How technology adoption has empowered businesses to beat inflation


The COVID-19 pandemic. The Russia-Ukraine war. Supply chain disruption. Rising oil prices. Fading customer demand. These are some reasons why global inflation is bringing several markets down to their knees. For instance, Singapore's core inflation shot up to 3.3% year-on-year in April 2022 - the highest since March 2022 (2.9%), which was the highest the country has ever faced in 10 years! As you may know, the retail industry has faced one of the worst hits. In India alone, retail inflation reached 7.8% in April 2022 - the highest in 8 years.

Yet, if you pay close attention, you'll notice that the successful retailers aren't scaling back on their digital transformation initiatives. What does this mean? During one of the direst economic periods in recent times, they are still investing time, effort, and big bucks in digital technologies. Why? They're logically betting on what has worked in the past - and what is likely to work in the future - to combat inflation.


Technology adoption: A winning formula

Historically, technology adoption has helped retailers alleviate two concerns - unmanageable operational costs and low operational efficiency. More companies realize that by leveraging proven technologies like automation, cloud, AI/ML, and data analytics, they can build a scalable and adaptable ecosystem to carry out day-to-day operations seamlessly. In the process, they become more resilient to unexpected scenarios like supply chain disruptions caused by virus outbreaks or war-caused inflations.

Let's look at a few ways that technology can help alleviate the impact of inflation:

  • Sustaining the accuracy, ease, and speed of operations: Companies can take their operations to the cloud, integrated with digital tools, and build a lean operating model. It accelerates the speed at which key processes can be completed while enabling effortless monitoring, management, and troubleshooting.
  • Strengthening customer engagements with innovative solutions: The advent of big data and analytics has taken customer experience personalization to the next level. Companies can cater to unique customer expectations by equipping their service, sales, and marketing teams with actionable data insights.
  • Significantly reducing dependency on manual skills: Hiring has become an enormous hurdle for retailers - from lack of relevant skills and massive resourcing costs to risky errors. However, using workflow automation - powered by AI, ML, and NLP - they can deploy a hybrid digital-human workforce.

Cali's 10th anniversary: A testament to the power of technology

Much like the retail industry, the F&B industry has also been subject to spiraling pressures over the years - especially since the physical and mental demands on the workforce are huge. At Cali (part of NJ Foods), we realized, even before the pandemic, that enabling profitability in this business was all about adopting technology when it matters - and not before it's too late.

On June 15th, 2022, we will proudly celebrate our 10th anniversary - along with Singapore's 57th national day. One of the biggest reasons we've been able to thrive in such a competitive market is our commitment to think technology-first. That way, we have also been customer-first, employee-first, and profitability-first.

So, while we can't accurately predict what the future may bring - whether economic fluctuations, broken supply chains, or new virus outbreaks, we certainly have the technology to rise above it.