The new normal posed even more challenges to people we rely on: parents and bosses. Denise Alelis, third-generation owner of Pampanga’s Best can relate.
Denise Alelis helps run a family business that’s a half-century old: Pampanga’s Best, arguably the most recognized brand when it comes to tocino (salty-sweet cured meat), a favorite Filipino dish. While running and sustaining a business has become quite difficult during the pandemic with all the community quarantines, times are especially challenging for mom-entrepreneurs like Denise.
According to her, months of living in the so-called new normal have been stressful because of multiple challenges and concerns that she has to face daily.
Her greatest challenge during the pandemic is the community quarantine. For 53 years, their business depended on transacting with various dealers in cities and provinces all over the Philippines and nearly all of these transactions were done face-to-face, with payments made in cash. Their customers would also go to supermarkets to buy their favorite tocino.
The lockdowns and quarantines, however, made it very difficult for their sales agents to travel to dealers. Even customers were unable to go to the supermarket to buy Pampanga’s Best products. Dealers had difficulty making payments in cash because of travel restrictions.
The obvious solution was to shift as many transactions as possible to online but it was not that easy. “There were dealers who did not welcome this shift right away, like our dealers in the palengke. They were saying that they didn’t have any mobile banking or that they didn’t know how to use it. We were able to solve that by giving them training. There was a learning curve that we had to hurdle.”
Online selling meant that payments would have to be made online as well. This meant shifting more of these transactions to mobile banking.
“We had an incident during the start of the ECQ where one of our sales agents was unable to trace a cash payment made by one of our dealers. Hindi namin mahanap yung deposit slip ng payment. So, after that we decided to shift all payments online through mobile banking because they can be monitored and tracked more easily,” she said.
Shifting transactions online began as a response to pandemic restrictions but it turned into an opportunity, eventually.
“It was actually during ECQ that we posted our highest sales. By going through these online channels and transactions, we were able to sell more products,” she said.
According to Denise, she and her team have become more dependent on the mobile banking services by BDO. For their employees, they now get their salaries through cash debit cards.
“Before the pandemic, I had to go to the office to release our employees’ salaries. Now everything is released through their cash debit cards. Going cashless limits face-to-face contact so that helps prevent transmission of disease: we’re not holding on to cash that could be contaminated and we’re preventing close-in physical contact as well.”
Denise has been with her branch for years. She opened her first savings account when she worked at her first job (before she joined the family business). She appreciates how her bank is helping her cope with the challenges of the pandemic because it spares her from a lot of stress and anxiety.
“Even though we’re in the middle of a public health crisis, my bank has always been there for me; very reliable and dependable during these challenging times,” she said.
continues to provide products and services that help mompreneurs like Denise
get the relief, ease, and convenience they deserve so that they more easily
attain work-life balance. For more information on how BDO can help keep your
business running in good or bad times, visit www.bdo.com.ph/keepbusinessmoving
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