Singapore: Digital Solution Roadmap for Food Services Industry

Sector-specific Industry Digital Plans (IDPs), which have been at the centre of the SMEs Go Digital initiative since its 2017 launch, will be gradually updated to include a wider range of solutions. By doing so, the IDPs will strengthen their digital capabilities and remain relevant to the changing needs of small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs). The updated IDP model’s initial beneficiary is the food services industry.

IDPs offer SMEs a step-by-step guide to identifying appropriate digital solutions and related training programmes to equip staff with the necessary skill sets at each stage of their digitalization journey, aligned with the Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs) for each industry.

20 IDPs have helped more than 85,000 companies so far take advantage of the SMEs Go Digital programme. These companies are in the following industries: early childhood, environmental services, food services, logistics (including air transport), media, retail, security, wholesale trade, sea transport (bunkering, harbour craft, and ship agency), accounting, hotel, construction and facilities management, training and adult education, land transportation, marine and offshore engineering, energy and chemical (process construction and maintenance), as well as precision engineering (computational fluid dynamics).

According to a 2021 SME survey by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), the digital solutions suggested by the IDPs have improved overall process efficiency, with nearly 85% of respondents noting time savings. The ability to be less reliant on physical labour, which in turn allowed them to retain and develop in-house expertise for other roles, was mentioned by 75% of responses.

IDPs that have been updated seek to broaden digital capabilities and maintain relevance in a world after COVID-19. Digital transformation is still essential for sustaining company performance and sustainability as Singapore attempts to restore its economy.

IMDA will collaborate with the sector lead agencies to gradually update current IDPs to increase digital capabilities at both the sectoral and business levels and ensure that they continue to be relevant to SMEs’ needs.

The following generation of IDPs will include those listed below, building on the foundation already laid by the current IDPs:

  • Updated solution suite made available through the Digital Solution Roadmap;
  • Integrated and cutting-edge solutions to strengthen SMEs’ digital capabilities and increase their connectivity online;
  • A guide to data protection and cybersecurity measures;
  • Extension and upgrading of the relevant Digital Training Roadmap to cover Change Management and be in line with the updated solutions under the Digital Roadmap.

Tan Kiat How, Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information, and Low Yen Ling, Minister of State for Trade and Industry, recently unveiled the Food Services IDP, which is the first to be updated.

The latest IDP, which was created in collaboration with Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG) and IMDA, will address trends in the food services industry, such as the shift in consumer behaviour toward online ordering, e-commerce, and food delivery, as well as help SMEs in the sector overcome obstacles like a competitive labour market and rising labour costs.

Four new solution categories that are specific to the food services industry have been created to help food services SMEs access more sophisticated solutions as they continue down the path of digitalization. They are a Smart central kitchen management system, Service robotics, Food waste management, and a Connected business suite. The food services sector, which in 2021 would generate S$4 billion for Singapore’s economy and employ over 220,300 people, will continue to be crucial to the country’s economy.1

The updated Food Services IDP is in line with the Food Services Industry Transformation Map 2025, which was unveiled in May of this year and calls for developing digital champions and enhancing business competencies. The IDP will keep being updated as the market develops.

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