- UOB held the "Winning in the Digital Economy for SMEs" event, showcasing tech solutions for retail, F&B and B2B sectors.
- SME Digital Leap Awards announced to recognise SMEs and individuals who have made outstanding progress in efforts to digitalise their business.
- The awards are open to small and mid-tier companies, registrations are open until 15 February 2019.
Digital solutions showcased at the event; First dedicated digital innovation award officially announced
Winning in the Digital Economy for SMEs, an event organised by UOB, was attended by over 200 SMEs, industry representatives and tech solution providers. Attendees learned how to harness technology to scale and innovate, and improve efficiency by adopting digital tools that simplify business operations and help them stay competitive.
During the event's breakout sessions, industry-specific solutions were showcased for retail, F&B, and B2B service sectors. Presenters from respective fields shared insights and knowledge, such as whether self-created or third-party solutions were more suitable for SMEs jumping on the e-Commerce train. Technology presented at the event also helped SMEs understand specific consumer segments and their buying patterns better through business intelligence, in order to boost marketing efforts.
Interest in adopting digital tools to reduce manual business processes was evident among attendees. Nicholas Lai, Director of Sun & Earth (S) Pte Ltd, which runs D'Kranji Farm Resorts in Singapore, shared how digitalisation has enabled the business to provide greater convenience for their customers. He said, "from a business point of view, digital tools help resolve a lot of accounting issues, cash handling processes. I have taken a look at quite a number of the tech solutions presented here today. For example, [the UOB solutions we use] are now a one-stop digital platform helping me in my core functions such as payroll and accounting."
Citing the benefits of automation, Associate Consultant with HR consultancy Altitude21 Pte Ltd, Oon Tze Min, shared how "many SMEs are resistant to change. Digitalisation, to them is at best an Excel spreadsheet that has their employees' biodata. They don't realise that automation can save them time for business operations, such as payroll."
Associate Consultant with HR consultancy Altitude21 Pte Ltd, Oon Tze Min shared how UOB BizSmart offered SMEs a chance to trial the solution while still using their current accounting system.
It was also here at the event that Singapore's first and only dedicated digital innovation award for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and their employees was officially announced.
The SME Digital Leap Awards, jointly presented by UOB and NTUC U SME, recognises SMEs and individuals who have made outstanding progress in their efforts to transform the business by building digital capabilities.
UOB and NTUC U SME officially announced a first-of-its-kind digital innovation award to inspire SMEs and individuals on their digital transformation journey.
Speaking at the event, UOB Singapore's Managing Director and Country Head of Business Banking, Mr Mervyn Koh cited UOB's experience in working with small businesses to help them improve business performance and create new revenue streams by harnessing technology.
"At UOB, we understand the dedication, time and resources put in by these businesses and wanted to create an opportunity to recognise and to celebrate their achievements. We also hope to promote the sharing of best practices among small businesses," he said.
The SME Digital Leap Awards turns the spotlight on SMEs and individuals who have made outstanding progress in their efforts to transform the business by building digital capabilities. It allows winners to share their successes with other business owners and spur industry peers in adopting a pro-digital approach to business.
Guest-of-Honour at the event and NTUC Deputy Secretary-General, Heng Chee How spoke about the importance in "bringing together SMEs and workers for sustainable transformation."
Mr Heng also reminded attendees that "people are key" in an age of digitalisation and digital business transformation, and that the award was created with the hopes of encouraging and inspiring more SMEs to take part in the digitalisation journey.
Guest-of-Honour at the event and NTUC Deputy Secretary-General, Heng Chee How, addressing the SMEs in the audience.
Aligned to the same vision, Mr Mervyn Koh said, "While it's easy to recognise the company or the business owner to champion the digital efforts, the success also depends on individuals who would change their mindset, retrain, retool and reskill themselves to embrace digital tools. With this SME Digital Leap award...we want to recognise the individual efforts in this whole digital journey."
Recognising the efforts of mid-sized SMEs could serve as an inspiration to smaller businesses in digital adoption, which can in turn, "encourage other firms to embark on their own digitalisation journey," added Mr Koh.
The award will recognise the best-in-class for both smaller businesses with 30 or fewer employees and larger SMEs with staff strength of up to 200 people. SMEs stand to win prizes, such as a three-year subscription to UOB BizSmart and other digital solutions from the SAP Business One suite and free entry into The FinLab's digital business transformation programme, while individuals will receive funding for skills upgrading courses.
SMEs that qualify can submit their entries from 19 November 2018 to 15 February 2019.
Submit entries for the SME Digital Leap Awards here: www.uob.com.sg/smeleap