Bringing Thai industry into the digital world
Recent research shows that many Thai industries are lagging behind other sectors, such as retail and banking, in integrating digital technologies into their operations. To remain competitive with other sectors, industrial companies must embrace technology and replace manual tasks with more innovative and creatively challenging roles. For example, a financial controller in any industrial company might spend most of his/her working hours reviewing and consolidating reports from different data sources for top management and business partners. If these tasks are automated, the controller would be freed up to become a strategic thought partner for the business.
Experts say that tech-enabled transformation can equip industrial companies to increase revenues, expand margins and pursue new revenue streams with different business models. The question is: how do they extract full value from technology? McKinsey research has identified five domains where companies can apply technology to boost productivity and margins, namely innovating and developing products and services; making and delivering; selling; servicing; and running the corporation. A tech-enabled transformation provides functions with greater access to data analytics and digital tools, helps companies capture a greater share of revenues, particularly those struggling with high labour costs, increases margins significantly through improved productivity in areas such as manufacturing, distribution, R&D and back office functions, locks in customers through better products and services, and assists them in their ability to attract talent and motivate their workforce. They might also have the option of partnering with disrupters and innovators in their industry. Companies will need to harness this mindset to make progress.
The strategic location of industrial companies in Thailand plays another significant role because the firms must build the fundamental capabilities needed for long-term success, including those related to digitization, analytics, and agile development. All of these ambitious steps will require more capital and capacity, but tech-enabled transformation companies in the new IT infrastructure landscape will reward their efforts.
WHA Group believes digital-related business can further upgrade industrial companies to their full potential and help them remain competitive in the fast-changing business environment. Jareeporn Jarukornsakul, chairman and group CEO, WHA Corporation, says it has partnered with Schneider Electric to bring the next generation EcoStruxure – an open IoT-enabled architecture platform in the data center end market – to its industrial sites. This best-in-class technology backbone provides critical facility operations in accordance with Tier III, defining more data paths and ensuring that all IT equipment is dual-powered (99.982 per cent availability with maximum of 95 minutes annual downtime). During this digital transformation age, WHA Group intends to offer the state-of-the-art technology and digital connectivity to its customers in WHA industrial estates and nearby areas.
Kraitos Ongchaisak, WHA Infonite’s CEO adds that the EcoStruxure solution for data centers has 3 core capabilities: (i) connecting everything from shop floor to top floor, devices & sensors with embedded intelligence that is user-friendly, flexible and safe; (ii) edge control layer with ability to manage operations on premises or from the cloud, remote monitoring and connecting control platforms, advanced automation and operator capabilities; and (iii) interoperability to support diverse hardware and systems and enable extensive agnostic applications, analytics and services on open IP protocols. EcoStruxure Asset Advisor, meanwhile, provides real-time live data and has the ability to anticipate and address safety risks and potential threats, avoiding unplanned downtime and operational losses through smartphones and tablets. With 24/7 services of a full team of experts and highly trained staff with reporting and best practices warranty standard, this ensures improved operational efficiency, reduces costs and maximizes uptime of the critical facility and IT infrastructure. Overall, it also saves 15-per-cent energy use and leverages the true potential of IoT with 5G advanced technology.
Kraitos adds that WHA Group aims to grow its product portfolio with innovative and technology-driven solutions for customers and is determined to embrace innovative technologies for the benefit of its customers. As Thailand enters the fourth industrial revolution and a fully digital economy and society, Eastern Economic Corridor projects with new emerging industries, the coming of 5G technology with super hi-speeds and low latency will be key drivers to successful growth in the next decade. WHA Infonite’s mission is to provide fully-integrated data centers and the world’s leading healthcare data center by 2024.
Phase I of its data center facilities is now up and running with a total estimated investment of Bt400 million and expects to generate annual revenues of Bt30-Bt40 million in the first year of operation, Kraitos said. Phase II will add more racks and clear data halls with minimal investment value while eyeing new modular data center solutions with portable functions for quick deployment or disaster recovery.
WHA Group is recognised as Thailand’s leading developer of logistics properties and industrial estates in Rayong, Chonburi and Suphan Buri provinces, industrial utilities and power and provider of digital platform, with an estimated revenue and share of profits of Bt13.5 billion and total asset value of Bt82 billion recorded in 2019.