A HOMEGROWN IT company is bullish on the growth of the local retail sector, citing the need for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to all the more compete with bigger players by embracing digital business solutions.
Robert Cheng, president and chief executive officer of Alliance Software Inc., described the local economy as “very consumer-driven” and that retail is right smack in that consumer play.
“We see a lot of expansion of retail stores in the country and Cebu, being one of the highest growth areas in the country, would always lead that expansion,” Cheng told Cebu Daily News on the sidelines on Wednesday of the relaunching of one of its products as well as the release of lates innovations in business automation .
The IT firm reintroduced its business automation suite Alliance EDGE Business Solutions, which includes solutions ranging from Retail, Workplace Productivity, Cloud, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) to Professional Services.
This was seen to give Filipino businesses the edge to take the lead by eliminating time-consuming practices, such as manual inventory checking, giving entrepreneurs more time to focus on more important matters of growing a business.
Among the highlights of the relaunch was the release of its latest retail software, the Alliance POS (point of sale) + Financials, a merging of retail and financial systems in one powerful solution.
This innovation is a product of Alliance’s partnership with multinational IT company SAP.
Established in Cebu in 2000, Alliance specializes in both IT services and IT solutions, the latter more focused on providing business solutions to SMEs across the country.
Alliance has since expanded in Manila and Tokyo, Japan.
Cheng said their solutions are anchored on the premise that smaller players need to compete with the big ones.
“I think the market is so competitive right now that the larger companies are also trying to eat up markets that used to be exclusive to the smaller players,” he said.
The company chief said the retail market in Cebu and the Philippines, in general, is quite fragmented.
On one end, there are sophisticated companies – conglomerates and large enterprises that are able to take advantage of the latest technologies.
Meanwhile, there are smaller to mid-sized companies that are a bit more hesitant, due to the mindset that technologies are expensive and difficult to implement.
“What we’re trying to do in Alliance is try to make SMEs more capable and give them that opportunity to take advantage of the same technologies available to the bigger companies,” said Cheng.