SPRING SINGAPORE ANNUAL REPORT
PARTNERSHIP FOR GROWTH
PARTNERSHIP IS KEY
To meet the varied needs of SMEs and industries, 02
SPRING partners public agencies, private sector organisations, institutes of higher learning and research institutes to develop and deliver suitable programmes to grow innovative companies and foster a competitive SME sector.
SMEs, too, need to work with partners to strengthen their own capabilities, expand networks and tap new resources, in order to compete successfully in the global market.
CONTENTS 04 Chairman’s Statement 08 CE’s Statement 12 Growing Innovative Enterprises 19 Money 25 Markets 29 Management 35 Know-how 45 Nuturing Innovative Start-ups 49 Working with Partners 59 Progressing through Standards 63 Assuring Quality through Accreditation 67 Towards Business Excellence 72 Board of Directors 76 Executive Management Team 78 Growing at Spring 82 Highlights of the Year 88 Useful Contact Information
CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT 04
PHILIP YEO CHAIRMAN
2007 was a good year for the Singapore economy. The economy grew 7.7%, with 234,900 new jobs created, reducing unemployment rate to an all-time low of 2.1%. Enterprise Development Our SMEs have also done well. Total valueadded from SMEs grew 8% in 2007. They accounted for 48% of Singapore’s total value-added and 62% of employment, providing 1.7 million jobs. Last year, SMEs hired 145,000 more workers compared to the year before. Riding on the buoyant economy, many SMEs continued to upgrade themselves to seize global opportunities and prepare for the future. In 2007, SPRING supported 1,300 industry and enterprise upgrading projects, which are expected to generate an additional $1.9 billion of new value-added when completed. Together with our public and private sector partners, we also assisted some 95,000 SMEs and entrepreneurs through various programmes.
As the enterprise development agency, SPRING aims to develop a competitive SME sector and nurture innovative, growth-oriented global enterprises. New programmes under our 3MK—Money, Markets, Management and Know-how— have been introduced to help SMEs better access resources, develop new capabilities and enter new markets. In particular, SPRING launched a new Business Leaders Initiative to train and nurture both current and future SME leaders, and strengthen the management depth of our growth-oriented enterprises. The first batch of 46 SME leaders was trained in 2007. New centres of innovation were set up in partnership with polytechnics and research institutes to provide technology innovation expertise to key industries and SMEs. Looking ahead, the global environment is becoming more challenging, due to slower growth in various key economies, domestic inflation and a strong Singapore dollar. Notwithstanding, opportunities exist in various growth sectors and emerging markets. To succeed, our SMEs need to innovate faster, leverage on technology and improve their productivity.
SPRING is committed to help our SMEs and industries upgrade, innovate and compete globally. We will continue to work with our partners to develop an environment conducive for enterprise growth and upgrade key industries. We will also introduce new programmes to upgrade our SMEs and nurture innovative, growthoriented enterprises that can compete successfully in the global market.
Quality and Standards As the national standards and accreditation body, SPRING continues to strengthen our internationally-recognised standards and conformance infrastructure, in support of our enterprises and industries. In 2007, we launched 10 new and revised standards, and initiated 12 standards implementation projects across various industries. Moving forward, standards, quality and trust are key enablers for Singapore companies and industries to gain competitive advantage and access global markets. SPRING is committed to ensuring that Singapore’s standards and conformance infrastructure is internationally-recognised, robust and trusted. We will continue to develop the testing and certification
capabilities in Singapore to support key industries and enable emerging ones.
Acknowledgements Much of what SPRING is doing would not have been possible without the strong support from our valued partners. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank the business chambers and industry associations, Action Community for Entrepreneurship, financial institutions, other government agencies, as well as individuals who have contributed in various enterprise development, and standards and conformance initiatives, for their invaluable support and guidance. I am also indebted to our Board of Directors for their invaluable advice and inputs. On behalf of the Board and staff of SPRING, I extend my deep appreciation to seven Board members who retired in April 2008: Mr Willie Cheng, Mr Gong Wee Lik, Mr Lawrence Leow, Mr Inderjit Singh, Mr Tan Kian Chew, BG (NS) Wong Ann Chai and Mr Yeo Guat Kwang.
In their place, I welcome our new Deputy Chairman, Ms Chong Siak Ching, President & CEO, Ascendas Pte Ltd and six other new Board members. They are: Mr Thomas Chua Kee Seng – Chairman & Managing Director, Teckwah Industrial Corporation Ltd Mr Ko Kheng Hwa – Chief Executive Officer, Sustainable Development & Living Business Division, Keppel Corporation Limited BG Ng Chee Meng – Director, Joint Operations, Ministry of Defence
who took up a new appointment as Deputy Secretary (Industry) at the Ministry of Trade and Industry on 1 May 2008. Khum Yean joined SPRING in October 2003. Under his leadership, SPRING has firmly established itself as the agency for enterprise development. He also spearheaded Singapore’s active participation in international standards development. Finally, I express my appreciation to SPRING’s management, union and staff for your commitment and contributions to the Board’s goal of enabling enterprise growth. I look forward to your continued support.
Prof Jitendra Vir Singh – Dean & Shaw Foundation Chair and Professor of Strategy, Management & Organization, Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University Mr Robert Tsao Hsing-Cheng – Chairman Emeritus, United Microelectronics Corporation and Ms Janet Young – Managing Director & Regional Head MNC, Asia, Bank of America My deepest appreciation goes to Mr Loh Khum Yean, Chief Executive, SPRING,
Philip Yeo Chairman
2007 was an exciting year for SPRING as we continued to strengthen our focus on developing a competitive SME sector and growing innovative growth-oriented enterprises. We strengthened initiatives in the areas of money, markets, management and know-how to enhance the pro-business environment, develop key industries and upgrade SMEs’ capabilities.
CE’S STATEMENT Png Cheong Boon Loh Khum Yean Chief Executive
(1 April 2007 – 30 April 2008)
ACTING Chief Executive
(From 1 May 2008 – 31 August 2008) Chief Executive
(From 1 September 2008)
loans are expected to generate new value-
Developing an Environment for Enterprise
added of about $1 billion for the economy.
Growth The business environment in Singapore remains conducive for start-ups and SMEs. Singapore retained its No. 1 spot in the World Bank Doing Business 2008 ranking in terms of the ease of doing business. Business advisory and support services for SMEs were strengthened through expansion of the integrated EnterpriseOne network of EnterpriseOne portal, call centre and Enterprise Development Centres (EDCs). The fifth EDC at the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry was set up to help SMEs access business opportunities in the Indian market. The Singapore Business Federation and the National Library Board, in partnership with International Enterprise Singapore and SPRING, jointly set up the EnterpriseOne Business Information Services (EBIS) to provide market and industry information to SMEs. In all, some 20,000 SMEs received business advisory services from the EDCs and SPRING’s call centre, while the EnterpriseOne portal received about 53,200 unique visitors every month. The financing environment remained conducive. The SME Development Survey 2007 showed that the percentage of respondents who had difficulty accessing financing had halved, from 19% in 2006 to 10% in 2007. A third $3 billion tranche of the Loan Insurance Scheme (LIS) was launched in August 2007 to provide short-term working capital and trade financing to SMEs and internationalising companies. In 2007, the number of governmentsupported loans to SMEs rose by 7% to more than 3,500 while the total loan amount increased by 46% to almost $720 million. These
As part of our entrepreneurship promotion effort, we partnered the Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE) to organise the fourth BlueSky Festival in July 2007. Last year’s event focused on the different modes of financing and attracted an overwhelming 700 participants from industry. The second SPRING Enterprise Conference was held in April 2008 to provide a platform for some 500 innovative growth-oriented enterprises, partners and industry experts to discuss business issues in the key areas of Money, Markets, Management and Know-how. Developing Key Industry Clusters We worked with industry associations to upgrade industry capabilities and enhance their competitiveness through the Local Enterprise and Association Development (LEAD) Programme. Five new LEAD projects were launched in 2007; from the Association of Singapore Marine Industries, Singapore Contractors Association Limited, Singapore Industrial Automation Association, Singapore Logistics Association and Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore. As of December 2007, the government and 16 industry associations had committed some $80 million under LEAD to support industry initiatives. These initiatives are expected to create 10,000 new jobs, generate $1.5 billion in value-added and $3.5 billion in revenue for the industries when completed. To strengthen the technology infrastructure for SMEs, three new Centres of Innovation (COIs) were set up for the Food, Marine & Offshore,
and Precision Engineering industries. These COIs
Last year, SPRING also supported some
serve as applied research centres for SMEs to tap on as they embark on technology innovation to strengthen their products, services and processes.
1,300 enterprise upgrading projects by the growth enterprises through various business capabilities and technology innovation programmes. These projects are expected to generate $1.9 billion in value-added, and create 5,400 jobs for the economy.
The Capability Development Programme (CDP) was extended to the semiconductor equipment sector to help SMEs develop new capabilities to support the fast-growing and higher value-added semiconductor equipment market. To date, the CDP covers five sectors of logistics, marine, medtech, food and semiconductor equipment.
Together with the National Trades Union Congress, Workforce Development Agency and Singapore Tourism Board, SPRING launched the Customer-Centric Initiative (CCI) in 2006 to transform Singapore’s service quality. CCI was extended to the food & beverage (F&B) sector in 2007, after its successful roll-out to the retail sector. As of December 2007, 3,700 retail and F&B establishments had participated in CCI. The pilot batch of CCI retailers outperformed the industry benchmark by 71% in sales turnover in 2006/2007. Nurturing Innovative Enterprises Besides developing a competitive SME sector, we want to nurture and grow innovative growth-oriented enterprises that can compete successfully in the global market. To this end, having strong technology innovation and business capabilities, as well as competent business leaders are critical for these companies. In January 2008, SPRING launched the $60 million Business Leaders Initiative to develop present and future business leaders. To date, some 68 SME leaders have embarked on development programmes under this initiative.
To increase the pool of innovative growthoriented enterprises, we need to spawn a new breed of technology enterprises in Singapore. A new $50 million Technology Enterprise Commercialisation Scheme was launched in April this year to help enterprises and entrepreneurs develop new technologies and bring them to market. We have also invested in more than 150 innovative start-ups as of December 2007 under SPRING SEEDS Capital. QUALITY AND STANDARDS As Singapore’s economy pursues higher valueadded activities and new emerging sectors, our quality and standards infrastructure must keep pace with these developments. More importantly, we need to ensure that our quality and standards infrastructure is robust, trusted and internationally-recognised. In 2007, SPRING launched several new standards to support industry needs. These include a new Singapore Standard on Smart Card ID (SS 529) and a new Technical Reference on Cold Chain Management for Vegetables (TR 24). Our efforts to drive standards adoption continued with the completion of two Standards Implementation for Productivity (SIP) pilot projects, in the areas of e-Supply Chain Management and electronic customs
declaration. Fourteen companies participated in
these two projects and are expected to achieve productivity savings of more than $20 million. We will continue to increase the promotion and adoption of local and international standards for industry and enterprise competitiveness.
