You probably have seen my quick update on Last Mile Fulfilment Asia a few month back on Dayre and I'm back to share the event in more details.
If you haven't heard of it, LMFAsia 2015 was an inaugural event organized by SingEx that helped to foster the building of cross-border fulfilment capabilities by bringing focus on current issues (hence opportunities) in the fulfilment industry. To put it in simpler terms, LMFAsia basically aims to help businesses (for instance, my fashion label KLARRA – which was the reason why I went for this event too) to grow across the region. Through this initiative, it aims to bring together retailers, eCommerce companies and the Last Mile Fulfilment Industry across Asia Pacific to help each other identify solutions or come together to provide solutions to further improve each and every own's business.
LMFAsia 2015 took place over the span of two days. Haven't felt this excited for an event and I was already looking forward to the conferences prior to the first day itself! Even though they were held back to back from 9am till night on both days, I really enjoyed them & was surprised that I didn't feel tired as I thought I would be. I suppose the excitement came from the basis that this event had a very relevant topic of interest to Klarra. As mentioned before, logistics was also an issue I've faced with Klarra and I can't tell you how much this event has helped in Klarra's fulfilment.
One of the key issues that (and so I've heard for many e-retailers/eCommerce players too), I faced was the logistics aspect – eg. picking, packing, delivery etc, and I actually discovered some new solutions after attending this tradeshow. I didn't know there were so many logistic companies (local or international) around that could help and I managed to get in touch with quite a few to discuss on how to collaborate.
I was initially concerned if my business was too small a scale to find proper solutions there but I was definitely wrong. One thing I was really impressed with the whole event was that it was catered to all industries (be it F&B, fashion, service etc) and for all scales as well – the key was to find the best fit/solution for our respective businesses.
Not to forget, LMFAsia 2015 also invited prominent market players like ASOS, Abercrombie & Fitch, Naiise, Ralph Lauren, Laura Ashley, Lego, Luxola, Alibaba, Zalora, Rakuten Asia etc, and had insightful sharing sessions done by them for all attendees. I had a great time listening to the talks and definitely took home great insights which made me think hard about my business. They also ensured that all attendees could have a chance to interact with these players and yes, more details of the networking session below!
What you can expect from the event would be:
1. Understand how to meet the challenges and develop an efficient & sustainable fulfilment models for your eCommerce / omni-channel retail business
2. Find out what are the latest innovations & technologies are out there to help you with this
3. Hear from success cases and understand the realities of operating in the regional countries (e.g. instead of door to door delivery, self-collection actually makes more sense in selected countries)
4. Network with leading domestic & regional players from the fulfilment ecosystem and build relationships with potential partners for your expansion
Day one of the event went really well.
Companies such as ASOS, Abercrombie & Fitch, Naiise, Ralph Lauren, Laura Ashley, Lego, Luxola, Alibaba, Zalora, Rakuten Asia and more were present at the exhibition and top management from the companies from quite a few of the companies shared valuable information during the conferences. I actually found most of the conferences interesting and beneficial. To name a few:
1) Finessing Fulfilment
Where speakers came together to discuss current fulfilment (logistics etc) issues happening in the industry and at the same time, provided greater understanding on what the industry is doing to come together to give solutions for the players. It highlighted common issues such as delayed delivery time, costs, customers' expectations etc and at the same time, speakers from relevant companies eg. DHL, Australia post etc then exchanged insights, mentioned experiences and sharing existijng/new approaches that might potentially helped to narrow the gaps.
2) Retailer Spotlight
Where the country head of a specific retailer – in this case, CharmZone Group (a a global company that specializes in skincare and later on merged with seven companies including Charmzone Motors, Charmzone Automotive, Charmzone Import, Charmzone Service, Charmzone Construction, Buon, and N4) shared about their expansion plans from Korea to Singapore, issues they faced and how they overcame it. Their main issue was not being able to find right partners and an effective fulilment strategy. I believe this was quite a common problem to many overseas brands as well and just imagine how great (for both business, customers) it would be if these issues are solved and customers in Asia can easily obtain international products online.
3) Country Focus Track
This focused on topics regarding expansion of business in Asia. The session happened on both days and for the first day, it discussed three neighbouring countries, Indonesia, Thailand and The Philippines. Key speakers from each country came to share, debate about issues and progression for the next 5 years etc. I found this exceptionally helpful for businesses which are looking to expand to these countries. It gave a lot of insights to how the culture, system there work and potentially allow you to plan your next step.
