Worker's job scope expanded from maintaining firm's IT network to Internet of Things data

Mr Francis Pang, assistant director of the IT department at SouperFoods, on July 14, 2021.
Mr Francis Pang, assistant director of the IT department at SouperFoods, on July 14, 2021.PHOTO: SINGAPORE BUSINESS FEDERATION

SINGAPORE - Tech worker Francis Pang started out in food and beverage firm SouperFoods in 2011, maintaining in-house applications and the firm's network infrastructure, but a new scheme helped him expand that role significantly.

Undertaking the Industry 4.0 Human Capital Initiative allowed him to broaden his job scope to involve tracking production activities and even collecting data from Internet of Things devices.

Mr Pang, 50, also helps to visualise the collected data, which allows department managers and supervisors to make informed decisions.

The initiative helps firms adopt industry 4.0 solutions while redesigning job roles and upskilling staff.

Thanks to his expanded role, Mr Pang was promoted to assistant director of the IT department.

He said: "I come from an engineering background, so I did not have many challenges in learning the hardware part of the Industry 4.0 solutions."

But he said that other parts of the programme, like working with the Internet of Things solution provider to extract real-time data from machines, required more work.

An eight-week training period involved Mr Pang and his co-workers collaborating with experts from consulting firms McKinsey & Company and EY.

"We identified production bottlenecks and subsequently trialled a system to digitalise the recording of production data," he said.

"With this, the production manager can track ongoing and completed orders through a dashboard in real time, and that frees up his time to prioritise orders and maximise productivity."

But Mr Pang's learning did not stop there. He also went for his own upskilling programmes, such as a specialist diploma in data science that he completed earlier this year, and he is pursuing a specialist diploma in big data to help him in his new role.

"As we expect more data to be collected from Internet of Things devices and external data sources, I hope to pick up new skills in the areas of data security and cloud solutions," he added.