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High-Tech Manufacturing Sector Set to Become More Competitive Through Use of Infocomm Technology

Manufacturing companies in Singapore supplying electronics and precision engineering products can compete more effectively under the Collaborative High-Tech Manufacturing Plan conceptualised by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA).

Singapore, 30 March 2004 | For Immediate Release

New IDA Plan Aims to Generate Additional Revenues of S$2 Billion & Save the Industry S$700 Million a Year

Manufacturing companies in Singapore supplying electronics and precision engineering products can compete more effectively under the Collaborative High-Tech Manufacturing Plan conceptualised by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA). The plan was unveiled by Dr Lee Boon Yang, Minister for Information, Communication and the Arts, at the opening of E-Business Connections 2004.

When fully implemented, this plan is expected to help the high-tech manufacturing industry save up to S$700 million a year from increased efficiency, and generate additional revenues of S$2 billion from higher value-add activities. In addition, it will spur S$40 million worth of spending in Infocomm technology (ICT). The Plan aims to build, within 5 years, 10 Infocomm-enabled, integrated, supply chains to automate the exchange of business process information which will strengthen the linkages between companies in the supply chain. As each company becomes more agile and responsive to changes in the external environment, they are able to collaborate and compete more effectively as a supply chain.

The Plan was developed in response to global trends and challenges faced by Singapore's high-tech manufacturing sectors. Outsourcing, the emergence of low-cost manufacturing bases in North Asia as well as the growing need to bring products to market quickly are some of the issues the sector has to address. Speaking at E-Business Connections 2004, Dr Lee Boon Yang said, "To remain relevant in this new high-tech manufacturing landscape, Singapore has to position itself as a location for high-end manufacturing activities, as well as a nerve centre for coordinating regional supply chains that offer the whole spectrum of manufacturing services". He added, "I would like to encourage high-tech companies and their suppliers, whether they are global multinational corporations or local SMEs, to take up the challenge of linking up with business partners to form strong and responsive supply chains".

The Collaborative High-tech Manufacturing Plan presents a concerted strategy to help the industry address these challenges. One idea is for hi-tech manufacturers to adopt RosettaNet1, an open, e-business standard to link up their supply chains so that they can offer a more complete suite of high value-add services such as product design. The 10 supply chains will involve large MNCs with operations in Singapore, such as Hewlett-Packard, Maxtor, Motorola and Seagate; and electronic manufacturing service providers such as Venture Corporation and MMI. The IDA will co-fund projects that can enhance integration within each supply chain.

Under the Plan, IDA will also encourage the test-bedding of new RosettaNet processes and standards in Singapore to enable new supply chain capabilities such as e-payment, collaborative design and e-logistics. Several such industry partnerships are already in progress including one on e-payment by Seagate and ST Microelectronics with their banks in Singapore. In addition, the Plan will also promote the use of emerging Infocomm technologies like Web Services and innovative IT applications in collaborative product design and development such as product lifecycle management systems.

Many high-tech manufacturing companies in Singapore are leveraging RosettaNet to increase competitiveness. One of them is ST Assembly and Test Services or STATS which has integrated its IT data systems with those of its customers so that critical information can be delivered in real-time. "RosettaNet has brought about reduction in human errors and quicker turnaround time, which enables ourselves and our customers to obtain more accurate and timely data for analysis. Customer service has improved as a result and we have more effective use of resources. In the fast-paced semiconductor world, we will be out of the game if we don't have this capability", commented Dr Justin Lim, Vice-President of IT at STATS.

Disk-drive manufacturer Maxtor is another company that has taken advantage of RosettaNet to streamline its transactions and communications with its suppliers. Mr C S Tiong, Maxtor's Vice President of Finance said, "For us to satisfy our customers' demands and remain flexible to changes, we need clear visibility of the inventory levels held by our suppliers. End-to-end system integration gives us access to that data quickly and accurately, thus allowing us to better serve our customers. Through implementation of the RosettaNet B2B platform, we expect to save about several millions in the form of reduced inventory holding. This improves competitiveness not only for Maxtor alone, but for the entire supply chain".

At the same occasion, Dr Lee also launched the RosettaNet Global Logistics Council, a partnership between IDA and RosettaNet to standardise communications and business processes among the various players in the logistics supply chain. High-tech manufacturers Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel and Texas Instruments together with logistics players, DHL, Exel, Federal Express, Menlo Worldwide, Portnet Singapore, and UPS are some of the industry participants of this Council.

Please refer to the Annex A for more details on the Collaborative High-Tech Manufacturing Plan and the RosettaNet Press Release on Global Logistics Council online, at under "Newsroom".


Notes to Editor:

1 RosettaNet is an open, e-business messaging standard used predominantly by the high-tech manufacturing industry to automate business processes such as purchasing and delivery. RosettaNet is also used to integrate supply chains. Such integration reduces a company's inventory holding, minimises the need to support multiple systems and standards and cuts down on the number of transactions, all of which improve operational efficiencies and increase competitiveness.

About Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) develops, promotes and regulates info-communications in Singapore, with the aim of establishing Singapore as one of the world's premier infocomm capitals. To nurture an internationally competitive infocomm industry, IDA offers a comprehensive range of programmes and schemes for both local and international companies. For more information, visit

For media clarification, please contact:

Chia Sher Ling
Corporate Communication, IDA
Tel: 6211-1840