Develop Your Own Audit Programs to Increase Your Brand Performance

Increase your Brand Profitability through increased Productivity.

Are you a Singapore business owner or operations manager who is wondering why all the profit you used to make has reduced over the years.

Are you in search of fresh business ideas that improve profitability ratios? Given that High Rentals and Human Resource restrictions are external forces that we, as small business owners and operation Managers cannot control, we can only look toward building business ideas to improve the way we manage our business. The usual way to increase profitability is to increase revenue and reduce costs. However, given the levels of competition and pressure placed on increasing expense, one major way to increase profitability ratios is to increase productivity.

Business Productivity is more than a buzzword. In a march 2018 report in Straits Times, it was reported that the SME 1000 ranking saw turnover and profits for smaller companies fell 11.8 per cent while profits declined 17.1 per cent. This means the real decrease in profitability ratio was almost double. Whilst many SME owners try to engage technology to improve the way they manage their businesses, very few have approached it from a holistic viewpoint. Leveraging technology needs to be part of the overall business plan. When executed well, leveraging technology into business development plans can improve the entire business management process can help to increase productivity, reduce human errors, decrease repetitive non value-add work and ultimately, increase profitability ratios.

Productivity can be increased through redesigning your current business processes

What does Business Model Transformation really mean to business owners and operations managers? Business Transformation is the process of fundamentally changing the systems, processes, people and technology across a whole business or business unit, to achieve measurable improvements in efficiency, effectiveness and stakeholder satisfaction. Business Transformation is a change management strategy that aligns People, Process and Technology initiatives of a company with its business strategy and vision. In turn this helps to support and innovate new business strategies that lead to the improvement of the business competitiveness as a whole.

Business Model Transformation entails more than just the blind automation of workflows that is currently being used. It is about strategic thinking to identify overall business objectives, identifying key business drivers and its associated key performance indicators (KPIs). Once the workflow processes are mapped out, it is streamlined to achieve specific performance metrics (Specific KPIs) and outcomes. Besides measuring KPI’s, another important area of Business Model Transformation is the ability for Business owners and operation managers to take appropriate and timely action through automated triggers and alerts. Using a Management dashboard as a control centre to monitor key performance criteria (KPI) and analysis of Business Intelligence (BI) gleaned from the business workflow management tool can allow the business owner to take the appropriate actions and decisions quickly. Business model transformation can be implemented in specific workflow like retail operations, customer service, restaurant operations, logistics, production, and any other business workflow area that requires the collaboration of more than one department.

How do you know if you need to Redesign and Automate your business process and workflow?

Ask yourself: 

  • Are you finding it more and more competitive?
  • Is your profit margin decreasing?
  • Are you having constant challenges meeting customer expectations?

To find out how you score take this questionnaire.

If your answers indicate you may be losing competitiveness, your business will benefit from a business strategy re-calibration and , a change in approach brought about by business model transformation.

Contact our Business process redesign experts at [email protected]  if you have a question on how Business Model Redesign or Business process automation can increase your business productivity and eventually your bottom lines.

Redesign and Automate Your Business Process to Increase your Business’ Profitability

Are you a Singapore business owner or operations manager who is wondering why all the profit you used to make has reduced over the years. Are you in search of fresh business ideas that improve profitability ratios? Given that High Rentals and Human Resource restrictions are external forces that we, as small business owners and operation Managers cannot control, we can only look toward building business ideas to improve the way we manage our business. The usual way to increase profitability is to increase revenue and reduce costs. However, given the levels of competition and pressure placed on increasing expense, one major way to increase profitability ratios is to increase productivity.

Business Productivity is more than a buzzword. In a march 2018 report in Straits Times, it was reported that the SME 1000 ranking saw turnover and profits for smaller companies fell 11.8 per cent while profits declined 17.1 per cent. This means the real decrease in profitability ratio was almost double. Whilst many SME owners try to engage technology to improve the way they manage their businesses, very few have approached it from a holistic viewpoint. Leveraging technology needs to be part of the overall business plan. When executed well, leveraging technology into business development plans can improve the entire business management process can help to increase productivity, reduce human errors, decrease repetitive non value-add work and ultimately, increase profitability ratios.

What does Business Model Transformation really mean to business owners and operations managers? Business Transformation is the process of fundamentally changing the systems, processes, people and technology across a whole business or business unit, to achieve measurable improvements in efficiency, effectiveness and stakeholder satisfaction. Business Transformation is a change management strategy that aligns People, Process and Technology initiatives of a company with its business strategy and vision. In turn this helps to support and innovate new business strategies that lead to the improvement of the business competitiveness as a whole.

