Determined to implement the latest digital trends and solutions to satisfy its most tech savvy customers’ needs, Chef Middle East will soon bring to the market a one of a kind e-commerce B2B platform that helps hospitality operators place their orders at a click of a button and track their delivery digitally. With the surge in B2C demand at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic crisis, CME decided the time is just right to simultaneously launch its speciality, premium and unique restaurant-quality ingredients offering to consumers looking for better quality options and greater value for money.
The project planning started in 2019 with a digitalization process and implementation of advanced capabilities; the Covid-19 pandemic just made it more evident than ever that the e-commerce business channel is there to stay and grow. A study shows that 300% increase in consumer demand for e-commerce services in the UAE was recorded in the first five months of 2020. In response to the customers’ demands and market opportunities and in line with the global industry trends, CME proudly announces the launch of its digital portal, coming down the pike, for both B2B and B2C segments in the UAE market as a first phase to then follow in regional branches. The company will soon launch its newly revamped website www.chefmiddleeast.com that will reflect an e-commerce look and feel and upgraded functionalities.
A sense from the market inspired the distributor to anticipate the upcoming path of the foodservice industry; market players and customers are prone to engage in a different way. The response arises with an efficient digital way of placing orders, coupled with worthy interactions and assistance from CME team of experts as needed. With this new e-commerce platform, Chef Middle East will provide its B2B customers with a cutting-edge experience that is pertinent, up-to-date and brining convenience to the purchasing process.
Steve Pyle, CEO of Chef Middle East, shared his perspective about e-commerce: “We have been preparing to improve our digital eco–system for the last 12 months and the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic has broadened the scope of our intentions to provide a B2B platform which will support our customers, supply partners and our own team to ensure that the experience of interfacing with Chef Middle East becomes more efficient, effective and informative. Existing and potential customers will be able to access comprehensive product and recipe information that makes their buying experience swifter and simpler as well as improving overall customer service. Customers will have the opportunity to interrogate availability data and make buying decisions 24/7, comfortably and conveniently. Our own internal efficiency will be honed as the data we build will enable us to better understand how to manage our value chain and service proposition more effectively.”
The food distributor partnered with Levtech Consulting and Yergetek Customer Engagement companies to create and deliver this project. Sajid Azmi, CEO at Yegertek, commented: “One basic advantage for the B2B E-commerce is being able to automate a significant part of transactions, which leads to cost efficiencies and ultimately makes the seller far more competitive. However, benefits extend beyond mere cost and time savings, for both vendors and their customers; customer self-service, buyer registration, online catalogues and contractual terms can all be automated and made more seamless.”
Azmi added: “There is a strong consensus in the industry that the next few years will witness a surge in B2B e-commerce volume, similar to the strong presence of B2C e-commerce platforms. The Covid-19 pandemic has introduced a certain degree of caution in business operations. However, I believe, in the mid to longer term, businesses will adopt the practice of working with smaller inventories, and rely on rapid ongoing order fulfilment, using B2B platforms.”
E-commerce solutions appear to develop a new appropriate model where managing and updating information is available in real-time for the customers to view, search and get informed about products availability, latest products launched, exclusive promotions and orders status with up-to-date data. Developing e-commerce capabilities is also a significant way to achieve improved customer satisfaction permitting foodservice operators to place their orders through a straightforward, fast and simple process any day and any time of the week which enables processing the orders more efficiently with higher accuracy. Additionally, customers have the option to seamlessly manage the complete ordering process for multiple branch locations from a unified customer dashboard.
Azmi added: “The huge promise of e-commerce, since its inception, has been the creation of a win-win for both buyers and sellers. With the advantages of the model becoming apparent to all concerned in recent years, the online transactions will only increase. However, we will see a shift in priorities from customers, who are becoming more sophisticated in articulating their needs. Convenience is becoming a default expectation and sellers will need to evolve their offerings and tertiary services, in order to differentiate their brand.”
The distributor believes that their new e-commerce portal will allow a dynamic understanding of customers’ needs and requirements and capturing data-driven insights to help drive further innovation on the market. Moreover, the figures can be used to improve pricing data tracking, which enables developing enhanced strategies throughout the supply chain.
These new digital capabilities are expected to achieve great momentum; Chef Middle East continues to use technology to create cutting-edge innovation, unparalleled accessibility, convenience and greater value for all its customers, old and new. “Inspiring Culinary Craftsmanship” remains the distributor’s main mission, bringing together world-class brands, premium quality food and beverage ingredients and talented foodservice professionals keen on exploring new kitchen solutions to get inspired and craft memorable dining experiences.