On the home front, SPRING successfully obtained certification for the Singapore Quality Class, People Developer, Singapore Innovation Class and Singapore Service Class. These serve as useful validations as we continue to improve our internal systems and processes, and strengthen our capacity to achieve our mission of developing Singapore enterprises.
Singapore also became the first Asian signatory to the Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (PAC) Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) for Product Certification in July 2007. This will benefit Singapore’s electrical and electronic product manufacturers whose exports to the Asia Pacific region was worth $152 billion in 2007. To help SMEs understand and overcome technical barriers to trade, we organised a series of workshops and seminars on overseas technical regulations and standards pertaining to electrical and food products. Topics covered included Restriction on the use of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) and Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH). In the area of business excellence, some 70 new organisations were certified to the Singapore Quality Class, People Developer, Singapore Innovation Class and Singapore Service Class standards last year. As the national weights and measures authority, SPRING continued to ensure that vendors use properly calibrated weighing machines, rules and volumetric measures, so that consumers get what they pay for. SPRING also manages the Consumer Protection (Safety Requirements) Registration Scheme, which covers 45 categories of household electrical, electronic and gas products designated as Controlled Goods. Last year, we maintained our track record of having no accidents reported for the controlled items.
On 1 January 2008, our metrology function together with 67 technology experts and staff were transferred to the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). This transfer will enable closer integration between Singapore’s national measurement infrastructure and its R&D capabilities and initiatives. THE JOURNEY AHEAD SPRING continued to make good progress in our enterprise development, and quality and standards efforts in the last year. Moving forward, we will continue to work with our partners to support enterprises in their development and help them build strong capabilities to compete in the more challenging global environment.
Loh Khum Yean Png Cheong Boon Chief Executive Acting Chief Executive (1 April 2007 – 30 April 2008) (From 1 May 2008 – 31 August 2008) Chief Executive (From 1 September 2008)
• ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT • QUALITY AND STANDARDS
SPRING is the enterprise development agency for growing innovative companies and fostering a competitive SME sector. We work with partners to help enterprises in financing, capabilities and management development, technology and innovation, and access to markets. As the national standards and accreditation body, SPRING also develops and promotes internationally-recognised standards and quality assurance to enhance competitiveness and facilitate trade.
Partnering Enterprises to Grow, Glow and Globalise
Large Global Enterprises
Management Grow Dynamic and Innovative Growth-oriented Enterprises
Develop Key Clusters
Know-how Seed and Nurture Innovative Start-ups
Create an Environment for Enterprise Growth
At SPRING, we help nurture innovative enterprises to grow into large global enterprises. We work with partners from public and private sector organisations to help increase
SMEs’ access to financing, capabilities and management development, technology and innovation expertise, and markets.
Partnering Enterprises towards Global Excellence
Quality and Standards
Enhance Quality and Standards Infrastructure
Global Competitive Advantage
Raise Quality and Standards Adoption
SPRING develops and promotes internationallyrecognised standards and quality assurance for our industries and enterprises. This ensures that our industries and enterprises and their
Develop Testing and Certification Capabilities
products and services can reach world-class standards, thereby enabling them to compete in the global market.
“SPRING leverages on the experience of private sector professionals like bankers, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs to help develop policies to improve access to financing for SMEs. SPRING enhances existing financing schemes as well as develops new ones to enable enterprises to grow.” MR INDERJIT SINGH
2007 CHAIRMAN OF SPRING’S MONEY POLICY ADVISORY COMMITTEE AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, INFINITI SOLUTIONS LTD
Making Financing Easier for SMEs SPRING works closely with the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the financial services sector to catalyse financing programmes relevant for SMEs. The aim is to make available more options for SMEs at each stage of their growth. Our major financing schemes include: • Micro Loan • Local Enterprise Finance Scheme (LEFS) and • Loan Insurance Scheme (LIS) Loans to small and young companies are inherently riskier. Hence, we launched the third tranche of $3 billion for the Loan Insurance Scheme in August last year to provide short-term working capital and trade financing to SMEs. With insurance, financial institutions lending to SMEs will be protected against loan defaults. Altogether, we extended some $720 million worth of loans to some 3,500 SMEs under the Micro Loan, LEFS and LIS. We are happy to report that access to financing is no longer among the top three business concerns of SMEs, according to the findings of the 2007 SME Development Survey. In fact, financing has not been among the top three business concerns for the last three years. We will continue to work with our partners in the public and private sectors to enhance SMEs’ access to financing.
Mr Dean Chong
Executive Director Fabulous printers PTE LTD
Mr KRISHNASAMY S/O ARUMUGAM Chairman Fabulous printers PTE LTD
Fabulous Printers was Business Expansion Gets Boost from LEFS able to secure a bank In its early years, Fabulous Printers Pte Ltd was looking to shift from print broking to offset printing. It needed capital to buy machinery. But with no track record, no bank was willing to take the risk. Local Enterprise Finance Scheme (LEFS) entered the picture. Through the scheme, Fabulous Printers was able to secure a bank loan in 2000. The company’s new offset printing machine was able to print faster compared to the old second-hand machines that Fabulous Printers owned. With the new investment, sales improved from $2 million to $4.8 million in the following year. The printing firm has been enjoying double digit growth since, and was even ranked the 32nd Fastest Growing Enterprise in Singapore in 2005. Today, Fabulous Printers is no longer a small business. Now a medium-sized business, it can choose from a wide variety of financial instruments offered by commercial banks. Yet, Fabulous Printers continues to tap on the scheme. To date, they have borrowed a total of $10 million under LEFS.
loan through the Local Enterprise Finance Scheme (LEFS) in 2000 to buy a new offset printing machine.
Each loan has gone into buying more new machinery. As the company grew, it had to invest in pre-press and post-press equipment to fold, stitch and bind paper. These processes were formerly outsourced at a heavy cost, but now Fabulous Printers is able to do it all under its roof. This means better control over every stage of production and shorter delivery time to clients—a huge competitive edge. Fabulous Printers also obtained an IT grant from SPRING to implement a new ERP system—SAP that would help to improve its management of operations, processes and cost. Fabulous Printers is the first in the local printing industry to implement this system.
Mr Foo Ko Kin managing director CerealTech Pte Ltd
CEREALTECH Securing Loans with LIS Way before rising food prices hit the headlines, leading food enzyme manufacturer CerealTech Pte Ltd had already done some crystal-ball gazing and started preparing for this eventuality. Rising costs of raw materials has serious implications for the food company which provides customised food solutions for clients locally as well as in Australia, Brunei, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, New Zealand, Malaysia and the Middle East. Among its well-known clients are household names like Sunshine Bakeries and McDonald’s. Its services include micro-ingredient enzyme systems; product research and development; process optimisation and support; technical support and the training of staff in food processes. The company proactively met the challenge of rising costs by pursuing the expansion of their Europe and Middle East markets as well as carrying out research into new food processes. Taking up the Loan Insurance Scheme (LIS) in 2006 gave CerealTech the necessary working capital to pursue its expansion plans. Foo Ko Kin, Managing Director of CerealTech, is full of praise for LIS. “We chose LIS over other financing schemes because it was hassle-free and convenient. Having dealt with banks before, we know that it takes time and a few rounds of
the application process for SMEs like us to get loans. The LIS builds the banks’ confidence in us, thus helping us to secure the loan we need.” The loan was used for working capital to service current clients, explore potential new business and invest in research and development. “Food enzyme manufacturing is not a monopoly,” said Mr Foo. “We have to constantly improve our technology so that we stay on the cutting edge. This means investing a fair bit of funds in R&D.” Without LIS paving the way, Mr Foo said CerealTech might have had to hold back expansion plans. What was projected as achievable in three or six months would have taken three years instead. “We certainly would not have the 10% growth we are enjoying now,” he added. “Possibly, we would only experience 2% or 3% growth, which would have been eroded by the new costs of raw materials.” Looking back on the process of applying for LIS, Mr Foo recalled, “Getting a loan was easy. I would strongly advise other SMEs who need funds to seriously look at LIS as an option. Often, small companies may not be able to meet all the requirements of a commercial loan, but LIS is ‘tailor-made’ for us so that financial institutions will be more receptive to our applications.”
“The focus on Markets is important as this is the link between SMEs and their revenues. SPRING’s efforts will help SMEs to build this link.” MR LAWRENCE LEOW CHIN HIN
2007 CHAIRMAN OF SPRING’S MARKETS POLICY ADVISORY COMMITTEE, CHAIRMAN / CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, CRESCENDAS GROUP AND PRESIDENT, ASSOCIATION OF SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES
Seeking New Business Opportunities With a limited domestic market, SMEs recognise entering new overseas markets as one of the key drivers fuelling growth. To help SMEs access overseas market opportunities, SPRING works with IE Singapore to facilitate overseas missions for SMEs. We also work with the Economic Development Board (EDB) to link SMEs to their overseas network of MNC clients. In 2007, together with IE Singapore and EDB, we facilitated eight trips. These trips allowed our SMEs access to the latest business trends in their respective industries. With increased use of technical barriers to trade by countries as tariffs drop, understanding and complying with standards and technical regulations of overseas markets will help companies export overseas. In 2007, SPRING’s Export Technical Assistance Centre reached out to some 250 companies to help them understand and navigate these technical regulations.
“The focus on Markets is important as this is the link between SMEs and their revenues. SPRING’s “Meeting the Registration, Evaluation, efforts will help SMEs to bridge this link.” Authorization and Restriction of
Chemicals (REACH) regulation will enhance our position to become a global 2007 CHAIRMAN OF SPRING’S MARKETS POLICY ADVISORY COMMITTEE player. It also shows our commitment to our EU customers. SPRING’s Export Technical Assistance Centre has helped tremendously in creating REACH awareness and providing assistance on any REACH-related subject.” MR LAWRENCE LEOW
MR Andrew Lim Choon Ann
OPERATIONS DIRECTOR, Pride-Chem Industries Pte LtD
Mr Joe Lau
managing director JEP Precision Engineering Pte Ltd
JEP Precision Engineering Explores new markets on overseas mission
A business trip to Houston in May, led by SPRING, charted a new growth path for JEP Precision Engineering Pte Ltd in the marine and offshore industry.
companies and to engage in direct one-to-one contact with their global procurement staff. In a bold move, JEP invested $16 million in a new and bigger plant to cater to this new customer segment. Mr Lau aims to develop it into a one-stop vertically integrated manufacturing centre.
SPRING and IE Singapore had brought a team of 14 Singapore SMEs to Houston to explore business partnerships and technology transfer with American companies. Joe Lau, Managing Director of JEP, was one of the delegates.
Success is on the horizon, as JEP has clinched a US$20 million five-year contract as a first-tier supplier to Aker Kvaerner of Norway to produce specialised drilling riser pipe connectors. Its regional sales look set to increase from 5% to 20% over the next three years.
