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Singapore SMEs urged to increase productivity

Veronica C. Silva | July 1, 2011
HP and Singapore group launch competition seeking innovative ideas from SMEs.

To help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) boost their productivity, HP recently launched a business productivity competition among SMEs in Singapore.

Dubbed as the 'More for Less - An HP Business Productivity Competition', the competition is being undertaken in cooperation with the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (ASME), Singapore's not-for-profit group encouraging entrepreneurship.

The competition seeks to encourage SMEs to be more innovative in their operations to be more productive.

"No improvement is too small to contribute to the overall success of the SME makeup - from simple cost-saving ideas like using recycled paper to important growth plans like appointing a productivity manager to assess the company's current processes," HP said in a statement.

Economic boosters

SMEs worldwide, and in the region in particular, are seen as the drivers of economic growth. There are estimates that the majority of businesses in the region are SMEs. In Singapore, they are estimated to make up 99 percent of companies.

Yet, productivity growth for Singapore SMEs has averaged only one percent a year over the last decade, the HP press statement said. This is a long shot from the two to four percent annual productivity growth target set.

"Often, good productivity measures that bring about optimum results at minimum cost is more desirable than a straightforward cost-cutting exercise," said Bryan Teh, CEO, ASME Singapore. "As we continue to promote innovation in the business arena, I am excited to learn from companies that have successfully implemented sustainable productivity initiatives in the workplace."

Mechanics

To participate in the competition, SMEs can submit their innovative ideas by answering two short questions in 150 words. The questions are:

- What productivity issue did you need to overcome at work?

- How did your innovative idea raise business productivity in the workplace?

Entries must be received by 22 July 2011. SMEs get a chance to win S$1,000 (US$815.69) worth of HP printing solutions.

"As a proponent of business productivity, HP is committed to helping SMEs accelerate their businesses to achieve business growth," said Janice Lim, general manager, HP imaging and printing group, Singapore. "This competition will put the spotlight on some of the best, innovative ideas that Singaporean businesses can adopt to raise the bar on productivity in the office."

 

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