Company focus on digitisation

Vinod Patel chief executive offi cer Rahul Amin says going digital is the most economical means for a hardware company like Vinod Patel to reach out to its customers. Picture: SUPPLIED

Going digital is the most economical means for a hardware company like Vinod Patel to reach out to its customers.

According to the chief executive officer Rahul Amin, in the long term, digital is the way to go forward.

“We’re looking at having a full online presence, we’re looking at putting in last mile services so customers get a text message on when the delivery is coming, they can track the delivery vehicle,” he said.

“I think this is the way of the future, brick and mortar will always exist when it comes to hardware because people still like to touch and feel.

“However, in terms of placing orders and in Fiji with so many maritime islands or locations, we have no option but to increase our reach and the only way to do it in a most economical ways through digital.”

Mr Amin added the company, like any other businesses faced its share of issues during the lockdown.

“So during the pandemic and the lockdowns that we had, at that time I guess like all other businesses we faced a lot of difficulty in terms of logistics getting stock across to Vanua Levu and also just within the Viti Levu.

“We had issues with supply chain in terms of our goods coming through from overseas ports into the country, yet because of the lockdown, we weren’t selling.

“So stock holding in our warehouses increased as soon as the lockdown opened,” he said.

Mr Amin also said business had been doing quite well as now with the local and international borders opening and additional economic boom, they believed good times were ahead.

Vinod Patel was allowed by Ministry of Commerce Trade, Tourism and Transport to operate on a pickup basis only according to the CEO.

“We already had a website with over 15,000 products available, which is very helpful in this situation because people
could remotely place orders either come and pick it up, or we would deliver.

“So, I think the future is digital digitalisation and a lot of businesses have gone that way now.

“I think with the pandemic, it’s kind of forced everyone to expedite the digital plans.

“For whatever reason, we took that digital plunge earlier than a few companies and I think it was very helpful for our
customers and for ourselves.”

The company is in the midst of upgrading its ERP system as well.

“So with the new ERP system, customer experience will increase. With customer experience comes service so delivery systems will be more efficient,” he said.

“Technology is the only way to achieve it. The solution is not to throw more people at the problem.

“The solution is being more efficient and going digital.”

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