Like most SMEs, JEP’s clients were from the Singapore market. The company was doing well, supplying aircraft components and subsystems to companies like Singapore Aerospace Manufacturing and Pratt & Whitney.
JEP has certainly come a long way, from a small workshop in 1990 to become a global supplier today, specialising in precision machining of components for the aerospace and marine and offshore industries.
But Mr Lau knew he had to diversify and strengthen JEP’s business portfolio. While JEP already had contracts selling subsea high pressure pipe connectors, Mr Lau observed that Singapore’s marine and offshore industry was booming. In 2006, the industry was worth $9.8 billion, up 32% from the previous year. Singapore was also an Asian headquarters and manufacturing base for many leading oil and gas MNCs. The time was ripe for JEP to launch into the marine and offshore industry.
It says a lot about the relationship between JEP and SPRING that the official opening of JEP’s spanking new complex at Changi South in November 2007 was graced by the Chairman of SPRING, Philip Yeo.
The mission trip to Houston gave Mr Lau the opportunity to meet the heads of multinational
In his speech, Mr Yeo commended JEP, saying, “Today’s opening is a good example of how an SME can grow from a small workshop into a 100,000 square foot state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. This is the result of JEP’s persistent drive towards technology excellence and business alliances.”
COURSES UNDER THE ADVANCED MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME
National University of Singapore
Asia-Pacific Executive MBA (APEX-MBA)
Nanyang Technological University
Nanyang Executive MBA for SMEs NTU–SPRING Open Programme for SMEs
Singapore Management University
SMU–SPRING SME Leaders Advanced Management Programme
SIM University Executive Masters in Technology Entrepreneurship
GE-SPRING Corporate Leadership Programme
“SPRING has worked with its partners, including renowned universities and corporations, to roll out various initiatives to upskill and develop existing and future business leaders. We will continue to build on this effort, and will also study creative means to attract, develop and retain such talents, especially for our growth-oriented enterprises.” Mr Willie Cheng
2007 Chairman of spring’s Management policy advisory committee AND CHAIRMAN, CATHOLIC SOCIAL AND COMMUNITY COUNCIL
TRAINING BUSINESS LEADERS In the 2007 SME Development Survey, the attraction and retention of talent was cited as one of the top three hindrances to growth for enterprises, besides increasing competition and the cost of doing business. 29
SPRING launched the Business Leaders Initiative (BLI) early this year to groom SME bosses, build management depth and develop a strong pipeline of future business leaders for SMEs. We work with local universities and renowned corporations such as General Electric to develop and roll-out customised management courses to meet the management needs of SMEs. As of March 2008, 42 SME leaders have been trained and 26 SME leaders are still being trained under the Advanced Management Programme.
Adavanced Management Programme (AMP)
Management Development Scholarship (MDS)
Executive Development Scholarship (EDS)
MR GAN BOON POH MANAGING DIRECTOR GAN HUP LEE (1999) PTE LTD
GAN HUP LEE SME Chiefs Learn From Each Other In Unique EMBA ProgrammE
GAN BOON POH KNOWS ALL ABOUT RICE. As the second-generation owner of Gan Hup Lee, one of Singapore’s oldest rice firms, he’s grown up with the rice trade. He knows how to combine different rice grains to create that special blend that Singaporeans love. He knows how to grade and package rice. He knows which rice works best for which dish. What he would like to know better is how to manage people. “At the end of the day,” said Mr Gan, “success in business boils down to people—about knowing how to lead people, nurture them and mould them.” This desire to acquire “the skill of managing people” eventually led him back to school. In July 2007, Mr Gan enrolled in the newly launched Nanyang Executive MBA for SMEs offered by the Nanyang Technological University. In the same programme were 14 other SME leaders, all supported under the Advanced Management Programme (AMP), all sharing the same drive, like him, to become more effective business leaders. For Mr Gan, having 14 of his peers in the class has proven fascinating. They bring with them a rich diversity of experiences and backgrounds that adds immeasurably to the learning experience.
“They form a key part of the course because at times the professors are acting only as facilitators. Many a time we are learning from our peers as much as from our professors, picking up gems from their real-life encounters.” Mr Gan is also delighted with the modules specially customised for SMEs, like Chinese Classics & Applications to Business, Valuation of Businesses, Managing SME Operations, Management and Growth Dynamics of the Family Business, Strategic Management for SMEs and Bank Financing for SMEs. “The EMBA programme has helped me to think in a more structured way. We have always run the business by rule of thumb or family traditions. But through the programme, I learnt that there are frameworks that can enhance your business. That was eye-opening and that has influenced my handling of the company.” Besides the EMBA programme, Mr Gan also attended the inaugural GE–SPRING Corporate Leadership Programme, also under the AMP. Jointly organised by GE and SPRING this programme aims to groom leadership skills within local growth-oriented enterprises. This is one of GE’s transformational learning programmes and was previously available only to its employees and its key international customers. “It was indeed one of the most rewarding courses I have attended so far. It taught me that SMEs need not be constrained by their size.”
SPRING Business Leaders Scholarship Awards 2008 Evan Foo Chew San Lee
1st Year Chemical Engineering & Business Administration NUS
1st Year Bioengineering NTU
3rd Year Mechanical Engineering NUS
1st Year Business Administration NUS
Marco Low 1st Year Law NUS
Commencing in 2010, Engineering & Business Administration NUS
1st Year Industrial System Engineering & Economics NUS
1st Year Economics NUS
3rd Year Engineering Science NUS
Han Dinghong Commencing in 2010, Accountancy SMU
3rd Year Business Administration & Master of Science (Management), NUS
1st Year Business Administration NUS
Moh Wei Qun
1st Year Chemical Engineering & Business Administration, NUS
Zhuang Minghui 2nd Year Business NTU
Lim Xin Hui
1st Year Business & Accountancy, NTU
1st Year Business & Accountancy NTU
Absent from photo: Ivan Lau
3rd Year Business Administration, NUS
2008 Executive Development Scholarship
Goh Seng Lee
TME Systems Pte Ltd Pursuing NUS MBA
ecoWise Holdings Ltd Pursuing Nanyang MBA
Double Lion Electrical Pte Ltd Pursuing SMU MBA
Absent from photo: Jeffrey Soon Heatec Jietong Pte Ltd Pursuing SMU MBA
2008 Management Development Scholarship
“Technology is a critical enabler to develop and strengthen the innovation capacity and competitiveness of SMEs. This, in turn, can lead to a steady source of new, indigenous, high-growth start-ups from both industry and the research community. Support from the initiatives by SPRING, A*STAR and other government agencies can help entrepreneurs create a group of dynamic and innovative companies in Singapore.” PROF CHONG TOW CHONG
2007 CHAIRMAN OF SPRING’S KNOW-HOW POLICY ADVISORY COMMITTEE AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SCIENCE & ENGINEERING RESEARCH COUNCIL, AGENCY FOR SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND RESEARCH
Building up Capabilities of SMEs SMEs are a source of creativity and innovation. Under the Technology Innovation Programme (TIP), more than 250 companies have benefitted from the grant support for their development projects or secondment of R&D experts. Three Centres of Innovation have also been set up in the Food Manufacturing, Marine & Offshore and Precision Engineering industries. In partnership with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, a $50 milllion Technology Enterprise Commercialisation Scheme (TECS) was launched in April this year to provide financial support for the commercialisation of breakthrough technologies. Besides technology innovation, we also help companies to develop other business know-how such as the Intellectual Property Management (IPM) for SMEs Programme in partnership with the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore and the BrandPact Programme in partnership with IE Singapore. For the service industry, SPRING and the National Trades Union Congress spearheaded the Customer-Centric Initiative (CCI) with the Singapore Workforce Development Agency, Singapore Tourism Board and Singapore National Employers Federation to raise service standards in companies. So far, 210 companies have been upgraded through various business capabilities programmes and 4,000 establishments have been upgraded through CCI.
DR TING CHOON MENG
CHAIRMAN HEALTHSTATS INTERNATIONAL PTE LTD
HEALTHSTATS revolutionises with innovation
In 2005, Singapore medical device company HealthSTATS International made the world sit up. That year, HealthSTATS International introduced EVBP, a proprietary technology that featuring a sensor that picks up pulsations from the artery in the wrist and translates them into blood pressure readings in the shape of waveforms. These waveforms provide the most accurate and complete reading of blood pressure currently available. HealthSTATS International has deployed this technology in several devices, including one called BPro. BPro is a watch-like device that captures blood pressure fluctuations and pulse variations over a 24-hour period. BPro’s novel capability is that it enables medical professionals to predict possible blood pressure-related diseases such as stroke, hypertension and heart attack. It also allows doctors to more accurately diagnose and manage hypertension, as well as better evaluate the effectiveness of blood pressure medications.
Award at the 2007 Frost & Sullivan Excellence in Healthcare Awards. In addition, the company was awarded Technology Pioneer 2007 status by the World Economic Forum. And this year, it was named winner of the Most Important Technology Development in BioSciences at the BioMedical Asia 2008 Industry Awards. It seems the world agrees with Dr Bryan Williams, Professor of Medicine at the University of Leicester, who said, “It is the most significant invention in blood pressure monitoring of the last 100 years.” HealthSTATS International has begun work with The Institute of Microelectronics (IME) on creating a second generation BPro supported by the Technology Innovation Programme (TIP). Smaller than the existing BPro and with wireless capability, this second-generation BPro would be sold as a consumer product worldwide and used just like any home-use blood pressure monitoring device. The user simply straps it on his wrist like a watch. It then automatically collects data and transmit it to a server in the doctor’s office using any mobile phone as a modem. Here the data would be analysed.
Currently, the only way to obtain 24-hour blood pressure reading is by strapping on a cumbersome device and undergoing monitoring at a hospital. For this groundbreaking work, HealthSTATS International has won international applause.
With six months to go before the device becomes a reality, Dr Ting Choon Meng, Chairman of HealthSTATS International, is exhilarated at the prospects ahead.
HealthSTATS International became the first Singapore company to win the Monitoring Devices Technology of the Year (Asia Pacific)
“With this new BPro, this technology will no longer be for the elite or the very sick, it will be within the reach of everyone.”
MR TEO HOCK HENG GENERAL MANAGER DAYEN ENVIRONMENTAL LIMITED
DAYEN-AQUABLU “TIP has been helpful the region’s because it helped to defray first UV water disinfection system a portion of development If any Singapore invention can be labelled blue-chip, Dayen-Aquablu’s latest innovation—the ultraviolet water disinfection system—is definitely of that order. This system is used to purify water and wastewater using ultraviolet light. It adopts a chemical-free approach to disinfect drinking water and other industrial applications. The new system’s potential to revolutionise traditional water purification is astounding. Current water disinfection technologies make use of chlorine and ozone—chemicals that are hazardous to the environment and to public health. Ultraviolet treatment circumvents the use of harmful chemicals, while the tangential reactor will increase efficiency and output. When fully operational, the UV water disinfection system is expected to be one and a half times more efficient than current reactors used in the market. And it would bring about a safer environment and cleaner water. Considered by the environmental industry as a regional first, this system is the brainchild of two companies—environmental engineering specialist Dayen Environmental Limited and Aquablu Technologies Private Limited.
costs. The grant took only one month to be approved and processed—really quite fast.”
