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2021: Smoothing the Transition to Smart Manufacturing in Malaysia

March 10, 2021
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Government initiatives to encourage smart manufacturing include the international trade and industry ministry’s (MITI’s) Industry4wrd policy. This framework includes three core elements and eight core thrusts designed to create a pathway for enhanced productivity, job creation, and growing a high-skilled talent pool in the manufacturing sector.

By Avanti Kumar

Frontier technologies such as AI, machine learning together with more responsive, pervasive cloud platforms, which have triggered mounting disruption of multiple industries and much of our daily life, will continue to accelerate in 2021.

With an eye on the manufacturing sector, a recent online industry debate — the Smart Manufacturing Circuit (SMC) held mid-December 2020 — conducted a reality check of technology-induced benefits and values.

Moderated by Maznan Deraman, head of Innovation Solutions at TM ONE, the enterprise solutions arm of Telekom Malaysia, the leadership panel comprised Eng Chew Hian, Business Development director of Huawei Cloud, and Sudev Bangah, managing director of IDC ASEAN.

Given the rapidly shifting global economic ecosystem, manufacturers are earnestly looking for the right matrix of technologies, people and process changes that will enhance competitiveness and get ahead of the pack, agreed the speakers.

To extrapolate best practices from current industry case studies, the panel distilled several short to long term strategic priorities. The discussion included a deep dive into the challenges faced by the manufacturing business, which largely reflect the overall industry scenario, i.e. keeping abreast of the competition in a fragile and fast-changing environment.

According to IDC’s Asia Pacific Insights Annual Survey 2019, 78% of the region’s manufacturing businesses saw declining sales, while 74% reported demand variability, and 37% pointed to increased competition, and lack of innovation (27.8%), as well as rising internal costs (20.4%).

In addition, 24% of manufacturing costs were attributed to downtime, 90% of maintenance work was categorised as ‘crisis work’ to fix breakdowns, and the amount by which total downtime cost was usually underestimated by 300%

Bracing up for the Next Normal

Addressing these business challenges demands transformative strategies to deliver results, declared all three panellists. These include improved supply chain performance, enhanced operational excellence and operational risks, stronger focus on product innovation and tapping new markets and customer segmentations.

However, the road that must be travelled has to be built on digital frameworks, the panel continued. On 1st January 2021, Malaysia’s government said its 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) will increase focus on new economic drivers such as the digital economy in tandem with the green economy. In line with this, a national digital policy is expected in Q1 of 2021.

Sudev Bangah cited IDC’s studies of organisational recovery, which highlighted an increased prioritisation of business resiliency. “Organisations need to look forward, and it is important for strategic priorities. Moving towards targeted investments — AI, IoT, robotics, cloud, machine learning — are typical areas for investment.”

IDC’s APAC studies confirmed that when building a digital transformation use case, clarifying strategic priorities will better build resiliency, and enhance yield from digital implementations, Sudev explained.

Caption: Sudev Bangah, MD of IDC Asean

Speaking of four value chains of manufacturing, he said: “Across the board, manufacturers are looking towards technology adoption to drive strategic priorities: engineering oriented; technology oriented; asset oriented and brand oriented.”

A major component of digitalisation is cloud computing, Huawei’s Eng pointed out. Earlier in 2020, TM ONE announced an agreement with Huawei as another step in its aim to aggregate partners and solutions to become the country’s first locally owned end-to-end comprehensive cloud AI infrastructure provider.

He outlined several cross-industry use cases which included Alpha Edge implementations such as one that uses drone and AI image processing applications to perform aircraft surface inspections “(This solution’s) emphasis on security, trust, speed and robust scalability,

TM ONE’s Maznan said, “Some of the benefits that cloud delivers to companies include bringing products to market faster; enhancing performance and productivity more efficiently; heightening competitiveness; simplifying and speeding up modernisation plans; as well as more effective collaboration with ecosystem partners.”

“Using digital solutions to achieve enhanced, connected production, real-time manufacturing and predictive analytics is part of the process of the transformation of the ecosystem, which includes people and existing processes.”

As an example, Maznan detailed the company’s Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) — a tool for manufacturers to tackle efficiency and productivity gaps without human intervention. “OEE helps to reduce common causes of equipment failure, maximise workforce effectiveness, and gives the capacity to visualise overall performance more easily.”

