Many Asian businesses that have succeeded by keeping up with global economic trends are becoming innovative trendsetters themselves. Asian restaurant chains, for instance, have successfully adapted the Western quick service restaurant (QSR) model in offering food selections that suit local preferences. Having made the model their own, these chains went on to expand outside of their countries of origin.
Such businesses need the support of technological partners to enable their innovation and success. As a business management solutions specialist, Cuscapi is the trusted partner of Asian businesses, including major multinationals, and companies looking to take their first steps abroad.
"We know Asia well," says CEO Her Chor Siong. "We have the infrastructure in Asia to be able to support our customers."
Cuscapi is one of the largest companies in Asia that provides a comprehensive range of business management solutions, including hardware, software, consulting and technical support. "Being equipped with the necessary expertise makes us ready with the products that the market needs," Her says. With 35 years of experience, Cuscapi makes sure that its clients are able to provide their end customers with high-quality service.
A trusted technological partner
Clients from a wide variety of industries including automotive, financial services, telecommunications and public services regard Cuscapi as their trusted partner. Focusing mainly on food and beverage (F&B), retail and hospitality, the company has developed trendsetting solutions such as its PM-5 and PS-Line. Incorporating touchscreen computers, thermal receipt printers, credit card terminals and magnetic stripe and fingerprint readers, these solutions give clients affordable options according to their resources and enable them to standardise and optimise their operations.
The company's leadership in the region's F&B industry in particular is seen in how its solutions are streamlined and easy to set up. Minimising the use of cable, Cuscapi's solutions allow clients to offer faster and more efficient service in more spacious, clutter-free counters.
Cuscapi also offers its Transight series that is scalable according to a client's needs. Transight Xpress is ideal for smaller businesses ranging from a single restaurant to a chain comprising several stores, while Transight Ember is equipped for restaurant chains with up to 30 outlets.
Drawing from its ability to predict future trends based on its decades-long experience, Cuscapi also created REV, a complete restaurant solution. REV allows customers to use tablets that feature intuitive self-ordering from digital menus and restaurant promotions. While enhancing customer satisfaction, REV also helps F&B clients manage their operations more efficiently to increase savings and revenue.
In addition to point-of-sales systems, the company offers back-office systems, call-centre services and loyalty-management programmes as part of a complete F&B service offering.
For the retail and especially for the hospitality industries, Cuscapi goes beyond traditional property management systems (PMS) to focus on complementary offerings. The company offers a PMS extension device for hotels, for example, that gives guests the convenience of ordering meals, requesting service and checking their bill in their own rooms.
Cuscapi's solutions are also widespread among retailers in Malaysian airports.
"The retail and hospitality industries are very much established in our company's DNA," Her says.
A dynamic brand builder
Be it in the F&B, retail or the hospitality industry, Cuscapi aims to bring its clients closer to its end customers to help build their clients' brands and grow their business.
"As a technological partner, and not just a supplier, we help clients use technology better for their business through three value propositions," Her says.
The first of these propositions is increasing clients' revenue through Cuscapi's technology and operational infrastructure. For instance, the company is able to set up a delivery service for clients who have yet to offer one.
Cost optimisation is Cuscapi's second value proposition and one of its specialised strengths. The company's extensive experience in assisting clients with inventory control includes managing the cost of goods and reducing waste. Cuscapi offers a variety of systems that have helped several clients achieve optimal inventory control.
The company carries out its third value proposition, which is customer satisfaction of its clients' end customers, by directly engaging with these customers. Rather than acquiring data indirectly through a restaurant's management, Cuscapi makes contact with the customers themselves. By using devices that allow customers to place their own orders at a restaurant, for example, the company is able to make an impact on the customers' dining experience.
Cuscapi also operates its own call centres that receive feedback from a restaurant's customers. It developed its own training method to help call-centre agents interact with callers more effectively.
Cuscapi's three value propositions, together with its support infrastructure and regional network, have helped some of the world's biggest brands flourish across the region. These include McDonald's, KFC, Pizza Hut, A&W and TGI Friday's. The company has been especially instrumental in the regional expansion of Asian businesses beyond their home countries.
"Because we are everywhere in Asia, we are able to help companies that are looking to grow into a large chain by standardising their operations," Her says. "Standardisation is needed in order for clients to grow in terms of their size and number of outlets, and we play a very big part in helping them use technology to do this. We can help them through the different phases, from 50 outlets to 5,000 outlets. We have gone through this with clients and we can help them achieve this across Asia."
One such client that Cuscapi has assisted in this manner is Jollibee Foods Corporation, which is the leading QSR chain in the Philippines with more than 750 outlets. With Cuscapi's technological assistance, Jollibee has successfully established its brand overseas by opening more than 80 stores in Asia, the Middle East and the United States. Cuscapi's solutions aided Jollibee's expansion throughout these regions, especially in countries such as the US, Vietnam, Brunei and Saudi Arabia, where Jollibee has multiple outlets.
"When Jollibee ventured into Vietnam with their own brand, we were there to support them. When they ventured into China, we were there," Her says. "As long as they work with us, it will be very easy to find a partner to support them wherever they go. That's one of our strengths."
A regional trendsetter
Cuscapi continues to enable Jollibee's growth as it provides similar assistance for brands from its native Malaysia and across the region. The company plans to increase its revenue from overseas clients from 50 per cent to 70 per cent. "Having firmly established ourselves as the market leader in Malaysia, our growth will come from the rest of the region, which is where we are expanding," Her says. "There are a lot of opportunities outside of Malaysia that we have yet to tap, and these are the countries where we have set up our offices."
Cuscapi has eight offices in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia, and a research centre in China that is dedicated to the Chinese market. It is also present in Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar through local partners. The company will be opening an additional research centre in the Philippines that will focus on the Asia-Pacific market. It likewise plans to open eight more offices throughout Southeast Asia over the next three years, including two offices in India and two more in the Middle East.
The company has a firm grasp of the importance of being in these markets, particularly for its larger clients who appreciate direct contact with it on the ground. Cuscapi's Malaysian roots with its multicultural heritage have given it a distinct edge in understanding regional markets and adapting its solutions to each local culture.
"We have quite good insight into various cultures, and our cultural understanding gives us a lot of mileage in other parts of Southeast Asia," says Eugene Ng, chief operating officer. "That's one key advantage from our Malaysian company perspective that creates inroads into markets like China or Hong Kong."
Cuscapi places particular emphasis on stepping up its operations in the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan. It recognises opportunities for development in China's low ratio of restaurants to population. The company welcomes partnerships to aid in its drive to increase market penetration throughout China.
As Cuscapi continues to grow in Chinese and Asian markets, it maintains its position as a regional trendsetter that is committed to helping its clients grow and move with economic trends. "We will have to set the trends and innovate our way towards certain areas as a market leader in this part of the world," Ng says. "It will be very exciting, moving forward."
Among these trends is Cuscapi's emphasis on the mobility of its solutions in retail and hospitality, as a response to the increasing shift of its clients' back office servers to cloud computing.
"Technology is what we do best, and we are able to use it to help different industries evolve and change the way they do things," Her says.