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Having grown up in a pig farm, Mr Lim Hock Chee and his brothers, Mr Lim Hock Eng and Mr Lim Hong Leng, have worked together and managed to bring the Sheng Siong Group Ltd to hold over an 800 million dollars as market capital. The group initially started from its first store at Ang Mo Kio in 1985, and has now expanded to become one of the largest supermarket chains in Singapore, with a total of 37 stores in Singapore.Lim Hock Chee, is the Chief Executive Officer aka CEO, and is responsible for overseeing the operations in the company, to set the directions for new growth areas and developing business strategies.
Mr Lim also oversees day to day operations, such as selecting and to ensure that there is quality control of the meat related businesses in its outlets. He is also known as a one of the most accessible boss a company can have. He leaves his cell phone number publicly available at any outlets, so as customers can reach him with convenience, and that the problem will be solved with great efficiency.
He also states during his speech that, This company does not have a boss, there are only staff. The customer is the real boss. That’s why I have been reminding my working companions not to be mistaken about who their boss is.”, this shows how much respect and effort he places into making sure that he understands, keep close relationships with his customers and that to lead his employees with himself as an example to delivery exemplary services to the customers.
Mr Lim Hock Eng is the executive chairman of the company, and is in charge of business strategies, planning and business administrations. He also handles day to day operations, which includes overseeing the setup of new stalls, supervision of preparation and the submission of bids for new lands and premises to set up the stalls at. Also, last but not least, he also oversees the renovation works and the equipment needed to fit into the new outlets.Mr Lim Hock Leng is the Managing Director of the company, and is in charge of overseeing operations and development of the business in according to consumer patterns and preferences. He also manages day to day operations such as the supply, the storage and the control of quality of the seafood aspect in supermarkets.They all stick to the same motto, in which is to give in their all into the business, and that their customers are the bosses, thus allowing them to give their 100% into everything that they do, to ensure that the customers get the best they can.Thus, this shows that the brothers actually split up the workload, and each of them have their areas that they are in charge of. This ensures that arguments will not arise as if they all were to be in charge of the same areas, there are bounds to be disagreements and conflicts will occur.This family business is unique as they are the first to introduce live produce into its branch at Woodlands, to make it just like the wet market, in which most Singaporeans are used to, but instead, in the outlet itself. It eventually proved to be a success, and it has been the specialty that Sheng Siong carries into all of its outlets.One of the strengths that Sheng Siong has as a group is good brand recognition. Being the top 3 supermarket chain in Singapore, in order to let even more people know about the brand, launched a televevision programme called the The Sheng Siong Show in which started in 2007. Many Singaporeans also feel that Sheng Siong is the go-to place for the value of money chain, in which also does not disappoint in terms of quality, especially in areas such as seafood. Since 2008, Sheng Siong has been awarded the status of being a Superbrand in which recognizes the most exceptional brands in the market. Another strength that Sheng Siong has is that they have an advantage of experienced management. Having founded the company since 1985, and only focusing of the retail industry in Singapore, it provides the company with at 34 years of experience in the industry. Managing the company then comes into the hands of the trio, in which has already familiarized with the industry. This will benefit the company greatly as it will ensure that the management is mature enough to make the right choices, and will also not fluster when it comes to managing adversities. Lastly, the last strength that Sheng Siong possesses is that it wont be affected greatly in times of distress or trouble. Supermarkets has the unique abilities to survive and thrive under times of distress. This is so as no matter what happens, consumers still need to eat, thus the demand for food supply is still consistent. In times of special events, people are going to opt for food at supermarkets as they are safer to consume, as people will have the perception that the selection process are more stringent, and thus making the food safer to eat as compared to food bought at the wet market or those food that are sold at food courts.However, there are also some weaknesses that Sheng Siong possesses. Firstly, Sheng Siong faces a high competitive rivalry. It faces tough competition such as the powerhouses such as the NTUC fairprice, Cold Storage and Giant. Supermarkets, with very low product differentiation, it is very hard to build a loyal customer base, and also it is easy to lose its customers. A low product differentiation means that the thing that decides where the customers buy the products is the location. Usually, if faced with a choice of where to buy groceries, most consumers will just go with the one that is closest to them, or which is the most convenient for them. Another weakness that Sheng Siong has is that is vulnerable to rent and labour costs. Research has shown that up to 85% of the operating expenses is spent on the cost of labour and rental. This is a very high percentage as compared to the rest of the operating expense spent. Thus, it led to Sheng Siong, in accordance to its low cost aim, to not opening any new outlets in the year of 2013, and has been facing a great difficulty in locating new space to expand.
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