The third keynote speaker following Dr. Rittavee is Kong Wan Long, Co-Founder and Chief Commercial Officer of JustCo. JustCo is Asia’s leading premium flexible workspace provider, with more than 30 centres across Asia and over 17,000 members within the community. With a vision to ‘make work better’, Wan Long shared about how digitalisation and technology has greatly transformed the business functions of JustCo today.
Wan Long is a strong believer of innovation and always adopted the mindset of ‘Innovate or Die’. There are many examples of corporates that failed to innovate and eventually became obsolete. These businesses did not see a need for a change as they were already doing so well, which was a very risky mindset to have – Wan Long highlighted.
At the presentation, Wan Long shared a case study on Blockbuster VS Netflix, whereby the former ran into a business failure in 2010. Back in the 2000s, Blockbuster was the largest and most successful VDO rental vendors in the United States who had a total of 90,000 employees. However, the business went into bankruptcy in 2010. How did that happen? Blockbuster failed to innovate fast enough and were hit by a decline when Netflix started bringing convenience to customers by sending DVDs and VDOs by post. Subsequently, Netflix changed their business model and started streaming videos online – which turned out to be an industry game changer. In the recent years, Netflix began creating their own content, which has allowed them to gain a strong competitive stance.
Founded in 2011, JustCo is a Singapore-based flexible workspace operator. When JustCo first started out, the co-working concept wasn’t widely adopted in Asia. Overtime, individuals and businesses started to see the real value of being connected to a large community and co-sharing resources to save costs, and became increasingly receptive to the this new way of working. Market demand surged. At that point, JustCo was already serving a number of large corporates and Fortune 500 companies, and the team soon recognised the importance of innovation and how it plays a crucial role to the growth, survival and success of a company. JustCo started to invest on technology platforms to scale its business, in order for businesses of all shapes and sizes to harness the full benefits from the effect of co-working.
According to Wan Long, embracing innovation and technology is the key to success for every organisation. JustCo is investing and ramping up on several technology solutions to enhance service offerings that will power up our current flexible workspace and community program. Additionally, they look to go beyond physical spaces and aim to build the “Future of Work”, by creating a smart digital workplace to enhance experiences and encourage collaborations among members.
With that, JustCo has adopted 3 digital transformation tools:
- Smart Space Planning
- JustCo App
- Digital Payment Gateway
Photo Source: freepik.com
These tools have allowed JustCo to continually redefine and enhance flexible workspace experience for their members.
Smart Space Planning
During the early days of JustCo, spaces were created merely based on logic, observations and the law of Feng Shui. It did not take them long to realise there is more to what customers need.
Wan Long highlighted that with data and information collected, it can be used to track and evaluate how often are spaces being effectively used. This allows the team to design the most relevant and preferred spaces that further enhance productivity and business collaboration.
Besides understanding the habits and behavioural patterns of customers, Wan Long emphasized on the importance of understanding who their customers are. For example, in order to cater to the over 30-40% of enterprise clients at JustCo, the company will engage space utilisation analytics to track and evaluate how often are spaces being effectively used – a technology that allows JustCo to create a workspace that is productive and conducive to its members.
With the use of tech-powered tools, the smart digital workspace piloted by JustCo will facilitate and connect members based on their preferences within the JustCo community. A modern tech-enabled digitalised workplace is one that is highly scalable and disruptive business model to enhance experience for JustCo members.
The newly launched JustCo App was developed to enhance the way members meet, network and collaborate; one that encourages closer interactions across the regional community. JustCo members will use this app as personal virtual passport to enjoy seamless access to any regional centres, book resources, signup for exclusive events, enjoy members-only perks, receive community news, submit and track service requests all with a click of a button.
With the JustCo App, members are able to build their presence in the JustCo regional network with personalized business profiles, match themselves with potential customers, strike conversations with various businesses and more.
Digital Payment Gateway
Digital Payment Gateway helped JustCo improved in their efficiency by providing on-the-go digital payment gateway through their online platforms.
Over the years, JustCo is working towards creating a digitalised workspace experience for its members, by pushing a modern technology-driven workspace as a key differentiator in the industry. For example, with digitalisation, members can make bookings for membership via the JustCo website – this further streamlines procedures, by allowing payment to be made through an online system without going through the hassle of phone calls, sending emails, or personally coming down to JustCo centres.
As part of JustCo’s aggressive expansion plans, the brand looks to triple its regional footprint in Asia Pacific within a year, to more than one and a half million sq ft by the first half of 2019. Hence, in order to gain a stronger foothold when entering new markets, it is important for JustCo to understand their own clients and their business needs.
Following Wan Long’s presentation, the audience posed some questions on how did JustCo decide to introduce a particular product or service, and was it based on customer surveys? In response to this enquiry, Wan Long mentioned that JustCo started off with CRM activities by collecting relevant information from their customers. Based on the collected data, it has allowed the team to better understand their members, make accurate predictions and eventually meet the needs of their members. More than often, this process would take three years to derive meaningful conclusions. Hence, it is recommended to start early.
Photo Source: freepik.com
The next question raised by the audience was regarding the team behind JustCo, and if there were any specific personalities hired to form part of the company. Wan Long responded that JustCo started with a relatively small team before its staff strength started growing fivefold to support its growing network of centres since 2015. Today, JustCo’s senior management team comes with broad expertise in the areas of real estate, strategic investments, enterprise business development and community building.
On the question of how JustCo manages conservative executives who may have the desire to innovate, yet reluctant to change – Wan Long responded that while they started off with focusing 100% of their resources on their product, the management team soon realized they needed to allocate over 40% of their resources to innovation. “It is always important to identify a clear goal and vision that your business aims to achieve in the near future, so that you can truly understand and appreciate the type of ‘innovation’ to invest in,” says Kong Wan Long.
Source : TMA_ Digital Transformation Forum 2019