Ho Chi Minh City was the venue for Metro’s vendor workshop on step change, and it was open to all suppliers of the cash-and-carry operation who wanted to know more about process transformation. The Vietnamese firm outlined their plans for expansion, detailing their central warehouse functions, pallet handling and quality assurance as proponents to the need for step change to meet this demand for growth.
There are some tough challenges facing the Vietnamese retail sector; competitors must maintain their market share whilst the potential influx of huge foreign entrants such as Tesco, Walmart and Carrefour seek to maximise their expansion in the region. Also, the demand for space which is limited in key strategic areas keeps the rental costs of land very high.
Metro has also been a good example of how Loscam’s ECR pallets have made distribution streamlining by standardisation possible. LanAnh continues, “we successfully supplied ECR pallets to all their stores nationwide to replace their EU-spec ones. It helps them to meet their targets in pushing for palletised deliveries from their suppliers in one standard pallet type. This, along with HMS means they can effectively manage their pallet distribution.”
Metro, Saigon Coopmart and Big C are all key players in this competitive market. They either have their own distribution centres and central warehousing, or plan to have them soon, as part of their efforts to streamline and modernise their supply chains. Loscam will continue to promote the benefits of pallet pooling and other strategic systems which help their customers effectively manage their supply chain operations. The company hopes that its clients and their end customers will see real benefits in terms of cost management and efficiency.
Loscam Country GM, LanAnh Dothi described how Vietnam is different to its neighbours in terms of retail in general: “The infrastructure here is not as developed as it is in other Southeast Asian states. This has implications for service delivery because the logistics mechanisms are not as streamlined, and not what could be deemed as being `up to standard’. Retailers in Vietnam are typically small in size, so they don’t have distribution centres or central warehousing. The distribution is still done direct to stores.”
Loscam is keen to apply its continuous investment in new technology and a focus on strategic solutions to help its customers manage these potential areas of difficulty. “Promoting pallet pooling helps to reduce cost and increase the efficiency in supply chain. Improvements in IT capability (ie Loscam’s Hire Management System or HMS) helps us to monitor and track pallet movement. We have an active approach to account management too, which helps us to continually meet the demands of the customer, and respond to any issues which may come up. Loscam has several customers using the pallet exchange/transfer system already, and Metro has been a great start for us in terms of promoting pallet pooling between manufacturers and retailers.”