United Overseas Bank (Malaysia) Bhd (UOB Malaysia) and The FinLab announced that the small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that have completed the Jom Transform Programme are expected to see productivity rise by up to 30 per cent through digitalisation.
The Jom Transform Programme is the first business transformation programme in Malaysia to help local businesses digitalise their operations to drive productivity and revenue growth.
During the three-month programme, the 16 participating SMEs gained digital transformation skills and know-how such as business re-engineering and digital marketing. As part of their skills development, they learnt industry secrets from experts at a series of workshops and were matched with specially-chosen technology partners to pilot relevant solutions and to assess the effectiveness of these solutions.
Out of the 16 participating SMEs, 12 piloted solutions to enhance their core business processes such as payroll, human resources and accounting. The automation of these processes is expected to help employees reduce the time they spend on manual, administrative processes by as much as 30 per cent.
This will free up their time to do more value-added work and in turn contribute to the company’s overall productivity and efficiency. The SMEs also piloted solutions in digital marketing, lead generation, content creation and e-commerce solutions. These solutions are expected to boost the SMEs’ sales and customer acquisition by up to 10 per cent.
Mr. Wong Kim Choong, Chief Executive Officer, UOB Malaysia, said the Jom Transform Programme affirms the Bank’s commitment to help Malaysian SMEs digitalise their business for continued growth and productivity.
“The Jom Transform Programme is designed to help Malaysian SMEs digitally transform their operations and we are pleased to announce that it has met this objective. Having completed the three-month programme, our 16 selected SMEs are now able to apply digital solutions to optimise their workflow processes, to improve sales, to increase customer loyalty and to raise brand awareness. To help these businesses grow further, we will support them in their expansion both at home and across the region through UOB’s established regional network.”
Jom Transform is jointly organised by UOB Malaysia and The FinLab, an innovation accelerator under United Overseas Bank Limited.
The Programme is supported by five strategic partners including the Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents, Maxis, the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation and SME Corporation Malaysia.
Ms Pauline Sim, Co-Head, The FinLab, said, “The Jom Transform Programme has successfully brought together the technology ecosystem and members of the SME community that are looking to digitalise and to uplift businesses together. We are thankful to all our partners who have supported the programme. As we continue the momentum into 2020, we will collaborate with the business and technology communities and networks we have brought together to support even more businesses who desire to transform.”
How two SMEs adopted technology solutions for growth
Serai Group, a Malaysian family-owned food and beverage (F&B) group with nine outlets across Kuala Lumpur, was one of the SMEs that successfully completed the Jom Transform Programme.
As part of the Programme, Serai Group piloted a digital solution provided by AImazing, a Singapore-based technology firm, to help the business digitalise its receipt and point-of-sale data.
Mr. Najib Hamid, Managing Director and Group Chef, Serai Group, said “The Jom Transform Programme has helped us to evaluate our operations and to identify new technology solutions for our business. The F&B sector is competitive, and it is important to ensure our operations run smoothly at every level, from procurement and production through to customer experience. We are now implementing the solution from Singapore-based technology firm, AImazing, to reduce the manual workflow of collating sales data from across our nine outlets, releasing our staff to do higher value work.”
Syarikat Letrik Chen Guan, an electrical contractor that provides end-to-end project management, electrical and mechanical services, is adopting UOB SmartBusiness to help drive efficiencies in its procurement and back-office processes.
Mr Choong Pin Hoong, Director, Syarikat Letrik Chen
Guan, said, “With projects running at different sites, our business requires
many varieties of supplies and inputs. We are keen to implement technology
solutions that will make the site planning, supply and management more
automated and easier for our site managers to make and to track orders and deliveries.
Through the Jom Transform Programme, we have come across new technology
solutions such as UOB SmartBusiness, which enables us to digitalise our core
processes and sales channels. This will help us build a strong foundation for
our expansion plans.”
 “Jom” is a colloquial term for ‘Let’s go’ in Bahasa Malaysia.
 This forecast is based on the number of man-hours the participating SMEs currently spends to manually process Human Resource (HR)-related activities such as payroll, leave application, and employee benefits.
The time dedicated to completing these types of activities typically account for 30 per cent of the business owners’ total working hours.
Projection is based on the digital solutions that the SMEs have piloted and are currently implementing.
 In June 2018, UOB partnered SAP to launch UOB SmartBusiness, an integrated digital business solution designed to help SMEs make cost savings and improve their operating efficiency.