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In today’s increasingly digital and competitive world, digital transformation has become a necessity for the majority of, if not all, businesses. The onset of the global pandemic has also accelerated the pace of digital transformation, with enterprises having to adapt to remote working, as well as the changing up of their business models to ensure the survival of the business.
As a pioneer at the edge of the enterprise, Zebra Technologies has been empowering those on the front line in retail, healthcare, transportation and logistics, manufacturing, and other industries to achieve a performance edge with its wide portfolio of Zebra Technologies products and solutions. Leveraging Zebra’s innovations, enterprises across varying industries are able to intelligently connect people, assets and data to make critical business decisions.
“A lot of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) may freak out when they hear the term ‘digitisation’ as they typically imagine it to be very expensive and difficult to implement. However, the tip is to ‘Think big but start small’, said Mr Lim Fang-How, Regional Director – Southeast Asia, Zebra Technologies Asia Pacific.
Instead of implementing advanced technology (e.g. RFID) straight away, SMEs can start small with the help of track and trace solutions to gain greater visibility of their inventory, delivery schedules, supply chain, etc. This enhances productivity as the solutions will be able to reliably and automatically identify individual products throughout the supply chain.
“Ultimately, it is about addressing the pain points of the business. By working closely with our partners, Zebra strives to come up with tailored solutions to address the challenges faced by our clients. If the need arises, clients can also tap on our Professional Services to ensure successful implementation,” expressed Mr Lim.
A keen believer in innovation, Zebra has over 4,900 patents internationally and in the United States. Having to stay ahead of the curve amidst competition, the company invests up to 10 per cent of its profits on research and development yearly. This allows the company to constantly innovate Zebra Technologies products to cater to the evolving needs of its clients.
To further strengthen its portfolio, Zebra has also acquired numerous companies over the years, such as Motorola Solutions Enterprise Business, Xplore, Profitect, Temptime, Cortexica and Reflexis Systems. Leveraging the capabilities brought about by the acquisition of these companies, Zebra is able to better optimise and improve its own facilities, as well as its range of Zebra technologies products and solutions.
In addition to innovation, Zebra recognises that security has become a top priority for many companies as they digitise their businesses. Even as the Internet of Things and cloud technology has allowed for a hyperconnected world, it also creates new cyber vulnerabilities for hackers to take advantage of. Without proper safeguards, it can result in potential financial losses and damaged corporate reputations.
“Zebra is committed to combating threats by following security best practices set out by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Center for Internet Security (CIS) for our cloud-based solutions.
“At the product level, our Enterprise Mobile Computers are covered by our LifeGuard for Android™ security offering, with regular Android OS security updates for up to 10 years.
“Meanwhile, our desktop thermal printers are protected by Zebra’s new PrintSecure features, which include a printer security assessment tool, automated Wi-Fi certificate management and a protected setting mode allowing users to block unintended printer software updates,” added Mr Lim.
With over 10,000 partners across 100 countries and global offices in 45 countries, Zebra cites the selection of working with the right partners as part of its key formula to success.
“Any business regardless of size will need to fully understand the local conditions faced by the market that it plans to enter. However, market conditions are often influenced by political movements, economical shifts, technological improvements, etc.
“Therefore, it is always more prudent to enter the market with the support of established local partners who have the necessary knowledge and network to navigate market conditions, should there be changes,” explained Mr Lim.
Another aspect of Zebra’s success is also credited to their ability to “think global, act local”. Putting themselves in the shoes of its clients, Zebra has gone to the extent of introducing localised products to cater to the markets that the business is targeting.
Having established a global presence, the company sees great value in venturing into the e-commerce marketplace as part of its expansion plans. According to Zebra’s Future of Fulfilment Vision Study, e-commerce is projected to generate USD$4.479 trillion in retail sales by 2021 – a 140 per cent increase from 2016.
This phenomenal growth is set to further accelerate in light of the social distancing measures brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Riding on this ongoing trend, Zebra has launched its flagship stores on e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, Lazada and TMall.
“To cater to the growing demand for Zebra Technologies products and solutions, Zebra is constantly exploring new ways to better serve our customers and have our solutions be more accessible. Through the launch of the Zebra Lazada Store, we hope to empower SMEs in Singapore with our solutions to achieve better customer experiences and business results,” shared Mr Lim.
This article originally appeared in the Entrepreneur's Digest print edition #93 and has been edited for clarity, brevity and for the relevance of this website.