Singapore exporters should adopt global standards to grow abroad: Teo Ser Luck

A woman passes the skyline of the central business district, in a public housing estate in Singapore.
A woman passes the skyline of the central business district, in a public housing estate in Singapore.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Companies should adopt global standards to build trust in their products and better integrate into global supply chains, said Minister of State for Manpower Teo Ser Luck.

"The use of international standards in Singapore has helped build trust in our products and services in overseas markets, and facilitated commercial transactions and international trade. This has enabled our companies to become internationally competitive and expand into new markets," he said on Wednesday (Oct 7).

Mr Teo was speaking to about a hundred participants at the opening of the GS1 Asia Pacific Forum. GS1 Singapore is a standards development organisation and one of the centres of excellence under the Singapore Manufacturing Federation.

In his speech, Mr Teo emphasised that the Government is working with the federation to support the development, promotion and implementation of international standards.

"Going forward, adoption of GS1 and other standards will be important in the continued growth of our companies," he said.

He cited the example of Grocery Logistics of Singapore (GLS) which used GS1 standards to improve its daily business processes at the two distribution centres from which it serves all NTUC FairPrice and Cheers stores islandwide.

GLS staff used to manually record the details of all products received by the distribution centres, a method which was highly labour-intensive and prone to errors.

But after the introduction of carton barcodes based on the GS1 ITF-14 standard, GLS raised its processing accuracy from 85 per cent to 97 per cent. GLS even reduced the number of stock-takes done from four to one each year due to the increased accuracy in tracking stock.