Dr Kaizad Heerjee, Assistant Chief Executive, Online Development Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore Speech - Opening of the SIMM E-Supply Chain Conference

Dr Kaizad Heerjee, Assistant Chief Executive, Online Development
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Speech - Opening of the SIMM E-Supply Chain Conference
Singapore, 4 September 2002

Good morning
Dr Richard Lee, President of SIMM
Prof Richard Grainger, Head, School of Management, Curtin University
Ladies and Gentlemen

1. Introduction

It gives me a great pleasure to be speaking here today. I would like to thank the Singapore Institute of Materials Management for organizing the conference. It is apt and timely that the conference is addressing the topic of "Harnessing Strategic Technology Drivers Towards E-Business". In the face of growing regional competition, it is important to examine how Singapore can continue to be the region's supply chain management and logistics hub. I would like to take this opportunity to discuss how competitive advantage can be achieved through new process models and innovative use of technology.

But before I begin, I would like to give recognition to the ten pioneer recipients of the Certified Supply Chain Professional award. This Certification marks progress in the Supply Chain Practice in Singapore. The award recipients will tell you that supply chain management are not only about processes and software solutions. It is equally important to possess the necessary manpower skills and resources to analyze the critical issues e-procurement and e-fulfillment.

2. Trends and Threats

We come from different countries but we face similar business issues and challenges. With increasing competition, it is becoming more difficult to win new deals and even more so, to retain existing customers. In today's global marketplace, companies are under tremendous pressure to generate innovative and higher value-added products and solutions in the shortest time, yet having to deliver quality at low cost.

As more success stories emerge, companies are more willing to leverage e-business technologies to drive costs down and optimize resources to boost productivity. The use of technology, RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) for example, enables smoother coordination across company boundaries. The emergence of web services and XML standards offer further opportunities to enhance supply chain inter-operability and effectiveness. Information can now be processed and transmitted in real time, eliminating the need for data entry or re-entry into various disparate systems. This gives the entire supply chain a new level of efficiency and productivity.

3. What Makes a Business Successful?

I would like to share the experience of YCH, a local Singapore company who started as a transportation company in 1955 to become a global integrated logistics provider today. Today, their customers include global companies such as Nokia, Motorola and Dell Computers. Besides managing these companies' transportation, warehousing and inventory needs, YCH also manages their customer service and returns management. This added value that YCH gives to its customers has allowed it to stay competitive in the logistics sector. Over the years YCH has invested heavily in infocomm technologies to improve its operations and customers' service. These include supply chain management and planning solutions, automated storage and retrieval systems and wireless technology to track and trace its trucks. As its CEO, Mr. Robert Yap once said, " We have the expertise in logistics and supply chain management, using IT has given us the competitive edge" (Source: CT, 28 Aug 02).
The success of YCH illustrates that a good business model, complemented by the best practices of IT will allow companies to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

Likewise for the hard-disk manufacturer, Seagate Technology, in its quest to make its supply chain to be leaner and more responsive, has looked in adopting a common e-business standard for data exchange such as RosettaNet with its suppliers. In July 2001, Seagate implemented the RosettaNet platform for its inventory management with 12 of its trading partners, many of which are local small and medium sized enterprises. Using RosettaNet, the Seagate supply chain has reduced inventory holding from fourteen to seven days. Using RosettaNet, Seagate suppliers have also reduced cost associated with data translation by more than 50%.

4. IDA's Role and Support in E-transforming the Industry

IDA works with its industry partners to help them leverage technology effectively. YCH and Seagate Technology are one of our many partners in the logistics industry. We work closely with many others in the manufacturing, financial and retail industries. We have also been actively promoting relevant global standards and best practices for industry development, and catalyzing sophisticated demand for infocomm technology solutions in Singapore through business transformation and industry collaborations.

Some of our efforts include:

  •  An industry-wide eSCM assessment and certification programme developed in partnership with the industry and other government agencies. The objective is to provide a framework for companies to assess their Supply Chain readiness and identify gaps for improvement. 100 companies are expected to participate in this programme by end of 2003. 
  • RosettaNet Fast Track to accelerate the adoption of RosettaNet e-business standards in Supply Chain Management among the local manufacturing and logistics companies in Singapore.
  • And the various IDA's manpower development programmes to upgrade the infocomm and eBusiness skills of the workforce. One such programme is the E-Business Savviness Programme (EBSP) whose objectives are to boost employee's skill set with the latest e-business business model, management and usage of vertical applications.

5. Continuous IDA & Industry-wide Consultation and Partnership

The IDA will continue to engage the industry by seeking feedback and partnership to enhance the capabilities in the manufacturing and logistics sectors. We believe that the appropriate Infocomm technologies, reinforced by synergistic partnerships, are key to our local sectors remaining a key engine of growth for Singapore.

I would like to thank the Singapore Institute of Materials Management for inviting me to speak today. I hope all of you will have a fruitful day, in networking with like-minded individuals facing the same challenges, and with IT partners who may be able to address your needs.

Thank you.

Last updated on: 13 Mar 2023