Push for success with food for thought

PHOTO: Push for success with food for thought

A quick glance at the exotic array of offerings on any supermarket shelf or the dazzling range of cuisines served at restaurants here underlines the vibrancy and variety of the local food scene. But the industry has the potential to achieve much more.

Food manufacturers and food services companies, including restaurants, caterers, pubs and clubs, are among the sectors that the Government has prioritised in its push for higher productivity.

There are more than 800 food manufacturers here employing over 26,700 workers, with a total output of $8.4 billion.

The food services sector, meanwhile, boasts some 6,400 establishments with more than 101,000 workers and contributing $7.1 billion in operating receipts.

These massive and often intertwining sectors are the focus of two productivity plans that aim to help them better overcome challenges such as stiff competition, manpower shortages and rising business costs.

These plans aim to lift productivity in the sectors by, for example, helping companies adopt technology and automation, and redesign their processes to optimise workflow.

They also help firms to upgrade their manpower and human resource capabilities for a more productive workforce and promote innovation to produce high value-added products and offer better service.

A $75 million food services productivity plan was launched in April 2011 and a similar $45 million plan aimed at food manufacturers was launched in November 2011.

"With the roll-out of the two productivity plans, we are supporting companies to create and deliver better products and services to their customers, streamline their operations and tap automation to achieve efficiency," says Spring Singapore's director of food, Ms Joanne Tan.

"We are also seeing restaurants and food manufacturers working closely together to explore collaborations to reap economies of scale and achieve win-win benefits."

This series will showcase some of these firms.

The three featured this week have used product and concept innovation to better reach out to their target market and stand out from the crowd.

Next week, the series will focus on companies that have adopted technology to better manage their manpower resources.

In the third week, the series will look at companies that have redesigned their work processes to create more efficient use of materials. In the final week, it will touch on firms which have tapped shared resources to boost productivity.


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