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Issue 9, Jun 2013

Productivity, Processes and People

When Singapore Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam delivered his Budget Speech in Parliament in February 2013, the message that Singapore must boost productivity in order to achieve quality growth came through loud and clear. The same message has been reinforced time and again by the who’s who from government to commerce, spanning ministers, leaders of chambers of commerce, management of companies and business “gurus”.

Yes, it is clear that Singapore businesses need to transform in order to grow.

After all, our productivity currently stands at about 70 per cent of the most advanced economies. Although it is not to be sniffed at, given that the figure was only 30 per cent some three decades ago, the 70 per cent mark is not good enough in today’s competitive global business landscape.

SMEs are the backbone of the economy, and by extension, productivity among SMEs is key to Singapore’s target to boost productivity from two to three per cent. But despite the many schemes that are available to help companies transform their operations, SMEs appear to be slow to bite – the reason most often cited is that they are too mired in their day-to-day operations to even embark on a review of their businesses. Similarly, being lean in manpower and financial resources, they cannot afford to send their staff for upgrading or training.

This is where the UOB-SMU Asian Enterprise Institute can step in, with its flagship SMU Consulting Programme. 

In the case study which follows, you will read about how two student-consulting teams reviewed the business operations of Wemark Techno Engineering Pte Ltd, and provided them with workable solutions to the challenges they were facing. Drawing on appropriate Business Process Management knowledge, the teams leveraged scientific techniques to carry out analytical studies with a view to improving operations and streamlining processes so as to grow productivity.

Too often, “textbook theories” are unfairly dismissed as being impractical and divorced from reality. However, when correctly applied, tools and strategies like Business Process Management, Six Sigma, Quick Response Management and Lean Management, to name a few, provide a practical and structured approach that can ultimately improve the workflow, accelerate productivity and add to the bottom line.

One major element in this success equation is the people – because without the buy-in and commitment of the people at every level of the organisation, even the best-laid plans will be doomed. That’s why the title of this introduction puts equal focus on productivity, processes and people.

I hope the case study gets you thinking about the next steps for your organisation.

 

High-mix Low-volume (HMLV) Environments: Challenges and New Journeys: Wemark Techno Engineering Pte Ltd

Wemark Techno Engineering Pte Ltd is a home-grown company that was established in 1984. Today, it is a group of companies that offer various integrated engineering solutions such as: Turnkey contract manufacturing, Design and custom fabrication services...read on
 

Last updated on 31 May 2017 .

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