Building sustainable businesses to rise above challenging times

IN recent weeks, the number of Covid-19 cases in Malaysia has dwindled. The imposed recovery movement control order (RMCO), which will last until Aug 31, gave leeway to more sectors of the economy to resume operations. While small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are embracing new standard operating procedures (SOPs) during the RMCO to protect the well-being of their stakeholders, the real challenges came in the form of lesser foot traffic and plunging sales. Some businesses have had to retrench their workforce or slash the salaries of their employees to stay afloat. In worst-case scenarios, businesses that could not afford to rebound were left with no choice but to close their doors for good. In hindsight, the pandemic has brought tough but relevant questions to the surface. Are SMEs prepared to adapt to the changes in a post-Covid-19 business landscape? How are they going to emerge unscathed at the end of the RMCO? What kind of strategies will they adopt to hasten recovery while ensuring business sustainability despite economic uncertainties? As a leader in the last-mile logistics industry with a track record of 130,000 monthly deliveries for SMEs, Lalamove Malaysia is eager to play its part as a valuable partner to SMEs by sharing insights on building a sustainable business. Leverage on technology to expand business reach Instead of resorting to temporary measures such as reducing employee headcount or slashing their compensations, SMEs have more to gain in the long run if they leverage on technology as a part of their business continuity plan. “When there is lower foot traffic, SMEs have to go beyond their current customer base by rethinking the way they operate. Some of our SME clients operate with a modest capital. These businesses promote and sell their products on Instagram and Facebook, while relying on Lalamove to deliver the goods to their customers. They have successfully built their own digital presence based on their business budget and inventory size, which is an impressive feat, ” said Lalamove Malaysia managing director Shen Ong. SMEs can also consider establishing their online store through platforms that are run by the likes of Maybank, Oddle, Storehub and other platform hosts. Most of these online platforms offer a comprehensive ecosystem for SMEs to sell their products and services. The integration of Lalamove with these platforms complements businesses with on-demand deliveries, which also adds another dimension of efficiency for SMEs. Besides efficiency, on-demand deliveries can reinforce the customers’ experience where they will be able to receive their goods in a timely manner that is closer to the actual retail experience. The shorter timeframe between purchasing and receiving the goods through an on-demand delivery is a significant leap in meeting customers’ expectations when compared to the services of traditional couriers. Agritech company Cultiveat relied on Lalamove to pivot their business from business-to-business to business-to-consumer due to the temporary closure of eateries during the MCO. Reduce fixed costs by paying for only what you need One of the ways to accomplish greater savings is by paying for only what a business needs, such as minimising their operational budget during slow periods and scaling it up during peak seasons. Lalamove’s business model is based on the gig economy, where they rely on freelance delivery drivers to perform the deliveries. As such, SMEs can rely on Lalamove’s delivery fleet for their logistical needs without paying for fixed costs like vehicle maintenance and salaries, especially during a slow period or crisis such as the recent MCO. Furthermore, SMEs can select from Lalamove’s fleet of motorcycles, cars, vans, 4 x 4 trucks and lorries to match their delivery needs of various size and volume. Ong added: “Regardless of their size or industry, any businesses can take advantage of the gig economy by relying on a freelancing workforce instead of committing to a fixed payroll. This is why Lalamove is here to support businesses with its solutions that can be tailored to meet various business needs.” Expedite business digitalisation He further emphasised, “Nowadays, SMEs don’t have to invest a lot in business digitalisation. Digital platforms such as social media, e-commerce websites and on-demand delivery apps are everywhere and easily accessible. When used correctly, these platforms can be the tools to grow a business without costly investments. More importantly, you are encouraged to give these digital platforms a chance in your business set-up and evaluate how they can work to your advantage.” With its ongoing “Building Sustainable Business” initiative, Lalamove is encouraging SMEs to take advantage of its on-demand delivery services to reduce their business expenditures while driving business sustainability. In line with their pledge to support SMEs, Lalamove is currently offering up to RM100 in bonus delivery credits to SMEs that sign up for a Lalamove corporate account. SMEs can submit their application through this link to get further details about the offer. Lalamove entered the Malaysian market in 2018 and has since been serving the delivery needs of SMEs in Klang Valley. Recently, it has expanded its delivery coverage to Banting, Nilai, Dengkil, KLIA, Semenyih, Hulu Langat, Rawang and Bandar Puncak Alam. For more information, visit

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