Transition to Industry 4.0

Tackling the bigger picture, the panel agreed that, to varying degrees, pandemic-related lockdowns procedures have indeed accelerated digital disruption. “People and businesses have had little choice: to take control of their transformation or bow out of the arena.”

Government initiatives to encourage smart manufacturing include the international trade and industry ministry’s (MITI’s) Industry4wrd policy. This framework includes three core elements and eight core thrusts designed to create a pathway for enhanced productivity, job creation, and growing a high-skilled talent pool in the manufacturing sector.

Atillea Razali from SME Bank Malaysia presented another example, in a separate session, on technology grants such as SME Technology Transformation Fund (STTF), which offers financing up to RM3 million to help in various transformation projects.

Sourcing intelligence

In the concluding sequence, the panel emphasised that, “Understanding and optimising operations is interlinked with the use of data and analytics.”

Bangah commented: “The acceleration of digital transformation is causing a rethink among manufacturers. This may call for a tweak to the 2021 playbook for many manufacturers: as an example, digitalising your supply chain will be one of the most critical areas.”

Bangah concluded by citing one of IDC’s key takeaways for 2021: “Technology is one complementing element, to enable your business to reach a new level on your journey. It is critical to find a partner on this journey who can offer all the support to enable a smoother journey.”

Maznan’s concluding summary included TM ONE Alpha Edge offerings to manufacturers to smooth the transition to smart manufacturing In tandem with the uphill recovery this year. “This is coupled with an ongoing partnership, as well as industry-specific solutions that offer a more holistic collaborative path to manage the transformation effectively.”

This article was first published on Disruptive.Asia (https://disruptive.asia/2021-smoothing-transition-smart-manufacturing-malaysia/)

Forging a New Future for Malaysia’s Manufacturers

Smoothing the Transition to Smart Manufacturing

October 03, 2021
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Paper-based maintenance, planning and quality acceptance plans are now bygone. The future belongs to sensors, integrated systems algorithms and cloud-based software solutions to define and optimise the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE). In an idyllic factory situation, equipment would function 100 percent of the time at 100 percent capacity, with quality production of 100 percent. In the real world, however, this situation is rare. Therefore, calculating the overall OEE is a crucial process to improve processes, consistency, quality, and productivity.

Smart Services Key Towards IR4.0 For Your Business

August 24, 2021
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Maznan Bin Deraman

Maznan is the Head of Innovative Solutions at TM ONE and is an experienced digital transformation practitioner with 26 years of demonstrated knowledge in Telco and ICT business which include research and development, network operation, Go-to-Market strategy, sales planning, product and partnership development. Now embarking to propel the innovation of state-of-the-art IoT, AI-driven smart services, 5G commercial use cases and cybersecurity services.

Q Many Malaysian enterprises are predicted to adopt Industry Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0) in the next few years, and smart services can have massive implications to the core elements of a company’s business model. How can smart services integration propel enterprises to the next frontier of the IR4.0 ecosystem?

For enterprises, incorporating IR4.0 means expanding their value-creation capabilities and business models by implementing smart services technologies such as advanced sensors, big data analytics, intelligent robotics, machine learning and Cloud computing, not forgetting cybersecurity and Internet of Things (IoT). With connected and intelligent ecosystems, transmitting data in near real-time, smart services transform the experience for enterprises and the lifestyle of consumers with smarter living, smarter workplace, smarter business operation and smarter community, by embedding intelligence into critical infrastructure and everyday objects.

At the end of the day, organisations can unleash greater innovation, enhance customer experience, and improve visibility, profitability, and resilience. This in turn enables them to unlock a new generation of revenue streams, efficiency measures, and people-empowering strategies.

Q Some organisations may view smart services as something that is ‘good to have’, especially in this challenging pandemic-laden business environment. Is there a real return to investing in smart services?

Since the pandemic, enterprises must find ways to become more efficient and transform if not all, most of their business operations to digital. Smart services convert manual processes to digitalised and automated processes powered by analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning. This helps to optimise performance, minimise disruptions, and reduce downtime; in real-time and accurately.

