ Very good ★★★★★ Exceptional