During these pandemic times, companies face economic challenges. Some may wait for crises to pass. However, some local SMEs have managed to find success despite the difficulties present.
Established in 2017, Source Trading Co., Ltd. (Source Trading) started its business by tailor-making gifts and gift box designs for customers. Later, as the scale of its business grew and the capabilities of its staff increased, the company expanded its product range to include daily hotel necessities such as towels and cleaning products, pandemic prevention supplies, and even event-planning services.
In 2018, Source Trading became one of Sands China’s local suppliers. Their cooperation has continued to go smoothly, despite the Covid-19 pandemic. According to Source Trading, its revenue has increased by 20% year-on-year during the pandemic.
At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 Chinese New Year (CNY) was around the corner. Factories and transportation fleets in the mainland were preparing for vacation. Source Trading received an urgent order from Sands China requesting disinfection products. “Despite the tight supply in the mainland, we finally found sources and delivered the products to Sands on the eve of CNY,” Suki Yang, marketing director of Source Trading, recalled.
Both parties still remember the critical time in June of this year, when the resurgence of the Covid-19 virus in Macau resulted in more than 1,800 new cases. In response, Sands China provided hotels for medical quarantine, which required the sourcing of a large amount of protective clothing, thermometers and other anti-epidemic items. Although the declaration procedures for cross-border logistics had been adjusted due to the pandemic, things remained pending and uncertain. Source Trading took the initiative to contact the customs authority and logistics companies to understand the new policies. As a result, they were able to complete the delivery in batches within three days. “The SME even managed to supply rapid antigen test kits, KN95 masks and the highest level of protective clothing in response to our request,” according to senior manager Gary Choi and officer Daniela Lei from the procurement and supply chain department of Sands China.
Sands China also speaks highly of the local SME’s quick response. Choi and Lei said: “Source Trading operates very efficiently. It can quickly provide reasonable quotations, delivery schedules and other related information on products we need.”
They also attribute its efficiency to streamlined staffing, lower administrative costs, and the high flexibility of small companies, which have advantages over large enterprises.
The outbreak of Covid-19 has witnessed the business transformation of SMEs in response to the pandemic. According to Yang, there are specific reasons for the success of her company’s transformation amid the economic crisis. The first is efficient communication; the SME maintains good contact with customers and manufacturers to ensure that final products meet requirements. Second is strict quality management; customized products must be consistent with the sample. For non-customized products, relevant qualification certificates are provided. Third is diversified procurement channels; procurement is not limited to specific regions, but expands to the whole country and overseas. And the final reason is flexibility and rapid response; the SME responds and adjusts quickly to meet customers’ needs.
What has the SME gained from working with Sands China? Yang said the most significant benefit is that the business scope of her company is gradually diversifying.
“Without orders from large companies such as Sands China, it would be difficult to make a change quickly.”
Moreover, Yang added that Sands China’s procurement system is easy to use, and the bidding process is open and transparent. “After confirming the receipt of goods, we receive payments on time, which is beneficial to the capital turnover of the enterprise,” she said.
In response to Sands China’s demand for high-quality and innovative products, Source Trading continues progressing and enhancing its competitiveness.
The pandemic has been a great challenge for Macau companies. However, due to the positive actions it has undertaken, Source Trading has survived the impact. Sands China suggests that more small and medium-sized enterprises should take the initiative to increase their competitiveness, such as by upgrading their products and network systems, expanding their procurement resources and business relationships, and so on. When the market resumes, they will have more substantial competitiveness to face challenges and take advantage of opportunities.