Utility Stores To Be Digitalized Nationwide

Digital transformation has the potential to revolutionize any society on both macro and micro levels. Digitalization has been further enabled by innovative technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, automated inventory databases, and automation of production processes which have modified the traditional ways of doing business and managing operations.

Overall, digitalization transforms the citizen’s relationship with their government or business and convinces them of the need to modernize the public sector for gaining maximum convenience.

While governments around the world are still striving to enter the age of digitalization, Pakistan is already covering a massive ground under the Digital Pakistan Initiative. A digitized form of government allows increased efficiency and transparency, streamlines its processes, optimizes the associated costs, improves access to information, and increases citizen engagement and level of their satisfaction.

In this regard, the Utility Stores Corporation of Pakistan (USC) recently collaborated with the National Radio and Telecommunication Corporation (NRTC) and Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL), which is the national telecom operator, to fully automate their stores throughout the country.

This collaboration is among the national initiatives that have been taken under the Digital Pakistan Initiative led by the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Among the collaborators were the Federal Ministry for Industries and Production, Federal Ministry for Information Technology and Telecommunication, Federal Ministry for Defense Production, NRTC, USC, and PTCL.

The digitalization of the nationwide utility stores will include more than 4,000 retail stores, 124 warehouses, 64 regional offices, 9 zonal offices along with all USC business processes including supply chain, warehousing, financials, human resources, and e-commerce are to be automated in a matter of few months as reported by Dawn News.

PTCL will play the role in the connectivity and surveillance of stores, data center colocation for both primary and DR sites, along with storage on PTCL’s Cloud platform.

Once this automation process is complete, utility stores all over Pakistan will be able to manage their supply chain, human resources, and salaries, along with selling & purchasing processes with complete ease. This collaboration is said to be the largest digital transformation of any public-oriented government department.

The benefits of this digitalization endeavor will include effective management of the consumer goods available in the utility stores, minimizing over-stocks, and unavailability of necessities that are essential goods for the less privileged class of the country.

The digital transformation of a government-run public department requires investment in equipment and technology as well as a holistic analysis and execution plan. This plan must encompass the administrative management model, the fundamental objectives of public policies, the organizational structure, the governance philosophy, and the situation of human capital at the time of digitalization.

International cases show the achievements and challenges of various countries, from which best practices can be identified and recommendations can be derived that will reduce the risk factors for such initiatives.

Digital Pakistan’s vision has never been this close to reality. It is good to see the government and corporate sectors like PTCL work hand-in-hand with a single purpose that is to serve the people of Pakistan.

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