Deciding to adopt technology to become manpower lean is all very well, but firms need to be clear about their goals and not be discouraged by initial failures, said roundtable panellist Teo Peiru.
Ms Teo, the managing director of bridal services business La Belle Couture, noted that companies first need to identify and prioritise the areas of opportunities and then assess how tech solutions can impact the business and how easily they can be to implement.
"Small businesses need to take advantage of being nimble and move fast with help from the LED scheme," she added. Going by her own experience, Ms Teo recommended looking at areas like operations or processes, sales and marketing, and customer experience.
Her business offers "the augmented reality gown-fitting solution (FX Mirror) which provides an interesting experience for the brides to try 20 gowns in a minute and greatly eases the workload of staff having to carry heavy dresses", she noted.
Ms Teo was also bold enough to introduce the use of a chatbot in her business. She said: "It responds to customers politely 24/7, allowing for instant gratification and serves as a great lead generation and quotation tool. It also has great scalability to cover more functions as we improve its features."
Given that La Belle Couture is an enterprise facing manpower constraints, Ms Teo also recommends using the Enterprise Resource Management system as it streamlines the entire process for staff, clients and vendors.
"Customers will also have an app to self-service, change appointments and process bookings that will go straight through to the payment processing systems," she added. "Taking a customer-centric approach to optimising the operations and processes will ensure that we will always be on the right track."