As a supplier of multi-functional textile with over 40 years of experience, Tiong Liong understands the importance of building and maintaining relationships with customers. Since their beginnings in 1979, the company has built a strong network – but it takes time and effort to maintain these valuable connections. That’s why they first joined Material Exchange back in 2019: to use the system to keep in touch with their many contacts, whether existing or prospective customers. Since then, Tiong Liong has discovered so much more that Material Exchange has to offer, and how the platform can help the way they do business more efficiently.
“We joined Material Exchange in 2019 with a goal of cutting down on the number of physical material books we send out to our existing and potential customers,” said Flora Tang, Tiong Liong’s Marketing Project Manager in a recent conversation about their experience with Material Exchange. “Since joining the platform, we’ve successfully reduced that number by up to 50%. Now, we’re able to showcase our materials all year round, and simply share a link to our digital materials with customers and prospects. We’ve also been able to significantly cut down on our shipping fees, opening up more budget for other priorities like sustainability.”
Sustainability is indeed a big focus for Tiong Liong. The company takes pride in over a decade following the 4R concept, which focuses on minimizing environmental impact through Reducing, Reusing, Recycling, and Renewing as well as their being a BLUESIGN system partner. Through the Material Exchange platform, Tiong Liong is able to provide information on these sustainability initiatives so brand users can make informed buying decisions about the materials they purchase.
Saving money and time is an important part of why Tiong Liong has decided to continue being a part of the Material Exchange ecosystem. Rather than sending a physical material book for every inquiry, with just one click, they can now share a link to a page where all material information is available: attribute data, certificates, documents, reports – anything that’s attached to the material. Not to mention the savings they’re seeing on the cost of each book and its postage.
Tiong Liong also values the experience they have with Material Exchange. “I appreciate the support we receive from Material Exchange,” says Tang. “They offer useful training and marketing support which makes a huge difference.”
The material sourcing industry is currently undergoing a huge transformation, and Tiong Liong takes their role within this transformation seriously.
“Digitization is the trend right now, and we want to be pioneers in the industry,” says Tang. “We want to stay ahead of the curve and stay ahead of our competitors.”
Not only does Tiong Liong prioritize digitization internally – they also think it’s important to help their customers stay on top of the latest industry trends. They share useful information with their network so everyone can learn and benefit, and they encourage customers to digitize their own businesses for smoother operations.
“Some customers say they don’t want to go digital, they want physical fabric books,” says Tang. “But I say we have a responsibility to educate our customers. It’s better to be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to adopting these kinds of technologies and moving your business into the future.”