– MR TEO HOCK HENG
Said Teo Hock Heng, Dayen’s General Manager, “It is the first locally developed ultraviolet reactor; most models are currently designed in the USA and in Europe.” Dayen-AquaBlu invested $1.2 million to develop the prototype and received funding under the Technology Innovation Programme (TIP). “TIP has been helpful because it helped to defray a portion of development costs,” affirmed Mr Teo. “The grant took only one month to be approved and processed—really quite fast.” SPRING industry officers are currently in discussion with Dayen-Aquablu to accelerate commercialisation of the UV Reactor.
MR TONY COUGHLAN
GENERAL MANAGER OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT McCRAIC HOLDINGS PTE LTD
McCRAIC HOLDINGS Becoming their best with IPM
What happens if your intellectual property is the know-how of your people and they leave without transferring that know-how to the company? That was the poser that had F&B group McCraic Holdings Pte Ltd stumped—until it embarked on the Intellectual Property Management (IPM) for SMEs Programme. Jointly launched by SPRING and the Intellectual
Property Office of Singapore in January 2007, IPM was created to help SMEs manage the creation, ownership, protection and commercial exploitation of their intellectual property through consultancy advice and funding support. Established in 1996, McCraic Holdings is a pub, bar and restaurant management company with several successful brands, including BQ Bar and Molly Malone’s Irish Pub. It has a staff strength of 120. When the group embarked on the programme in July 2007, it spent three months intensely scrutinising its operations
under the guidance of a consultant using the SCOPE IP™ diagnostic tool. The findings blew the team away. “The diagnosis was really eye-opening,” recalled Tony Coughlan, General Manager of Business Development at McCraic Holdings Pte Ltd. “It made us take a hard look at ourselves to find our value, what we were doing well and not doing well.” A red light, for example, was flagged over the customer service system, which can be a key differentiating factor in this industry. “If you have a manager who has never trained his staff on service or written down his service approach, that knowledge is not being documented,” explained Mr Coughlan. “We learnt that unless you can monitor it, assess it and follow prescribed steps, customer service only exists as a one-off, unrepeatable incident.” McCraic Holdings responded by establishing a structured customer service approach, and also put all other key operational areas through the same paces. The result was streamlined business processes throughout the entire group, which boosted the group’s efficiency while lowering its costs. “We tweaked our business processes and made them better and better until we got it down pat. The end result is that we are able to focus on what counts, and were no longer constantly trying to reinvent the wheel.” Working more effectively, the group was able to cut the number of back office staff from 10 to four and the amount spent on goods by 5%. “Overall, using the SCOPE IP™ diagnostic
“Overall, using the SCOPE IP™ diagnostic tool has helped McCraic become a stronger business.” – MR TONY COUGHLAN
tool has helped McCraic become a stronger business,” pronounced Mr Coughlan. In October 2007, the group moved into phase two of the IPM programme, which looked into the commercialisation of the group’s intellectual assets. Here, the group realised that they had sufficient know-how to develop an entirely new business area in providing training to F&B businesses in areas such as customer service, demand planning and the management of manpower. They also embarked on creating new software to help improve the management of F&B companies. With the establishment of McCraic Training and Systems and McCraic Solutions, the group is now on the verge of transforming itself from simply another operator in the pub and bar business into a provider of services to the food and beverage industry. Mr Coughlan feels that the best is yet to be. “For MrCraic, going through the IPM programme has been almost shockingly exciting. We are now taking a big leap forward, where we are no longer looking at what we have but embarking on what we can become.”
MR Chow Hoo Siong managing director, Chowiz Group of Companies
TRUE HERITAGE BREW A Big Dash Of Innovation, With A Huge Jiggle Of Ingenuity
Chow Hoo Siong, the creator of the Singapore Sling Original Mix and Managing Director of the Chowiz Group of Companies, first heard opportunity knocking on his door in
1990 when he met with the then F&B director of Raffles Hotel. Through this meeting, he understood that to meet the growing demand of tourists clamouring for the Singapore Sling cocktail, the hotel faced the challenge of training and retaining bartenders who were able to prepare the Singapore Sling cocktail that had a consistent taste. With its original recipe prescribing vague measurements of jiggles and dashes, the taste
of the Singapore Sling cocktail tended to vary, depending on the bartender who mixed it. With his personal experience in premixing the Singapore Sling cocktail, Mr Chow convinced Raffles Hotel that the introduction of a premixed Singapore Sling would allow the hotel to meet the challenges it faced. Thereafter, Mr Chow, through his company, became the exclusive supplier of the Singapore Sling Original Mix to Raffles Hotel from 1991 to 2006.
“We are very happy with the product. It looks good and it tastes good. FIRC took one-third the time we expected because they were committed to the project.” – MR Chow Hoo Siong
In 2006, Mr Chow ceased to be the exclusive supplier of the Singapore Sling Original Mix to Raffles Hotel. That was when Mr Chow spotted another opportunity—to take the cocktail to the international market. He established True Heritage Brew (Singapore) Pte Ltd and began retailing the bottled True Heritage Brew Singapore Sling Original Mix. Within 18 months, the company crossed the $1 million mark. Among its customers is Singapore Airlines, which serves it on board its planes. The True Heritage Brew Singapore Sling Original Mix did not contain pineapple juice then. Mr Chow extended the shelf life of the drink by infusing it with pineapple juice and made the Singapore Sling truly ready to drink and tasting as if it had just been shaken. To Mr Chow’s delight, SPRING introduced him to the Food Innovation and Resource Centre (FIRC) to turn his idea into a reality. Launched in May 2007, this centre, set up by Singapore Polytechnic with support from
SPRING, helps local food manufacturers develop innovative products. FIRC took on the $2 million project in October 2007 and by April 2008, Mr Chow had a snazzy bottle of Ready-To-Drink Singapore Sling in his hand. Mr Chow was impressed. “We are very happy with the product. It looks good and it tastes good. FIRC took one-third the time we expected because they were committed to the project.” FIRC is also designing the company’s new $1.35 million plant to produce the drink. The centre has four full-time and four part-time professional food technologists dedicated to serving the research and innovation needs of the food industry. With the new product, Mr Chow expects to double his revenue in two years. “We can’t wait to start marketing,” he said.
“The past five years have seen uplifting changes in nurturing and seeding start-ups. There is a more vibrant entrepreneurial culture among our young, evident from the quality and range of start-ups we see around us today. We will continue our efforts to develop Singapore as a place where ideas and innovation flourish, where Singaporeans take risks, seize opportunities and create new possibilities for themselves.” Mrs Kim Faulkner
EXCO member, Action Community for Entrepreneurship and Chief Executive Officer, Activiste Pte Ltd
“SPRING SEEDS’ evaluation model comprising an investment panel, made up of largely private sector business practitioners and fund managers, is a good one, as together we can provide a balanced view on the potential of a startup, bringing together strong analysis and years of business acumen and experience.” MR Chris Boulton
MEMBER MANAGING SPRING SEEDS Investment Panel and Director of private equity consultants Boulton Associates Pte Ltd
INNOVATIVE START-UPS Singapore’s entrepreneurship development journey has made good progress in the last five years. Moving forward, SPRING aims to seed and nurture more innovative start-ups. To this end, SPRING SEEDS Capital Pte Ltd, our wholly-owned subsidiary, was set up to encourage private sector investment in innovative start-ups that have the potential to penetrate international markets. In 2007, SPRING SEEDS Capital invested in 18 innovative start-ups, bringing the total number of investments to 154 since 2001. Through the Entrepreneurial Talent Development Fund (ETDF) in our institutes of higher learning, we have co-invested $1.6 million to help some 50 student ventures. This helps to cultivate a spirit of entrepreneurship in our youths.
“The past five years have seen uplifting changes in “With the investment from nurturing and seeding start-ups. There is a more SPRING SEEDS Capital, we have vibrant entrepreneurial among our been culture able to expand our young, business offerings capture new market evident from the quality andand range of start-ups we opportunities. With the SPRING see around us today. We will continue our efforts SEEDS investment, Haruna set to develop Singapore as aobtaining place where ideasfrom and about grants to develop a Nontoxic Fire innovation flourish,SPRING where Singaporeans take risks, Retardant Coating, a ‘cool’ coating seize opportunitiesthat andhelps createcut new possibilities for by down energy cost reducing energy consumption and themselves.” Photocatalytic Coating which is a Mrs Kim Faulknerself-cleaning paint.” EXCO member, Action Community for Entrepreneurship and CEO, Activiste Pte Ltd
Mr mitsuyoshi kubota
managing director, haruna (S) pte ltd
Mr Tan Swee Wan managing director TecBiz FRisMan Pte Ltd
GrowING with the help of SPRING SEEDS CAPITAL Impounding laptops, investigating the digital realm and tracing digital fingerprints—all these sound like a television script for Crime Scene Investigation (CSI). But for former police computer forensic specialist Mr Tan Swee Wan, it was a viable business venture. In 2001, Mr Tan started TecBiz FRisMan, a professional services firm specialising in brand protection and investigation services. It began with a modest outfit in Singapore but has made headway with offices in Malaysia, Thailand and China. After five years, TecBiz found itself at the crossroads. It was time to review its objectives and operations. But changes would require new resources. TecBiz’s unique position in the marketplace caught the eye of Sirius Ventures, an equity investment firm. When Sirius decided to invest in the company, it also roped in SPRING SEEDS Capital. TecBiz successfully secured additional funding of $300,000. TecBiz then undertook a new business strategy and a restructuring exercise. It also used the opportunity to develop its own proprietary software asset management tool, SolveSAM, to facilitate software management and cut down on manpower . This resulted in increased operational efficiency and an increase in net profits by 20%.
“I’m grateful that Sirius and SPRING SEEDS Capital believe in us and share our vision. Not many players are willing to invest in a company going through restructuring, trusting that it will grow stronger at the end of the process.” – Mr Tan Swee Wan Mr Tan also values the sharing sessions organised by SPRING SEEDS Capital. He makes it a point to attend all the activities or appoints his managers to do so. He finds the seminars very insightful, as he could relate to the speakers, who are typically from listed companies that started out as SMEs. Summing up his experience, Mr Tan said, “Not many players are willing to invest in a company going through restructuring, believing that it will grow stronger at the end of the process. It’s just too risky. However, start-ups and SMEs have to reorganise at some point, and because many of them do not have the luxury of time or funds to do so, they just plow on with increasingly unprofitable practices, until they finally fold.” “I’m grateful that Sirius and SPRING SEEDS Capital believe in us and share our vision,” he said.
