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SMEs are the backbone of the economy in most APO member countries, and establishing productivity measurement and monitoring systems is key for them to remain competitive under volatile market conditions. However, that volatility in the business environment and diversity in customer demand require SMEs to embrace innovation and adopt a culture of productivity enhancement to remain competitive for sustained growth and profitability. This is particularly critical with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has pushed SMEs to increase operational efficiency, automate business processes, and expedite decision-making. To promote productivity measurement and management among SMEs, the APO held a Workshop on Enhancing Productivity for SMEs, 11–13 August.
The workshop provided a platform to review methodologies for SME productivity measurement and support participants in developing strategies for productivity enhancement and industrial upgrading based on findings from the measurement results. It included sessions on productivity concepts and trends in the Asia-Pacific region, approaches to business excellence and value-added concepts, input and output productivity levers, productivity measurement methodology, and a hands-on session on online tools for productivity measurement, gainsharing, and business excellence. On the third day, participants worked in groups to apply their learning to a case study. They were required to determine and analyze key productivity indicators, identify issues based on the analyses, develop action plans to address the priority issues for overall productivity and quality improvement, and then present their findings.
Forty-four participants from 14 APO members participated virtually in this workshop. Three resource persons from Fiji, Malaysia, and Singapore facilitated the sessions and delivered presentations.