Damco offers access to Burma
One of the world’s leading providers of freight forwarding and supply chain management services, Damco, is working with clients to open their supply chains up to the frontier market of Burma.
Burma – also known as Mayanmar – is implementing reforms and was opened to business in 2012 with companies from the US, Europe and beyond. It has a population of around 60 million.
Damco, owned by Danish conglomerate Maersk, has announced it has undertaken extensive work with non-governmental organisations (NGO), local companies and diplomats in assessing the situation.
The company has now commenced offering its customers access to the frontier market of Burma, after being granted a permanent license in July to operate under its own legal entity in the country, making the company one of the first supply chain solution providers to offer genuine end-to-end logistics services there.
Damco is helping its customers reduce short and long-term business volatility in this new market by working closely with the UK-based Institute for Human Rights and Business and the Danish Institute for Human Rights to ensure the United Nations’ Guiding Principles on Human Rights are applied.
Back in May 2012, Damco participated as part of a larger fact-finding mission which involved consulting with NGOs, local companies, and diplomats. Subsequently, a resource centre was established within the British Council in Yangon. Since then, an experienced business development manager has been accompanying some of Damco's most important customers to meet local trade associations, conduct market studies and look at both vendor sourcing and setting up Container Freight Station and Container Yard operations on the ground.
"Damco is a first-mover logistics company in Myanmar. We have an immediate implementation plan as well as a long term one to set up logistics capability and infrastructure in Myanmar. This will allow our customers to open up their supply chains and sourcing operations in the country, whilst ensuring the highest standards are met in terms of meeting the principles of the UN Global Compact," said Damco Cluster Manager Kiattichai Pitpreecha.
Now that the company has obtained a long-term license to operate, it has commenced implementing a plan of investment to ensure its current consolidation and container deployment activities are extended in the years to come. Damco has made initial steps for setting up its own office in Myanmar, and the company has already set up a container freight station operation in Yangon, having been awarded business by several of its global accounts to manage their first shipments from Myanmar.
Pandora and IBM digitise jewellery supply chain
Pandora has overhauled its global supply chain in partnership with IBM amid an ecommerce sales boom for its hand-finished jewellery.
The company found international success offering customisable charm bracelets and other personalised jewellery though its chain of bricks and mortar retail destinations. But in 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak forced physical stores to close, Pandora strengthened its omnichannel operations and doubled online sales.
A focus on customer experience included deploying IBM’s Sterling Order Management, increasing supply chain resiliency and safeguarding against disruption across the global value chain.
Pandora leverages IBM Sterling Order Management as the backbone it its omnichannel fulfilment, with Salesforce Commerce Cloud powering its ecommerce. Greater automation across its channels has boosted the jeweller’s sustainability credentials, IBM said, streamlining processes for more efficient delivery. It has also given in-store staff and virtual customer service representatives superior end-to-end visibility to better meet consumer needs.
Jim Cruickshank, VP of Digital Development & Retail Technology, Pandora, said the digital transformation journey has brought “digital and store technology closer together and closer to the customer”, highlighting how important the customer journey remains, even during unprecedented disruption.
"Our mission is about creating a personal experience and we've instituted massive platform changes with IBM Sterling and Salesforce to enable new digital-first capabilities that are much more individualised, localised and connected across channels and markets,” he added.
Pandora’s pivot to digital
The pandemic forced the doors closed at most of Pandora’s 2,700 retail locations. To remain competitive, it pivoted to online retail. Virtual queuing for stores and virtual product trials via augmented reality (AR) technology went someway to emulating the in-store experience and retail theatre that is the brand’s hallmark. Meanwhile digital investments in supply chain efficiency was central to delivering on consumer demand.
“Consumer behaviour has significantly shifted and will continue to evolve with businesses needing to quickly adapt to new preferences and needs,” said Kareem Yusuf, General Manager, AI Applications and Blockchain, IBM. “To address this shift, leading retailers like Pandora rely on innovation to increase their business agility by enabling and scaling sustainable supply chain operations using AI and cloud.”
Yusuf said Pandora’s success was indicative of how to remain competitive by “finding new ways to create differentiated customer experiences that protect their enterprises from disruptions to help mitigate risk and accelerate growth”.