EnterpriseOne Portal (www.business.gov.sg)
Enterprise Development Centres (EDCs)
EnterpriseOne Business Information Services (EBIS)
Online Business Information and Government e-Services
Business Advisory and Consultancy Services
Market Information Resources and Research Services
Chinese version (www.sccci.org/enterpriseone)
Hotline: (65) 6898 1800 [email protected]
SBF in partnership with NLB, IE Singapore & SPRING (www.ebis.sg)
Online Business Licensing Services (OBLS)
(www.sccci.org.sg/edc) [email protected]
(www.edcsmcci.com.sg) [email protected]
(www.sicci.com/ [email protected]
“The work we do is extremely exciting because we are able to help so many SMEs. We feel good because we make a difference to their business.” MS DORIS CHOW
DIRECTOR AND MANAGING CONSULTANT [email protected]
SINGAPORE MANUFACTURERS’ FEDERATION
Partners Our network of partners includes the chambers of commerce, business and trade associations, the various financial institutions and venture capital firms, government agencies, institutes of higher learning, research institutes and enterprises. One excellent partnership is EnterpriseOne, a multi-agency initiative managed by us, but involving over 30 organisations. It provides access to government e-services, business information, advice and consultancy to SMEs through its portal, call centre and its network of Enterprise Development Centres (EDCs) and the EnterpriseOne Business Information Services (EBIS). These EDCs have reached out to some 15,000 businesses. The fifth EDC was set up early this year at the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. EBIS, launched in August last year by the Singapore Business Federation in partnership with National Library Board, IE Singapore and SPRING, provides a suite of business and market information services for SMEs. Another partnership is the Local Enterprise and Association Development (LEAD) Programme, where the projects are led by industry associations and supported by SPRING and IE Singapore, to upgrade key industries. In 2007, five new industry associations came onboard LEAD, bringing the total number of associations to 16.
Ms Doris Chow
Director and Managing Consultant [email protected]
Singapore Manufacturers’ Federation
A Glowing Report Card
Three years after it was set up to assist SMEs, Enterprise Development [email protected]
) can look back with some satisfaction on what it has accomplished. Among its achievements are: • Reaching out to more than 5,000 SMEs locally • Helping more than 400 SMEs to grow their business in diverse ways [email protected]
is one of five EDCs developed under
a joint initiative between SPRING and major business chambers and industry associations. [email protected]
is a strategic collaboration between SPRING and Singapore Manufacturers’ Federation (SMa). EDCs assist Singapore enterprises to develop so that they can be successful enterprises, both domestically and internationally. Each EDC is a onestop centre with a team of business consultants who can advise and provide legal, financial, management and business advisory services. “The work we do is extremely exciting because we are able to help so many SMEs. We feel good
because we make a difference to their business,” said Doris Chow, Director and Managing Consultant of the [email protected]
Ms Chow heads a team of four consultants who have always been approachable since the inception of [email protected]
As a result, [email protected]
has seen their clientele double over the past three years. The stream of referrals from happy clients appears set to continue.
It took a lot of hard work to get to this point. “There was a getting-to-know-you period before SMEs felt comfortable with us,” admitted Ms Chow. “A lot of SMEs need to be comfortable with you and trust you before they would discuss their sensitive business issues.”
Our Friendly Neighourhood EDC Dropping into the Enterprise Development [email protected]
) is like visiting a friendly neighbourhood community club for Beno Seow, the Business Development Manager of Dynaglass Reinforced Plastic Pte Ltd. She is on first name terms with the [email protected]
staff and she attends talks and activities hosted by the centre. Established in 1971, Dynaglass Reinforced Plastic Pte Ltd is a local manufacturer for fibre reinforced composite products. Its products are used in the marine, building, process and aerospace industries and are sold both locally and internationally. For Dynaglass, working with [email protected]
has been nothing but beneficial. One example was the firm’s struggle to hire foreign workers last year. From past experience, Dynaglass found Bangladeshis and Indians to be best at adapting to the manufacturing environment of the industry. In 2007, however, the
company floundered amidst red tape when it tried to hire Bangladeshi and Indian workers. When the process dragged on for over three months, the company automatically turned to a trusted friend—the [email protected]
“No meetings. We simply included [email protected]
and SPRING on all our email correspondences,” explained Ms Seow. She added, “[email protected]
knew that our reasons for wanting to hire Bangladeshi and Indian workers were bona fide. I do not know how they did it, but we got our workers!”
Mr KENNY KOH
managing director STAR FURNITURE INDUSTRIES PTE LTD
STAR FURNITURE From Ignorance To Insight In One Day On ONe morning IN June 2007, Kenny Koh arrived at his office a total ignoramus about the furniture industry in Vietnam. By evening, however, the Managing Director of Star Furniture Industries Pte Ltd had acquired an in-depth insight into the Vietnam furniture scene. What enabled Mr Koh to make this leap was an Industry Research Report from EnterpriseOne Business Information Services (EBIS). The 15page report on the Vietnam furniture market winged its way to his office in one day. Mr Koh was among the first to benefit from EBIS, an initiative that aims to help enterprises in Singapore become knowledge-enabled to compete effectively in the global marketplace. EBIS empowers businesses with a suite of business information services that includes the latest industry updates and research reports, and access to business information resources through the guidance of dedicated Info-consultants. Launched in August 2007, this multi-agency initiative is led by the Singapore Business Federation in partnership with IE Singapore, National Library Board and SPRING. The professionalism and speed of the service certainly impressed Mr Koh. “I was surprised by how fast they got the report to me,” recalled Mr Koh.
“EBIS is a very powerful tool, particularly when you are thinking about entering a new market.” – Mr KENNY KOH He was just as pleasantly surprised by the contents of the report. It provided both general statistics on the country’s economy as well as specific information about the Vietnam furniture industry. The size of the furniture industry in Vietnam was detailed, as well as descriptions of the materials available and a list of sources for these materials. “Seventy per cent of what was in the report was useful. With this information, we got a better picture of the investment climate in Vietnam, including the laws and regulations. More significantly, it also provided useful pointers to assist in our decision on investing in this country. Without EBIS, I would not have known where to get this information. It would have taken much time and effort to get that information. EBIS is a very powerful tool, particularly when you are thinking about entering a new market, because when a market is new to you, you need more information.” And did Star Furniture invest in Vietnam? In the end the firm decided to put its Vietnam plans on hold. However, the company did make two further requests to EBIS for industry research reports for two other countries. So geographical expansion for the company—which currently has 30 outlets in Taiwan and Singapore and exports to 35 countries—may be on the cards.
Mr A Sharafdeen
President/ Director Container Depot Association (Singapore)
Collaborating for Wireless Efficiency In 2005, three Singapore logistics associations came together to collaborate on a bold plan: To implement the Containerised Traffic System (CTS) that would seamlessly meld the operations of all ports, container depots, hauliers (and their drivers) and government agencies. The first integrated system in this region, it aims to enhance efficiency and reduce costs. It was no easy task for the three parties—the Container Depot Association (Singapore),
Singapore Logistics Association and Singapore Transport Association. To link to the CTS, hauliers had to abandon their in-house communication equipment and adapt their vehicles at a cost of $1,000 per truck. The industry consists of 300 hauliers who employ about 30,000 workers and operate some 3,000 prime movers and 15,000 trailers. And each had its own system of communication, using pagers and mobile phones. In addition, the CTS infrastructure came with a hefty $3 million price tag. The CTS project was funded under the Local Enterprise and Association Development (LEAD) Programme. It received financing for
50% of the cost of the infrastructure as well as hardware equipment for local operators. The investment paid off. The CTS enables depot operators and trucking companies to work hand-in-hand with the Port of Singapore Authority (PSA) to plan and deploy trailers and prime movers to optimise handling capacity. With real-time communication with PSA, drivers can receive instant updates on the arrival and location of their cargo. Trucks hooked up to the system are reaping amazing savings of 30% in turnaround time, job efficiency and better customer support with real time updates. By October 2008,
The CTS project was funded under the Local Enterprise and Association Development (LEAD) Programme.
1,500 trucks from 55 companies would have adopted CTS. Sharafdeen s/o Abdul Rasak, who is the President of the Container Depot Association (Singapore) summed up, “We’re seeing the industry being transformed.”
Meng Cheng Logistics Wired into System In the transport business since 1970, Meng Cheng Logistics had always used pagers and walkie-talkies to communicate with the drivers of its 192 trailers, 18 prime movers and three lorries. But with pagers, the office could not send text messages to the drivers, while the drivers could not call back to the office. Walkie-talkies, on the other hand were bulky and noisy. Managing Director Ng Boon Hong knew what Meng Cheng Logistics needed—a two-way communication system that enables instant communication between his office, his drivers and PSA.
With an MDT installed in each vehicle, Meng Cheng Logistics is able to track its fleet, inform its drivers of changes in assignments, direct them to the shortest route and alert them to traffic congestions.
The answer was Mobile Data Terminals (MDT) that communicate with a central office. MDT boasts a screen for text messages and a keypad for entering information.
Mr Ng was happy to find such a system in the CTS . Since the last MDT was installed in its fleet in July 2007, Meng Cheng Logistics has not looked back.
Mr Chang Yeng Cheong Deputy General Manager VivoCity Pte Ltd
VIVOCITY Pulling Off The Local Retail Industry’s Single Largest Customer Service Exercise
When VivoCity opened its doors in October 2006, the mall stirred up a level of excitement never before seen in Singapore. Positioned as the ultimate ‘retail and lifestyle destination’, the mall is Singapore’s largest ever, boasting over a million square feet of retail space. In its first week, the mall received nearly a million visitors. By the end of three months, it had drawn 13 million visitors. From the start, service excellence was established as a key objective for VivoCity. The mall felt that what was needed was a holistic programme that would transform the entire mall. To achieve that, the mall turned to the Customer-Centric Initiative (CCI), a multi-agency national initiative led by SPRING and the National Trades Union Congress, to help companies in their quest for service excellence. VivoCity embarked on its service excellence journey in January 2007. Determined to enlist everyone—from shop owners and sales assistants to security officers and cleaning staff—in the task of shaping the service culture at VivoCity, the management held six communication sessions over a period of two months to share with the tenants the mall-wide service programme. The majority of the 300 tenants supported the programme, creating the local retail industry’s
single largest customer service exercise. VivoCity also invited key partners as well as outsourced agents like Certis CISCO to be on its Service Excellence Advisory Panel. The mall began by conducting service audits, focus groups and surveys to establish the service baseline for its desired service standards, vision and values. The mall then invited its tenants and outsourced agents to join in the training. In all, 269 staff from 48 outlets underwent training, aimed at communicating and equipping them with guidelines and tools to provide the VivoCity brand of service. To monitor customer service, three mystery audits were carried out at all the outlets, with 20% of them being audited more than once. The mall also began recognising and rewardin individuals and companies for excellent service. Today, 77.7% of the mall’s customers are satisfied with the service, compared with 73% before the commencement of the programme. Also 60% of the mall’s tenants passed the mystery shopper audit, compared with 51% previously. Traffic has increased by 7.2%. Further, the number of complaints went down while the number of compliments has risen. “Service excellence is a journey that VivoCity has embarked on,” pronounced Chang Yeng Cheong, VivoCity’s Deputy General Manager. “In order to achieve our service excellence objectives, we need to continue to engage the support and contribution of our tenants to provide a distinctly pleasant and memorable experience for visitors to VivoCity.”
