Small and medium enterprises in Singapore will have better access to a host of capability upgrading resources, ranging from game-changing technologies to digital and mobile marketing tools, through the launch of five new Collaborative Industry Projects (CIPs), according to Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck during the inaugural SME Capabilities Forum held at the Resorts World Convention Centre in Sentosa.
Led by industry partners and supported by SPRING Singapore under the CIP1 initiative, the projects will collectively impact over 400 SMEs across multiple industries.
Enhancing SME Access to Technology Innovation
To further encourage SMEs to focus on innovation-led growth, three of the five new CIPs are designed to help SME adopt Radio Frequency and Identification (RFID) and image recognition technologies. These technologies provide SMEs greater visibility over their assets and processes, transform their operational efficiency and improve customer engagement.
The three CIPs are a result of a collaboration between SPRING and A*STAR, and are targeted at SMEs across a variety of industries including Manufacturing, Retail, Logistics, Advertising, Tourism and Education.
As part of this collaboration, SPRING and A*STAR have appointed three private sector Systems Integrators to customise and deploy two of A*STAR’s Ready-to-Go (RTG) technology platforms to address industry-specific needs.
The projects will result in the development and mass adoption of three customised solutions: (1) a Smart Management Tracking System (SMTS) that is capable of fully-automated item tracking for more efficient inventory management as well as employee and asset tracking; (2) an enhanced Pocket-Trips application that will enable SMEs in the education, tourism and MICE sectors to develop more interactive geospatial applications with analytics and gamification functions; and (3) an enhanced Knorex Arise augmented reality platform which will help SMEs in the advertising and eCommerce sectors improve customer engagement.
Under this collaboration, SPRING will also provide funding support to a target group of 200 SMEs for the adoption of these solutions, while A*STAR will provide technical expertise.
Exploring New Marketing Channels for Growth
SPRING has also collaborated with two other private sector industry partners – Dodoca Information Technology (S) Pte Ltd (Dodoca) and Digital Influence Lab (DIL) – to launch two CIPs aimed at helping local SMEs enhance their sales, marketing and customer engagement capabilities.
Titled “Dodoca Integrated Mobile Marketing & Productivity Solution” (DIMMPS), the project led by Dodoca will provide over 150 companies, particularly heartland SMEs, with an integrated IT solution as well as technical training to enable them to harness the growing Online-to-Offline (O2O) mobile marketing trend.
At the core of the DIMMPS is the WeChat mobile application, which is developed by Chinese internet company Tencent and has been used by many small and large businesses, particularly in China, for various eCommerce and mobile marketing applications.
Participating SMEs will benefit from having an additional sales and marketing channel through an official WeChat merchant account and online store. Comprising an in-built customer relationship management (CRM) system as well as automated customer engagement and marketing features, the DIMMPS will also enhance SMEs’ marketing capabilities for better customer engagement.
Complementing the DIMMPS project is the “Digital Marketing Solution” CIP led by DIL. Under this project, DIL will help at least 50 SMEs build in-house digital marketing capabilities through tools such as social media marketing.
DIL will provide consultancy and training services based on a proprietary four-step digital marketing methodology, which will help SMEs identify their ideal market position and the most appropriate digital channels to market their products and services.
“It is increasingly important for SMEs to integrate innovation into their business model as global competition intensifies,” said Chew Mok Lee, Assistant Chief Executive of SPRING Singapore.
“Innovations such as RFID, image recognition and mobile marketing technologies not only increase the SMEs’ competitive advantage but help them overcome high business costs and manpower challenges. Through the CIP initiative, we hope to increase SME adoption of these technologies across multiple industries for higher productivity and sustainable growth.
“SPRING will continue to explore collaborative opportunities with industry partners, across the public and private sectors, to support our SMEs in their business transformation journey.”
SMEs are encouraged to sign up for CIPs that are relevant to their business, and invest in further capability upgrading projects that can be supported by SPRING assistance schemes such as the Capability Development Grant (CDG).
To be eligible for the CIP and CDG schemes, SMEs must be registered and operating in Singapore, have a minimum of 30% local shareholding, and a group annual sales turnover of not more than S$100 million or group employment size of not more than 200 employees.
Interested SMEs can approach the respective industry partners to sign up and receive funding support of up to 70 percent of qualifying adoption costs.