Words by Julia Chan
Discover how a neighbourhood durian stall which hires mainly mature workers plans to become a global export platform.
Besides importing fresh and frozen durians to satisfy local palates, Savor Pte. Ltd. provides door-to-door delivery of affordable mouth-watering durian products such as durian puffs, durian cakes and other durian-flavoured confectionery products.
However, due to Covid-19 pandemic, this fast growing young company, which was founded in 2019, recognised that having a brick and mortar F&B business was simply not enough to be sustainable. Thus, it decided to expand its online and offline presence to offer more variety.
Gradually evolving from a B2C to B2B business model by building stronger working collaborations with both local and overseas partners, Savor expanded to distribute more fruits and commodities products by introducing in-house brand, essential and health related products locally and overseas.
In fact, it plans to launch an online B2B export platform to reach out to the global audience by offering them more attractive deals and incentives if they were to order from Savor directly.
With such ambitious plans in the pipeline, how does Savor prepare its workforce for the future?
Savor’s workforce consists mainly of mature workers. As a Singapore-registered company, Savor firmly advocates in nurturing more local talents and mature workers are considered excellent mentors due to their vast experience in the workforce.
“In Savor, we always believe regardless of age, language or religion, every one of us plays a part in our company and opportunities are equal to everyone. We also believe that mature workers have the skills to impart to future generations,” said Mr Vincent Tong and Ms Elizabeth Yap, Directors of Savor Pte. Ltd.
By leveraging on their years of experience, knowledge and wisdom, Savor believes these mature mentors can help younger mentees develop professionally. Mentorship leads to the development of stronger relationships among the workers and an increase in employee engagement.
Re-engineering the jobs of mature workers with e2i’s support
In order to provide excellent door-to-door delivery services, time is of the essence. In the past, Savor’s mature workers used to encounter lots of time wastage caused by manual tasks during the delivery process.
For example, delivery orders would have to be generated manually via data entry and signed by customers upon successful deliveries. Each delivery status would have to be updated by the delivery driver by calling the head office.
The drivers would need to return to office after work to submit these documents and do the manual recording on their own day to day while referring to the printed schedule provided to them. Inadvertently, the drivers often made mistakes by forgetting which tasks had been completed and they needed to refer constantly to the delivery notes.
On top of that, when customers called to check the location/status of their orders, drivers had to pick up their calls, which made their jobs unsafe during delivery. With the increasing workload of orders, Savor looked for a solution to re-engineer and improve the work processes for its mature workers.
With support from NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) via its WorkPro Job Redesign funding, Savor implemented a new Delivery Management System which automated all these cumbersome tasks as everything can be updated and accessed easily via a mobile app. The new system was so intuitive that workers learnt the ropes of using the app in no time.
How technological skills help mature workers become Workers 4.0, ready for the future
With the new system, the delivery schedules could be keyed into the system electronically and the drivers could simply refer to it to plan their schedules for the day.
The mobile app also allows customers to sign on the e-delivery orders, which means workers no longer needed to update the delivery status via manual hardcopies as the orders would be automatically updated to head office once the customers signed on the electronic delivery orders.
With geolocation functions included, the head office could also keep track of the drivers’ locations; avoiding the need to call them while they are driving.
Yap elaborated, “e2i officer Elaine had helped us a lot by understanding our core problems and the solution that we wanted to implement”.
“Through the vendor we engaged, we successfully implemented the delivery management system where our drivers no longer have to bring along any documents for signing, as the mobile applications allow customers to sign digitally and the admin will receive via the backend. Delivery status can be updated as well by drivers themselves, and via the backend portal, admin will be able to see the status. Via the mobile apps, our drivers can have a full overview of their deliveries without the fear of forgetting their own tasks,” she said.
As a result of Savor’s mature workers picking up technological skills, man-hours was cut down by approximately 50%.and several mature workers received an average basic wage increment of at least 20%.
Why does Savor choose to retain its mature workers and invest in technology to help them?
Savor also has another business philosophy, which is staying united.
Tong explained, “There is a Mandarin saying, ‘One chopstick can be easily broken, but not a hundred pieces (一根筷子容易折, 一把筷子难折断).’ Be it in a company or in a trade, staying united is very important to let everyone succeed.”.
With a strong commitment to upgrading its workers to Worker 4.0 to remain relevant in Industry 4.0, Savor is in a better position to fulfil its plan to enter the global B2B export market.
For more information, visit savorgroups.com.