HighJump Explains How It Penetrates South Africa and Other Emerging Markets
Leading South African retailer invests in solution to support in-store fulfilment for online orders
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HighJump, a global provider of supply chain software as a service (SaS), announced last May that Woolworths Proprietary Limited, the operating entity Woolworths Holding Ltd., a leading Southern Hemisphere retail group headquartered in South Africa, has selected HighJump Retail Advantage to improve picking accuracy and efficiency across its food business’ stores.
According to spokesmen, this system will ensure a consistent brand experience across all channels and provide “personal shoppers” easy access to critical information, providing a painless experience for online customers.
In an exclusive interview with SCMR, we asked David Houser, senior vice president of international sales, about penetrating “emerging markets.”
SCMR: Apart from the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China) how does your company compete in new commercial arenas”
Houser: HighJump has a nice footprint within the emerging markets and like South Africa, I think and witness this like waves of technology that, depending on which wave you are on, the progress seems more dramatic.
SCMR: Can you give us an example?
Houser: Certainly. Within a BRIC country, I see smart pricing mechanisms that are able to price dynamically to give the consumer the best price possible. As well, “eat, shop and have your products” (in this case a high-end grocery) sent via courier to your home within a 3KM range is a pretty cool example of “new retailing”. And, if you decide to eat, and stay in the store, and take your product with you, there is no need to stand in line and handle your product another 2 or 3 times. Just pay for your product as you shop with Alipay and avoid the lines! As an individual that carries a US passport, but spends 50% of my time outside the US and much of that in emerging markets, these areas have become educated on mature technologies and have leap-frogged in some cases.
SCMR: What role does “big data” play in your strategy?
Houser: This is becoming more and more common in emerging markets. If you consider the entire supply-chain from ‘raw material’ to the end consumer, and the fact that we now have in-memory, faster chips and reduced cost….all of the information that was been stored in a data warehouse for 30 years is now becoming useful, actionable, intelligent. In one example, it is not good enough to source cacao to a high-end retailer. Some organizations want to look at geographical locations that have the best weather, good transport routes, reduced pilferage and a cost basis that allows competitive pricing. Some don’t realize this commodity is under attack from disease in some places around the world. But those that can harness big data to help make more intelligent decisions will win tomorrows battle for fine chocolate.
SCMR: What about so-called smart devices and the internet of things?
Houser: HighJump was ahead of the curve as it related to not only being device agnostic, but making the correct decisions as it relates to the technology that allows for the new generation to someday, in the not to distant future, BYOD to work, to play….everywhere. I see particularly in emerging markets the next generation wants mobile, they want richer content, they want video as opposed to text. And, with a handful of options, the person next to you may be on a different device! Emerging markets understand, for example that your smart phone may also be your bar-code reader. There are 2X the internet connections for every man, woman and child on earth today, and that number will increase. Everything is connected, everyone is on the move and consumers expect (to feel like) they have individual service in a multi-connected world
SCMR: Also, any insights gained at recently concluded Gartner conference?
Houser: Over the past 5 years or so, HighJump has grown its global presence significantly. That’s largely because of its flexibility, and adaptable architecture to meet business needs and zero code change. Gartner addressed all those issues last May.
About the AuthorPatrick Burnson, Executive Editor Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]
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