BEING IN BUSINESS for 20 years has taught entrepreneur and Globe Business Ambassador Rose Ann Bautista about the need to simplify her business, while at the same time sustaining its growth. Rose Ann, FINO Leatherware’s Vice-President for Marketing and Retail Operations, shares some of the things she learned about how to make business simpler, more efficient, and cost-effective.
“FINO Leatherware is into manufacturing and retail. We do the whole nine yards, from finding materials to ordering them, to the actual manufacture at our factory, and then making deliveries to clients and to our retail outlets. We deal with so many suppliers and partners throughout the whole process.
“We have about a hundred or more employees—80 at our factory and and 20 to 30 at our stores. As you can imagine, we have to deal with so many challenges in our operations. Complications are part of the game. That’s why we had to find a way to operate that helps us prevent, reduce, or cope with these complications,” said Rose Ann.
Being informed, hands-on
According to Rose Ann, she’s “hands-on” not in the sense that she’s physically present at her factory. Rather, she always keeps herself informed about business operations even on-the-go, thanks to telecoms technology from Globe Business.
“What I do is I always make sure that I know everything about what’s happening in the business, while also having time for myself. This is only possible through the use of my cellphone, the Internet, and my laptop. It’s only when I’m informed that I can make the right decisions and quickly respond to any problems,” she said.
Communication is vital
Rose Ann says that she would not be able to run the business without a reliable, quick, and convenient means to communicate with clients, suppliers, partners, and employees.
“I’ve been using Globe solutions for a long time. When I started using Globe, they were still offering plans at 100, 200 pesos. So that’s how long I’ve stayed with their services. I wouldn’t be able to run the business effectively without them.
“Since we practically do the entire process, from finding materials to making the products, to distribution and retail, it’s very important to communicate with everyone involved. Otherwise, we’d encounter delays, make errors, be much slower to react,” she said.
Rose Ann says that she depends on her cellphone and mobile Internet connection to ensure smooth operations. “We also use Globe Business TxtConnect to keep in touch with our customers. It’s a very effective means to touch base and connect with them,” she said.
Globe Business TxtConnect is the most effective solution for sending high-volume text messages and SMS blasts to groups of people. It’s be used to make SMS broadcasts to customers, employees, and a group of business associates. One can send announcements, advertising, greetings, reminders, and urgent alerts easily, fast, and conveniently because it is Internet based. All it takes is a few keystrokes on the computer to reach a pre-determined group of people. Globe Business TxtConnect also charges much lower rates for text messages, compared to using a cellular phone.
“With so many telecoms products available today, and with the advantages they bring to our business, we really can’t run business without them. I send emails through my cellphone. I receive reports. I can call the factory to give instructions. I can even write letters using the cellphone and mobile Internet,” she said.
According to Rose Ann, many complications can be prevented by establishing a reliable system that everyone can follow.
“In our business operations, we’ve developed and established a system that already runs itself most of the time. Actually, we started out with a system of operations but we’ve already gone beyond that—we’ve leveled up to the point where we can say that we already have a company culture,” she said.
Rose Ann explained that establishing a company culture creates more confidence on the part of the entrepreneur and the employees that everyone is doing things properly. The culture integrates and cements proven and effective operational procedures, so that they become second nature to everyone.
“When this culture is established, there’s a reduced need for the entrepreneur to be physically present at the office or factory premises. We already know that our people are doing things properly—we need to still monitor them, of course, but no longer in such a tedious, micro fashion,” she said.
Trust and respect, she said, are vital to company culture. “We need to develop mutual trust and respect between employees and owners. As owners, we also need to show them that we are professional, that we are team players, and be good examples to our employees,” she added.
In order to sustain and grow their business, Rosa Ann never stops doing research and getting creative inspiration. She said that her Globe-powered cellular phone is very effective at this.
“I remember years ago when, when I saw a design in a magazine, a design that inspired new ideas, I had to tear off the magazine page. Nowadays, all I need to do is take a photo of the design on my phone. Then I can send the photo to my partners or to the factory.
“This technology helps me do research even when I’m on vacation. I see things that inspire me and I can take photos or type notes in my cellphone. It’s a fun way to do research and doesn’t feel like work at all,” she explained.
Intuition and planning
Rose Ann also notes that there’s really a cycle in business. There are good times and bad and the best way to cope with this cycle is to plan ahead and create back-up, contingency measures.
“I notice that the business changes every ten years. The market also changes. For example, in year 2000, our market shifted. Then in 2011, it shifted again. Today, the fashion and the taste that prevail in the market is younger and funkier. That’s why we have to identify trends and anticipate what the market wants and what it will need.
“To do this, we have to do analysis then forward planning. We also have to have back-up plans that we can quickly implement if things do go exactly as we anticipated at first. When we plan ahead and have back-up measures, we can respond to challenges and changes quickly,” she said.
She also added that long experience in the business sharpens her intuition. “I’ve developed a feel for how things are going. Even when I still don’t have all the facts, I can sense that something’s wrong. This is what I mean when I say that we need to have a feel for the business,” she said.
For Rose Ann, all of these steps are founded on information and communication. “We can only implement these steps if we are informed enough and if we are able to communicate quickly and effectively with our people,” she said.
She also said that new technologies are a big help to sustaining and growing a business. “Right now, for example, we keep track of deliveries using our cellphones. We call each other to know where the deliveries are and what time we can expect them to arrive. But I’ve heard that there’s now a Globe Business service that keeps track of company vehicles and employees using GPS. If our operations grow to the point where this service is needed, then it’s good that we have this option,” she said.
Rose Ann was referring to the Globe Business Fleet Management System. This service uses the GPS technology and the Globe network to keep track of the location of company vehicles. With this service, business owners can regularly keep track of where their vehicles are headed, determine the best routes as well as alternative routes, and also know what time the vehicles arrived at the delivery point.
For more information on how to cope with complications in your business, and make it simpler, more efficient, and more cost effective, consult your Globe Business Account Manager; visit any Globe Store; call the Globe Business Hotline at +632 730-1010 or log on to http://www.globe.com.ph/business.