“It is critical for all businesses to embrace standards in their products and services so that they can stay competitive in today’s global economy.” MR EDWIN KHEW
CHAIRMAN OF STANDARDS COUNCIL AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER / MANAGING DIRECTOR, IUT GLOBAL PTE LTD
As the national standards body, SPRING takes a strategic approach to standardisation to increase market access for Singapore’s exports, improve productivity and quality, ensure safety and health and protect the environment. Our national standardisation programme is guided by the industry-led Standards Council. In 2007, we launched 10 new and revised Singapore Standards and Technical References for use by various industries. Among them are: • TR 24 Cold Chain Management for Vegetables, the first national standard in ASEAN • SS 529 Smart Card Identification, the first national standard in the world • SS 532 Code of Practice for the Storage of Flammable Liquids We formed two Special Technical Committees for Supply Chain Management and Tourism & Exhibition, and two strategic policy committees—the Standardisation Protem Committee on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, and the Coordinating Taskforce on Energy and Environmentally Related Standards. We actively promote the adoption of standards through Standards Implementation for Productivity (SIP) projects. In 2007, we initiated 12 SIP projects.
Mr Oh Wee Lee
Business Development Manager
Mr Ngim Shyr Yong Director
Mr Oh Wei Boon Marketing Manager
AW TRANSPORT Priceless Returns on E-SCM
For 34 years, Aw Transport & Warehousing Pte Ltd had been slowly building itself up the old-fashioned way—through hard work, long hours and keeping its nose to the grindstone. Then in February 2006, one of its principal clients approached the company with a proposal that would change the company forever. That client was Sankyu Singapore, one of the largest
third-party logistics providers in Singapore. The proposal was to participate in a pilot project to implement an e-supply chain management (e-SCM) system linking Sankyu Singapore, Aw Transport & Warehousing, and another local logistics player, Poh Tiong Choon Logistics Ltd. The e-SCM e-Collaboration pilot project was supported by SPRING under its Standards Implementation for Productivity (SIP) initiative. The project involved the implementation of the Technical Reference, TR9:2003 – Maturity Assessment for e-Supply Chain Management. For Aw Transport & Warehousing, the pilot project was an opportunity to integrate closely
with the operations of a key client. The e-SCM Assessment Programme was launched by SPRING and the Singapore Manufacturers’ Federation in 2005 with the goal of spurring SMEs into adopting e-supply chain best practices to enhance their efficiency and competitiveness. e-SCM refers to the electronic linking of companies within a supply chain, with all partners in the chain joining forces to create and share value-add. This collaboration transforms a supply chain from one made up of many separate companies into a single entity that is more effective. “From the start, we knew it would be a good thing. We just didn’t know how good it would be,” recalled Mr Ngim Shyr Yong, Director of Aw Transport & Warehousing. “However we knew we had to change our business process because it was inefficient.” At that time, everything in the company was done manually. Orders were faxed in and keyed in. Shipments that went missing had to be physically tracked down. Implementing the e-SCM system took seven months, costing the firm $72,000 in consultancy fees and software costs, with the management team putting in 200 hours of work. What the company got in return, however, was priceless, reckoned Mr Ngim. With the e-SCM in place, all internal processes at Aw Transport & Warehousing are now automated and integrated and hence, more efficient. Every department now works more effectively. The accounts department, for
With the e-SCM in place, all internal processes at Aw Transport & Warehousing are now automated and integrated and hence, more efficient. Every department now works more effectively.
example, shaved 30 minutes off the processing of each order. Overall, two hours were saved on each order due to tighter traffic control and greater visibility of the shipments. Human errors and miscommunication have been reduced to a minimum. Consequently, where working late used to be the norm, everyone goes home earlier these days. Both staff and clients are now happier. And with smooth running operations, the company’s senior executives now spend more time formulating business strategy. “Now we are managers of exception—we handle only exceptional events and issues, while we spend the bulk of our time thinking about how to improve our yield,” explained Mr Ngim. “In the past, I spent 80% of my time in making calls and tracing shipping, which left me with 20% of the time to thinking about the business. Now I spend 80% of the time thinking and strategising, which is critical, especially during this period of high fuel prices.”
“Accreditation provides an assurance to the public as well as companies that the products and services they acquired from accredited organisations are of international standards. SAC is constantly keeping abreast of the evolving needs of Singaporeans and industry, and will develop new accreditation programmes to serve the needs of the market.” Mr Heng Chiang gNee
Chairman, Singapore Accreditation Council AND CEO, SEMBCORP ENVIRONMENT PTE LTD
Assuring quality through
Supported by SPRING, the Singapore Accreditation Council (SAC) helps to strengthen the national conformance infrastructure by providing accreditation programmes for third party assurance on the quality and standards of products and services in Singapore. 63
In 2007, SAC launched the medical imaging and cargo inspection programmes. With this, patients who use diagnostic imaging services such as mammography and ultrasounds can now be assured of the technical “soundness” of the images and reports. And with the new cargo inspection scheme, buyers and sellers of cargo can now be assured of the competence of accredited inspection bodies in delivering cargo inspection services. This scheme will mean savings in time and costs for buyers and sellers as their cargoes need not be inspected again in importing countries. Successful evaluations by international accreditation fraternities such as the Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC), European Cooperation for Accreditation (EA), Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (PAC) and International Accreditation Forum (IAF) were also achieved in 2007. SAC’s membership in these Mutual Recognition Arrangement networks provide market access for goods and services that have been tested, calibrated, certified or inspected by SAC –accredited companies to more than 50 economies. This reduces costs and saves time for our companies.
Mr Dave Cheng Loon Managing Director Certification International (Singapore ) Pte LIMITED
CERTIFICATION INTERNATIONAL The Mark Of Confidence An HACCP certificate is an HACCP certificate whether you get that certification from certification body A or B, right?
by the Singapore Accreditation Council (SAC) to the HACCP scheme, the auditors’ qualifications and the management of certification processes are professionally assessed to meet the stringent accreditation requirements. You can’t say likewise for unaccredited HACCP certifications.”
“That’s not true,” said Dave Cheng Loon, Managing Director and Principal Auditor of Certification International (Singapore) Pte Limited. “As there are many unaccredited HACCP certificates being issued, we need to distinguish between an accredited and unaccredited HACCP certification. For certification bodies that are accredited
Certification International (Singapore) offers certifications accredited by SAC and the United Kingdom Accreditation Services (UKAS). SAC is the national authority for the accreditation of assessment bodies in Singapore while UKAS is the sole national accreditation body recognised by the UK government. SAC is supported by SPRING.
In March 2007, Certification International (Singapore) became the first certification body in Singapore to be accredited by SAC to certify food producers and F & B outlets to SAC Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Document No. 2, a HACCP-based food management system certification. HACCP is a system that identifies, evaluates and controls hazards that are vital to food safety, so that actions can be taken to reduce or eliminate the risk of the hazards at all
stages of food production, preparation and distribution. SAC launched the accreditation scheme to provide third–party assurance on the competency of accredited certification bodies to certify companies to the HACCP–based Food Management System certification. “We promote SAC HACCP Document No. 2 because we believe in its stringent qualifying process. It assures the reputation of our firm, the reputation of our clients, and above all, the reputation of Singapore,” said Mr Cheng.
Trendsetters In The Poultry World Kee Song Brothers Poultry should know all there is to know about chickens, having reared them on their farm, processed them in slaughterhouses, and sold them at markets. Their chickens are housed in state-of-the-art farms in Johor Bahru and their slaughterhouse in Defu processes about 12,000 chickens a day. But they maintain they do not know enough. This humble attitude prompted the company to become the first Singapore poultry slaughterhouse to obtain ISO 9002 certification in 1999. They were also among the first to seek the HACCP-based food management system certification from Certification International (Singapore) Pte Limited. To meet the certification requirements, Kee Song Brothers Poultry rebuilt its factory with enclosed temperature-controlled premises, bought new refrigeration units and equipped its 24 delivery trucks with temperaturecontrolled refrigeration. Half a million dollars was invested in the process.
Kee Song Brothers Poultry felt that the HACCP certificate—acquired in 2002 after two years—was worth every dollar. For one thing, spoilage has been reduced from 3% of daily output to zero. Said Belyn Ong, the firm’s Quality Assurance Manager, “HACCP is not only beneficial, it is necessary in today’s environment. Let’s face it, without certification a fresh food preparation company cannot survive in Singapore. Even customers like restaurants, F&B outlets and food preparation factories would first ask for your HACCP certificate before they do further business with you.”
“Business excellence is about progressing on a journey to attain world-class standards of performance. It is a journey without a finishing line, as leading organisations keep raising the bar for benchmarks and best practices so as to be better than the best.” Prof Cham Tao Soon
Chairman, SQA Governing Council, Chancellor & Chairman, Board of Trustees, SIM University and President Emeritus, Nanyang Technological University
Business Excellence The Business Excellence initiative helps organisations strengthen their management systems and processes for higher performance and growth. It is based on an internationally–comparable and holistic framework for managing organisational excellence. This framework is aligned with premier business excellence frameworks adopted in the United States, Japan, Europe and Australia. The Singapore Quality Class (SQC) and Singapore Quality Award (SQA) are key milestones of the overall business excellence standard. In addition, there are three niche standards—for people, innovation and service excellence. Since 1984, we have certified some 700 organisations under the initiative. In 2007, we presented two new awards. The SQA with Special Commendation Award recognises past SQA winners for scaling greater heights in business excellence and for demonstrating global leadership in key business areas. The Service Excellence Award recognises organisations with outstanding management capabilities to drive and sustain service excellence. SMEs keen to pursue business excellence can tap on the SME Management Action for Results (SMART) initiative and the Business Excellence Mentoring Programme. The Business Excellence Mentoring Programme was launched in 2007 to help SMEs that are already on the Business Excellence journey to progress faster.
