日期: 8月 12, 2020
Mr. Douglas Foo, President of Singapore Manufacturing Federation
符标熊：在制造业领域，新加坡恢复第二阶段中所呈现的趋势体现在三个方面：一是更加重视安全和健康，很多制造业企业将不得不继续投资于安全管理所需的资源，包括准备好个人防护用品、密集的清洁时间表和工人之间的更多空间。这可能会在一段时间内影响制造业的经营决策。二是更多的制造业企业逐步都在采用数字化解决方案。我们看到，在防疫阻断期间，数字化项目的使用率有所增加，接受调查的会员也表示，采用新数字解决方案的比例在增加，95%采用新解决方案的人表示，他们将继续使用所采用的数字平台。这场大流行确实刺激了商业界采用技术，为了遵守控制病毒传播而施加的物理距离规则，这是必要条件。希望企业能够继续以更快的速度采用和整合数字化解决方案，以推动他们的转型之旅，为迎接新经济做好准备。第三，制造业企业投入财力培训未来的劳动力。推动数字化的举措最初是在2016年预算案中提出，此后一直是政府关注的领域。 随后，宣布了行业转型图（ITM），这些ITM包括了对各种行业和企业进行数字化的路线图。 这些ITM涵盖23个行业，在2019年的预算中，宣布的预算计划为43亿新元。
MiRXES Manufacturing Pte Ltd.
符标熊：在2019年10月于新加坡举行的第21届新加坡-山东经济贸易理事会（SSBC）会议上，新加坡贸工部兼教育部高级政务部长徐芳达（Chee Hong Tat）先生表示，新加坡和中国之间开展合作有三个主要途径，一是互联互通和贸易；二是现代服务业；三是可持续发展。我认为这些为新加坡和中国的制造商提供了许多有前景的机会。这些都是能从知识和专业知识共享中受益的关键增长领域，我相信我们有很多东西可以相互学习。
Makino Asia Pte Ltd.
SMF继续看到我们的人才培养计划被广泛采用。对于寻求新职位的专业人士、经理和高管（PME），SMF已协助2300多名PME转换到新的职业生涯。PME们通过PCP Broad Based、Overseas和P-Max等课程获得职业中期转换所需的各项技能。
Lim Kee Food Manufacturing Pte Ltd.
在我看来，我们将在制造业看到众多变化，而这只是其中一小部分。德勤在2020年5月发布的一份研究报告指出，通过采用人工智能、先进机器人技术、分析和物联网（IOT）等新技术，制造业的工作将以前所未有的速度转型。这项研究强调了德勤（Deloitte）和美国制造业研究所（Manufacturing Institute）联合进行的技能差距研究（skill Gap research）取得的发现，即技术能够创造的就业机会可能多于它所造成的破坏，只是挑战在于现有工人与现有工作所需技能之间的技能不匹配日益扩大。这与2018年世界经济论坛（WEF）的就业前景报告相呼应，即到2022年，27%的就业岗位将出现在新兴行业，而且是目前并未广泛存在的新兴行业。该报告还详细介绍了2022年的主要新兴职位，包括数据分析师和数据科学家、人工智能和机器学习专家、软件和应用程序开发人员及分析师。世界经济论坛的研究还指出，到2022年，每个人都需要额外安排101天的学习时间。
Mr. Douglas Foo, President of Singapore Manufacturing Federation:
Promoting the Innovation and Transformation of Singapore’s
Manufacturing Industry with Digital Solutions
At Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF) Building on July 29, 2020, compared with the quietness of the Tiong Bahru neighbourhood where it is located, the work scene in the SMF Building was indeed busy. President Douglas Foo had a fully packed work schedule, and he actively responded to various business clients. Most of the work point to one goal-talking about building “cooperation bridges”. The solution path of the manufacturers in the post-epidemic period has made Mr. Foo also feel the challenge, and his shoulders have added a heavy burden.
