AmBank pioneers IR4.0 initiative for SMEs


“We truly believe that IR4.0 is the way forward for businesses in Malaysia as it improves productivity by providing real time data for quick decision making. This results in an increase in revenue and profitability for businesses, ” said AmBank Group business banking managing director Christopher Yap.(file pic)

THE Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent MCOs rendered many manufacturers inoperable, resulting in a staggered closure in their business.

Just four months into the pandemic, it was reported by the Department of Statistics Malaysia that Malaysia’s manufacturing sales dropped by 33% from RM113.1bil in April 2019 to RM75.8bil in April 2020 – proving that the manufacturing sector was being hampered by both the surge in Covid-19 cases and the Government’s movement restrictions to contain the outbreak.

The Federation of Manufacturers of Malaysia (FMM) reported in 2017 that although there is an awareness among manufacturers on Industry 4.0, only 30% of them have begun to adopt modern technology under Industry 3.0.

To increase the level of adoption, we have seen the Government launch several initiatives, including development and grant assistance programmes to help SMEs embark on the Industry 4.0 journey.

The adoption of Industry 4.0 has grown even more critical in the backdrop of a crisis such as Covid-19.

As part of supporting the Malaysian SMEs to overcome this challenge, AmBank has partnered with the International Trade and Industry Ministry, as the ministry is a proponent of Industry 4.0 and has rolled out a campaign called Industry4WRD.

The ministry offers facilitation for manufacturers to kick-start their transformation in the form of the Industry4WRD readiness assessment (RA) and Intervention Fund.

The RA is a comprehensive programme to help companies in the manufacturing sector and its related services to understand their present capabilities in adopting Industry 4.0, by using a pre-determined set of indicators, and to embark on digitalisation.

Additionally, the Intervention Fund is the next step for companies which have undergone RA to adopt Industry 4.0-related technologies with funding facility offered by the Government.

The bank has also partnered with Bosch Rexroth, one of the world’s oldest technology companies with its 225-year history.

Part of the Bosch Group today, Bosch Rexroth seized opportunities offered by technological advances, turned them into innovations and adapted its business model to them.

A technology and market leader for drive and control, they address manufacturers’ pain points by providing automation and innovative solutions, driving digitalisation and sustainability in machines and systems.

Aligning with the Government’s mission to increase adoption amongst SMEs, AmBank has pioneered its own line-up of programmes.

Recognising that SMEs face several challenges adopting Industry 4.0, AmBank is the first bank to launch an initiative involving subject matter experts to demystify and simplify the Industry 4.0 concept.

“We truly believe that IR4.0 is the way forward for businesses in Malaysia as it improves productivity by providing real time data for quick decision making.

'This results in an increase in revenue and profitability for businesses, ” said AmBank Group business banking managing director Christopher Yap.(file pic)

In July 2020, AmBank hosted a series of virtual events and development sessions about Industry 4.0 via its AmBank BizCLUB platform and saw over 2000 registrations for its AmBank BizRACE competition.

Through the AmBank BizRACE IR4.0, participating SMEs will be given the opportunity to undergo fundamental courses on IR4.0.

During these virtual development sessions, business owners will learn the impact of Industry 4.0 on their production lines, business operations as well as their level of team readiness.

AmBank has partnered with the International Trade and Industry Ministry, Bosch Rexroth, Maxis and Microsoft Malaysia to help SMEs in their Industry 4.0 journey as well as prepare them for grant application procedures.

Only 100 SMEs will be chosen for this programme. Slots are already being taken up but business owners can still stand a chance to participate by January 2021.

For them to take their first step towards Industry 4.0, their company details can be submitted at www.research.net/r/AMBIR4.

This article is courtesy of AmBank

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