UPS (NYSE: UPS) has a long history of supporting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) by enhancing their competitiveness in the evolving global marketplace. Leading the US-ASEAN Business Alliance for Competitive SMEs, UPS in conjunction with the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council and the U.S. Agency for International Development, have organised a series of workshops to be held across the ASEAN communities. In Malaysia, the workshop focused on e-commerce and was entitled “Leveraging E-Commerce to Help SMEs Reach New Markets”.
The full-day seminar in Kuala Lumpur dealt with how Malaysian SMEs can leverage e-commerce to find international customers, utilise platforms such as online marketplaces, and adopt logistics best practices to enhance customer experiences and foster customer loyalty.

As the second workshop in the series, over 100 Malaysian SMEs attended a workshop held recently, to receive business insights from prominent speakers including Dato’ Hafsah Hashim, CEO of SME Corp, Thitapha Wattanapruttipaisan, SME Lead at ASEAN Connectivity through Trade and Investment and Naeem Butt, Country Manager of UPS Malaysia.

According to the SME Annual Report 2012/13 by the National SME Development Council, SMEs represent 97.3 percent of the total business establishments in Malaysia, with a total of 645,136 SMEs operating in the country. In 2012, the share of SME GDP to overall GDP was 32.7 percent and the Malaysian government aims to raise it to 41 percent by the year 2020. An estimated 70 percent of SMEs do not have a website, indicating that there are still many opportunities for capturing e-commerce growth in Malaysia. More than 90 percent of Malaysia’s 21 million internet users shop online, with 85 percent spending up to 500 ringgit monthly.

“Effective supply chain management would add value to a company’s operations beyond cost management. SMEs need to ensure their supply chains can adapt quickly to any opportunities that arise in the evolving marketplace. Relying on UPS’s global logistics network, expertise and technologies, SMEs can succeed in the competitive business environment by focusing on their core business and marketing activities,” said Naeem Butt, Country Manager of UPS Malaysia.

“As the last and most important mile of e-commerce, logistics is the key to delivering a positive retail customer experience and it can make the difference in driving return customers and sales. At UPS, we are focused on delivering value-added industry-specific solutions ranging from healthcare, retail, e-commerce and manufacturing, amongst others. When this expertise is combined with our unparalleled global network, extensive portfolio of innovative products and services, and constant technology investment, it ensures that our customers are empowered to grow their businesses,” added Butt.

The full-day workshop included sessions on e-commerce platforms, cross border transactions, strengthening global market presence and international shipping services. The first workshop of the series, “Integrating SMEs into Global Supply Chains”, was held on April 22 at the New World Saigon Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Featuring speakers from companies including UPS, Microsoft and Google, the event attracted over 100 business decision makers and members of government.

Supporting the US-ASEAN Business Alliance for Competitive SMEs through capacity building workshops is a testimony of UPS’s continuous effort in supporting the growth of SMEs, transforming their businesses into world-class players in the global marketplace. Upcoming workshops will be held in Thailand and Myanmar in July and August, respectively.