Expanding YCP’s Greater China and Global Capabilities with YCP Shenkuo

The business integration of YCP and Shenkuo presents exciting opportunities in Greater China and beyond.

July 2024 , by Naoki Arai , Craig Morin, Fred Chan, Alexandra Santiago, Arianne Chuidian

In the dynamic and rapidly evolving business landscape of Greater China, companies face a myriad of challenges and opportunities. As the region continues to assert itself as a global economic powerhouse, the need for specialized, insightful, and adaptable business strategies has never been more critical.  

YCP Group and Shenkuo have recently announced their business integration, marking a significant milestone that will enable both firms to offer enhanced services and capabilities across various industries. This integration will particularly benefit business transformation, supply chain, and logistics for B2B and B2C companies operating in the dynamic Greater China region.

YCP Solidiance Managing Partner and Greater China Regional Manager Naoki Arai, along with YCP Shenkuo Partner Craig Morin and Director Fred Chan, discuss how the integration will boost YCP Group's overall business capabilities. They also explore the exciting changes in the Greater China region in recent years, highlighting new insights and opportunities for global business.

Can you give us an overview of YCP’s services in the Greater China region? 

Naoki Arai, Managing Partner: In Greater China, our business covers both the consumer  and industrial sectors. For the consumer sector, we cover consumer goods, retail, and F&B, where we provide support for strategy, strategy execution, business and digital transformation, and PMO. For the industrial sector, we have manufacturing, automotive/EV, automotive aftermarket, chemicals and energy clients. For these clients, most of them were focusing on go-to-market strategy to wisely invest in the China market. 

As the China economy slows down, our clients’ issues have changed from topline growth to bottom-line growth or profitable growth, and have supported a lot of transformational changes recently. 

How do you foresee the integration with Shenkuo impacting YCP’s position in Greater China? 

Their specific capability on the operational side is one of the advantages of the integration with Shenkuo. As our Greater China team is focused on the business/digital transformation side, we needed a deeper capability on company operations, such as supply chain area. Another intention is to increase B2C clientele, and the integration can increase our Western clients. In addition, with the economic downtrend in China, we see a big trend of Chinese companies going overseas. With Shenkuo’s French capability, we will have a broader regional coverage in Europe too. 

Can you share with us what the landscape is looking like for the markets (Greater China, SEA, South Korea, Australia) that you handle in terms of emerging trends or industries?   

Craig Morin, YCP Shenkuo Partner: On the sourcing and supplier side—more and more focus on both sustainability and traceability. A lot of that is regulation-driven, so we’re working with clients to see how they improve the visibility of not just their tier 1 suppliers, but tier 2 and 3, and how they are optimizing their processes.  

On the supply chain side, there’s a lot of work being done on visibility and improvements with demand forecasting. So, we’re very excited to be working with YCP and its AI partners on improvements to demand forecasting, planning and automating replenishment as this removes both labor and uncertainty from the supply chain planning process.  

What are the key challenges that you see clients facing when it comes to supply chain strategy in Greater China, and how can YCP Shenkuo help address them?   

One of the key challenges is cost optimization versus sustainability, visibility, resilience, and “China Plus N.” Previously everything was focused on the cost, and now there’s many more variables that companies are factoring into their overall supply chain construction. It’s really working with them to say, “Here’s how you can prioritize the secondary or alternative objectives,” and still do it with a low-cost base and achieve similar results, but with a more resilient and sustainable supply chain.   

How has this integration with YCP been beneficial for you and the Shenkuo team and clients?  

A large portion of our work has been done in Hong Kong and China, historically, but now clients have increased their focus for both consumer growth and sourcing to SEA and elsewhere. We’ve been working on with the YCP team to make sure that everybody in Southeast Asia, Japan and India knows our service offerings and can help us engage with clients there.  

In addition, when talking to clients in those markets, we can now communicate our enhanced delivery capabilities. Instead of staffing out of HK or SH, we can provide local resources e.g., “Here’s a manager in Singapore that could help us with these specific projects,” or “an analyst in Jakarta that could help us with these items.” That’s where we see a lot of benefits on both sides.   

What makes YCP Shenkuo a unique choice for clients compared to other consulting firms?   

In addition to providing strategy services, we have a deep and hands-on implementation approach so clients can count on us to not just provide a report but actually see it through so they realize the benefits. On the sustainability side, we try to take a process optimization “lean” approach. In addition, just focusing on optimizing costs or throughput, we factor in electricity or carbon footprint as a waste that needs to be eliminated. Reducing these in addition to the traditional factors will also likely drive down cost as there are costs associated with them. By leveraging these savings to invest further into the business or to drive other sustainability gains, we can assist companies in creating a blueprint that would allow them to reduce their carbon footprint. This is an approach we’re well suited to with our optimization tools for internal business processes, business transformation, and the supply chain.  

What strategies does Shenkuo employ that distinguish it from competitors, and how can these strategies be adapted to meet the unique challenges and opportunities in the Greater China market?  

Fred Chan, YCP Shenkuo Director: Shenkuo’s strategy is to provide end-to-end business solutions to our clients; for example, we supported a high-jewelry brand’s finance shared service center to streamline their accounting processes and work prioritization system, redesigned their reporting structure, and, most critically, led them through the changes during the implementation stage. Our relationships with clients often go beyond a single phase, as we bring our deep experience in operations excellence and project implementation change management to the table to ensure we chart the path to sustainable success together.  

Our willingness to invest in such long-term relationships and become their trusted advisors sets us apart in the challenging business environment in the Greater China market.

How can YCP's established relationships and deep understanding of Asian markets be utilized to create synergies and drive growth for clients operating in both Greater China and EU industries?  

The synergies are clear—Shenkuo is always ready to support our clients’ ambitions to expand beyond their existing region into Southeast Asia. With YCP’s relationships, knowledge, and presence of resources across Asia, we have the potential to enhance our current offerings and significantly expand our client base, driving growth in the Greater China and EU industries. 

To learn more about YCP Shenkuo, please visit: https://ycpshenkuo.com/

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