Singapore yesterday unveiled the industry digital plan (IDP) for the Marine & Offshore Engineering Industry (M&OE), with the aim of helping digitise about 1,000 enterprises and upskilling more than 75,000 employees.
Catherine Chong, director for the SMEs Go Digital programme at IMDA, urged the industry players to seize the opportunity to kickstart their digitisation journey by tapping on the IDP, which served as a roadmap through the whole process.
“With increasing shortage in skilled manpower and rising global competition, it is vital for SMEs in the M&OE industry to build greater resilience to adapt and thrive in the digital future,” Chong said.
“SMEs can seize new growth opportunities by integrating and investing in relevant digital technologies to enhance their productivity and business performance, such as Project Scheduling and Workforce Management systems, and Predictive Monitoring & Maintenance using AI and IoT technologies. Ultimately, we hope to see these digitalisation efforts boost the industry as a whole,” she added.
Jointly developed by Enterprise Singapore (ESG) and the IMDA, the IDP was developed based on consultations and feedback from industry players in 2020 which showed that SMEs were keen to streamline operations and maximise productivity through digital tools. In line with the needs of the industry, the IDP comprises two roadmaps – the Digital Roadmap charts out different digital solutions SMEs can adopt at each stage of their business growth and digital maturity; while the Digital Training Roadmap offers a corresponding training roadmap for employees, to equip them with the right skill sets.
The M&OE IDP includes specially curated solutions such as Workforce Optimiser, Project and Scheduling Management, and Asset Monitoring and Management System. Companies who have adopted such solutions have seen productivity improvements and better time management by employees.
Esther Xu, M&OE Services director at ESG noted that apart from the impact of COVID-19, the industry is facing major shifts, such as the accelerated global transition towards cleaner energy and rapid advancements in technology such as Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), cloud computing, robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
“As an export-oriented sector, SMEs will need to leverage digital technology and solutions to manage current challenges and in the longer run, stay ahead of global competition. This is not just about knowing which digital solutions are available, but understanding how different technologies can be applied to deliver business value and impact. However, the use of technology must be complemented by a workforce that is equipped with the necessary digital skillsets. This IDP provides a framework for M&OE SMEs to start their digital journey,” Xu said.
Already, several local MO&E companies have started digitising their operations. For one, Masterscan Engineering recently adopted a Workforce Management solution. Together with their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, this has enabled them to reduce the time needed for invoicing and payroll by about 50% and 30% respectively.
Another SME, Completion Products, implemented an ERP solution to streamline their corporate functions. In addition, the company adopted new software and machinery such as Quality Management System (QMS) and semi-automated Screen Wrapping Machine to reduce material waste and project lead time. This helped lower their operating expenditure by 10%.