Prestige Brand Awards focuses on innovation

The annual hunt for Singapore's best brands kicked off yesterday with the focus this year on firms that are innovative and ready to transform themselves in the pursuit of growth.

The Prestige Brand Awards, which are now in their 17th year, are organised by the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises and Lianhe Zaobao.

Ms Chew Lee Ching, chairman of the awards' organising committee, noted yesterday that disruptive technology brings increased competition for businesses, which can be "intense and challenging".

"Forward-looking brands, however, see this as an opportunity. They innovate and transform and some even become disruptors themselves," she added.

"They invest in developing a deeper understanding of their customers' needs and continue to deliver products and services that are unique and sought after", enabling them to compete more effectively and grow, locally and abroad.

Ms Chew cited a past winner - steel processing provider Hock Seng Hoe Metal Company, which has transformed itself to go international.

Previously, the firm faced various challenges that hindered productivity. The company took the initiative to implement enterprise resource planning solutions and use RFID (radio-frequency identification) technologies for its operations.

"It can now keep track of inventory stock with almost 100 per cent accuracy, shorten collection time from an average of one hour to 10 minutes and reduce all shipping documentation and scheduling from three days to one day," said Ms Chew.

The company now exports to six countries with the recent addition of the Philippines and Myanmar.

Award winners will be announced in September, with the overall winner of most categories announced at a ceremony in November.

RHB Bank Singapore returns as the official bank for the awards while Singapore Airlines is the official airline.

Supporting organisations include Enterprise Singapore and the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 13, 2018, with the headline 'Prestige Brand Awards focuses on innovation'. Print Edition | Subscribe