Future-proofing Businesses With Automation Support
Automation for businesses has been around for quite some time. The uptake for automation and digitalisation has been reserved for large manufacturers that require long-term efficiency and productivity. However, many small and medium enterprises are beginning to understand and notice the advantages of automation in their business operations. But for some, purchasing and implementing such business operation automation takes a considerable amount of financing. Some are holding back because of financial matters. The Malaysia Investment Development Authority is introducing a grant for the specific use of automation in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The Smart Automation Grant (SAG) for businesses hopes to reduce operating costs in the long run and boost their readiness for the future.
The Malaysian government is committed to propelling Malaysia’s industry and businesses towards automation and digitalisation. Thus, besides having the right solutions to the current problems, the Smart Automation Grant for businesses is a necessity to ensure the industry remains competitive. Furthermore, the fourth industrial revolution necessitates industry players, especially local service providers, and manufacturers, to automate their business as much as possible. Some entrepreneurs may have it in their wish list to automate some of their business operations, if not all. Relying on workers could result in errors and faults. For a business, these would mean time and cost to investigate and reproduce. Thus, automating for production channel is necessary but may cost a fortune. The Smart Automation Grant initiative aims to assist in matters like these applicable in the operation or manufacturing.
Economic Recovery Plan
The initiative is part of the national economic recovery plan (PENJANA) announced in June 2020. The grant will be awarded to qualified companies with eligible expenditures. The grant awarded can go up to a maximum of RM1 million per company. With the urgent need to go digital and automate, the money comes in handy. It will help businesses reduce defect rates and an increase in production volume. The government also hopes that with automation in place, firms who may have to reduce staff-hours due to the pandemic could recover the loss. Besides, most manufacturing companies are reliant on low-skilled foreign workers for repetitive job tasks. The initial investment for automation may be huge, but the business potential can be limitless, provided business owners keep tabs current and future technology.
Qualifying for the Grant
Small and medium enterprises and mid-tier companies manufacturing and services activities for the past 12 months are eligible for the SAG. The utmost qualifying criteria is that any automation machine, equipment or software procured by the company, is used directly to improve its value chain. Digitalisation and automation should enhance productivity and efficiency in a company. Improvements assessments will have a range of criteria such as reduced number of unskilled workers, cutbacks on working hours or defect rate, and increased production volume. Interested companies can submit their application for the Smart Automation Grant for businesses, to MIDA from 1st November 2020 to 31st December 2020.