Traditional sauce manufacturer Sim Soon Heng Cooking Ingredients (SSH) is taking its first steps into the digital world, with the help of eight teenagers from Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) in Singapore. The students, from the School of Business Management and School of Information Technology, came up with a digitisation strategy for the 39-year-old family-run business that covers multiple channels of customer engagement.
To help the company move beyond selling sauces to restaurants and other businesses, NYP students are developing an interactive website for SSH, targeted at consumers. They have also developed a social media engagement strategy and will be conducting data analytics on social media data. For instance, when the online tools go live, the students will monitor market reactions in order to customise content that is more engaging as well as to launch targeted marketing campaigns.
SSH is the first local small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) to undergo a digital transformation at NYP’s new Customer Experience and Analytics Centre (CEAC). The CEAC helps SMEs digitise their businesses through the development and implementation of online strategies. SMEs can also tap on CEAC to enhance the customer’s experience through data analysis and customer experience studies. The centre is currently working with another three clients and more companies are expected to come on board over the next few months.
David Sim, MD, Sim Soon Heng Cooking Ingredients said, “We have run our business in the same way for the last four decades. It is time to update. We believe the best people to help us do this are the youth. So we chose to work with Nanyang Polytechnic’s students. They have been very professional in helping us through this transformation. ”
His father, Sim Liap Siang, founded the business in 1978, beginning with supplying ready-made chilli paste to hawkers. Today, SSH’s customers comprise food establishments, school canteen and hawkers across the island. They get a wide variety of cooking ingredients from the company, from its self-made chilli paste to soya sauces and flour. The ready-made recipe sauces business will be led by a new generation - David Sim’s son.
Loh Chuu Yi, Director, School of Business Management, Nanyang Polytechnic, said, “Digitisation can be a long and formidable journey, especially for SMEs. The CEAC gives these smaller businesses the opportunity to take a less resource-intensive first step. These real-world experiences also give our business students an edge when they join the industry.”
The CEAC will be formally launched on 27 March 2017 by Low Yen Ling, Singapore Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Trade & Industry.
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