May 17, 2020

REPORT: Is China stepping up to higher value software?

Chinese Logistics
3 min
REPORT: Is China stepping up to higher value software?
Follow @SamJermy and @SupplyChainD on Twitter.Chinese businesses are stepping up to higher value and quality manufacturing than the rest of the world. T...

Follow @SamJermy and @SupplyChainD on Twitter.


Chinese businesses are stepping up to higher value and quality manufacturing than the rest of the world. They report greater effectiveness, higher software investment and responsiveness through collaboration and social media, according to a new research study by Redshift on behalf of Epicor Software.

89 percent of Chinese organisations have made a significant investment in core business systems such as ERP software in the last two years according to the study, compared to 55 percent in the UK and just 43 percent in Singapore.

Chinese organisations also claim to be leading the market in their ability to make responsive decisions, with 85 percent saying their business is either quite or very responsive; the highest of all ten countries surveyed. This compares with 65 percent in the UK.

Equally, ERP software which used to manage business operations, is perceived as more effective and important in China. 97 percent of Chinese businesses said ERP was important or highly important compared to a low of 67 percent in Germany. And more respondents in China considered their ERP functions to be ‘state of the art’ than anywhere else; 23 percent compared to only 11 percent in the UK.

Chinese businesses also seem the most likely to make use of social media and collaboration tools to improve their performance in the future. 80 percent in China said these tools will be important to their business compared to 52 percent in the UK and a low of just 23 percent in Finland.

Commenting on the research, Steve Winder, Vice President for UK and Eire at Epicor Software, said: “Chinese businesses are clearly stepping up to deliver higher value products and services as they seek an increasingly key position on the world stage. Across our research the country stood head and shoulders above all others in terms of their attitude to improving business performance.

“In the future we could see China become a leader in manufacturing quality because they are adapting faster and investing more in up to date technology, including modern ERP software.

“ERP systems need to facilitate easy collaboration and give users choice of access to their systems from any place or device. ERP also needs to be simple so that people can understand and interpret information and systems have to be responsive to allow people to access information when they need it.”

The Epicor/Redshift research was conducted in summer 2014 among more than 1,500 business professionals working in organisations using ERP with over 100 staff across 10 countries. Nearly half were working in the manufacturing industry, with approximately one-third coming from distribution and logistics companies, and under one-third in retail companies. The remaining participants were service sector companies. 

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Jun 17, 2021

Cainiao Network Launches Customer-Centric Logistics

3 min
Cainiao will focus on the customer experience in Singapore and Malaysia during its Tmall 618 Mid-Year Shopping Festival

As the logistics division of the Alibaba Group, Cainiao Smart Logistics Network has decided to provide its Southeast Asian customers with unsurpassed service during its annual shopping festival. Based on customer feedback surveys, the company will expand its real-time customer service support and speed up delivery times. ‘By expanding and deepening our services, we aim to provide a stronger logistics infrastructure that can bolster the booming eCommerce sector, support merchants’ expansion into new markets and diversify retail options for consumers’, said Chris Fan, Head of Cross-Border, Singapore, Cainiao Network.


Who Is Cainiao? 

According to TIME Magazine, Cainiao ‘is far from a typical logistics firm’. The company controls an open platform that allows it to collaborate with 3,000 logistics partners and 3 million couriers. This means that merchants can choose the least expensive and most efficient shipping options, based on Cainiao’s real-time logistics analytics. The company’s goal is to ship packages anywhere in the world in under 72 hours—and for less than US$3.00. 


For countless small business owners around the world, from coffee-growers to textile-weavers, this could change everything. Usually, it costs about US$100 to ship a DHL envelope from Shanghai to London in five days. Cainiao aims to change that. Said its CEO Wan Lin: ‘The biggest barrier to globalisation is logistics’. 


What’s Part of the Upgrade? 

Throughout the Tmall festival, Cainiao’s logistics upgrade will be divided into four critical segments: 


  • Real-time customer service support. Cainiao has launched a direct WhatsApp channel for customers to receive logistics updates and ask questions. 
  • Expansion of air freight parcel size and weight limits. Packages can now be up to 30 kilograms or 1-metre x 1.6 meters to help ship large items such as furniture. 
  • Daily air and sea freight connections. Shipping frequency will almost double to seven times weekly to maintain resilience and efficiency. 
  • Compensation for lost or damaged packages. Customers will be reimbursed up to RMB 2,000 (US$311). 


Where is the Company Headed? 

From June 1st to June 20th, the finale of Tmall, Cainiao will ensure that its customers feel confident in the company’s ability to deliver their packages. Despite global shipping delays due to COVID, the show will go on. Said Fan: ‘This series of customer-centric logistics upgrades reaffirms our goal of pursuing value-added services to enhance customers’ shopping experience while mitigating challenges posed by external factors’. 


Furthermore, Cainiao has recently expanded its Southeast Asian operations, achieving revenue growth of 68% year-over-year. In Malaysia, the logistics operation has partnered with BEST Inc. and Yunda; in Singapore, the company has partnered with Roadbull, Park & Parcel, and the Singapore Post. And if its recent measures help retain and grow its customer base, the company will be well-poised to lead the industry in resilient and customer-centric global logistics. ‘COVID-19 made everyone realise how important the logistics infrastructure backbone is’, said Wan. ‘And it gave us a peek at what Cainiao should look like in three years’. 



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