Why LINFINITY is the Answer to the Challenges of SMEs

In Singapore, Small-Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are vital contributors to the economy, with 219,000 SMEs contributing S$196.8 billion in gross value. Over the last five years, SMEs have helped generate half of the nation’s growth in gross value added, particularly from the burgeoning industries of food & beverage, manufacturing, retail and info communications.

Source from: Department of Statistics Singapore

Similar figures can be seen in the Southeast Asian region, where SMEs play a crucial part to the region’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), accounting for more than 95% of all business establishments. However, despite being the integral to the growth of GDP all around the world, the reality is that these businesses must still battle it out in an ecosystem which holds many challenges that are unique to these SMEs.

SMEs today, therefore must look beyond traditional methods and embark on a journey of constant innovation, adapting new enterprise technology to meet their challenges as well as to sustain and accelerate growth.

 

Small Business, Smart Contracts

Typically, SMEs often concentrate on sustaining the business and increasing the scale of the company, so much so that they lose track of other vital components such as the system and process behind operations, logistics and supply chain. There is therefore a need to put in place a proper system or service that can ensure the growth of the company, whilst taking care of backend operations within the company. Smart contracts powered by blockchain may be one such solution with it being a beginner friendly concept that even the most technology-resistant individuals can embrace. Traditional contracts require the involvement of many parties, as well as the overseeing of a financial institution which smart contracts are free to do away with, acting as a distributed digital ledger.

Smart contracts act as a ledger that ensures each transaction is irrefutable and enforceable, while streamlining the procedures behind the business. With LINFINITY, blockchain technology can be used to implement contracts and monitor any other transactional activity between various parties in the total supply chain network, allowing SMEs to save cost on unnecessary steps and measures in the governance of their supply chain belt.

 

Security and Privacy

Passing through many hands within the total supply chain network, confidential and important information is always at risk. With blockchain enabling it to serve as a decentralized, distributed digital ledger, tracking and recording all aspects of exchanges, agreements, transactions and payments, information will be safeguarded in specific blocks, each linked to one another. Blockchain therefore serves as a protected platform where sensitive and private information would not have to be divulged despite multiple copies of this ledger being made available to different stakeholders benefiting SMEs who hold large amount of private information. In addition, this further ensures the security of any information that is present on hand, as it is kept away without any intermediaries involved. In the event of an encounter with legal disputes, the information stored on the chain could even serve a purpose, acting as legal evidence for regarded cases. People may forget and digital material can be hacked, but contracts and information stored on the blockchain can never be changed and altered.

LINFINITY serves to be able to allow companies that have many different individual parties in their entire supply chain network, to have access to a single platform where the records are kept and safeguarded. Companies can have the option to manage their own blockchain with LINFINITY providing the blockchain technology or have LINFINITY aid in the management of their supply chain together with the full belt on LINFINITY’s chain to help smoothen the processes.

 

Supply Chain Finance Efficiency

Despite the importance of SMEs in contribution towards a nation’s GDP growth, SMEs often face issues accessing credit at the various points of the business when necessary. Due to being relatively young in nature with regards to incorporation, SMEs may not have a substantial track record on their credit history for banks to acknowledge, when requiring financial assistance. With supply chain financing, it can enable SMEs to have access to more financing at a lower cost. But even with supply chain financing, it comes with its own set of problems and blockchain may just be the answer to it.

Problems that may arise include, the cost of borrowing for the SME to be unfavourable for them depending on the buyer’s bank, and a lack of transparency in transactions hence affecting tier 2, tier 3 suppliers. LINFINITY is embarking on implementing blockchain technology for supply chain finance that can greatly benefit SMEs. Such benefits LINFINITY can bring in the supply chain finance include a reduction of processing time while ensuring transparency and security and the inability for manipulation by parties. This further ensures increased control, speed, reliability and authenticity of each the total supply chain network.

In addition, with the introduction of blockchain, it creates a token economy that enables the transaction of public goods and monetary assets to be more fluid. With stakeholders within the total supply chain network being active adoptive users, it will result in the value of the token economy to increase. This creates an established ecosystem where the tokens could be redeemed for various assets by members and users of the platform.

 

SMEs Employing Blockchain

Technology is moving fast, and we are currently living in what is popularly termed as the fourth industrial revolution. It is the age of the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, Cloud Computing, and even digital banks. Companies and businesses that are serious about growth are currently scrambling to understand this new technology, trying to determine how it will evolve in the future.