Undoubtedly, the industry turmoil caused by the COVID-19 is also an unprecedented challenge faced by Mr. Foo and all members of the SMF. The epidemic has made it impossible for any manufacturer to survive alone. With more than 3,000 member companies in this big family, what SMF can do for them is actually to create a new road even a new future for the entire industry of Singapore manufacturers. In this issue of the “Common Anti-epidemic” column, Mr. Foo, the president of SMF was specially invited for this topic. This is a relatively difficult period that SMF has faced in the 88 years since its establishment. However, President Foo was full of expectations for the overall transformation of the manufacturer. He believes that despite the many challenges and uncertainties, the road of transformation in the digital solutions has become the best choice for many manufacturers. After COVID-19 subsides, SMF is confident to lead more manufacturers to steadily move to the Industry 4.0 stage with new operating methods.
Question 1 What plans/programmes does SMF have to support businesses post-pandemic to recover economically.
Answer：The SMF believes in assisting manufacturers in constant training efforts and supporting the adoption of digitalisation capabilities to build a resilient manufacturing workforce. To this end, the SMF supports the manufacturing community with the following key activities to support companies in their recovery efforts:
- Digital Project Management Services (DPMS) – This programme provides project management by a consultant to the SMEs to implement pre-approved digital solutions. The project costs are subsidised by the government.
- Short courses conducted by our Centre for Corporate Learning or CCL. They conduct more than 600 training sessions annually, over more than 200 in-house courses on topics ranging from operations management to professional certifications.
- The CCL also administers the Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) for the manufacturing sector to reskill workers for a mid-career switch to manufacturing.
- We also encourage our members to look at new areas and to innovate. We have business Modelling programmes where our consultants provide their services to help companies to remain competitive. So far, hundreds of companies and managers have benefitted from this enterprise support.
e) Internationalisation – As a trade association we have been active in arranging business networking meeting for businesses in relevent countries to encourage Singapore businesses to explore new opportunities beyond our shores. The SMF organises more than 40 trade fairs and business missions to help our members explore new markets annually. While it may not physically possible for businesses to be travelling to other countries to explore new markets in the short term, the SMF encourages members to constant review their business models through innovation to be ready to seize opportunities when COVID-19 recedes and the world embraces a new way of doing business.
Question 2 With SG entering phase 2, what trends do you see in manufacturing post pandemic, please elaborate and analyze？
Answer：Key manufacturing trends in phase 2:
1. Increased emphasis on safety and health
Companies will have to continue to invest in the required resources for safe management, including keeping a ready stock of PPE, intensive cleaning schedules and more space between workers. This is likely to shape and impact manufacturing operations decisions for some time.
2. Adoption of digital solutions
We see an increased in uptake of digitalisation programmes during the circuit breaker, members surveyed have also indicated an increased rate of adoption of new digital solutions, with 95% of those who have adopted new solutions reflecting they will continue to use the digital platforms adopted. The pandemic has indeed spurred the adoption of technology in business as a necessity to overcome the physical distancing rules imposed to contain the spread of the virus. It is the hope that businesses will continue to adopt and integrate digital solutions at a faster pace to spur they transformation journey to be poised to be ready for the new economy.
3. Investing in training for a Future Ready Workforce
The push for digitalisation was first introduced in the 2016 budget and has since then been an area of focus for the Government. Subsequently, Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs) were announced and these ITMs include a roadmap to digitalise the various industries and businesses. These ITMs covered 23 sectors and the budget package was announced in the 2019 Budget to stand at S$4.3 billion.
Of this transformation budget by the Singapore Government, S$3.6 billion is allocated towards training and reskilling to help workers thrive amid the changing landscape. This is an important investment, as what truly sets the transformation for Manufacturing towards Industry 4.0 from the previous industrialisation phases is the significant depth of new skills required by the workforce to digitalise and transform.
Question 3 With SMF long history (88 years), what are you views on the manufacturing sectors experience in both internationalisation and localisation.
Answer：For Singapore, international trade has always been a key pillar of our economy right from our early days as a key trading port in the British colony. The decision, as an independent nation to keep our economy open to trade, welcoming foreign investment and creating opportunities for multi-national companies to set up operations in Singapore has proven to be a rewarding one.
