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Achieving growth in a rapidly changing world

Highlights of the collaboration:

Oriental Holding is a leading importer, exporter, wholesaler and retailer of Asian food products. Having started in 1986 as a small shop in downtown Amsterdam, Oriental Holding is now the biggest Asian supermarket chain in the Netherlands, with twenty-four stores, two wholesale outlets and a range of ten thousand-plus unique products. New items are added to the range daily, in response to changing food trends and a dynamic market environment. To ensure the agility that model demands, and to realise the company’s growth ambitions, Oriental Holding is committed to comprehensive digitisation of its operations and supply chain management.

Customer perspective Patricia Sjauw, COO, Oriental Holding

A rapidly changing world

“In a very short space of time, we have transformed ourselves from a conventional organisation into an IT-led organisation. In less than eleven months, we have rolled out three crucial new systems, for back-office administration, supply chain management and in-store operations. Comprehensive digitisation was vital for the elimination of single points of failure and single points of knowledge, so that the organisation is not dependent on individual people. The pandemic – and the current logistic challenges – has made it clear that the ability to respond to change is essential. Sound and efficient IT is also a prerequisite for growth.”

Management and oversight of IT partners

“Following the implementation of such a big project, involving multiple IT partners, there will always be things that don’t work quite as intended, and challenges that need to be addressed. We don’t have the in-house IT expertise to deal with all that; we don’t speak the language or necessarily know which partner in the chain is responsible for what. Yet it’s vital that we enable our team to continue working. Databalance has stepped up to guide us through a landscape we’re not familiar with. They have the insight needed to clarify responsibilities, provide guidance and take the weight off our shoulders. With the help of Databalance’s Virtual Information Officer and Virtual Security Officer, we were quickly able to restore calm and regain our oversight, so that we now have a platform for moving ahead more professionally.”

Virtual Information Officer and Virtual Security Officer

“We don’t need to know everything ourselves. As well as being unnecessary, that’s simply impossible. The world is increasingly complex, with new technologies coming online all the time. So, how do you take someone on, if you don’t have the IT knowledge yourself? Databalance does have that knowledge, and their Virtual Information Officer and Virtual Security Officer put their expertise at our disposal, so that we can focus on what we’re good at. The Virtual Information Officer has built an overview, and manages our IT partners and third-party services. They take care of the monitoring as well. The Virtual Security Officer has proved valuable too. Everything has to be secure, and all our partners are screened to make sure their security is up to scratch.”

IT maturity

Oriental Holding has quickly constructed an IT infrastructure in the private cloud to run all their business-critical applications and store all their data. The new set-up represents a major step towards full automation of the company’s activities. Oriental Holding is committed to proceeding on the basis of partnership. They understand the value of IT to their organisation. Our Virtual Officers have short lines of communication both to Oriental Holding’s management, and to the company’s suppliers. We have formed a strategic alliance characterised by operational and tactical dialogue.

“Software needs a good infrastructure to run on. It’s a vital relationship. Our productivity has increased enormously since we automated everything. An organisation can’t evolve if its IT isn’t capable of evolving with it.” – Patricia Sjauw, COO, Oriental Holding

Looking to the future together

Oriental Holding’s next critical, large-scale project is already lined up: in 2023 the company plans to start construction of a sizeable warehouse. The new facility will provide 40,000m2 of storage, relieving the logistic pressure and boosting the company’s ability to supply a growing network of shops. Oriental Holding’s successful partnership with Databalance provides a solid basis for realisation of this bold initiative. The operational stability provided by the partnership enables both parties to look to a future of continued progress facilitated by mutual respect, open and transparent dialogue and two-way learning.

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