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Grooming local champions

In recent years, the Business Excellence initiative has helped organisations stay relevant in a fast-changing environment

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With over 1,500 staff serving 350,000 businesses and 3.4 million workers every year, the Ministry of Manpower puts people at the centre of everything it does.

THE Business Excellence (BE) platform has continued to evolve over the past decade, with more learning platforms such as seminars, workshops, and conferences to share best practices being organised.

The BE Framework was also streamlined to keep pace with evolving business trends. The current framework requires organisations to attain the Singapore Quality Class (SQC) as a foundation before deepening their niche capabilities in innovation, people and service. Sustainable packaging company Greenpac is among the enterprises that has leveraged the framework in recent years to help it navigate a more uncertain and volatile landscape.

"In the face of a fast-changing global economic landscape, business excellence is crucial for organisations now more than ever. The BE Framework provides us with an external perspective to assess where we stand in relation to our local and overseas counterparts, and to identify the gaps that we need to fill in order to achieve sustainable growth," said Susan Chong, chief executive officer of Greenpac. The company was a winner of the SQA in 2014 and Innovation Excellence Award in 2017.

Greenpac has focused especially on building its innovation capabilities to stay ahead of the pack.

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"For a business to be a game-changer and to be differentiated from others, we need to fundamentally shift the way things are done through innovation. We need to change the game," added Ms Chong.

BUILDING A GREAT WORKFORCE

With over 1,500 staff serving 350,000 businesses and 3.4 million workers every year, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) puts people at the centre of everything it does.

This is in line with its vision of building "A Great Workforce, A Great Workplace" for Singapore. To help achieve this goal, the ministry embarked on the BE journey to develop its staff and transform processes, as well as harness data and technologies to serve its customers more efficiently.

MOM's BE journey started in 2000 with the achievement of the People Developer Standard. In 2010, it was the first ministry to achieve the Singapore Quality Award (SQA), an award it received again in 2017.

As part of its BE efforts, MOM invested in Behavioural Insights, Design Thinking and Business Analytics as new capabilities for the organisation. These skills are being applied in the ministry's digital services, such as the MOM Digital Service for employers of Foreign Domestic Workers (FDW).

This initiative saves employers over 18,000 customer hours every year. More recently, MOM has used analytics to identify construction companies with a higher safety risk.

As the business landscape continues to shift, organisations like Greenpac and MOM will need to carry on with their efforts to reach ever higher levels of performance. To help them and others in this endeavour, the BE Framework will continue to evolve to remain relevant and useful over the long term.

Said Aubeck Kam, MOM's permanent secretary: "We see the Business Excellence framework as a useful guide for the organisation, as we continue to transform."