Piloting Lean Manpower Solutions with Launch of the Lean Hotel Initiative in Singapore

March 28, 20178:04 am1755 views

Minister of State for Manpower, Mr Teo Ser Luck piloted launch of the Lean Hotel Initiative at the CEO Breakfast Talk, held at Suntec Singapore Exhibition and Convention Centre last week. This initiative is supported by Workforce Singapore (WSG) who is defraying the cost of this 4-month long programme to cover both classroom training and fieldwork.

16 hotels will be working together to support this initiative that will identify and pilot lean manpower solutions in the region. This would eventually translate into larger scale, long-term and holistic transformations through Lean Enterprise Development Scheme (LEDS). The LEDS was launched in October 2015, to help companies develop manpower lean solutions and build a strong Singapore core.

Towards the end of 2017, the LEDS has been a bridging support for 2,100 companies to help them take necessary steps to cross the technology gate in particular. Speaking at the launch, Mr Teo Ser Luck said, “We will continue our efforts to help more companies transform. We are going to strengthen LEDS as a bridge of innovation, to make innovation more pervasive in our business community. We will nurture more industry cluster-based projects to create a viral effect in adopting these solutions.”

Sixteen hotels in Singapore will be joining forces to identify gaps, share best practices, brainstorm and benchmark against the best-in-class. Through these findings, they can further design and develop blueprints before moving on to test-proof concepts, prior to their pilot launch. Other sectors have also shown similarities, wherein collaboration for good can be successful, for example the F&B sector.

Citing F&B sector as an example, Mr Teo Ser Luck added, “One of our first LEDS projects was a group of Indian restaurants that came together to centralise their backroom and kitchen processes. Ingredients were prepared and distributed to different restaurants for further preparation and serving. This helped them save costs and maximise manpower.”

The concept of LHI is aligned with the intent of LEDS taskforce that believes innovation and transformation should, and can be scaled up at the broader level, beyond individual projects within a single company. The benefits thus derived to industries, companies and workers can be multiplied.

In line with this transformation plan for the hotel industry in Singapore, the profile of jobs will also change for the better. You will see higher value-added jobs being created for the local workforce.

See: Untapped Career Growth Opportunities for PMETs in Singapore’s Hotel Industry

The hotel sector is an important contributor to the Singapore economy, with 33,000 individuals working in the sector. However, one key challenge faced by the hotel industry as a whole is to stay abreast of the rapidly evolving consumer needs, while dealing with challenging manpower situation.

At the Committee of Supply debate earlier this month, Minister Lim Swee Say spoke at length about the importance of strengthening the bridge of innovation, which links technology to the market, to help companies transform and grow. The LEDS scheme launched in 2015 has been successful so far with 2,100 firms on board. It provides support with transitional manpower over a period of time for firms facing skill and talent shortages.

LHI is launched with an objective of helping companies to be manpower lean. With technology driving change across the economy and the tightening manpower situation, it has become even more crucial for the hotel industry to improve upon its productivity and not let manpower become the bottleneck.

To harness on the potentials of LHI, the hotel industry can tap on the funding assistance provided by WSG through various Adapt and Grow Initiatives such as WorkPro and Professional Conversion Programmes to redesign jobs and develop talent pipeline. This will help offset the cost of job redesign, while providing training and salary support for employment of local mid-career entrants into the industry.

While industry transformation can be disruptive in nature, Ser Luck believes such initiatives can prove rewarding to those who are willing to adapt. The Government on sidelines of this launch will continue to support the industries transformation plan, create new jobs and careers for employees in the hotel industry and beyond.

Increasingly more companies in Singapore are acknowledging the need to embrace lean solutions and are receptive to different approaches on their productivity journey.

Also read: Singapore to Transform its Hotel Industry for Sustainable Growth

Image credit: freedigitalphotos.net

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