ISCA Youth Associates got an “insider” look at Decathlon Singapore Lab, the sports retailer’s newest and largest store which spans over 5,000 square metres.

Company visits such as the one hosted by Decathlon would allow ISCA Youth Associates to gain valuable insights into the company, the nature of the business, the industry as a whole as well as the Finance Team functions in the organisation. This is part of the Student Membership benefits that accountancy undergraduates enjoy when they join the Institute as ISCA Youth Associates. The membership will prepare them early for the dynamic business environment after graduation while they are still in school.

Decathlon is the world’s largest sporting goods retailer, with six outlets in Singapore. Managing Director Nils Swolkien and Chief Financial Officer Tang Poh Lu, an ISCA member, were among the many Decathlonians who spoke to the ISCA student members at their Decathlon Singapore “Lab”. Besides sharing about the company’s structure and future plans, they also shared their interesting career journeys.

As the name suggests, the “Lab” is where the company tests and refines its new systems before implementation across its other outlets. For example, to improve in-store efficiency, it is currently testing a robotic solution developed by an employee, where a robot can complete a full-store inventory check in six hours.

To fulfil its promise of a two-hour delivery time for online orders, the outlet employs an in-store conveyor belt system that transports products from the retail floor to the packing station, effectively reducing lead time, and raising overall accuracy and efficiency. These digital transformations showcase Decathlon’s commitment to adopt technologies to enhance business productivity.

The global business environment is evolving every day and becoming more dynamic and disruptive than ever before. In his sharing, Mr Tang said that the Finance Team needs to initiate value creation through process optimisation, proactive analytics and invest in technology innovation to help businesses stay ahead of the game.

To provide a customer-centric shopping experience, four of the Decathlon stores host a variety of “experience zones”. An example includes a walking trail that features four different terrains, allowing customers to try out related products such as shoes and trekking poles before purchase.

The store’s B2B Manager Maddie Low (speaking), and HR and Training & Development Leader Annatasia Juhari (left), introducing one of the many “experience zones” to the visitors

The ISCA Student Membership, launched in March this year, is open to all local accountancy undergraduates. It aims to prepare students early for the dynamic business environment while they are still in school. Through the programme, ISCA Youth Associates will enjoy a range of benefits through their affiliation to the national accountancy body, and be better prepared for their career through ISCA’s array of talks, workshops as well as networking opportunities and company visits. To join as an ISCA Youth Associate, please click here.