Friday, 28 July 2017

Royale International Opens New Offices in Mexico

We are delighted to announce the opening of our brand new divisional offices in Mexico. This exciting move has been made possible thanks to a 400% increase in the shipment of automotive parts over the last five years. Mexico is now the third biggest country in terms of revenue, according to Salvador Marin, our senior account manager, falling only behind China and the US. The new offices mean we’ll be able to continue improving our services in Mexico and increase our business to new areas.

Royale has provided services to Mexico for many years through agencies or giving support to third party operations. The new offices will strengthen brand awareness in the country and makes it possible to dictate the growth and development of the company. Royale Mexico will make it possible to use most cost effective solutions and provide a more efficient service within the competitive market.

Marin spoke of the considerable flow of shipments made up of urgent components and parts moving from suppliers in Asia and Europe into production lines in Mexico. Marin also went on to mention that Royale is now experiencing an increase of business within the Nafta region moving from the US to Mexico and vice versa.

Mexico is working hard to increase their trade links and work with more foreign carmakers in areas such as Asia. This move is of benefit to Royale thanks to our strong presence in the area.  Our presence gives us a huge advantage over our competitors, along with our truly global footprint and expertise in Asia.

There are several issues that are being faced by suppliers and carmakers in Mexico. Several of the challenges are due to congestion and a lacking infrastructure. These failings have a negative impact on the inbound supply chain and increase the need for expedited services. There are investments and improvements being made to resolve these issues with the supply chain.  These improvements are necessary if Mexico wishes to “remain competitive on the world stage”, said Marin. Another challenging area is found in customs procedures. Changes are necessary in order to improve the supply chain as a whole.

Read more about our expansion into Mexico and Marin’s interview, here

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Royale International ships Airbus A330 Nose Cowl to Perth

Last week, Royale International was called out to assist a stranded Airbus A330 in Perth. The aircraft experienced mid-flight engine failure. 

The nose cowl, (which is actually part of the engine, not the nose!) was shipped out of Xiamen down to Perth to replace the damaged engine. 

Weighing in at over 11 tonnes this was no walk in the park with space on freighter aircraft to Perth extremely limited, but Royale made it happen! 

Well done to all our Royale International team!

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

The First Official Apple Store Opens in Taiwan

There was a lot of hype in Taiwan last Saturday. People gathered at the sleek curved sliding glass doors, eager to step inside the first Apple Store at Taipei 101, Taiwan. The curious crowds were welcomed in by staff so they could see the latest offerings Apple has on the market.  

The excitement was palpable as customers lined up from the night before in order to have the first look inside.  The store employs 130 employees. Customers can have hands-on time with the latest gadgets and Today at Apple sessions are also offered.  The sessions cover a variety of topics including coding, music, design, video, and art.

We were proud to play a small but very important role in the opening of the Apple Store at Taipei 100. Our team worked tirelessly to ensure all the furniture and general fittings arrived at the store in time for the opening. We think the store looks amazing and we are excited to see where the next ‘first’ Apple Store will be opening.  We’ll be ready to handle the delivery of items when our assistance is required.  

Read more about the grand opening, here

Friday, 7 July 2017

Why We Use Amazon Web Services - The Techy Bits

We recently shared how we improved our IT infrastructure to cope with challenges we faced with our partnership with 7-Eleven. After dealing with extreme peaks in one of the biggest online shopping holidays we needed to find a solution to avoid parcel build-ups in our warehouses and keep customers satisfied. We solved the problem by removing the need to use Excel Spreadsheets to manage inventory and replacing it with a cloud-based infrastructure and mobile app that was based on Amazon Web Services.  

With AWS we were able to auto-scale our servers. We choose AWS as they had low entry costs and we were able to pay for the services we used on a monthly basis. This flexibility made it possible to meet the demand during peak times in Taoboa, such as Double 11 and Chinese New Year.

A second challenge we faced when working to meet the management requirements for 7-Eleven’s parcel inventory was coming up with a way for all parties to coordinate shipments. The coordination platform needed to ensure everyone was kept informed, from the online retailers to our courier business units. 7-Eleven also requested that our system needed to support additional e-commerce merchants without affecting their core systems.  To achieve this goal we used AWS Lambda that made it possible to build a server-less backend. We also adopted the API Gateway so the different e-commerce merchant systems could all be easily integrated. Additionally, we also adopted AWS EC2 that made it possible to upload the inventory data to S3. We inserted a standard data structure with DynamoDB so all data formats could be standardised over all the 7-Eleven Stores.

