The application of IoT, augmented reality, artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomous robots are just some of the advanced technologies food manufacturers in Singapore have to adopt in the coming years to align with the new Food Manufacturing Industry Digital Plan (IDP) launched last Thursday.
Rolled out by Enterprise Singapore (ESG) and IMDA, the IDP is a three-stage industry roadmap that would benefit approximately 1,000 food manufacturers and over 50,000 workers in the city sate. It charts out the different digital solutions food manufacturing SMEs can adopt at each stage of their business growth and digital maturity, as well as a corresponding roadmap of training programmes to equip workers with the right skillsets.
“The food manufacturing industry must accelerate its pace of digitalisation to deal with challenges, such as changing consumer preferences and disruptions to supply chain. By making use of digital tools to reap higher efficiencies, optimise resources and access new customers, our companies will be able to raise their competitive edge and scale up. The Food Manufacturing IDP can be the first step in helping our food manufacturers acquire new digital capabilities that will benefit both company and employees,” said Dilys Boey, assistant chief executive officer of ESG said.
Kiren Kumar, deputy chief executive of IMDA said: “The Food Manufacturing IDP is a practical resource for food manufacturers to use digital tools to ensure food safety and traceability, automate labour-intensive tasks and access new markets. It is essential that SMEs in this sector build their digital capabilities, given the shifts in today’s operating environment, with consumer preferences for sustainable products and online purchases, as well as employee demand for upskilling and higher value-added jobs.”
The IDP is part of the SMEs Go Digital Programme, which aims to make going digital simple for SMEs. The new initiative is jointly developed by ESG and IMDA, following consultation with early adopters of digital solutions, as well as industry partners including the Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF) and the Food Innovation and Resource Centre (FIRC).
The three-stage IDP roadmap is as follows:
Online self-assessment checklist and training roadmap
To make it easier for SMEs to embark on their digitalisation journeys, SMEs can make use of an online self-assessment checklist to help them better understand their digital maturity and readiness, as well as identify gaps in their digital capabilities. It takes into consideration factors such as the SME’s current business operations, level of digitalisation and business expansion plans. The checklist is accessible here.
To ensure that workers are also equipped with the right skills to stay relevant and support the SME’s digitalisation journey, the IDP also includes a Digital Training Roadmap to guide the industry in preparing their workforce with the necessary skills to adopt digital solutions.
SMEs can visit GoBusiness Gov Assist for the list of pre-approved solutions under the IDP that are supported by the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG).