Digital Transformation, Industry 4.0, Digitization – these buzzwords are taking over the business conversations around the world. But why is it that companies in manufacturing and engineering industries feel that topics such as digital commerce are not relevant for them?
Why does digital commerce seem far off for manufacturing SMEs?
With increasing global competition, more and more manufacturing SMEs would acknowledge that the digital economy indeed is relevant for them. But topics such as labor costs, automation and standardization, updating technical equipment or simply production issues are of higher priority. For manufacturing and engineering industries, the struggles of the error prone and complex sales process, originating in a configurable product portfolio, combined with a complicated cost structure are real. It seems that the fast and consumer-driven digital economy with e-commerce is simply out of reach and they have yet to develop the capacities to bring their RFQ processes to the next level before going digital. (Read more in our article “Digital Economy – Impossible For Manufacturing & Engineering Businesses?”)
Secondly, it is hard for them to find a trusted resource for information and guidance on the knotty path of digital transformation or an advisor to recommend where and how to get started.
How will digitalization and digital commerce affect Singapore in the future?
Digital transformation is a journey of embracing digital technologies, that does not only create unique marketplace opportunities, but also challenges, that can seem threatening to especially smaller businesses.
Singapore’s government has realized that digital transformation is a global development that affects all industries and cannot be postponed. Digital technology has the exclusive potential to transform businesses, be it large or small, across all sectors. Government agencies such as the Infocom Media Development Authority IMDA and Cyber Security Agency CSA along with SPRING Singapore have put the program “SMEs Go Digital” in place to help SMEs build stronger digital capabilities. Leveraging digital technology and embracing innovation are the key steps for businesses to stay competitive and grow, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said in his Budget 2017 speech on 20 February 2017.
The Singapore Manufacturing Federation’s Digital Commerce Group – a trusted resource for Manufacturers
The Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF) is THE institution for Singapore to represent the interests and needs of the manufacturing industry and drive its competitiveness and sustainable growth. With over 3,000 corporate members and 10 industry groups it stands for an important sector to contribute to Singapore’s economic success. Within SMF the Digital Commerce Interest Group (DCom) has formed with the mission to guide Singapore manufacturing SMEs to learn more about digital economy and empower commerce with technology to achieve sustainability and growth. The group offers workshops and resources for those interested to learn more about the digital economy and provides opportunities to connect and exchange knowledge.
Rapidly emerging technologies and digitization is putting immense pressure on SMEs to keep up to date with the latest trends. At the same time manufacturing businesses struggle with their own challenges and hesitate making digital commerce a point on their agenda. Singapore’s government as well as industry groups such as DCom are offering support on the journey of digital transformation for SMEs.
If you want to learn how to move forward in digital commerce, join Digital Commerce Interest Group and benefit from their educational offerings.