Piloting cooperative shops in Bangkok aiming to revive Thai cooperative shops and convenience stores. Program Management Unit for Competitiveness (PMUC) has provided research grants to King Mongkut University of Technology North Bangkok in the development of information technology systems for complete retail management. This encompasses product databases, Point of Sale systems, inventory management systems, as well as customer relation management systems, which can transmit and link data between the branch and central control using cloud management. The system also involves developing an e-commerce system to support online purchases for cooperative stores in Bangkok. It is a comprehensive retail management system developed by Thai people with an aim to push small SME retail shops and community merchandisers to compete in the areas of retail shops, convenience stores as well as in online distribution channels.
On August 23, 2022, Assoc. Prof. Thongchai Suwanasichon, Ph.D., deputy director of PMUC, co-chaired a seminar to test the management system for cooperative shop in Bangkok, with Dr. Woraphon Kongsiwapisit, the Chief Executive Officer of the Krungdeb Co-operative Store, Ltd., and Asst. Prof. Sunanta Sodsi, Ph.D., dean of the Faculty of Information Technology and Innovation, King Mongkut University of Technology North Bangkok, co-chairing “The Development of a Bangkok Cooperative Store Management System” project. Asst. Prof. Phongsaran Boonyopakorn, Ph.D., head researcher of the project, received funding from the PMUC to develop an information technology
system to manage a complete retail store ranging from a product database systems, Point of Sale systems, inventory management systems, to customer relation management systems, as well as developing an e-commerce system to support online purchases for cooperative stores. As well, a main objective is to prepare to expand the results to cover medium and small cooperative stores through the Cooperative Promotion Department in order to extend the opportunity for co-op shops to have access to a complete sales management system within an accessible budget.
Saving the Thai co-operative shops and mom-and-pop stores
Nowadays, the competitive landscape in the retail industry has changed dramatically and rapidly. The expansion of major modern retailers, convenience stores that create more branches every year, occupying every road in the city and every alley in the villages. Not to mention online retail channels that have a huge impact on small traditional retail operations including cooperative shops for the past several years. In order to help the small retail businesses survive in this highly competitive environment, giving these businesses the tools to be able to adapt to the changing competition in a harsh market environment is essential, as well as helping the businesses continue to grow. This was the main reason for the support from PMUC in terms of research funding for the development of information systems for retail business management resulting from the work of KMUTNB researchers, who managed to deliver a comprehensive and fully integrated system at less than half the price of foreign systems such as ERP software, POS systems, or e-commerce systems, which focus on selling separate components of a system with annual licensing. It is practically not possible for a retail businesses to buy a complete set of solutions for use in their retail outlets. or a small cooperative shops.
The retail business management system developed as part of the“Development of a Bangkok Cooperative Store Management System” project has been initially developed from a multi-branch centralized inventory management system, a Point of Sale ordering system, a menu with pricing information, a promotion and discount program, system user cash flow control, an online ordering system (e-commerce), as well as a system to support purchases using state welfare cards. It is a complete retail system suitable for retailers, from which the research team prepares to extend the results to various cooperative stores throughout the country through the Cooperative Promotion Department. It is an opportunity for small and medium-sized cooperatives to have access to a complete sales management system. Moreover, the research team is also looking at providing a service in the form of a monthly rental of the system according to the size of the stores for non-chain retailers, government welfare stores, as well as mom-and-pop stores, to help them get back on their feet again. This is in line with the objective of the PMUC in providing research funding which focuses on the use of research to create sustainable and equitable social impact while not looking for
Krungdeb Cooperative Store, Ltd. ready to be a leader in enhancing the potential of Thai cooperatives.
One of the objectives of the Cooperative Act B.E. 1999, was to create a cooperative organization made up of consumers for the procurement of consumer products, gathering produce to sell to members and the general public. It is a voluntary investment by members and shareholders. It is a fair and honest business based on the foundation of democracy from setting the selling price, finding quality products, to management of member dividends. It is a business that supports each other in the community and promotes higher living quality for members rather than seeking monetary profits. PMUC sees that providing research funds to develop a retail management system for cooperative stores, with the Krungdeb Cooperative Store, Ltd. as a pilot, can have a broad effect and truly trickle
down to the community level and ultimately benefit the wider public.
Krungdeb Cooperative Store, Ltd. has operated for more than 30 years and currently has 5 branches: Phra Pinklao branch, Bang Lamphu branch, Ladya branch, Ekkamai branch and Piyawet Hospital branch. It has also established an online presence to sell products through the Shopee app to increase convenience for members in choosing various products. The charm of the Krungdeb Cooperative Store is that it is the center of products from Thai farmers who have been selected for quality from all over the country to sell to consumers, such as export-grade golden bananas from farmers in Kamphaeng Phet province, Gourami sausage made from 100% Gourami fish meat from Suphan Buri, traditional Thai triangle pillow made from Isaan local weaving fabric, hand-made loincloth from Kalasin, 100% authentic CO-OP jasmine rice with highest quality which has been hand-selected from Chiang Rai farmers, organic three-colored brown rice from Ratchaburi, 3 in 1 coffee from Chumphon coffee growers cooperative, shrimp paste from seaside communities in Samut Sakhon, fresh sugar collected in the morning and immediately simmered on the stove to get the special sweet taste from Phetchaburi. This is a unique channel for selling community products and products from SMEs. Cooperative stores are therefore a good option to develop a sustainable retail management system.
Click to visit the Krungdeb Cooperative Store page. https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=66076796832843