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Consultant helps firm behind Auntie Anne's to go digital

A digital consultant helped Ms Olivia Sulaeman, chief executive of the company running the Auntie Anne's outlets, to identify and implement suitable digital solutions to automate her payroll and claims processing system, among others. ST PHOTO: ONG W
A digital consultant helped Ms Olivia Sulaeman, chief executive of the company running the Auntie Anne's outlets, to identify and implement suitable digital solutions to automate her payroll and claims processing system, among others. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

When Ms Olivia Sulaeman was forced to halt business at her six Auntie Anne's outlets during the circuit breaker last year, the chief executive decided to make use of her spare time and look into digitalising her business instead.

But without an in-house tech expert at her firm, Chrisna Jenio, Ms Sulaeman turned to the Internet and was overwhelmed by information overload.

"There was just too much information available online that we didn't know how to filter through them," said the 28-year-old.

She then decided to seek the help of a digital consultant at the Infocomm Media Development Authority's SME Digital Tech Hub in May last year.

In the span of just two to three months, the consultant helped her identify and implement suitable digital solutions to automate her payroll and claims processing system, among others.

This helped her shave time off her business processes, said Ms Sulaeman, noting that her firm takes just four to five hours to process its payroll, down from the previous average of two to three days.

The consultant also helped her identify new areas where her business could go digital, said Ms Sulaeman, adding that she had also upgraded her point-of-sales system into a cloud-based system that allowed her to have a better idea of her daily sales.

She said an upcoming initiative to allow more small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to consult chief technology officers (CTOs) would be very welcome, as a lot of SMEs do not have the spending power and access to CTOs.

"I felt the support I got was really very valuable; without it, I think I would still be where I was last year, and not digitalising any processes," she said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 03, 2021, with the headline 'Consultant helps firm behind Auntie Anne's to go digital'. Subscribe