There are countless use cases for smart services across all verticals, and have proven that the investments brought positive returns. A critical success factor lies in a good execution plan. Unfortunately, many organisations failed to extract value from smart services due to lack of expertise and haphazard implementation. When the solutions involve different types of technologies, implementation complexity and operational expertise, you need to have well experienced strategic digital solutions partner(s) with the know-how and proven track record to guide you through the journey, especially during the early stage of adoption.

Q Why TM ONE is the right partner in supporting your digital transformation journey?

As an enabler for the smart service ecosystem, TM ONE focuses on the platform strategy that has been designed to be technology-agnostic. This essentially enables multiple service providers to come on board our smart services ecosystem. Regardless of your vertical – manufacturing, retail, services, healthcare, education, government, or agriculture – TM ONE’s team of experts, ecosystem of service providers and end-to-end digital infrastructure make up comprehensive offerings to facilitate your journey towards IR4.0 more efficiently and easily.

In addition, TM ONE’s Integrated Operations Centre (IOC), part of our smart services offerings, continuously monitors and manages connected solutions to ensure adherence to service level agreements (SLAs), ease management, and lower cost of maintaining a smart services deployment. This is also supported by TM ONE Cloud α and Cyber Defence Centre (CYDEC) as its digital foundation, providing it with infrastructure, software platforms, industry solutions and ecosystems, and services to create and manage connected implementations securely and effectively. As the sole Malaysian Cloud Service Provider (CSP) for the Government, TM ONE through its Smart Services is the most visible ambassador of digital transformation, taking Malaysia a step closer to Digital Malaysia and taking transformation forward for Malaysian organisations.

This article was written in collaboration with The Edge.

Supporting Malaysia’s Digital Aspirations

August 12, 2021
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Smart services are the combination of digital services in an ecosystem that are interconnected, secured, automated and data-driven. It provides efficiency, enhances value creation, and offers agile business models that are tailored to suit customer needs, demands and requirements.

According to GlobalData, smart services are defined as solutions that are designed to leverage the holistic interconnection of services, applications, business processes, people and devices with a network of the Internet to achieve specific business goals.

For a seamless smart services experience, 5G technology will serve as a game-changer as more smart services with direct impact will be made available for the well-being of the people. It not only promises better and faster internet access but more importantly, it also enables various important applications to be in the hands of end-users, including health monitoring applications for chronic patients in medical centres, smart emergency assistance and special applications for senior citizens who are living alone. 

“Smart services transform enterprises and the public sector by embedding intelligence into critical infrastructure and everyday objects. We at TM ONE have positioned ourselves to become the enabler of such within the ecosystem.

“As such, we focus on the platform strategy that has been designed to be technology-agnostic. This essentially enables multiple service providers to come on board. The master plan is to unleash greater innovation, customer experience, visibility, profitability and resilience,” says Maznan Deraman, Head of Innovative Solutions, TM ONE. 

This can also be achieved through its portfolio which enables customers to automate various core processes. For example, Smart Street Lighting allows organisations to automate lighting controls and support maintenance works by providing real-time conditions of each light, pole and feeder pillar.

Additionally, TM ONE’s Video Surveillance-as-a-Service (VSaaS) includes advanced analytical features that are managed through the TM ONE Integrated Operations Centre (IOC) to examine surveillance footage in real-time with automated alerts based on defined parameters.

The Building Management Systems on the other hand enables automation through users monitoring, environmental readings, equipment status, schedules, setpoints, trends, alarms and other control functions virtually.

“TM ONE Smart Services are well-equipped to support the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDIGITAL) and other Government’s digital and stimulus plans, in accelerating the socio-economic recovery that will propel our country for today and tomorrow, towards a full-fledged Digital Malaysia by year 2030,” says Maznan.

He further highlights that as the sole Malaysian Cloud Service Provider (CSP) under MyDIGITAL, TM ONE as a business arm of Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) will provide a comprehensive range of connectivity, ICT and digital solutions to support Government agencies’ Cloud Transformation Plan. 

“We remain steadfast in our efforts to realise the aspirations of MyDIGITAL based on our three (3) core pillars, Digital Connectivity, Digital Infrastructure and Digital Talent,” he explains.