Mr Tan Pheng Hock President and CEO ST Engineering
ST ENGINEERING Even Giants Need A Little PUSH when Tan Pheng Hock took over the helm of ST Engineering as President and CEO, he announced that the group would be embarking on the Singapore Quality Award (SQA) for business excellence. Senior executives reacted negatively to the idea. This was because three companies in the group had, on their own, tried for the SQA and all had failed. Recalled Mr Tan, “They said if all three companies could not achieve it, how could ST Engineering, a much larger organisation, not knowing the processes and the enormous effort needed, succeed? There were a lot of skeptics and you can’t blame them, because it had never been done before.” Indeed, for ST Engineering, it would be a Herculean feat. ST Engineering is one of the largest public-listed companies in Singapore, with a market capitalisation of $11 billion in September 2007. It is the world’s largest airframe maintenance, repair and overhaul service provider and among the top three global players in satellite communications. In 2002, its staff numbered 11,413. Undeterred, Mr Tan pressed on. He felt that the SQA was critical to the Group’s future success and survival. Mr Tan saw a future where size alone is not good enough; it is excellence that will count. “Every area of business across the world is currently undergoing consolidation on a scale never seen before. When
the dust settles, only the most excellent will survive. We aim to be there at the end.”
“I set globalisation as our key strategy. And to go global, you need to know yourself—your processes, your people, your quality, your customers—vis-à-vis your competitors,” stressed Mr Tan. “Unless you know the issues and the challenges that you have to confront, it is hard to go global. We needed to find out where we stood—our strengths, our weaknesses, and our gaps.” The group embarked on a year-long process that involved all the presidents of the companies within ST Engineering, and hundreds of hours of hard work. In 2002, ST Engineering was awarded the SQA. The results? The numbers say it all. Post-SQA, the sales turnover for the group grew from $2.6 billion in 2002 to $4.5 billion in 2006. From 11 countries in 2002, it now operates in 21 countries. Customer satisfaction levels improved from 92% in 2002 to 97% in 2006. Where more than 70% of revenue used to come from Asia, today almost half is derived from outside Asia. Another resounding testimonial was when ST Engineering embarked on the SQA process a second time in 2007; it clinched the SQA with Special Commendation Award. It was one of only two organisations to do so. The SQA with Special Commendation Award recognises past SQA winners for scaling greater heights of business excellence and for demonstrating global leadership in key business areas.
Mr Ang Sim Tat
Managing Director Bestcoat Contract Services Pte Ltd
BESTCOAT From Fire-fighting To Strategy Mapping M r Ang Sim Tat, founder and managing Director of Bestcoat Contract Services Pte Ltd, shudders now when he thinks about how his company used to be run. “Before, all our meetings were spent firefighting with no agendas and no transparency, because all the decisions were made based on gut feel and past experience,”
he revealed. “We looked internally whenever problems cropped up and we would point fingers and lay blame without analysing our internal data, the macro environment and its impact on our business.” All this, however, is in the past. Today, Bestcoat Contract Services has clear, transparent benchmarks to assess its performance. The company responds strategically to changing conditions. And a clearly articulated vision, mission and corporate values statement steer the company right whenever it veers off track.
This amazing transformation came about when the 16-year-old waterproofing company that deals with systems that preserve and waterproof concrete structures embarked on the journey to Singapore Quality Class (SQC) certification in 2002. Mr Ang freely admits that getting the right to display the SQC logo on the company’s publicity materials was all that the company had in mind at the outset. However, the process changed the company’s perspective completely. “We found that SQC was something that we wanted; indeed, something we long needed,” declared Mr Ang. Bestcoat Contract Services committed 1,000 man-hours to closely scrutinise all aspects of its operations during the year-long process.
SQC brought the company to a whole new level. “Turnover increased by 20% and correspondingly, our profits also improved. This is due to the SQC process and the efforts of our staff in reaching our strategic goals and targets.” – Mr Ang Sim Tat
Serious shortcomings in the company were uncovered in the process. The first was the need for a strategy to recruit and retain talent. As part of the strategy, a feedback system was created to allow employees to freely express their feelings about the organisation. The company also embarked on the People Developer certification in 2005. The result? Only one resignation in the past five years. Another operational weakness identified was the lack of data for benchmarking. To address this, the company had to collect hard data on its key operational areas—something it had never done before. “For the first time, we saw the big picture,” said Mr Ang. “The data let us see how one department affects another as well as the chain reaction from one set of actions. It changed the way we look at our business.”
Today, the company measures its performance against set target indicators and lays down strategic plans accordingly. SQC brought the company to a whole new level. “Turnover increased by 20% and correspondingly, our profits also improved. This is due to the SQC process and the efforts of our staff in reaching our strategic goals and targets,” said Mr Ang. “All in all, the returns were amazing for an initial investment in human capital and finances that amounted to just a fraction of our turnover. This has resulted in our business improving in many areas, not only on the bottom-line but also all the various facets of our organisation.”
MR PHILIP YEO SPRING Singapore
Mr Yeo has been the Chairman of SPRING since 1 April 2007. He is currently also the Special Advisor for Economic Development (Prime Minister’s Office) and Senior Advisor for Science and Technology (Ministry of Trade & Industry). Before joining SPRING, he was the Chairman of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research from February 2001 to March 2007. Mr Yeo was formerly the Chairman of the Economic Development Board from January 1986 to January 2001 and Co-Chairman of the Economic Development Board from February 2001 to January 2006.
DEPUTY CHAIRMAN 02 Ms Chong was appointed as Deputy Chairman of SPRING and
MS CHONG SIAK CHING SPRING Singapore
Board Member on 1 April 2008. She is the current Chairman of the Policy Advisory Committee on Markets. Ms Chong is President & CEO of Ascendas Pte Ltd. Prior to joining Ascendas, she was the Deputy Chief Executive of Jurong Town Corporation.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS 02
Our deepest appreciation to the following Board members who have stepped down
MR PNG CHEONG BOON Chief Executive, SPRING Singapore
MR LOH KHUM YEAN Chief Executive, SPRING Singapore (15 October 2003 – 30 April 2008)
PROF CHONG TOW CHONG
MR WILLIE CHENG Chairman, Catholic Social and Community Council (1 April 2000 – 31 March 2008)
Executive Director, Science & Engineering Research Council, Agency for Science, Technology and Research
MR GONG WEE LIK Former Deputy Managing Director, Global Operations and Corporate Development, Economic Development Board (1 April 2006 – 31 March 2008)
MR THOMAS CHUA KEE SENG Chairman & Managing Director, Teckwah Industrial Corporation Ltd
MR LAWRENCE LEOW CHIN HIN Chairman / Chief Executive Officer, Crescendas Group and President, Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (1 April 2006 – 31 March 2008)
MRS KIM FAULKNER Chief Executive Officer, Activiste Pte Ltd
MR INDERJIT SINGH Chief Executive Officer, Infiniti Solutions Ltd (1 April 2000 – 31 March 2008)
MR KO KHENG HWA
Chief Executive Officer, Sustainable Development & Living Business Division, Keppel Corporation Limited
BG (NS) WONG ANN CHAI Former Chief Armour Officer, Singapore Armed Forces (1 April 2006 – 31 July 2007)
MR LIM BOON WEE
MR YEO GUAT KWANG Alignment Director, Quality WorkLife & All Nationalities, National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) (1 November 2004 – 31 March 2008)
Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Transport
MR TAN KIAN CHEW Group Chief Executive Officer, NTUC FairPrice (1 April 2002 – 31 March 2008)
BOARD OF DIRECTORS 09
DR MOH CHONG TAU President & CEO, Makino Asia Pte Ltd
BG NG CHEE MENG Director, Joint Operations, Ministry of Defence
MR ONG YE KUNG
Chief Executive, Singapore Workforce Development Agency
MR STEVEN PHAN Country Managing Partner, Ernst & Young LLP
PROF JITENDRA VIR SINGH
Dean & Shaw Foundation Chair, Professor of Strategy, Management & Organization Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University
MR TED TAN TECK KOON Deputy Chief Executive Officer, International Enterprise Singapore
MR ROBERT TSAO HSING-CHENG Chairman Emeritus, United Microelectronics Corporation
MR TONY L WHITE Chairman, President & CEO, Applied Biosystems Inc
MS JANET YOUNG
Managing Director & Regional Head MNC, Asia, Bank of America
MR ZAQY MOHAMAD
Regional Director, Solutions, SE Asia, Avanade Asia Pte Ltd
EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT TEAM 76
MR PNG CHEONG BOON Acting Chief Executive (From 1 May 2008 – 31 August 2008) Chief Executive (From 1 September 2008)
MS CHEW MOK LEE Group Director Enterprise Promotion
MR CHOW TAT KONG Group Director Industry Development
MS CHOY SAUW KOOK Group Director Enterprise Capabilities
MR TEO NAM KUAN Group Director Quality & Standards
Growing at SPRING Developing Our People At SPRING, staff development is critical as employees are the driving force of the organisation. Our human resource and organisation development initiatives aim to groom and develop staff to reach their full potential.
A major initiative was the development of a core competency framework for Senior Officers. Senior Officers can now access a web-based portal to find suitable programmes to address their own developmental needs. In 2007, $2 million was directed towards people development, which translated into an average of 80 hours of learning and development opportunities for each officer.
SPRING also provides corporate membership passes to various attractions such as the Zoo, Science Centre, Jurong Bird Park and Sentosa. The Sports & Wellness Committee, led by Group Director, Mr Teo Nam Kuan, is relentless in rolling out programmes. They include the annual Active Day, health screening, sports competitions/games and health talks. The committee also aims to equip staff with knowledge and resources to lead an active and healthy lifestyle.
Besides on-going board-wide core programmes and functional training, other developmental opportunities included overseas study visits, sponsored degree and post-graduate courses, job rotation and secondment to both public and private sector organisations. It was a great testimony to our people development efforts when we successfully renewed the People Developer certification in October 2007. This reinforces our commitment to developing our most valuable resource— our people.
Enhancing Health and Well-being
Recognising Achievements and Service
To encourage work-life balance, SPRING organises activities such as movie nights for staff and their families and [email protected]
The contributions of staff are recognised at both the national and ministry levels. Last year, five of our staff were presented with
at SPRING’s Public Service Week Observance Ceremony on 15 May 2008.
Engaging Our Staff We recognise the importance of two-way communication with staff to gather feedback and suggestions, address concerns and to communicate SPRING’s key priorities and information. This is done through channels such as the bi-annual staff gatherings, staff events, monthly online Staff Matters newsletter, dialogue sessions with top management and staff suggestion scheme.
National Day Awards. Nine others received awards for their excellent service and 36 staff received Long Service Awards. Five joint government projects that SPRING participated in—EnterpriseOne, GET-Up Initiative, National RFID, SERC Aerospace Programme and SME Access Loan—clinched the MTI Borderless Awards 2007.
Following the Organisational Climate Survey in November 2005, action plans and initiatives have been rolled out to address areas for improvement. A 360-degree Leadership Survey for the Senior Management Team was carried out to enhance their leadership competencies through better awareness of personal strengths and development needs. The Performance Management System for Senior Officers was revamped to be more KPI-driven and to incorporate the new Core Competency framework for Senior Officers. In addition, a series of divisional teambuilding sessions were organised to encourage open communication, strengthen interpersonal relations and promote a common vision among staff.
