MPC And SAMENTA Link Up To Help SMEs Digitalise
SME Digital Transformation And Productivity Programme
The Malaysian Productivity Corporation and Small and Medium Enterprises Association of Malaysia (SAMENTA) have launched the SME Digital Transformation and Productivity Programme (SDTP) to support Malaysian SMEs in the service and professional sectors to digitalise.
As part of the SDTP programme, MPC and SAMENTA have launched a Digital Productivity Guide for service-based SMEs which is available for free download on the MPC and SAMENTA websites.
Participating SMEs can also take a proprietary Digital Productivity Readiness Assessment (DRPA) to see if their business is ready to digitalise, followed by a mentoring session with selected experts via a Digital Productivity Virtual Advisory Clinic (DP-VAC).
Business Resilience Will Rely On Digital Productivity
In his segment during the launch of the SDTP programme at KLoe Hotel, Director-General of MPC, Dato Abdul Latif Haji Abu Seman, stated the importance of digitalising businesses in Malaysia.
He raised that, in today’s post-pandemic business climate, business resilience is now linked to digital productivity.
“The past few years have been challenging because of the pandemic and difficult business climate. As a result, most businesses are seeing their margins being compressed and the cost of doing business increasing. By leveraging on productivity improvement, businesses can improve their chances of making more profit and hence, survive and thrive against all odds.”
He also added: “This partnership with SAMENTA is open to all SMEs, with SAMENTA service as the anchor association. Through the private sector-led Retail, Food and Food and Beverage Productivity Nexus, the first batch of intervention will target SMEs in the retail sector before rolling out to all other sectors.”
Datuk William Ng, chairman of SAMENTA echoed this sentiment for digitalisation in his address and introduced how the programme will benefit small and medium enterprises in their digital transition.
“As Malaysia’s oldest and largest association of SMEs, SAMENTA is committed to being the voice of SMEs and in helping SMEs grow their businesses. The SDTP will help in handholding SMEs to become more digitally aware and to embark on their digital transformation journey.”
Aware of the pandemic’s effects on businesses, Ng is hopeful that the programme will help businesses fare better.
“The pandemic has been merciless. Many SMEs find themselves unable to cope with the changes. We are hopeful that through the SDTP, SMEs can be guided to overcome some of these challenges.
“Through digitalisation, we hope more SMEs can improve on their productivity, improve on their margins, and be more prepared for the disruption to their businesses.”
Digital Shift Must Happen To Ensure Better Productivity
A recent survey conducted by SAMENTA and Affin Bank showed that less than 10% of SMEs are fully digitalised while a worrying 70% have either not embarked on any form of digitalisation or are at a very basic level.
Chairman of Community Engagement & Development of SAMENTA Central and the project director for SDTP, Maresa Ng, observed that 82% of participants are digitalised in sales & marketing while only 37% have digitalised their backend operations and employee management. This results in low labour productivity.
Cluster Collaboration With Other Industries
In other news, SAMENTA also signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) with several retail-based industry associations as part of an industry-cluster approach to help more SMEs digitalise. Included in the collaboration are:
- The Association of Malaysian Optometrists (AMO)
- The Women Entrepreneur Network Association Malaysia (WENA)
- Restaurant & Bistro Owner Association (PPRB)
AMO President Ahmad Fadhullah Fuzai had positive comments about the SDTP programme: “This partnership with SAMENTA is an important step towards helping our members to embark on digitalisation. The pandemic has hit the eye-care industry particularly hard. Through the diagnostics and handholding elements within the SDTP, we are able to speed up the digital transformation process.”
WENA President, Nuraizah Shamsul Baharin, was equally in favour of the collaboration, adding that the collaboration is necessary to ensure the sustainability of entrepreneurs especially women-led SMEs who are mainly micro-businesses and heavily affected by rising costs.
“Through the SDTP, entrepreneurs can receive the much-needed roadmap to ensuring greater productivity by going digital,” she states.