This will also include building a robust, integrated network and infrastructure under the Jalinan Digital Negara (JENDELA) action plan and raising the digital intelligence and skill set of Malaysians via TM’s university, Multimedia University (MMU) and the TM Digital Academy.

Speaking of its benefits, Maznan believes adoption would bring great potentials for improving product quality, increasing productivity and creating more high-skilled jobs for Malaysians.

“Malaysians are expected to gain maximum Internet of Things (IoT) advantages with minimum friction by leveraging TM ONE Smart Services.” 

TM ONE Smart Services are divided into several clusters, which provide solutions according to specific industries or sector’s needs:

Maznan Deraman, Head of Innovative Solutions, TM ONE

TM ONE Smart City – solutions that serve to create safer and healthier public spaces, more proactive and transparent public services, more engaged citizens and better managed state finances. TM ONE Smart City solutions consist of Smart Home, Smart Premises, City-wide and in-building surveillance, Traffic Analytics, Smart Street Lights and Smart Parking.

The Digital Enterprise Solutions by TM ONE capable of boosting efficiency, security and productivity with a range of solutions including e-learning platform, digital document management, time attendance system with body temperature screening, Robotic Automation Process as service and payment platforms.

TM ONE Smart Industry Solutions – capitalises on the power of IoT and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to improve revenue, operational efficiency, customer experience, visibility, and safety across manufacturing, retail, and logistics with solutions such as Smart Genset, Smart Forklift, Overall Equipment Effectiveness system with Predictive Maintenance Analytics, Smart Retail and Smart Water Management System.

TM ONE Smart Agriculture – leverages IoT-enabled farming precision and smart solutions around warehousing and supply chains to increase yield and produce quality, tackle agricultural finances and food security.

TM ONE Smart Healthcare – harness an end-to-end platform that connects all stakeholders in the medical ecosystem securely, and improves patient experience and care, while increasing healthcare efficiency.

Article from Business Today

DIGITAL SUCCESS STORY: How Lembaga Tabung Haji Contact Centre is Circumventing the Pandemic.

October 11, 2021
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Tabung Haji has adopted innovative contact centre processes and new technology platforms, and has built a robust, resilient and agile platform to circumvent crises during pandemic. To uncover some of the key drivers behind this success, we need to look at ways to elevate contact centre performance today.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it increasingly urgent for organizations to supercharge their agility, speed and resilience in order to meet the challenges of achieving their objectives.

For Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH), the Malaysian government institution responsible for the management of hajj and investments activity, this translated into facing an array of pandemic-related disruptions while striving to operate at near-full capacity and in particular, pursuing sound strategies to deepen engagement with customers and continue growth.

In particular, Tabung Haji Contact Centre (THCC) confronted the daunting prospect of serving some 9 million depositors, operating through 123 branches with 10,000 touchpoints nationwide. With increasing numbers of new depositors, customers would call TH for several different reasons ranging from general inquiries, savings accounts inquiries to matters relating to the pilgrimage of depositors to the Holy Land.

Using a platform of smart partnerships and digital excellence, TH is successfully circumventing current challenges, and at scale.

These steps have safeguarded and ensured TH’s customer operation has not been disrupted in any way and that customer satisfaction remains optimal. THCC has been an important engine in managing customer relations and associated operations. To uncover some of the key drivers behind this success, we need to look at ways to elevate contact centre performance today.

THCC has become the mainstay of TH services that meet the needs, expectations and feedbacks of depositors. The outstanding determination and performance throughout the operation of THCC is in line with the vision and mission of TH” – Datin Normimy Mohamed Noor, General Manager Marketing, Communications & Customer Service Division Lembaga Tabung Haji

Amplifying customer experience

To dive a little deeper into this success story, we need to look back to pre-pandemic times and acknowledge that the critical role that contact centres play in handling customer inquiries, particularly as service, quality and turnaround speeds pose the potential to make or break customer relationships. This is again recently evidenced by a Khoros survey, which notes that 30% of customers said they would stop giving their business to a brand that failed to meet their timeframe expectations.

Handling high volumes of inquiries is a large undertaking in normal circumstances, however, COVID-19 has significantly exacerbated support volume and created labour shortages at many contact centres, businesses are feeling the squeeze.

