Female third-gen leader steers BH Global towards a smart future
September 18, 2018 | Singapore | OSEA2018 Industry Insights
Millennial leadership and adoption of new technology transforms a traditional family business. Jasmin Lim, Business Development Director of BH Global, tells OSEA more.
Jasmin Lim, Business Development Director of BH Global
Q: Hi Jasmin! Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself and your journey with BH Global?
A: I graduated from Singapore Institute of Management – RMIT University with a Bachelor of Marketing Degree, and joined the family business as a Marketing Executive in 2012. I was promoted to the position of Business Development Director of the Group and Director of Beng Hui Marine Electrical Pte Ltd (BHM) in 2017. I’m currently responsible for the Group’s Marketing and Strategic Development in the Marine and Offshore markets.
Q: As a female, third-gen leader in a male-dominated industry, what convinced you to take the path less travelled?
A: My grandfather and his children – including my father – worked hard and smart amidst competition (Computerizing and Systemizing in the 1980s) to get the Company to where it is today. As a third-gen leader with a passion for Maritime even as a young child, it makes me proud to be able to contribute to my family and also to bring the Business to greater heights.
First established in 1963 as a company trading marine spares from the World War, BH Global (BHG) has since transformed. We currently serve industries in 4 major business divisions: Marine and Offshore Supply Chain Management, Manufacturing, Engineering Solutions, and Security.
Q: Any challenges you’ve faced thus far?
A: When I first joined the company, I faced some obstacles due to my lack of experience in the Marine Industry. I fully believe in putting ourselves in customers’ shoes to understand their requirements better. Hence, I made the effort to go onboard or visit our customer’s office or shipyard. I’m thankful for all the senior staff and management who have guided me along the way. I guess it was through my genuine passion and sincerity that allowed me to build many valuable long-term relationships with customers, partners, employees and veterans in the Industry.
Q: In your opinion, should more females join this industry?
A: Yes, of course! Although the Marine & Offshore industry is a male-dominated one, there are several suitable roles for females. I’ve many female friends in this industry, ranging from Purchasers to Engineers to Ship Managers.
Q: Any company initiatives championed by you?
A: One of my initial achievements was the successful execution of the Group’s Rebranding Exercise in 2013, from a traditional corporation to an internationalised one. We used to be known as BH Global Marine Ltd, now we are known as BH Global Corporation Ltd (BHG).
Other than the key division of Supply Chain Management, we have expanded into other divisions, namely: Design and Manufacturing, Engineering Solutions and Security- Cyber and Surveillance. We felt that a Rebranding Exercise was necessary to align our corporate direction and to communicate our goals, mission and vision and our key values to our employees, partners and the Industry.
I have also contributed to various digital initiatives for the Group, such as the BH e-store, an e-commerce and information platform, as well as the digitisation of our warehouse management system.
Q: Do share more about the BH e-store.
A: We launched the BH e-store in 2013 as an online initiative to provide timely information to users and engineers – ship owners, ship chandlers and management, and ship yards that needed detailed content such as specification sheets, drawings, certification, videos and 3D models for the products we carry.
In 2016, we added list prices to the e-store. These prices serve to protect our middle-man customers (ship chandlers and yards) and yet increase brand and product awareness of the end-users (ship owners). To benefit the industry, we also included a live technical helpdesk on our e-store, with an Engineer on standby to provide technical advice to anyone who visits the platform. Credit card payment features were also introduced after feedback from our overseas customers to ease the bank transfer process. We welcome partnerships and collaborations for win-win situations.
Q: Why is it a priority for BH to provide adequate information and transparency in the Marine and Offshore market on the e-store?
A: Getting the correct product onboard is vital to ensure ships’ operations are at optimal levels. It is important to ensure that our customers supply the correct products onboard as there can be substantial product return charges or departure delays caused by incorrect or defective products. At BH, we believe in supplying the right products at right prices and giving our customers and their end-users peace of mind during voyage.
Q: When were the digital enhancements for the warehouse implemented?
A: BHM started the Digitisation of our Warehouse Management System (WMS) in mid-2017- the enhancement of our current Warehouse ERP system with the addition of customised barcoding and tracking system.
Q: What were some of its benefits?
A: Our logistics department is mostly made up of older workers; manual logistics management (repeated physical processes) can be physically taxing for our matured staff. Take for example the process of Picking. Picking prioritization used to be manually decided – workers will pick products from various locations in the warehouse in the right quantities in accordance to delivery timings once an order is placed. After implementation, prioritization of stocks to pick is automatically done by the system using set rules, Put-Away locations are indicated in the handheld devices and the pre-set picking route benefits matured workers by reducing total distance walked.
With the adoption of the new Warehouse Management System (WMS), our logistics department’s job has become easier and faster. By utilising technology, we’ve seen improvement in the accuracy of inventory control, put-away and on-time delivery, as well as enhanced efficiency of the process control.
Q: BH Global believes in enhancing the skillsets of older staff members with new IT skills. What is the company’s rationale for doing so?
A: Many of our matured workers have contributed significantly to the growth of the company, with a handful of them working with us for more than half a decade. They are very well versed with company operations – by freeing up their time from lengthy manual operation processes, they will be able to spend more time on training younger/newer team members.
Initially, when we first introduced the idea of digitising our Warehouse Management system, they were less receptive of the new initiatives. After some time, however, when they understood the value and benefited from the improved processes, they adapted quickly. It is also heartening to see the younger workers teaching the older workers on the ‘tech’ involved. I am glad to say many of the logistics workers are coping well and are even more proactive as compared to before.
Q: Are there more digital initiatives in the pipeline?
A: We are working on the internal streamlining of ERP, where we continue to enhance our internal processes to be well-equipped for a digital future. With a few more WMS implementations in the pipeline, we hope to further enhance the efficiency and productivity of our Logistics department and provide useful real-time data to the sales teams.
We are also going beyond digital transformation and looking into business transformation – transforming the Group IT from a cost-centre into a profit-centre business unit. We have plans for the digitalization and electrification of various maritime-specific pursuits as well.
Q: Able to share what BH Global will be showcasing at OSEA2018?
A: BH Global will be showcasing our range of Marine & Offshore Cables and Electricals, Green Marine Lightings and night vision cameras for maritime surveillance security. We will also be sharing more on our Maritime Cyber Security solutions. Do drop by our booth at the Singapore Pavilion this November!
Check out BH Global at OSEA2018 from 27-29 November 2018, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore!