P&G adds $41.5m to lift digital innovation programme here

Through the E-Centre, P&G supports partners and employees by equipping them with skills to leverage digital technology and solve business problems.
Through the E-Centre, P&G supports partners and employees by equipping them with skills to leverage digital technology and solve business problems.PHOTO: REUTERS

Consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble (P&G ) is investing an additional US$30 million (S$41.5 million) in its digital innovation programme here, it said yesterday.

The move comes a year after it pumped in an initial US$100 million and co-launched the E-Center with the Economic Development Board (EDB). The E-Center is not so much a physical entity but a term that covers the company's extensive digital innovation programme that looks at areas like e-business, i-supply and analytics.

Its new investment is part of the company's E-Center 2.0 programme, which was officially launched yesterday. The initiative is an expansion of the existing programme with the EDB.

Part of the funds will go to a scheme that enables P&G to work with regional retailers to create actionable knowledge and retail solutions in multi-channel consumer shopping. The funds will also support new supply chain projects and a new team of data scientists.

P&G uses the E-Center programme to equip partners and employees with skills to leverage digital technology and solve business problems.

P&G Asia Pacific has also hosted its inaugural digital technology event, ONward, which included a "digital university", where more than 1,000 employees went through 5,000 hours of training in five days.

The event also offered more than 500 digital tech companies, including start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises and other companies a chance to develop solutions for nine business challenges pitched to them by P&G. This would help P&G to co-innovate with external specialists.

EDB chairman Beh Swan Gin said: "P&G is a strategic partner in our efforts to place Singapore at the forefront of digital innovation for consumer businesses.

"The E-Center 2.0 will further build digital capabilities in retail, supply chain management and business analytics, and offer exciting opportunities for both Singaporeans and our local enterprises."

Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said at the event: "Today, when we look at the i-Supply chain, it is also the way forward in how we envisage manufacturing in Singapore has to be done.

"So we're very happy to partner P&G in this journey because these things that you are doing will benefit not just the P&G group... but we hope that this will also catalyse a larger, wider movement in the Singapore economy for all of us to get on board this new wave of digital economy robotics, i-Supply chain, integrated supply chain, and using the Internet as a platform for us to compete."

Singapore has been P&G's Asia-Pacific headquarters for the last 30 years. It has two manufacturing sites here and a Singapore Innovation Center.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 27, 2018, with the headline 'P&G adds $41.5m to lift digital innovation programme here'. Print Edition | Subscribe