4) Commerce & Solution Track
This was one of the sessions that I really enjoyed and in particularly, the talk by DPEX. Shared by Vernon Martin (the strategy and business development director of DPEX Wordwide), he discussed about filfulment solutions centered on reverse logistics and solutions that increase competitiveness through positive customer experience. This gave me a different perspective and some ideas on how to create a more wholesome experience for Klarra's customers.
5) Networking reception
Last but not least, SingEx has also organized an exclusive networking reception for provide the opportunity to meet other industry players. This was where people from companies such as ASOS, DHL etc come together and besides that, am glad that I managed to associate with a few companies which could help Klarra in the fulfilment area! (More pictures below on the networking session).
I spent the morning exploring the exhibitions once again and to look for the companies who gave talks the previous day. Besides the conferences, the exhibitions also showcased the companies' services with key contact people present to help. I got to discover some new companies at the same time which provided delivery, pick and pack services etc which turned out to be useful.
Was looking forward to day two as well as the conference's topics were as exciting or even more:
1) Growing through Omni-channel retail and distribution
Learned a lot from this session. With a better understanding of the importance of fulfilment, I'm confident that it can help to grow and improve Klarra's operations and customer experience much better. This talk made me ponder much as it offers new perspective on the challenges facing fulfilment partners in growth in retail but also on ways to respond/scale flexibility to meet growing customers' expectations. Interestingly, it shared opportunities for collaboration between e-commerce and fulfilment players.
2) Panel discussion: Sustaining the Edge with Innovations and Solutions in the Fulfilment Industry
This event were hosted by key speakers from Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore and they addressed major issues and challenges specific to the regional fulfilment industry. They shared on the new trends, emerging developments and not forgetting, solutions such as innovative service offerings and technologies. Was so glad to find more options and solutions such as transport/asset tracking, monitoring technology solutions, new fulfilment and delivery services or convenience/security enhancing payment solutions etc.
3) SingPost Roundtable
I was very privileged to be able to be invited to Singpost Roundtable, where it was a closed door event to discuss on the upcoming trends of the e-commerce industry. Such an insightful discussion and this got me thinking as well. Looking forward to work out to recap on the talk and to brainstorm some new solutions for Klarra.
4) IRCE Conference + Exhibition Track
Stands for Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition. It is known to be the world's largest e-commerce event and this diverse group of 200+ experts represents all areas of the industry, always ensuring the agenda has wide appeal. SingEx invited the head from IRCE and also key experts on a specific topic, which in this case was doing business in China. I enjoyed this sharing session very much, great speakers, great content in my personal opinion. The next IRCE is taking place in Chicago and at the end of the event, SingEx has specially partnered with IRCE to give out two complimentary tickets to their event there. Such attractive perks for us all! (picture above)
With Dean, COO of True Corporation in Thailand, Mr Long, COO of U-cosmetics China (where they licensed prominent brands such as Clarins, Estee Lauder etc.) and Alvin from Kose.
Very impressed by this well-organized event and the two days were indeed well-spent. I personally found it very surprisingly beneficial to the business. It has also opened my eyes up after listening and chatting with the key players from the industry. I'm glad that the SingEx team recognized the fact that the eCommerce industry is growing rapidly in Asia and introduced LMF Asia with the aim of addressing issues, bringing solutions, forging new partnerships and uncovering business opportunities.
I honestly think this event would be very helpful for all e-commerce players as well especially fellow friends who own a fashion label or are in the fashion industry. Not forgetting, f&b players, where food delivery is core or beauty brands going online etc. LMF Asia will happen again in 2016 around March again so do keep your eyes peeled for it. Happy to know that government agencies are very supportive of LMF Asia as well and I personally hope they continue to as I'm already looking forward to next year's event!
LMFAsia 2016 will happen on 3 – 4 March 2016 and I definitely wish to be back to attend that. I'm hoping to find out more about how e-commerce has evolved so far from the industry experts and their perspectives. I'm pretty sure there will be new businesses and solutions that could potentially improve KLARRA's operations. I would strongly urge you to attend it as well if you would like to find out more about e-commerce or how to expand abroad for your business (or even if you are looking to start a business and would like to find out more.)
There's an exclusive early bird discount so be sure to join their waiting list – I assure you this will definitely be helpful. I'm truly excited for it that I went to find out more from the organizer about LMFAsia 2016 and got to know that in the next edition, we can all expect to meet more than just the logistics players but also regional marketplayers and multi brands platform who can bring their business to more regions.
Definitely looking forward to attend LMFAsia 2016!