After all the hard work, project manager Steven Kwok was proud to announce a 300% growth within the first six months of using AWS. Thanks to the new infrastructure we’re delivering over 1000 packages each day to the 370 7-Eleven stores we service. We are now providing a return service too.  Thanks to the simplicity of AWS we were able to launch the new project in 3 months. It’s safe, secure, efficient and SSL-compliant. The project is one of the contributing factors to helping us achieve ISO9001 accreditation. 

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Solving 7-Eleven Inventory Problems with the Cloud

One of the reasons we’re one of the leading express delivery service providers is thanks to our willingness to evolve and solve problems. We see opportunities for growth and insure we have secure and effective infrastructures in place to solve problems for our partners and clients. A good example of this can be seen with one of our partnerships that began life in 2015.

Taobao Shipments for 7-Eleven

We partnered with the convenience store chain 7-Eleven, providing Retail Distribution. We exclusively deliver the goods that are shipped by the Taobao e-commerce stores from mainland China to the 7-Eleven stores in Hong Kong. Once at the stores the goods are then collected by the customer. In addition to the distribution of the goods, we were required to provide a parcel inventory service for the number of in-store parcels.
In order to provide an excellent service, we needed to make some improvements to our IT infrastructure.  We faced several challenges that were highlighted during the first Double 11 in 2015. Double 11 is the Single’s Day online shopping festival that is hugely popular with proud singles in China and has become one of the biggest online shopping days in the world.  We were hit with a huge surge in the amount of parcels that needed to be sent to the 7-Eleven stores.  One of the problems was a result of the generally small size of the 7-Eleven stores. Most stores are only able to store between 10 and 30 parcels at a time, causing pressure for the management of the 7-Eleven inventories.

Royale International Group Project Manager Steven Kwok remembers the challenges at this time. A couple weeks after the Double 11 saw the Royale International warehouses full of Taobao parcels as the 7-Eleven stores didn’t have the space to store them. It took two weeks for all the parcels to be processed and dispatched and many customers were getting in touch asking for news on their orders.  After realising that the inventory management model was not suitable, we decided a new infrastructure for Retail Distribution was necessary.  The infrastructure would be designed to cope with an increase in orders during peak shopping seasons in order to avoid backlogs of parcels at our warehouses.

Introducing a New Mobile Strategy

We combined our new cloud computing infrastructure using Amazon Web Services (AWS) with a mobile strategy to allow for real-time tracking and parcel inventory management for each 7-Eleven store.  The AWS infrastructure made it possible to streamline the processes that previously involved tracking parcel inventory using Excel spreadsheets for each store. These days, each store uses an Android device and uses our own parcel inventory management app. The app makes it possible for the staff at the stores to check parcels in and out. The data is sent back to our Retail Distribution System in real time. This improvement means that it’s possible to track the complete parcel inventory across all stores.  Real-time inventory control was enabled, improving tracking and forecasting simultaneously. Steven Kwok now has a new goal of introducing the new mobile client system to every 7-Eleven store in Hong Kong.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Automotive Logistics Europe Conference Silver Sponsors

We are incredibly proud and delighted to announce that we’re a principle Silver sponsor at the Automotive Logistics Europe Conference. The conference takes place on 06-08 June 2017 at the Kameha Grand Bonn, Germany.

The brings together logistics provider executives, tier suppliers and senior OEM and policymakers. The latest issues that are faced by the auto industry are discussed and solutions sought at the conference.  There will be an insight into where the supply chain in the automotive industry is heading along with the logistics challenges that are being faced in the sector. It’s also the perfect opportunity to network and enjoy conversing with other delegates.

We will be attending the conference and our team will be positioned at our booth, ready to discuss how we continue to strengthen our partnership with the automotive industry.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Chit Chat: General Business Etiquettes – China

Here are some of the general business etiquettes to expect in China.
  • Shake the hand when saying hello and goodbye, often accompanies with the nod of a head.
  • It’s important to address people with their professional title.
  • Have one side of your business card translated into Chinese.
  • Give your business card using both hands and have the Chinese side facing the recipient.
  • Examine business cards you are given to show appreciation and interest. Don’t write on them or fold them up.
  • Carry a case to place received business cards, don’t put them in your pocket or wallet.
  • Don’t exchange gifts at the firms meeting
  • Writing pens are considered to be a good gift
  • Don’t give anything that is white, black or blue
  • Don’t give anything in groups of four
  • Don’t give letter openers, clocks, handkerchiefs, straw sandals, scissors, knives, storks or cranes
  • Wrap the gift
  • Don’t open the gift straight away unless you are encouraged to do so
  • Refuse a gift before you accept it
  • Receive and give gifts using both hands
  • The Chinese often speak indirectly
  • Use eye contact
  • Don’t point with your finger, use the open palm
  • Never move anything with your feet
  • Don’t put feet on the furniture
  • Don’t snap fingers or whistle
  • Don’t refuse a drink
  • Be on time for your appointment
  • Being plenty of copies of the written documents for the meeting
  • The leader of the meeting should be the most senior member of your business.
  • The host of meeting will begin the business discussion after a small amount of small talk.
  • The Chinese will leave the meeting first.

