“Knowing what the market needs is essential in growth”
Listed on the Main Board of the Singapore Exchange, Serial System is the largest electronic components distributor in Singapore, which has crossed the US$1 billion revenue mark in 2014. Established in 1988, Serial System is entering a new phase of growth, venturing beyond its core competencies into the distribution of finished consumer products. Its current portfolio of finished goods comprises of lifestyle and consumer electronic products such as timepieces, printer accessories, and even household appliances.
Serial System credits its market leadership to a three-pronged growth strategy approach that involves increasing revenue by expanding its portfolio of products, improving internal and operational efficiencies by focusing on supply chain management and business intelligence, and enhancing its presence by penetrating deeper in existing markets and expanding into new markets to widen its geographical reach.
Serial System endeavours to boost demand for its electronic components and to stay relevant by adding value to these products through design and other initiatives. This has positioned the company to be an integral part of the supply chain, where it is able to bridge the gap between suppliers and manufacturers while shortening their time to market.
The company constantly seeks to add value to its customers and move up the value chain by offering comprehensive solutions such as complete modules, comprising of both hardware and software. It recently acquired two design houses that focus on the
high-growth automotive and surveillance industries.
Serial System has a diverse range of customers from industries such as consumer electronics, household appliances, industrial manufacturing, telecommunications, electronic manufacturing services, automotive and medical. Its major suppliers include Texas Instruments, ON Semiconductor, Avago Technologies, TE Connectivity, Advanced Micro Devices and OSRAM Opto Semiconductors.
The semiconductor industry will continue to grow as it is driven by the demand for smart phones as well as a proliferation of wireless applications, together with an increase in the amount of sensors being embedded in cars, homes and wearable devices. Against this backdrop, chipmakers are increasingly turning to well-established distributors with a strong network, like Serial System, to reach out to manufacturers across Asia.
Despite being in a very competitive industry, Serial System continues to outperform the market through its extensive distribution network and state-of-the-art technological systems. Through its internal forecasting system the company is able to place accurate supply requests. Coupled with its Electronic Data Interchange, which facilitates information flow between suppliers and customers, Serial System is able to shorten their time to market. Service and quality are also characteristics which enable Serial System to stand out from other established companies.
The company believes that being an industry champion means knowing what the market needs. This is how Serial has positioned itself to be an integral part of its partners’ success.
The company expects increasing challenges in the industry in the next five years as more Chinese semiconductor players enter the fray. With some of its competitors and clients consolidating over the years through mergers and acquisitions, Serial System faces a more competitive market.
Amid these challenges, the company is mindful of the need to scale up further in order to succeed. It sees itself becoming even bigger in the next 50 years and aims to generate US$30 billion in revenue over the next five decades. In line with these ambitions, Serial System will continue to help its suppliers expand their market reach while providing innovative and competitive solutions to its customers.
The company continues to empower its staff with the resources they need to excel. Its corporate culture is such that everyone is strongly encouraged and empowered to help solve the problems faced by Serial System’s customers and suppliers. The company also ensures that its staff are well looked after, keeping its pioneer batch of its employees who have been with Serial System for over 20 years.
The company has a flat management structure which can be easily replicated across all its operations overseas. This means full delegation of work to the management team in their respective areas to achieve targets that the group has set. A flat management structure also means anyone in Serial, no matter how junior their status, can freely approach their
higher-ups for help or advice. This encourages a culture of open communication, which frees up employees from having to second-guess instructions or targets assigned to them.
Serial System has a strong ingrained culture of giving back to the society, led by its founder who instituted a broad Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) scheme that benefits the young, the elderly and the less fortunate.
As an outstanding corporate citizen, Serial System donated S$676,000 in just 2014 alone to various organisations in Singapore. These included the five Community Development Councils and the Singapore Children’s Society. It also contributed S$50,000 to charitable foundations and schools, such as the National Kidney Foundation, Ren Ci Hospital, the Breast Cancer Foundation and Nanyang Polytechnic, to support medical awareness programmes.
In conjunction with its 25th anniversary, Serial System and Zhi Zhen Tan Dao Xue Hui, a Taoist charity organization founded by Dr Goh, pledged in November 2013 to donate S$150,000 each to the five CDCs over three years. On their part, the CDCs will match the donations dollar for dollar between 2014 and 2016. The total donations of S$4.5 million over that period will be used to encourage active living among the elderly, promote lifelong learning, and groom youths to become future leaders of Singapore.
For the past two decades, Serial System has celebrated every Lunar New Year at Tai Pei Old Folks Home, distributing goodie bags as well as red packets, bringing festive cheer to the elderly with traditional lion dance performances.
Serial System was later awarded the Singapore Children’s Society Silver Award 2015 in recognition of its benevolent and spirited contributions, which have helped to bring hope and encouragement to children, youth and families in need.
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