Challenge

Our client had a brand name with no identity, and an idea to build a B2B platform that brings trusted buyers and suppliers together on the global stage – in essence, to digitise the supply chain.

Our mission was to make our client’s vision become real online through research, strategy consultation, ideation, planning and creation.

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Solution

We focused first on the garments trade in Hong Kong – an industry with a simpler supply chain than most, and one that that relies on trade beyond the territory’s borders to secure future growth.

We then created a positioning statement that our client could use to help the audience and media understand their new platform proposition:

“If Facebook is for friends and LinkedIn is for professionals, Serai is for companies.”

This statement was quoted by Serai’s CEO in a Bloomberg interview and was appropriate because our task ahead was to build a platform that effectively allows companies to showcase their products and capabilities, and then ‘socialise’ them on two fronts:

1) Allow buyers and suppliers to quickly find each other, specific to manufacturing and supply needs

2) Encourage big and small businesses to open up their existing supply chains to the Serai business community, ensuring buyers and suppliers can do business with companies that have been verified for financial stability, environmental friendliness and reliability (delivery turn-around and quality).

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Activity

A key differentiator is Serai’s ability to vet every company that joins its platform, and to allow buyers and suppliers to rate and comment on one another – offering the Serai business community something they can’t find consistently on other B2B platforms:  transparency and trust.

The task to create this was complex. After all, in the social platform world the psychology of a company is vastly different to that of an individual. There are many individuals, roles, needs and personal agendas involved in companies. The requirement is to satisfy them all and,  importantly, keep enough intelligence of a company’s interactions with others on record to allow any new employees access to contacts and history.

To monetise the platform, Serai offers credit. A key insight from earlier consulting was that many businesses – SMEs in particular – found no transparency in the loans process. Serai’s new credit service on-boards clients in a matter of a few minutes and makes credit available to them in record time, allowing them to track the progress of their loan application where necessary, relieving many SMEs of the stress of uncertainty and cashflow pain.

In summary, the areas we designed to launch Serai’s first MVP were as follows:

Profile

Allowing buyers, suppliers and hybrids the chance to build their profile and launch themselves on the Serai platform to showcase their products and capabilities.

Supply chain visualisation

Allowing companies to share the names of their suppliers and buyers to allow other members to quickly find verified businesses relevant to their own.

Search facility

Allowing buyers, suppliers and hybrids to enter very specific criteria to hone in quickly on companies that can fulfil their needs.

Finance

The end-to-end application process, from on-boarding to management of the loan/credit. For speed, the experience we designed also permits Serai to send funds directly to a supplier on behalf of a buyer as soon as the loan had been approved.

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Results

7,500

Registered companies in the past 5 months

80%

Have completed their profiles in full

60%

Have already successfully connected to businesses they have not done business with before.