Yim Platform, the food business subsidiary of Central Retail, today announced a collaboration with Google Cloud to aid the recovery of hotel, restaurant, and catering (HoReCa) businesses and stay ahead of consumers’ evolving food preferences. The collaboration will also support Yim Platform’s strategy to establish itself as a one-stop B2B HoReCa e-commerce platform with net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and its efforts to help farmers earn income from new distribution channels, following its commitment to becoming Thailand’s first green and sustainable retailer.
By building on Google Cloud’s open, secure, scalable, and sustainable infrastructure and services, Yim Platform aims to enrich the customer experience and empower users with data-driven intelligence. CHEF YIM is Yim Platform’s one-stop B2B e-commerce platform for HoReCa businesses to procure high-quality ingredients and supplies at affordable prices. Yim Platform recently launched CHO YIM, a similar service for traditional grocery retailers, and CHEF YIM at Home, an online grocery service for consumers to purchase from curated lists of ingredients when planning for home cooked meals like Thai curry or tom yam. Yim Platform leverages the expertise of Tops, Thailand’s leading food retailer, to source ingredients from a supplier network that includes more than 1,000 local farmers and processed food providers. It also uses Tops’ nationwide logistics network to fulfill orders with the highest service standards.
“The pandemic has accentuated the issue of fragmented supply chains that are making it difficult for HoReCa businesses to secure the right ingredients to meet consumer demand, on top of having to do more with less when running their operations. Through a digital-first approach, CHEF YIM is streamlining supply chains to help them easily obtain supplies with profitability in mind. We’ve also seen the rise of an ‘at-home economy,’ with Thais incorporating home cooking into their daily routines. With the launch of CHO YIM and CHEF YIM at Home, we expect our technology requirements to increase exponentially,” said Jirasak Chirathivat, Co-founder and Head of Yim Platform, Central Retail. “We’re therefore moving to Google Cloud for its superior scalability, developer-friendly tools, unmatched data analytics expertise, focus on sustainability, and speed of execution. With Google Cloud as our primary cloud provider, we’ve found the secret sauce for accelerating CHEF YIM and CHO YIM’s next phase of growth. This will reinforce our position as the number one food retailer in Thailand, as we make continuous improvements to ensure that our customers enjoy the best shopping experience.”
The collaboration will address four strategic imperatives:
Prioritising ease of use and user security: Recognizing that user friendliness is crucial for winning over those who are new to its digital services, Yim Platform has been using Flutter, an application development toolkit by Google, to craft an aesthetically appealing, responsive, and intuitive user interface for its web and mobile applications. Yim Platform then uses Firebase Authentication to ensure that the user sign-in and onboarding process is simple, seamless, and most importantly, secure.
Designing frictionless purchasing experiences: To elevate the digital shopping experience, Yim Platform is turning to Cloud Run’s serverless computing and automated application deployment capabilities to release software updates – without causing downtime. These updates include keeping product and user information up to date and adding search functions for users to seamlessly reorder items or find alternatives – from proteins to produce to seafoods to seasoning, and more. Given that these Google Cloud services are fully managed on Yim Platform’s behalf, its technical teams can avoid time-consuming manual backend configurations and focus on creating more features that benefit users.
Serving up smarter services: Yim Platform will adopt BigQuery to integrate internal and third-party datasets, and Looker Studio to turn that data into insights that inform business decisions. In the future, Yim Platform’s consultants could potentially identify emerging trends – such as health-conscious consumers’ growing appetite for organic produce or plant-based meats, before sourcing the right supplies and advising HoReCa businesses to incorporate these ingredients into their menus. Yim Platform will also explore working with Google Cloud to deploy machine learning algorithms that serve personalized recommendations, forecast demand for ingredients, and optimize its logistics operations.
Shifting to sustainable operations: By migrating IT workloads to Google Cloud, the industry’s cleanest cloud, Yim Platform will inherit Google Cloud’s carbon neutrality and reduce its workloads’ carbon footprint, thereby contributing to Central Retail’s goal of a 30% reduction in its carbon emissions by 2030. To advance its goal of becoming a green and sustainable retailer, Central Retail is already transitioning to low-carbon logistics by using electric trucks, utilising energy-efficient chillers, and declining to carry products that contribute to deforestation, amongst other initiatives. It also plans to use Google Cloud’s Carbon Sense suite, which helps companies measure, track, and disclose the carbon emissions associated with their cloud usage for environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting, and take further action to reduce this footprint.
“Google Cloud’s ‘Farm to Table, Digitally Enabled’ research reveals that global food industry leaders are gaining the most value from funneling technology investments into four areas: building resilience against supply chain disruptions, margin expansion, adapting to shifting consumer diets and channels, and taking meaningful action on sustainability. Having adopted a digital-first business model to stay ahead in all of these areas, Yim Platform is establishing itself as one of the industry’s transformational leaders,” said April Srivikorn, Country Manager, Thailand, Google Cloud. “Google Cloud is proud to be collaborating with Yim Platform to advance its differentiated model and extend the benefits of cloud technologies to HoReCa businesses, traditional grocery retailers, and consumers. We look forward to working with many more like-minded organisations to shape a more efficient and environmentally sustainable food economy.”