March 2, 2020 – Boonsiri Frozen Products, a large distributor of cold storage solutions located in the northeastern region of Thailand. With the broadest range of products, this SME business works with dtac as a partner in technology. Their target is to transform the company into a lean organization, aiming to run the business with only 200 staff and focusing on using technology which will eventually lead to digital transformation. The goal is to increase the company’s value to multibillion-baht worth by this transformation.
The Industry and The Challenges
In Northeastern Thailand, it is not easy to find local markets that sell fresh produce at reasonable prices. Keeping these produces fresh until customers buy them is already a challenge. Previously, no large entrepreneurs were focusing on this industry until Boonsiri Frozen Products started. The company is the first cold storage distributor that elevates the industry in this region to the next level. From fresh produce offered at local markets, Boonsiri Frozen Products installs their cold storage units in every province in this region and imports quality frozen food from around the world. Examples of their frozen products are mackerel, squid, pork cuts, beef cuts, and silkworm chrysalis. The frozen products are imported from Argentina, South America, China, India, Pakistan, Yemen, Oman, Peru, and Chile. All is delivered in neat packaging directly to merchants in markets and consumers. With a same-day delivery logistics, the products are guaranteed to be fresh when they’re delivered. Currently, Boonsiri Frozen Products has been in business for 37 years. Most of their customers are merchants in the northeastern region who buy products from Boonsiri Frozen Products and sell it at local markets.
The Beginning and the Target of Frozen Food Business
Ramida Puangsiri, Managing Director of Boonsiri Frozen Products, told a story about the business which was started by her parents. “I’m the second generation of this company. My parents founded this business. At first, our business was just providing cold storage units for merchants to keep their mackerels. We began with buying small storage units from nearby provinces that were offered to us. Little by little, we bought them and were able to expand to ten locations, covering the entire region and managing our stocks in real-time. We used to have pickup trucks covered in canvas to deliver fish. Now our pickup trucks are connected with cold storage. On the side of our trucks, a vivid logo of Boonsiri stands out to make our customers remember the brand. We manage to distribute our products quickly in this region and our business is worth 2.75 billion baht.”
Each month, Boonsiri imports thousands of tons of food. The company has strict requirements for the products. Every order must be checked before purchasing because if the quality is unclear and not available for checking, that order might cause problems. Therefore, there needs to be clear a mutual agreement to ensure the product quality is maintained. Even when there is a disease outbreak in pigs or cows, products imported by Boonsiri are still safe because all products need to be certified as safe from any disease. Hence, customers who purchase food from Boonsiri can be 100% confident in food safety.
In future, Boonsiri aims at expanding the business, delivering an impressive experience to customers while reducing costs. These goals will result in offering quality products at fair prices. It is also a reflection of how Boonsiri is run by honesty and creativity. The great branding comes from the long and vast experience in this industry, plus a strong team of staff who are able to adjust themselves with this upcoming transformation and ready to support and develop Boonsiri.
Digital Transformation Era
Noppakun Trirojbhorn, Director and real-life partner of Ramida Boonsiri, said, “Our strategy is to make our company a lean organization. We will use software and applications in every function of our work. We have a concise business flow and concrete blueprint. One of our key persons in building a lean organization is our General Manager, Utchariya Meetham. We work together to improve our staff’s skills so that they can do more complicated work and analysis tasks. This strategy helps us save some necessary costs and increase customer experiences.”
Having dtac as a partner in technology, Boonsiri uses WorryFree SIM cards from dtac SME. The SIM cards support digital transformation, making the process smoother than ever. Before this, working with customers was always one-way communication. Customers placed orders and scheduled products delivery via the sales team only. Although this could prevent the delivery team from increased personal phone bills, it required many people during the communication process. Using dtac SIM cards is a solution to this because Boonsiri can have up to 104 phone numbers, fixing the previous pain point because it has a large data plan coupled with high-speed internet. It becomes a helpful assistant for SME entrepreneurs.
Additionally, using WorryFree SIM cards cut a lot of costs. Prior to this, communicating with customers costed the company a large amount of money since every step of the process had to be reported. Customers need to know where the delivery trucks are, when the products will be delivered, how much longer it will take to receive the products, and where they can pick up the deliveries. WorryFree SIM cards make all of these processes easier. Nowadays, customers will receive a call 15 minutes in advance before their orders arrive.
Logistics is the Heart
Looking from a logistics aspect, the frozen food business absolutely has some challenges. One of the examples is the delivery time. All orders must be delivered within 12 hours, or same-day delivery, to keep the products fresh. Another example is when some products are in short supply, the company has very limited time to find substitutes. Boonsiri deals with these challenges by using a software that provides an optimal level of purchasing orders and analysis with Business Intelligence, or BI. Having good resources and great collaborations with trustworthy suppliers from all over the world helps in dealing with these challenges.
Boonsiri’s customers are mainly in Northeastern Thailand due to their distribution area that covers this whole region. The area is larger than Mahachai, the central region, or the northern region. Currently, Boonsiri has ten locations in Srisaket, Roi Et, Buriram, Surin, Khon Kaen, Udon Thani, Ubon Ratchathani, Mukdahan, and Nakhon Ratchasima. The company is in the process of opening their 11th location to provide fresh produce for both merchants and retail customers.