SINGAPORE: More than 33,000 small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the wholesale trade industry can now tap on a digital road map to help them adopt digital technology in their work.
Called the Wholesale Trade Industry Digital Plan (IDP), it was launched by Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon on Monday (Nov 26).
The wholesale trade industry deals with business-to-business (B2B) transaction of goods such as electronics, pharmaceutical items, food and commodities.
SMEs in wholesale trade can use the IDP as a guide to assess their digital readiness and opportunities to go digital.
Developed by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) in partnership with Enterprise Singapore, the IDP is aligned with the Wholesale Trade Industry Transformation Map that was rolled out last year.
READ: 10,000 new jobs in wholesale trade expected by 2020: IE Singapore
Under the IDP, there are three stages to help SMEs identify the different digital solutions that they can adopt at each phase of their growth as well as relevant training programmes.
Stage One involves streamlining operations and optimising resources as a basic digital solution to stay competitive.
Stage Two allows them to connect to the global trading ecosystem and gain access to new markets, such as by using B2B e-marketplaces and online platforms for supply-chain financing and procurement.
The third stage identifies technologies to improve cross-border trading, involving the use of blockchain technology and artificial intelligence to enhance trade documentation processes, predict sales trends and automate sourcing and purchasing needs.
On the sidelines of the launch, three seafood associations - the Punggol Fish Merchants Association, Seafood Industries Association Singapore and Singapore Fish Merchants’ General Association - and a technology platform solution provider, vCargo Cloud, inked a memorandum of understanding to establish the first seafood B2B e-marketplace in Singapore.
Seafood wholesale trade in Singapore is a traditional industry that relies largely on manual, paper-based business processes.
This platform aims to help companies be more efficient by streamlining trading processes such as procurement and sales management, and gain better business insights through analytics.
Singapore’s seafood merchants will also gain greater access to overseas markets through online trading of chilled and frozen seafood.
The platform is expected to enable merchants to achieve economies of scale through shared services.
Supported by Enterprise Singapore and the IMDA, this industry-led initiative will bring on board about 50 seafood merchants and their trading partners within the first two years.