Jazzbi Chew is a young Malaysian who believes in building dreams. And the 30-something interior designer with a bold style that stands out from the mainstream wants to also set her business apart by breaking away from a more tradition setup.

“I feel that in the entire market, no matter what industry you are in, is at a turning point,” says the founder of design firm Zcube.

Determined to become her own boss and realise her full potential, she headed to the UK to further her studies in interior design. Upon her return, she started to build her business targeting commercial clients in the retail and hospitality industries.

Shredding the Paper Trail

Adopting the small and nimble company profile she had observed in the UK, Jazzbi decided that she would only have designers in her office. She did not want any headcount to do administrative tasks.

Based outside of Kuala Lumpur in Petaling Jaya, Jazzbi and her team travel often to meet clients. This means there is a slew of travel expense.

Raymond Chui, Executive Director and Country Head of Business Banking, UOB Malaysia observed that the pain point of Zcube was the time spent tracking paperwork. “For a small business like Zcube, they should spend more time managing their business and meeting their customers, rather than spending time managing administrative tasks and accounting reconciliation,” he said after meeting up with Jazzbi who successfully pitched for the Tech My Biz digital makeover.

Jazzbi believes that companies like hers need technology to work faster and better.

“I spend a lot of time keying in expense items. For example, ‘Has the order been placed? Has it been sent out or is it waiting for delivery?’” said Jazzbi of her workflow that often keeps her working deep into the night, wading through spreadsheets.

The small business owner also found herself bogged down by travel claims, especially at the end of the month.

I had to check each line item … the fare, mileage, distance travelled and toll fee. So, that took up quite a fair bit of my time.

When Design Meets Smart Business

After 10 years, Jazzbi wants to expand her company. But to do that, she needs to be able to focus on designing and winning projects, rather than back-end documentation. Her ideal is to have technology to better manage the office administration.

But like most of Malaysia’s SMEs who make up 98% of the business landscape, the founder of Zcube was unaware of on-demand business software for a small subscription fee by tapping into a central storage system. By using only what they want and need, small businesses can even scope and scale the applications according to their needs.

In the case of Zcube, the cloud-based software solutions which the design team tap on, is part of the SmartBusiness suite of applications from UOB Malaysia.

Staff use the app installed on their mobile devices to record and list their expenses. As for Jazzbi, whether at the office or on the road, she can use the app to approve these expenses with a few clicks.

Sometimes during meetings or when I’m waiting for a client,I can directly approve the claims using my phone. So it is quite convenient.

The repetitive, desk-bound tasks are now gone and are being handled by the scalable UOB Smart Business* suite of digital solutions that link all of Zcube projects. “I can clearly see whether my project flow is smooth or not, what is still pending and what do I need to follow up on,” says Jazzbi of the cloud-based system that can be accessed from a desktop, laptop or mobile device.

Using the app has brought down her operating costs and allowed her to be more responsive to her customers and suppliers. “With UOB’s Smart Business*, the master data is already in the system,” explained Jazzbi of the new way she provides a quotation to clients for new projects. “I only have to click on some buttons, it will generate the estimates for me. I can then send it to the client.”

“I can also manage my cash flow better. That is quite convenient!” a clearly delighted Jazzbi said of the UOB SmartBusiness* app, as she prepared to leave the office early for a dance class, something that wasn’t possible for her in the past.

With more time to do what she wants, Jazzbi said she is happy. But, what makes her even happier is the technology in place that’s helping her business to move ahead.

* UOB SmartBusiness in UOB Malaysia refers to the equivalent of UOB BizSmart in Singapore