How this local retail solutions provider supported KOI Thé’s transformation
Text by Julia Chan
When Mr Roger Lin was in polytechnic, he was a part timer with KOI, a fast growing bubble tea brand founded in 2006 in Taiwan. With its first overseas store located in Singapore in 2007, today KOI is a well-loved international brand.
Two years after he entered university, Roger and a business partner started Flex-Solver in 2015 to provide technology solutions for SMEs looking to transform and improve process efficiencies. Starting with cloud-based Point-of-Sale and management cloud, Roger’s experience in F&B retail helped him understand the management needs of retail businesses.
Flex-Solver now offers customisable software solutions and IT consulting services.
The company grew its portfolio that included large F&B and retail outlets, government agencies and iconic heritage brands. In 2019, it was partially acquired by Beyondsoft Corporation, a listed IT professional services provider. This enabled the home-grown company to expand its talents and bid for larger projects globally.
One company that Flex-Solver helped transform was Lin’s former employer, KOI (which had officially changed its brand name to KOI Thé in 2015 as the company’s founder, Ms. Khloé Ma, had wanted to better convey its brand philosophy and to nurture a stronger tea culture).
Why did KOI Thé embark on its transformation journey with Flex-Solver?
Due to the growing popularity of indulging in premium bubble tea over the years, KOI Thé now operates more than 65 retail outlets locally. With such a huge network of operations, it meant that KOI Thé needed to employ more staff either on a part-time or full-time basis to run its stores efficiently. As a consequence, it became increasingly challenging and tedious to manage its Human Resources (HR) functions manually.
Acknowledging the gap to improve process efficiencies in its various business functions like HR, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), marketing, and operations, KOI Thé partnered Flex-Solver in 2017 to use technological advancement to streamline its work processes. NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) supported this partnership by providing funding and guiding principles on how to be more inclusive in carrying out transformation.
What systems did Flex-Solver recommend to KOI Thé to increase productivity?
With the immediate need to address manual and laborious HR functions like roster planning and appraisals, Flex-Solver developed a mobile app for all KOI Thé employees to use. This centralised HR platform allows KOI Thé’s staff across all the retail outlets to input their preferred shifts and plan their duty rosters with real time updates.
KOI Thé’s HR personnel are now able to create and publish in-app eAppraisal surveys with ease. All data collected via the system integration can be automated and processed easily by the HR staff. This allows enhanced transparency and consistency in HR management.
The second project Flex-Solver did with KOI Thé was to create a regional cloud portal to better manage sales data. For example, sales data from each of the in-store kiosk ordering systems can now be uploaded to the cloud portal and analysed by KOI Thé’s marketing department. This enables the marketing department to uncover highly profitable segments and design targeted loyalty membership programs to improve customer engagement, increasing revenue and improving allocation of corporate resources.
During the business transformation process, Flex-Solver not only provides the IT infrastructure, but also provides relevant users (i.e. KOI Thé employees) with proper onboarding training so that they are empowered to make the most out of the system.
In return, Flex-Solver has also gained valuable insights in everchanging HR demands after working with KOI Thé, and this experience has helped the company to improve their future service offerings for clients. Moving forward, Flex-Solver continues to support KOI Thé in the fields of HR solution and data analytics, and improvement in product roadmap.
How can SMEs benefit from partnering Flex-Solver?
Flex-Solver’s vision is to introduce IT solutions that can allow their clients to reap their return on investment (ROI) within a short amount of time by diligently collecting customer feedback on the ground and persisting in R&D.
To achieve this, the company is committed to developing their software in-house as well as maintaining a local technical support team in order to minimise disruptions in their clients’ retail operations during implementation. SMEs can choose from a range of customisable as well as packaged software solutions including Mobile/Web Applications, SaaS products and digital transformation consultancy.
To learn more about Flex-Solver, visit www.flex-solver.com.sg