Friday, 28 April 2017

What is production in supply chain?

Production is the part of the supply chain that makes and stores products. The different facilities that are used in production are the factories and warehouses when the products are made and stored. Managers of the supply chain need to decide how to find a balance between responsiveness and efficiency. Production facilities with a big capacity will be flexible and have the ability to respond quickly to demand. When the facilities capacity is being used it will not be able to cope as well with demand fluctuations. However, the capacity costs money and when capacity isn’t being put to full use it will not generate revenue.

There are two approaches to manufacturing, product focus and functional focus. The product focus is a factory that performs the different operations that need to take place in order to produce a product. The functional focus is concentration on a few operations that can be applied to making lots of different products. Examples of functional focus are making just some of the parts or performing assembly. 

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

What are the five areas of supply chain management practice?

The supply chain is a number of activities meeting the requests of customers. It uses a systems approach to organise and coordinate the flow of services or products to the end customer.  There are five areas where decisions need to be made:
  • Production – What are the products that are in demand? How much are required, who should produce them and by what time?
  • Inventory – What inventory needs to be stocked at each stage in the supply chain?
  • Location – Where should the facilities be located and do they need to be built? How will the flow of products be formed and used?
  • Transportation – How will the inventory be moved between the locations?
  • Information – What data will be collected and how much information needs to be shared throughout the chain?

Decisions that are made in these 5 key areas will define how effective the supply chain will be. 

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

What are the key concepts of Supply Chain Management?

There are a few underlying concepts of supply chain management that have remained the same for hundreds of years.  The term supply chain management was formed in the eighties and became a widespread turn in the nineties. Before then, the term logistics was used, along with operations management.

There are numerous definitions of supply chain management.
  • The supply chain is made from all the stages that are directly and indirectly involved in meeting the request of a customer. It includes manufacturers and suppliers along with transporters, retailers, customers and warehouses.
  • The supply chain is a network that is responsible for performing the functions of procuring materials, the transformation of the materials into intermediate and finished products and distributing them.
  • A supply chain aligns firms together to bring products to the market.

Supply chain management can be defined as:
  • The strategic coordination of traditional internal business functions and over other businesses in order to improve the supply chain.
  • The coordination of production, inventory, location and transportation among a group of businesses in a supply chain to be responsive and efficient for the served market.

Monday, 24 April 2017

How ICT contribute to the change of supply chain?

The speed of change in the supply chain has increased and is expected to continue increasing as technology continues to progress. Businesses are recommended to consider possible variations while designing strategies as these changes continue. Most changes in the supply chain are related to the Internet. Businesses began by using the Internet to confirm orders and paying suppliers continued on to important changes in purchasing behaviours thanks to the increased amount of information being available to potential buyers.

The World Wide Web was well known in the mid-nineties but it wasn’t until the late nineties that security was updated and consumers began trusting the system a little more. Browsing online gave businesses the chance of saving time and having a wider range of choice of suppliers.

Economies of scale in purchasing began to change too. It is now a lot easier for buyers to create joint purchasing agreements with other firms when this doesn’t break the law. Groups can be linked into the information systems of the purchasing companies. 

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Chit Chat: Strategic Tech Trend 2017

Here are the top 10 strategic tech trends are found for 2017 as predicted by Gartner.
  1. Advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence will continue to grow and learn. Deep learning will evolve into systems that are able to make predictions and adapt and even perform autonomously.
  2. Everyday tasks will be made easier thanks to intelligent apps and virtual personal assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home.
  3. Intelligent things are physical objects that use machine learning and are able to interact with people.
  4. Augmented technology and virtual reality and other immersive technologies make it possible for people to interact with software and other people in new ways.
  5. The digital twin is a dynamic software model of physical things or systems that need sensor data in order to respond understandings and make improvements. It’s predicted that in the next 3 to 5 years there will be hundreds of millions of things using digital twins.
  6. Blockchain allows for value exchange transactions to be grouped into blocks regardless of location (used for bitcoin). They have the ability to transform industry operating models.
  7. Digital mesh gives people access to apps and information and the ability to interact together and is expected to overtake chatboats.
  8. The MASA is where mobile and web apps and IoT apps are linked using a broad mesh of back end services and this is what end users see as an application.
  9. 5 of the key areas that will enable new digital businesses are information systems, analytics and intelligence, IoT, business ecosystems and customer experience.
  10. Adaptive security architecture is intelligent digital mesh and related digital tech platforms and app architectures. They result in an increasingly complex world where security is concerned.