This however is where SMEs retain a significant edge. Being smaller, these companies have proportionately smaller systems and networks, making them nimble, being able to adapt and take on blockchain technology quickly with relative ease. It’s a different story for MNCs such as Alibaba for example, where integrating just a minor feature into the entire system would require good long period for the company to adapt.

Moving forward, LINFINITY is not just looking at large, global scale clients, but is also paying special attention to SMEs, especially those in the FMCG sector, helping them to adopt blockchain technology into their own company’s supply chain. LINFINITY has been playing an active role in being involved in the application of blockchain in supply chain networks with various SMEs and their respective business models, advising and providing their expertise in the field.

 

Striving Towards Adoption of Blockchain in Singapore

In August, LINFINITY hosted a roundtable discussion in Singapore that was held with industry leaders and entrepreneurs, covering various topics such as the potential of blockchain in enabling SMEs. Teo Ser Luck, member of Parliament, shared his sentiments on the revolutionized offerings blockchain can have for local SMEs in terms of not just meeting pain points and filling the gap, but its potential in disrupting traditional markets.

The Singapore government has taken steps in recognition of the need for adoption of enterprise technologies solutions for local companies with specific grants catered towards SMEs such as the SMEs Go Digital grant and Technology Adoption Programme. With such grants that allow SMEs to build stronger digital capabilities through the adoption of various technologies, such as Blockchain, IoT and AI, each of these technologies come together to work together cohesively and complement one another and elevate SMEs to be part of the digital economy.

Nobody really knows where the above-mentioned fourth digital revolution will bring our society. However, we need pioneers to push the technology forward regardless. LINFINITY is ready and has stepped up to be one of these pioneers in the Singaporean landscape, and have begun spreading their reach abroad, launching forums and talks across London, Tokyo, and Seoul.

 

For more information about LINFINITY and their future activities, visit linfinity.io, or contact pr@linfinity.io.

https://www.linfinity.io/article/85.html

 

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LINFINITY—中小企业转型升级强心剂

“新加坡约有219000家中小企业,它们主要以食品业、饮品业、快消品业和零售业为主。在过去的五年中,中小企业每年所创造的经济增长,占据新加坡GDP的半壁江山,已成为国民经济的中流砥柱。”

数据来源:新加坡统计局

 

除了新加坡外,其他东南亚国家也是如此,中小型企业俨然已成为各国GDP增长不可或缺的重要组成部分。但随着社会科技的发展,这些中小企业也面临着诸多行业痛点,尤其是快消品行业,由于传统供应链所特有的管理结构,容易出现信息不对称、流程不可控、数据容易受到黑客攻击,从而导致假货蔓延。唯有与时俱进,去了解新兴科技,优化管理,精确把控流程,构建出自己的一套生态环境,才可以在竞争如此巨大的当下,不被市场所淘汰。区块链的出现,或许能为中小企业供应链管理注入活力。

 

智能合约

大部分中小型企业往往过于集中精力去拓展业务,而常常忽略了企业的运营管理,或者说运营管理的方式还十分传统,各个环节信息的不对称,导致企业内部相互协作效率低下。基于区块链的“智能合约”可以很容易解决系统信息各个节点的执行问题。只要满足“智能合约”中的所预设的“条件”,便会“开启”合约的执行过程。而整个执行过程,是透明化的、不可被人为篡改的和可信任的。只要将所要执行的合约内容,写入LINFINITY区块链中便可以对于执行过程中的信息,有一个精确的把控和监管,为中小企业节省执行成本,提高管理效率。

 

信息安全

快消品行业的供应链所涉及环境非常多样,虽然这样的分工结构可以将协作的效率最大化,但伴随而来的信息数据安全问题也同样值得引起重视。分布式结构和信息可溯源,是区块链技术最大两个特点。依托于区块链技术,中小企业可实现对商品信息数据,从生产到终端所有环节的把控。除此之外,这些上链信息基于区块链的本质特点,还具有一定的法律依据效力,近来,第一张区块链发票已经诞生,这也是国家层面对于区块链技术的认可。 LINFINITY 旨在通过区块链技术建立一套值得信赖和可追溯的防伪供应链解决方案。在这套体系中,我们很容易查看如原材料供给、物流、配送等具体情况。它在降低供应链管理成本的同时,也增加了商品流转的安全性。