Taking a few steps back, when TH saw that business had been growing exponentially through the years, resulting in rising call volumes, it made a decision to turn to a specialist whose core competencies included customer management.

The specialist that TH has been collaborating for more than 10 years is TM ONE (formerly known as VADS) to help outsource the Tabung Haji Contact Centre (THCC). TM ONE prioritises its responsibility in upholding service sustainability and that this is assured without any interruption or impact to overall customer experience – even amid crises such as COVID-19.

Buoyed by this partnership, TH has the ability to track and analyse all end-to-end customers’ inquiries, complaints and feedback. These inputs, fortunately, allow TH to continuously improve customer engagement strategies, products and services, thus helping TH to be sustainable, competitive and remain relevant to the market.

Breaking free with digital

Digital solutions when smartly adopted enable organisations to break through hurdles to higher performance. In this instance, TM ONE has introduced Cloud CX Solution to TH to better manage THCC service sustainability.

Cloud CX Solution helps TH to provide insights into the operations, develop strategies in key areas and achieve operational excellence. TM ONE reports that its large volume of interactions generates a massive amount of valuable data, which holds the potential for ongoing business strategies and improvements through predictive analytics.

With this technological tool, THCC enables TH to achieve their business outcomes by staying connected to customers and ensuring satisfaction. This was evident when THCC was successfully re-certified for ISO 18295-1: 2017 (CCC) SIRIM Recertification Audit 2021 and this became an outstanding new benchmark for THCC, drawing respect from other call centres.

Furthermore, TM ONE created a more immersive digital experience for TH’s customers by embracing digital channels and engendering exceptional digital services quality. This results in a harmonious balance of efficient resolution and important empathetic ‘human-touch’ interaction.

THCC also supports TH’s online and digital services initiatives through its THiJARI online platform services, which provides support to depositors, and encourages greater use of online services – a safety factor that is especially in the current COVID-19 pandemic phase.

Another digital advance is the introduction by TM ONE of the AYDAD System, which can be accessed by all branch offices throughout Malaysia from 1 September 2021. The AYDAD System is a web-based application to help THCC and branches obtain information and related services, products and processes. This information will be used by members at the branch office to answer any queries received and the information provided is fast, accurate and up to date. On top of that, the enablement of certain critical functions outside TH’s normal business operations requires a method to effect proper knowledge transfer. TM ONE’s extensive Knowledge Management and Training strategy ensure all contact centre agents are correctly oriented and given a deeper understanding of THCC’s services and customer needs. The consistent use of these strong knowledge management tools across all channels plays a highly significant role in delivering excellent customer experiences.

Accelerating growth

Today, THCC’s technology and capabilities allow an average of 10,000 voice interactions to be handled every month with 94.3% of customers call picked up within 10 seconds. Callers have a quick, hassle–free accessibility to TH channels, reduces waiting time, which further enhances TH brand image.

THCC’s strategic approach to digital transformation, with the adroit use of technologies and expertise arising from the partnership with TM ONE, now enables an average of 1,700 digital channel interactions to be handled every month with a 100% response rate. With that, TH has resolved 96% of their customers enquiries within the first interaction (First Call Resolution-FCR), resulting in a better experience outcome for customers.

Despite the restrictions due to the pandemic, serving customers remains a priority. The current surge of customers through online channels is aptly handled by THCC, ensuring TH’s business continuity, and delivered with the resilience demanded by this highly challenging period. Most importantly, as confirmed by Customer Satisfaction Index results, TH customers acknowledge that TH service quality remains rated at 100%, which is again essential for driving business growth.

Through the years, by leveraging its technology partnership, TH has adopted innovative contact centre processes and new technology platforms, and has built a robust, resilient and agile platform to circumvent crises. TH has evolved to a fully-fledged customer-first culture, and continues to grow by extend wider support to its external, internal and business partners.

Since the inception of the partnership, TM ONE has proven to be a reliable partner to TH by heightening TH customers’ experience, and meeting over 97% of the contractual KPIs. This collaboration resulted in THCC’s recognition as one of the prime contact centres in the world, drawing multiple accolades and awards from the industry.

For inquiries or more information about TM ONE, please visit www.tmone.com.my

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