PNJ strengthens its business through AWS Cloud services

August 23, 2021 | 09:28
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Phu Nhuan Jewellery JSC (PNJ), the largest jewellery brand in Vietnam, is focusing on its digital transformation with Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud to increase business efficiency and achieve future targets.
PNJ strengthens its business through AWS Cloud services
Dang Hai Anh is director of the IT Division at PNJ

PNJ is now enjoying more advances in its operation thanks to technology adoption. During the last two years, Dang Hai Anh, director of the IT Division at PNJ, focused on cloud computing which aims to transfer the company’s core infrastructure to the cloud and make use of its power. Thanks to this move, the company’s utilised AWS Cloud helps solve customer traffic problems in the peak seasons. During social distancing, PNJ saw a three- to four-fold increase in online traffic on its website, as well as hotline calls and inbox.

“In the past, the typical peak seasons – like the God of Fortune day, the International Women’s Day, and Valentine’s Day – often cost months of upgrades for our points of sale (POS) system to ensure smooth operations and prevent congestion as on- and offline transactions soared by four to five times,” Anh remembered. “PNJ’s AWS Cloud adoption was important to increase operational efficiency and adapt to the new development period.”

To optimise its usage of the cloud, PNJ started to adopt mobile POS systems in its stores, making it the first digital acceleration with cloud support.

PNJ now has more than 350 stores, all of which operate with the POS system. With AWS serverless architecture which utilised many cloud native services and infrastructures, the total operation cost is $1,000 per month for all 350 stores. Other solutions in the past could cost about $1,000 per year per store on average, meaning about $350,000 for the total operation cost for the company’s 350 stores.

“We decided to use cloud services and considered different options in the beginning. We chose AWS as our partner in the digital transformation because of its stability, extensive expansion options, and sheer unlimited resources, as well as optimised operation cost,” Anh told VIR.

Looking back at 2020 and the first months of 2021, like other businesses, PNJ suffered under the health crisis and the related social restrictions as its products are not classified as essential goods.

PNJ strengthens its business through AWS Cloud services
Phan Quoc Kiet, director of multi-channel sales at PNJ

According to Phan Quoc Kiet, director of multi-channel sales at PNJ, omni-channel business model faced significant headwinds primarily driven by mass closure of key stores across the countries. However, PNJ grew strongly in the first half of 2021 thanks to an appropriate marketing strategy and technology application. The company made net revenues of more than $500 million and after-tax profits of $32 million, up 50.2 and 67.4 per cent on-year, respectively.

Kiet attributed the surge to the company’s customer-centric approach. “PNJ pays attention to customer demands and satisfaction.”

Kiet explained that during the pandemic, PNJ responded to the changed consumer behaviour by implementing “measures and programmes to keep close contact with customers during the pandemic, and to prepare for the post-pandemic consumption wave.”

Moreover, PNJ uses smart marketing tools to better take care of customers, thus delivering appropriate messages and special treatments for specific groups of customers to win their confidence. Technology also helped PNJ increase online sales in the second quarter of 2021, registering a threefold rise compared to the same period last year. “AWS Cloud plays an important role in this and helps us to improve customer experience, including for our last-mile delivery sales. For instance, PNJ offers a four-hour delivery service, which we could now reduce to three hours. We expect to cut another hour in the future,” Kiet noted.

According to Anh, the company aims to develop specific omni-channel services to better serve its customers, including analysis, automation in marketing, and advanced customer support options. Core of this endeavour is the mobile POS system backed by the AWS’ Serverless Architectures and Cloud Native Services, together with changes in e-commerce such as optimisation of sales speed and an increased user experience on the website.

The online sales channel of PNJ has been developed since 2018, and went through several changes harmonise on- and offline channels. PNJ deems the addition of online sales efficient and expects the segment to contribute more in the next three to five years, reaching about 10-15 per cent of total revenues.

With AWS, PNJ plans to look into advanced technologies and solutions, for example blockchain, augmented reality, and virtual reality for its supply chain, production, and planning in the next three years so as to maintain its strong foothold in the home and regional markets. In 2021, PNJ targets net revenues of more than $913 million, with expected after-tax profits of more than $52 million.

By Bich Thuy

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