Beyond prioritising recovery, businesses also need to take the next step to understand new consumer patterns, and embrace innovation to sharpen their competitiveness.
Singapore is all set to make significant headway into the service sector's transformation as the industry's guiding framework have been enhanced, by reducing the project's duration, providing dedicated facilitators to companies, and easier problem identification process.
Launched in September 2019 by the Singapore Productivity Centre (SGPC) and Workforce Singapore (WSG), the Service Industry Transformation Programme (SITP) aims to equip firms in Singapore's service industry with the necessary tools and techniques required in their transformation projects amid an ageing workforce and changing career aspirations.
Through the programme, participating companies have access to service design tools to develop their service delivery model, and job redesign techniques needed to catalyse their business transformation. This includes transforming operations to streamline work processes and redesigning jobs to improve productivity and making it more attractive to workers, resulting in better delivery of customer experience.
Since its introduction, SITP has helped over 60 companies redesign their processes and job roles to become more productive and "manpower efficient".
However, many companies still face challenges in implementing service and job transformation projects dealing with immediate manpower challenges and prioritising recovering sales in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. Beyond prioritising recovery, businesses also need to take the next step to understand new consumer patterns, and embrace innovation to sharpen their competitiveness. This is particularly so for the lifestyle sector, including those from food services, retail, MICE, attractions and tour & travel, that were heavily impacted over the past two years.
To further aid these businesses in their recovery, WSG and SGPC have simplified and improved the SITP programme structure, detailed below:
Project duration reduced by approximately 50%
Upon its initial launch pre-pandemic, companies were allocated 30 weeks to complete the programme. The duration has now been reduced to half its initial designated timeframe, and companies can now expect to complete the transformation journey within 15 weeks.
Dedicated facilitators tagged to each company
With a new project duration, dedicated facilitators will be introduced to support and co-work with the (participating) company in the initial stages of the programme. The facilitators will be on-site to conduct the fieldwork, including customer interviews, surveys and process mapping for example, and ensure that the research is completed within the shortened timeframe.
Easier problem identification process
Participating companies will be provided with a list of best practices arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the implementation of solutions to navigate the challenges in this sector. This will help them pinpoint the main problem statement earlier, incorporate steps to minimise process redundancies, and optimise resources to better meet their business objectives. Some of these pre-defined issues include process optimisation, increasing productivity, and reducing manhours.
In addition to the existing iteration of two tracks - the service design track to improving service delivery, and the digitalisation track to adopt digital transformation - additional tracks such as 'food delivery operations' and 'marketing' were added.
Commenting on the refined SITP programme, Manpower Minister Tan See Leng, in a Facebook post, called attention to the simplified and improved SITP, as well as urged companies to check out the menu of pre-defined solutions to optimise business processes.
According to further details provided by the SGPC and WSG, the programme will be divided into three phases over the 15 weeks.
Phase one will focus on classroom training conducted by SGPC for senior management and key personnel to be trained to assess company’s performance, identify areas for improvement and establish a roadmap for their projects.
In phase two, company on-site facilitation will allow SGPC consultants to support staff on-site in order to undertake productivity improvements in their immediate workplace environment.
The last phase will involve post-implementation reviews to assess the productivity project and review any enhancements leading to higher business competitiveness and lean manpower growth. SGPC will also share the relevant government grants that companies can potentially tap on.
Reiterating the eligibility requirement, SGPC and WSG notes that all companies from the lifestyle sectors (i.e. food services, retail, hotel, MICE, attractions, tour & tavel) that are legally registered or incorporated in Singapore, with a unique entity number (UEN) registered with ACRA are eligible to apply. Employers eligible for the Skillsfuture Enterprise Credit (SFEC) can also qualify for additional subsidies under the scheme.
The fees and funding support under the programme is as follows:
Lead image / 123RF
Table / WSG