Tanoto Foundation member Belinda Tanoto was featured in the Nov-Dec issue of NTU's Continuum Magazine (pages 15-19). The article below is shared with permission from NTU. A Gift for a...
Asia Symbol hosted industry professionals and over 400 paper dealers in a conference in Sanya, China in December 2018, renewing its commitment to better customer service and honouring the year’s most excellent dealer partners. Its executives also shared how the company’s drive towards continuous improvement remains intricately linked to customer service excellence, a virtuous cycle that has led to the adoption and development of advanced systems and technologies for the benefit of all stakeholders.
Weathering Uncertainties in the Paper Industry
The Asia Symbol Greater China Dealers Association Convention opened with Asia Symbol executives reviewing a fruitful 2018. Following a resurgent first half, there were fluctuations in paper prices amidst market unpredictability and the macroeconomic forces, but confidence across dealers and customers remained bouyant. Head of Paper Business Wanyan Shaohua delivered the keynote address.
To strengthen the company’s resilience in weathering uncertainty, Asia Symbol’s senior management doubled down on customer engagement. It actively sought feedback and revised its destocking policy with customers. These were among many other customer-centric adjustments made by the company.
Establishing Win-win customer collaboration
While its market share increased from 12% to 33% in 2018 making it a leader in China, good service, trust, quality products and constant engagement remain key pillars to Asia Symbol’s continuous growth and success.
Hu Wei, Vice President of Asia Symbol’s Pulp and Paper Business, said that a major component of success of the company’s innovative work is support from customers, who have in turn benefitted from this win-win collaboration.
Asia Symbol’s Digital Journey
Asia Symbol’s digital journey is largely informed by its customers’ needs and feedback. The company continues to leverage digital technologies to improve productivity and quality, while streamlining operations and processes for the benefit of all stakeholders.
Asia Symbol’s paper machines have been rated one of the world’s most efficient. They are integrated into smart systems that encompass automated quality control, intelligent carton recognition, and other inspection and detection modules. With improvement in quality management and efficiency, many of the process overheads have been taken away from staff, allowing them to focus on innovation and value-added work.
A Smart Way Forward
In 2018, the company rolled out the systems for container management and vehicle tracking and management, with the aim of raising the bar across the supply chain, and ensuring quality and accuracy round the clock. Excitement greeted the announcement of plans in the pipeline for a mobile enterprise and consumer platform, in which customers can manage and monitor orders and access relevant information from their personal mobile devices. This would be, according to Chen Liang from Asia Symbol’s Information Technology Department, a “revolutionary project”.
With the ongoing ‘intelligentisation’ of Asia Symbol’s supply chain and push towards smarter integration, Asia Symbol Sales Director Guo Tiezing believes the company’s “competitive advantage will further strengthened”.
The company successfully leveraged WeChat to engage thousands of customers.
Asia Symbol’s e-commerce has seen growth of 70%, 41% and 91% in B2C, B2G and B2B respectively from 2016 to 2018, far exceeding the industry average growth rate. This is attributed to the close partnerships with and strong support from e-commerce platforms such as Jingdong, Suning, Tmall.
The event capped off with Asia Symbol presenting awards and tokens of appreciation to recognise the dealers and companies that have contributed to the company’s successes in 2018. The award categories included “2018 Excellent Dealer”, “Excellent e-commerce Platform” and “Tendering and Modern Service Excellent Dealer”.
Asia Symbol’s pursuit of excellence cuts across various segments. Previously, Inside RGE shared how the company earned accolades for its sustainability and corporate social responsibility programmes. Customers also are an integral part of its journey as an innovative and sustainable company.