United Overseas Bank (UOB) has integrated a digital procurement platform into its UOB BizSmart solution that aims to help food and beverage (F&B) businesses manage suppliers more efficiently.
The cloud-based digital procurement platform, named EzyProcure, aims to allow small businesses to purchase and pay for supplies seamlessly. While many F&B operators carry out inventory management manually, EzyProcure aims to help these firms increase productivity by digitalizing the entire supplier management process, so inaccurate or duplicate orders can be avoided.
By using UOB’s Virtual Payment Solution, the payment service provides buyers with interest-free credit, giving them the flexibility to extend their credit cycle by up to 90 days so as to overcome cash flow concerns. Suppliers would receive payment immediately which improves their accounts receivables for better cash flow.
The availability of such cash flow data also aims to help F&B operators to obtain bank financing as there is greater visibility on their day-to-day operations. With the detailed information, the bank will be able to determine the business’ creditworthiness more accurately.
The enhanced UOB BizSmart solution aims to allow businesses to have a consolidated view of their operations as purchase records are integrated with their accounting and inventory management system. This helps F&B operators to streamline the reporting process, to view in real-time their transaction data to understand their purchasing patterns and to forecast future buying needs better.
An F&B business owner looking to deploy the solution is Russell Yu, Director and Founder of Iki Concepts, a restaurant group operating four F & B outlets with different dining concepts in Singapore. Iki Concepts receives more than 500kg of fresh produce weekly from between 60 – 80 suppliers. The restaurant group receives deliveries more than 10 times daily and spends more than 40 hours monthly managing its supply chain process.
“We operate four F&B outlets with different dining concepts in Singapore. To meet our restaurants’ needs supplies are ordered from more than 60 vendors, resulting in the need for us to dedicate manpower to manage and to reconcile an average of 300 delivery orders and invoices per month,” said Yu.
“With the enhanced UOB BizSmart solution, we will be able to streamline the purchase and payment process and increase productivity for both our front of house as well as support teams. Apart from improving our efficiency, the ability to extend our cash flow and to obtain financing in a timely manner will ensure that we are able to respond quickly to business opportunities as they arise.”
Lawrence Loh, Head of Group Business Banking, UOB, said, “Since we launched UOB BizSmart more than two years ago, we have been engaging more than 7,000 small businesses to understand their digitalization needs. As businesses become more aware of the need to harness technology, we felt that it was timely to offer a solution that goes beyond automating back office processes to one that provides a holistic view of their operations.
“With so many small businesses in the F&B sector feeding the nation’s love for food, we want to help them improve their digital capabilities to overcome operational challenges. The upsized UOB BizSmart solution will help business owners increase their productivity, gain greater visibility of their day-to-day operations and financial position, and make business decisions with more certainty. The solution will also help F&B companies with their record keeping,” Loh said.
First published in Retail Tech Innovation