通证经济

尽管中小企业对于国家经济增长有着重要贡献,但中小企业也面临着融资贷款难的问题。这是由于银行对于中小企业不信任造成的。 LINFINITY 正着手于供应链融资方面的区块链技术,将融资借贷信息上链,为企业提供可信、有效的金融借贷数据。这将极大地造福于中小企业,如减少处理时间,确保借贷信息的透明度和安全性,进一步解决了中小企业融资的速度、真实性和可靠性问题。

另外,随着区块链的引入,一种新的经济现象由此诞生——“通证经济”。它的目的是以“通证”(Token)的方式,作为一种激励工具,促进生态圈内各个角色的相互协作。贡献越大,所获得的激励就会越多,而这些所获得的激励,也可以在特定的平台进行交易或流通,从而使整个区块链的生态到达可持续发展的目的。

物联网、人工智能和区块链毫无疑问将会成为未来社会科技发展的方向,这些基于大数据的新科技,将会又一次掀起新一轮的产业革命。 LINFINITY 所要完成的就是将这些新兴科技有机的融合在一起,构建起一套完整的商业生态平台,帮助中小企业完成认知升级与技术的迭代。

LINFINITY 始终专注于区块链的普及与商业化推广,目前已经在韩国、新加坡、日本、英国等诸多国家以TALK、FORUM和圆桌会议的形式举办了多场线下活动。正如,新加坡前人力部及贸工部部长、新加坡国会议员张思乐先生所说的那样:“区块链不仅可以为中小企业带来革命性的高新技术,还填补了传统行业管理方式上所不能解决的空缺与痛点。”让区块链技术、人工智能、物联网相互配合,相辅相成,使中小企业进一步为国民经济增长做出巨大贡献。

 

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Linfinity: A Blockchain Enabler Makes Blockchain Useful for SMEs

Linfinity organised a roundtable conference themed “Explore the Future of Blockchain Technology” in Singapore. The roundtable gathered industry leaders and entrepreneurs across different sectors to discuss on the topic that how Blockchain technology can empower SMEs. Teo Ser Luck, a former minister of state in Singapore and now the chairman of Nufin Data, was also invited as special guest.

SMEs: A Huge Market

Linfinity CEO Anndy Lian hosted the roundtable discussion. “In Singapore, 99% of the Enterprises are SMEs, contributing 49% of nominal value aded. For supply chain industry, SMEs are also facing the pain points that traditional MNCs are trying to tackle, including the efficiency and transparency of goods and value transaction, which Blockchain solutions can step into.” Anndy said, “This is a huge market, which we all can’t afford to lose.”

Source from: Department of Statistics Singapore

The Singapore-based fashion brands and marketplaces presented during the discussions—Pinc, Lovefreya.co, and Feso Asia—expressed that they want to know how Blockchain can help local designer brands. A persistent problem that they have been facing is having their designs copied, and they hope Blockchain can help mitigate profit losses from this problem.

Earlier on during Blockspace Asia, Linfinity signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with Pinc, Lovefreya.co, and Feso Asia. Linfinity, a pioneer in using Blockchain in supply chain management, will provide these three companies with technological support in supply chain management using Blockchain-based solutions.

SMEs: The First Beneficiaries from Blockchain

“There is no doubt that Blockchain is bringing new energy into traditional industry, and it will be revolutionary. But its value depends on how we use it.”  Mr. Teo said during the discussion. “The flexibility and great adaptability will make SMEs one of the first beneficiaries from Blockchain.”

Mr. Teo shared his experience on how he helped start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) while at the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and as minister of state for trade and industry. Since stepping down as minister of state for manpower, Mr. Teo has been involved in several ventures ranging from education and sports to fintech.

“It is necessary for SMEs to look at the current trends of their industry and have a sense of where it is going in the future. There is always an urgent need for innovation, and when it comes, we should grasp it and see how it can restructure the business models and fill in the gaps.”

This roundtable also invited guests from Quest Ventures, Blockvital, BlockConnectors and Sharechain to share their insights on how the Blockchain technologies can empower SMEs in the region. Mr. Bill Teng, Chairman of Ping An Securities also highlighted the fact that if we explore Blockchain thoroughly with SMEs, SMEs will most likely to benefit a lot and it will surely help in their business productivity and efficiency.

 

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