JUNE ISSUE: KM in SMEs
This issue we look at the challenges faced by SMEs in Singapore and how KM can address some of their needs.
SMEs form a significant part of Singapore's economic landscape. There are 92,000 SMEs in Singapore. Collectively, they make up 92% of all establishments, and employ 53% of the workforce. Many MNCs today were SMEs of yesteryear e.g. Yahoo, eBay, Google ... SMEs are the incubators of future economic giants.
The truth is, SMEs face a number of challenges in doing business. For example, it is difficult for them to reach out to new customers and new markets because of the high cost of advertising and business promotion. They are also constrained by their physical size. Being small and unknown, they may not be able to secure the trust and confidence from potential customers.
The good news is that the rapid explosion of the Internet is driving dramatic changes in the way businesses operate and compete. It is causing a fundamental shift in the way businesses are conducted, and the rules of competition are being redefined in the knowledge economy.
Singapore has a list of Enterprise 50 companies which are ranked based on the following set of key performance indicators: operating profit before tax; turnover; growth in operating profits; growth in turnover; return on total fixed assets; operating profit per employee; percentage of turnover from overseas operations; percentage of payroll spent on training and percentage of revenue invested in research and development (R&D). It is insteresting to note that knowledge management is one of the qualitative factors taken into consideration besides management philosophy, innovation and market presence.
So what can KM offer to SMEs? Read on …