With our small domestic market, internationalisation will always be necessary for growth of our manufacturers. With the onset of the pandemic, it quickly became apparent that supply chain resilience and diversification are critical to business strategy.
Companies with committed suppliers and supply alternatives fared better than those without. Amid the current challenges, I believe it will stand us in better stead to build stronger bonds rather than to pursue interests in isolation.
Question 4 In this new era what opportunities for collaboration are there between Singapore and China manufacturers.
Answer：In the 21st Singapore-Shandong Business Council (SSBC) meeting in Singapore in October 2019, Mr Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State for Trade & Industry and Education stated that the 3 key avenues for collaboration between Singapore and China are:
a) Connectivity and Trade;
b) Modern Services; and
c) Sustainable Development.
I think these present many forward looking opportunities for manufacturers in Singapore and China. These are key areas of growth that benefit from the sharing of knowledge and expertise, and I believe we have much to learn from each other.
Singapore’s position as a trade hub has groomed a host of logistics and supply chain providers that have found opportunities in China. In fact, I am very pleased to highlight that one of our members of the SMF, YCH Group is setting up a logistics hub in Qingdao and is looking to play an integral role in developing key infrastructure to further the connectivity and trade focus area.
For manufacturers in China, my hope is for Singapore to be viewed as the gateway to the ASEAN market. ASEAN is poised to become the fourth largest global economic bloc by GDP by year 2030 and the centre of a geopolitical area with enormous potential for growth. ASEAN has a population of more than 630 million people, of which a large middle class is emerging. 50 million will join the ranks of the middle class by 2022, coupled with greater access to the digital economy and an outward-looking perspective. That is at least 50 million more potential consumers and customers of Chinese goods and services. In the current climate mired by trade tensions, it is my hope that our continued commitment towards free trade and economic integration will continue to give confidence to businesses in ASEAN and China to reach out and form meaningful partnerships for continued development.
Question 5 What are your hopes or wishes in the future plans for the manufacturing sector by the Singapore and Chinese Government?
Answer：In the last few years, we have seen a heightening of global trade tensions. There is a tendency for countries to look inward and become more nationalistic. With Covid-19, unfortunately, this may have worsened. We should all be concerned if this leads to de-globalisation and trade wars. Every effort must be made to maintain and promote free trade and to ensure that our fears of contagion from Covid-19 do not lead to over-reaction.
The progress of the Belt and Road Initiative, or the BRI, a global project spearheaded by China and which spans across different continents, has been hampered by the pandemic, with many BRI projects put on hold as countries tackle the effects of the virus. However, it is heartening to see that the BRI continues to connect countries through the Digital Silk Road and Health Silk Road, two frameworks that have been built into the BRI since 2017.
As worldwide economies recover from the effects of the Covid19 pandemic, international collaboration will still be key in economic recovery and significant effort will be required on a global scale to normalise trade routes and encourage global demand. By reason of the sheer volume of projects and financial investment, there is hope that when progress of the BRI is resumed in full swing, it will be the driver for new investments and trade across countries. My hope is for manufacturers to take advantage of this upturn to forge new and resilient bonds.
Question 6 In approaching transformation in manufacturing, what are the challenges? How do you think this may be accelerated? How can the manufacturing sector accelerate in its digital transformation journey?
Answer：SMEs generally priortise business needs and day to day operations. In a survey of the SMF member base done in 2019 pre-Covid-19, the top 3 priorities for companies in the next 5 years are Sales growth and Relooking product/services to increase focus on customer, Developing systems to optimise business with data comes in third. This shows the priority lies in business survival.
As a Trade Association and Chamber (TAC), the SMF is continuously looking for ways to effectively reach out and create relevant programmes to partner enterprises as they continuously review their business models. In the conversations we have with business owners, we found that the preference is for programmes at a broader strategic level. In 2019, the SMF launched the “Business Re-Modelling Towards Industry 4.0” course to assist member companies on the transformation journey, bundling digital solutions with business model alignment. This has been met with good reviews by our member companies.