Business Model Transformation entails more than just the blind automation of workflows that is currently being used. It is about strategic thinking to identify overall business objectives, identifying key business drivers and its associated key performance indicators (KPIs). Once the workflow processes are mapped out, it is streamlined to achieve specific performance metrics (Specific KPIs) and outcomes. Besides measuring key performance indicators(KPI’s), another important area of Business Model Transformation is the ability for Business owners and operation managers to take appropriate and timely action through automated triggers and alerts. Using a Management dashboard as a control centre to monitor key performance criteria (KPI) and analysis of Business Intelligence (BI) gleaned from the business workflow management tool can allow the business owner to take appropriate actions and decisions quickly. Business model transformation can be implemented in specific workflow areas like retail operations, customer service, restaurant operations, logistics, production, and any other business workflow area that requires the collaboration of more than one department.

How do you know if you need to Redesign and Automate your business process and workflow? Ask yourself:

Are you finding it more and more competitive?
Is your profit margin decreasing?
Are you having constant challenges meeting customer expectations?

To find out how you score take this questionnaire.

If your answers indicate you may be losing competitiveness, your business will benefit from a business strategy re-calibration and , a change in approach brought about by business model transformation.

To encourage Singapore Business owners to ready themselves for today’s more complex business environment, Enterprise Singapore (ESG) has crafted some Government Grants to help reduce the financial burden Business owners face when they engage in the adoption of Business Process workflow improvement, Business Transformation and Business Process Automation.

Business Owners can apply for Enterprise Singapore for financial support for the projects that improve core capabilities and productivity. Approved projects are granted up to 70% of the Project costs. Enterprise Singapore(ESG) support projects that involve Business Model Transformation.This enterprise Singapore grant can be found Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) under the scope of Business Process Redesign and Business Process Automation.

The Business Process Redesign grant is designed to help companies review existing business processes and identify areas to improve business efficiency. This is the first step business owners must take in redesigning their workflow before introducing automation into their businesses. The scope of this specific Singapore Government grant covered includes:

  1. The review and streamline of workflow and processes to reduce or remove redundant workflow processes
  2. Explore how technology can be used to automate processes and reduce manpower on repetitive actions
  3. Develop key performance metrics to track and measure the effectiveness of workflows

The Business Process Automation grant is designed to cover:

  1. The adoption and development of hardware and software solutions,
  2. The development of solutions that involve the purchase of machinery and integration of systems.
  3. The training of staff to deploy these solutions.

If you are a Singapore Owned business and want to find out more about these government grants, please go to the following link:
https://www.enterprisesg.gov.sg/financial-assistance/grants/for-local-companies/enterprise-development-grant/innovation-and-productivity/innovation-and-productivity

Want to find out if your business can benefit from this grant? Speak to our experienced consultants today.

Enterprise Development Grant (EDG): Frequently Asked Questions

Since the merger of IE Singapore and Spring Singapore to become Enterprise Singapore (ESG), there have been some changes in the way the Government supports the grants that are available to help in the growth of SMEs in Singapore. Many SMEs have been asking us what areas of support they may be able to expect from ESG and so, we have shortlisted a few questions we think can help business owners navigate this important area of government support. Astreem works with business owners who seek to improve and grow their businesses in most of the areas supported. We welcome questions about how your business may be able to grow through the specially curated areas of government support that has been crafted by ESG.

What exactly is the Enterprise Singapore EDG grant?

The acronym EDG actually refers to ‘Enterprise Development Grant‘. This is a financial assistance programme, initiative of Singapore government agency – Enterprise Singapore (ESG). It is a program to assist with SME growth and is designed to offer  more flexibility and extend more coverage to support our local SMEs.

This grant assistance programme is aimed at helping local SMEs develop and upgrade their organization’s business capabilities under three pillars:

Development of Core Capabilities

The Grants are designed to assist SMEs to develop their Core Capabilities to help prepare for growth and Business transformation by strengthening their business foundations. This can include formulation of growth strategies including corporate driven expansion, Franchise development and Joint venture partnerships. Companies can also look towards development of Business strategies and processes to protect and monetise intellectual property assets as well as optimise their operations.

Another area that is important in the quest to grow your business is to look at better capturing your business’ target audiences and markets by differentiating your brand proposition, and your products and services. In some cases, brand localisation in the targeted market can also be a critical success factor when entering new markets.

Other areas that fall under the Core capabilities development include Financial Management, Human Capital Development and Service Excellence.