Values In Action (VIA) Award
Delivering Service with imPACT
The VIA Award was launched in 2006 to recognise individuals and teams who have demonstrated our ENTP (Enterprising, Nurturing, Team Player and Professional) values or PACT (Passionate, Approachable, Contemporary and Trustworthy) personality traits in their work and delivered good service consistently. This year, the VIA Award was presented to seven individuals and eight teams
To deliver “Service with imPACT”, we have ongoing programmes since 2005 to equip staff with the relevant service skills. These include training programmes such as Service with imPACT for new staff and the Language of imPACT for high customer contact staff. Oneto-one service coaching sessions, learning visits and a review of service processes to enhance service performance were also conducted.
Serving the Community Our Customer Satisfaction Survey for 2007 showed that 95% of our customers were satisfied with our service. A total of 116 compliments were received in 2007 for our staff’s helpfulness and professionalism. Our Executive Management Team also demonstrated Service Leadership by serving at key service touchpoints.
Through SPRING Cares, we worked with our adopted charity, Beyond Social Services, to help disadvantaged children and young people as well as their families. Activities organised included a graduation ceremony for more than 250 kids and their parents, visits to the Gardenia Factory, Pulau Ubin, Sungei Buloh, Botanical Gardens and farms.
Staff also raised more than $3,000 in support of the President’s Challenge. A special charity performance put up by SPRING’s Senior Management Team at the annual dinner and dance raised more than $2,600. An outing for some 20 elderly under the care of Lion Befrienders was also organised by staff volunteers.
In September 2007, SPRING successfully renewed our certification for the Singapore Quality Class, People Developer and Singapore Innovation Class, and achieved the Singapore Service Class. This is an important milestone and will spur us on our journey of Organisational Excellence.
Accolades Singapore H.E.A.L.T.H Award—Platinum (2006 – 2008) Work-Life Excellence Award (2006 – 2008) The Minister for Defence Award (Employer) (2007)
National Day Awards 2007 Name of Staff
Designation & Department
Name of Award
Ms Esther Hoo
Administrative Executive, Human Resources
Mr Abu Samah Bin Haron
Assistant Administrative Executive, Corporate Communications
Long Service Medal
Mr Chong Hee Sai Senior Technical Executive, Electromagnetic Metrology (transferred to A*STAR wef 1 January 2008)
Long Service Medal
Ms Amy Lee
Administrative Executive, Finance
Long Service Medal
Ms Lilian Wee
Senior Administrative Executive, Incentives (Grants & Taxes)
Long Service Medal
Excellent Service Award 2007 (EXSA) & Going the Extra Mile Service (G.E.M.S) Award 2007 Name of Staff
Designation & Department
Name of Award
Ms Ranjeet Kaur
Assistant Administrative Executive, EnterpriseOne
Excellent Service Award (Gold)
Ms Patricia Koh
Administrative Executive, EnterpriseOne
Excellent Service Award (Gold)
Mr Long Junming
Technical Executive, Consumer Product Safety
Excellent Service Award (Gold)
Ms Elynn Tan
Administrative Executive, EnterpriseOne
Ms Anne Chan
Administrative Executive, Human Resources
Ms Kam Yin Ching Manager, Finance
Mr Steven Lee
Senior Technical Executive, Administration
Mr Ooi Cheong
Technical Executive, Corporate Communications G.E.M.S Commendation
Ms Cally Tan Personal Assistant, Chief Executive’s Office
OF THE YEAR 2007
January • Singapore first country in ASEAN to meet the ASEAN Electrical and Electronic Equipment Agreement • Revised Singapore Standard to save energy for buildings launched • SPRING and the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore launched $9 million Intellectual Property Management for SMEs Programme that helps SMEs develop a strategy to create, own, protect and exploit their IP
February • SPRING and Singapore Precision Engineering and Tooling Association launched LEAD Programme for PE industry • $30 million GST Assistance Scheme for SMEs launched • 40,000 weighing and measuring instruments affixed with Accuracy Label
March • F&B Capability Development Programme launched to upgrade enterprises in F&B sector • MedTech Capability Development Programme launched to build SME capabilities in precision engineering for the fast-growing medical components and equipment market
April SPRING Enterprise Conference Some 600 participants attended the inaugural conference on 5 April. Themed “Enabling Enterprise”, it focused on the three key enablers of enterprise growth: people, technology innovation and financing. At the conference, a $20 million Management Development Programme was launched to provide customised postgraduate and executive development courses to train SME leaders.
May • $1.7 million National Retail Scholarship to groom future leaders for the retail sector launched • SPRING and Singapore Polytechnic launched Food Innovation and Resource Centre June • Customer-Centric Initiative launched for F&B sector • National Standard for Storage of Flammable Liquids launched to yield lower costs and better workplace safety
July • SPRING and Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (PAC) signed PAC Multilateral Recognition Agreement for Product Certification that helps exporters to save on certification costs • Food Import Regulations and Standards database launched to enable easier access for food manufactureres to global markets • First 25 Business Leaders go back to school on SPRING’s Management Development Programme
OF THE YEAR 2007
• BlueSky Festival 2007 More than 700 participants attended the annual BlueSky Festival on 19–20 July. The conference covered mezzanine financing, trade financing risk management and how SMEs could tap on capital markets for funds. The third tranche of the Loan Insurance Scheme (LIS 3) was launched on 19 July to generate $3 billion worth of loans for SMEs and internationalising Singapore companies.
August • SPRING joined the International Electrotechnical Commission Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components to make exporting easier for electrical and electronic product manufacturers • Singapore Business Federation launched EnterpriseOne Business Information Services in partnership with National Library Board, IE Singapore and SPRING to empower businesses with a suite of information services
September • Technical Reference for Cold Chain Management of Vegetables launched • LEAD Forum Five new associations from the marine, construction, automation, logistics and enviromental industries joined LEAD, bringing the total number of industry associations to 16.
October • Business Excellence Awards 2007 Five organisations were presented with the top honours for their outstanding achievements in business excellence at this event on 9 October. Singapore Police Force and ST Engineering were presented with the SQA with Special Commendation Award. • SPRING and Ngee Ann Polytechnic launched the $5.5 million Marine & Offshore Technology Centre of Innovation to help marine and offshore companies develop new and innovative products, services and processes • New standards for windows and fire doors launched to enhance safety of buildings in Singapore
November • Quality and Standards 2007 (QS2007) QS2007 was held from 5–7 November. About 830 participants attended the three-day conference which highlighted how enterprises can improve their business competitiveness from the standards and accrediation programmes and the consumer protection as well as export technical assistance schemes for their exports overseas. • New Singapore Standard for Smart Card Identification launched
December • First Nano-scale Measurement Facility in ASEAN developed • Official opening of International Furniture Centre —a key strategy to make Singapore an international furniture hub
OF THE YEAR 2008
January $60 million Business Leaders Initiative launched to train business leaders
February • $2 million SCI Print Technology Institute launched to meet advanced training needs of print industry
MARCH • SPRING and Singapore Chemicals Industry Council signed MOU to help Singapore companies meet EU REACH regulation • New safety standards for outdoor fitness and playground equipment launched
April •SPRING Enterprise Conference 2008 Some 520 participants attended the second SPRING Enterprise Conference on 17 April which focused on how SPRING’s 3MK assistance framework of Money, Markets, Management and Knowhow could be tapped for enterprise growth. A $50 million Technology Enterprise Commercialisation Scheme (TECS) was announced to support enterprises and entrepreneurs to bring their technology ideas to the market. • Semiconductor Capability Development Programme launched to develop SME capabilities to support the semiconductor equipment industry
Useful Contact INFORMATION SPRING Singapore Tel: (65) 6278 6666 www.spring.gov.sg EnterpriseOne Tel: (65) 6898 1800 www.business.gov.sg Action Community for Entrepreneurship Tel: (65) 6279 3766/ 3913 www.ace.org.sg
Business Excellence Tel: (65) 6279 3811 www.spring.gov.sg/be Consumer Product Safety Tel: (65) 1-800 773 3163 www.spring.gov.sg/safety Weights and Measures Office Tel: (65) 1-800 457 5033 www.spring.gov.sg/wmo Singapore Accreditation Council Tel: (65) 6279 1855 / 1856 www.sac-accreditation.gov.sg Singapore Standards Tel: (65) 6279 1805 www.standards.org.sg Singapore Standards/ Technical Reference Sales Office Tel: (65) 6826 9691 www.singaporestandardseshop.sg
FEATURED COMPANIES Aw Transport & Warehousing Pte Ltd Tel: (65) 6863 6050 www.awgroup.org
HealthSTATS International Pte Ltd Tel: (65) 6858 3248 www.healthstats.com
Bestcoat Contract Services Pte Ltd Tel: (65) 6752 3005 www.bestcoat.com.sg
JEP Precision Engineering Pte Ltd Tel: (65) 6545 4222 www.jepprecision.com.sg
CerealTech Pte Ltd Tel: (65) 6755 5580 www.cerealtech.com
Kee Song Brothers Poultry Industries Pte Ltd Tel: (65) 6289 4933
Certification International (Singapore) Pte Limited Tel: (65) 6299 9001 www.cert-ints.com.sg
McCraic Holdings Pte Ltd Tel: (65) 6534 5100 www.mccraic.com
Container Depot Association (Singapore) Tel: (65) 6376 5926 www.cdasalliance.sg Dayen-Aquablu Technologies Pte Ltd Tel: (65) 6365 0652 Dynaglass Reinforced Plastics Pte Ltd Tel: (65) 6862 1801 www.dynaglass.com.sg [email protected]
Pte Ltd Tel: (65) 6826 3020 www.edc.org.sg Fabulous Printers Pte Ltd Tel: (65) 6544 0200 www.fabulousprinters.com Gan Hup Lee (1999) Pte Ltd Tel: (65) 6741 2626 www.ganhuplee.com Haruna (S) Pte Ltd Tel: (65) 6270 0125 www.harunapaint.com
Meng Cheng Logistics Pte Ltd Tel: (65) 6538 4762 www.mengcheng.com.sg Pride-Chem Industries Pte Ltd Tel: (65) 6861 7641 www.pride-chem.com.sg Star Furniture Industries Pte Ltd Tel: (65) 6365 8832 www.starfurn.com ST Engineering Tel: (65) 6722 1818 www.stengg.com TecBiz FRisMan Pte Ltd Tel: (65) 6225 1998 www.tecbizfrisman.com True Heritage Brew Singapore Pte Ltd Tel: (65) 6223 2282 www.trueheritagebrew.com VivoCity Pte Ltd as Trustee of VivoCity Trust Tel: (65) 6376 9180 www.vivocity.com.sg
Executive Development Scholarship A Business Leaders Initiative
Gwendoline Lam SPRING Scholar and Future Business Leader National University of Singapore
SPRING Singapore 2 Bukit Merah Central Singapore 159835, Main Line: +65 6278 6666, EnterpriseOne: +65 6898 1800 www.spring.gov.sg