Enterprises are recognising that human capital is key to industry transformation, and are priortising training over infrastructure investment. With respect to the approach of SMEs to transformation, in a recent survey of our members, the top 3 measures ranked by members in our survey order are upgrading workforce skillset, retraining employees for different functions and modernising manufacturing lines for future automation. It is heartening to see that enterprises are willing to invest in their workforce and recognise that human capital is critical in the transformation process.
At the SMF we continue to see a strong uptake in our talent development programmes. For Professionals, Managers and Executives (PMEs) seeking new placement, the SMF has assisted more than 2300 PMEs in converting them to a new career. PMEs acquire skill sets for a mid-career switch through programmes like the PCP Broad-Based, Overseas and P-Max.
Question 7 What have manufacturers achieved under the BRI so far? What plans are upcoming in 2020 that are worth looking forward to?
Answer：As mentioned earlier, one of the members of the SMF is involved in a logistics hub project. One other member, Surbana Jurong is involved in master-planning and urban development. I belief many projects are in the early stages as such it will be hard to gauge achievement. In the 2019 survey done by PWC, only 35% of respondents have existing projects or are planning to start on projects. 45% have plans to begin on BRI projects in the next 3 years.
In the same survey, the top 3 industries identified for opportunities under the BRI include Smart cities and urban development, Industrial estates and SEZs (Special Economic Zones) and Roads. In August 2019, China announced 6 new Free Trade Zones in the provinces of Jiangsu, Shandong, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Guanxi, and Yunnan. We are likely to see projects upcoming in these zones in the near future.
Question 8：What are your views on the budget by the SG government to assist businesses? In addition what are your views on the opportunities for manufacturers? How do you think the SMF member companies can capture these opportunities.
Answer：A lot of the focus on the budget by the SG Government has been on the support of local jobs and businesses to through the pandemic. However to me the significant investment the government has put towards training is of a greater importance. There is a host of support to encourage and fund workforce training efforts in this downtime, from absentees payroll support to co-funding of courses and co-funding of salary for workers who underwent mid-career reskilling. A whole host of new skills is necessary for the transformation of our manufacturing sector and we cannot miss this opportunity to get our workforce up to speed.
This, in my opinion is just the tip of the change we will see in Manufacturing. A Deloitte study released in May 2020, notes that work in manufacturing is poised to transform at an unprecedented pace through adoption of new technologies like artificial intelligence, advanced robotics, analytics and Internet of Things (IOT). The study highlights findings from the Skills Gap Study conducted jointly by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute (US) that technology is likely to create more jobs than it destroys, just that the challenge is an ever widening skills mismatch between available workers and the skills required in the jobs available. This echoes the World Economic Forum (WEF) Future of Jobs Report in 2018 that by 2022, 27% of employment will be in emerging professions, which are professions that are new and not widely existing today. The report also details top emerging jobs in 2022 which include roles like Data Analysts and Scientists, AI and Machine Learning Specialists, Software and Application Developers and Analysts. The WEF study also noted that by 2022, everyone will require an extra 101 days of learning.
The challenge for manufacturers is to ready their current workforce for these future skills and to identify effective training and education pathways for both the current workforce and the youth entering the workforce. In this regard, I believe Singapore has had a head start with many of our tertiary institutions providing courses for a digital future. In addition, as we lay more investment in training and reskilling in the 2020 budget statements, this really will be the catalyst for change for the manufacturing industry. The Human Capital investment is the key driver for this stage of transformation.
SMF Established since 1932, the Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF) represents the interest of the manufacturing community in Singapore, driving its competitiveness and sustainable growth through serving industry-specific needs. Supported by 10 industry groups and its Associated Services, the SMF enhances the competitiveness of the manufacturing community by encouraging capacity development and capability building, innovation and productivity. SMF provides opportunities for companies to collaborate, network and to grow and expand both locally and internationally. Current membership stands at about 3,000 corporate members, consisting of SMEs, MNCs and Affiliate Members. For more information, please visit www.smfederation.org.sg.
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