Innovation and Productivity

The Innovation and Productivity projects support companies to explore new areas of growth, or look for ways to enhance efficiency. These could include reviewing and redesigning  workflows and processes. Companies could also tap into Business automation and technologies to make routine tasks more efficient. The successful Implementation of Business Automation can greatly increase productivity and reduce human errors, thereby increasing profitability.

Market Access

Projects under Market Access support Singapore companies that are willing and ready to venture overseas. Companies can tap into the EDG to help defray some of the costs of expanding into overseas markets especially where Mergers and acquisitions is the growth strategy, developing overseas presence.and developing international standards.

Who Qualifies for the Enterprise Singapore (ESG) EDG government grant?

EDG is only applicable to Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Typically, a SME would be eligible as long as they meet the following criteria:

  • The company must be registered and operating in Singapore
  • Has a minimum of 30% local shareholding
  • Is in a financially viable position to start and complete the project

Enterprise Singapore assesses your company’s overall financial performance to ensure that your business can comfortably see the project through and benefit from it as well as the overall productivity of your company. The competency of the selected consultant or service provider is also a key consideration. Ultimately, ESG seeks to support Business owners who clearly understand the scope of the project, why they wish to embark in that area of specific capability improvement or business strategy development projects and how your business will benefit from the projects supported by the government grant.

What  does Enterprise Singapore Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) support?

The EDG grant supports up to 70% of qualifying project costs namely third party consultancy fees, software and equipment, and incremental internal manpower cost.

How long is the duration of an Enterprise Development grant (EDG) project?

As EDG project may take between 4 to 12 months to complete. However, it is really subjected to the scale of each project that is undertaken.  A typical Franchise Development project by Astreem can take between 4 to 6 months and an International Business expansion project into a specific country may take 3 to 4 Months to complete.

Internationalizing Your Brand through Franchising – Are you Ready?

You started your own business and it was an exciting affair, especially since, nothing could beat the thrill of being your own boss. Over time you have then set the systems in place, figured out what works and what doesn’t and you have grown your business locally. Now you think this is the right time to take your business to the international shores. Franchising your brand can help you achieve a larger brand footprint.

Some Benefits of Franchising Internationally:
– Builds market share.
– Increases revenue channels.
– Grows brand equity, Brand reputation and recognition.
– Lowers risk through diversification in new countries.
– Balances out temporary losses locally with international earnings.
– Decreases production costs by moving certain operations to countries where labour and materials are cheaper.

Getting started:
Before you franchise internationally, do ensure you are prepared with the following:

1. Strong Brand Identity: At the centre of any good franchise operation is the brand’s identity. Franchisors must develop the brand well enough to gain international market recognition because people buy a product or a service depending on how much they can relate to it. There must also be a proven track record of the brand’s success in the local market.

2. Clear Franchise Strategy: You must ensure that your business has a clear and easily communicated sales proposition before you start to look for franchisees. Price, quality, service, logistics, operations and anything else that you want to include in the Franchise offering needs to be clear in your franchise marketing collateral.

3. Well Documented Operations: You know that you are ready when you have clear, reliable and documented operations processes for creating or delivering your service of product.

4. Replicable Business Model: Your company must already be making decisions and be implementing activities consistently based on agreed methods of business process management. This is important because in the end franchisees are not buying your product or service but they are buying a process by which your brand can be run.

5. Adaptability: International markets often put the franchisor out of his or her comfort zone. The franchisor must be flexible enough to adapt to the nuances of the new markets. Not everything that worked in your local marked can be applied to international markets.

6. Strong Franchise Management System: Finding a franchisee, whilst is important, is less vital to the success of a franchise’s success than their ability to manage their franchisees. Using a Franchise management platform can simplify many repetitive tasks and ensuring processes are automated also allows for smart contract agreements to be enforced.

Few Words of Caution:
1. Avoid the lure of short term profit: Take your time and plan on long term investment in the new international markets that you want to be in. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was a successful international brand expansion. Lasting business relationships and credibility in international markets are built over time.

2. Misjudging new markets: Even if your brand is doing exceptionally well locally, you need to see whether the products or services that you are giving through your business will fill a demand in international markets.

For franchisors who want to grow internationally, it is recommended that you take the support and services of franchise experts to help you exploit the intellectual property that resides in your business. Develop customized growth strategies for your business to help you successfully franchise and sustain your international brand growth.

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About the Author:
Hsien Naidu has over 25 years of experience in Franchising, Marketing, Branding and Intellectual Property Management across various industries including Food & Beverage, Education, Retail and Lifestyle as well as services. She is a Senior Practicing Management Consultant, a certified Intellectual Property Management Consultant, a Certified Franchise Executive and is presently the Director of Astreem Consulting Pte Ltd.