Innovation centre to lift productivity

PHOTO: Innovation centre to lift productivity

Personal care products distributor Corlison is one firm on track for better productivity and cash flow, thanks to a newly opened centre.

The brand owner of Pearlie White oral care products hopes to cut the stock it keeps on hand with the help of the Centre of Innovation for Supply Chain Management (COI-SCM).

The company carries four to six months' worth of stocks already paid for, but aims to reduce that to just one or two months' worth. The COI-SCM was officially opened at Republic Polytechnic on Monday.

The centre specialises in logistics and supply chain management, and aims to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through providing knowledge in logistics, supply chain engineering and technology, and training programmes, among others.

During a laboratory tour, Corlison's marketing director Andy Ong, 38, said: "Our first project with COI-SCM is demand forecasting, which is trying to bring down the inventory cover, to improve cash flow and space utilisation by 50 per cent."

Minister of State for Finance and Transport Josephine Teo, who launched the centre, said that "generous incentives and government efforts... cannot replace what businesses must themselves do.

"Real change must take place within businesses - in the way work is organised, in the way transactions are done, in the way value is created."

She said that "having a productivity orientation cannot be a nice 'to-have'. It must become an integral part of business success, and a vital part of the business DNA in Singapore".

The centre, which began operating in January last year, was jointly set up by Spring Singapore, the Economic Development Board (EDB) and Republic Polytechnic.

It was set up with a co-funding support from Spring and EDB of $7.8 million over three years.

It helps SMEs get advice easily. They can also apply for Spring's Innovation and Capability Voucher (ICV) or grants such as the Capability Development Grant to engage the services provided.

Marine and industrial engineering firm Chong Lee Leong Seng, which has applied for the grant, also hopes to benefit from COI-SCM's offerings.

IT and logistics manager Roger Tan, 50, said the project involves automating its warehouse.

Referring to long-serving warehouse staff, he added: "I hope to increase our warehouse capacity by 25 to 30 per cent and help make workflow more easy for our ageing workers, so they don't get too tired."

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