Machinery and equipment sector can profit from digitisation

THE Covid-19 pandemic has made it clear that digital solutions are vital for enterprises to remain competitive, especially SMEs.

Our country’s machinery and equipment (M&E) sector is dominated by at least 85% locally-owned SMEs and the majority of them are comfortable with their traditional methods of business management, resulting in little contribution to today’s sector productivity.

This needs to be challenged as more developed nations are becoming increasingly competitive by adopting new technologies and business methods.

To boost productivity in the M&E sector, the M&E Productivity Nexus (MEPN), supported by Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC), was established and led by industry associations under the Machinery and Engineering Industries Federation (MEIF) to assist SMEs in operations-related productivity improvement.

However, reaching out to the SMEs of the M&E sector is a big challenge as they tend to keep away from digitisation, thinking that such investment is costly and it comes with complicated processes.

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These Young Entrepreneurs Are Turning Learning Fires Into Profit

There are, to use a construction I probably stole from Justin Reich, two camps in education – the bucket-fillers and the fire-starters.

To oversimply, bucket-fillers want to teach facts and skills and chart precise pathways that lead to good jobs. Fire-starters want to spark learning passions and believe that people who follow their passions usually do quite well. Most education entrepreneurs are bucket fillers.   

That’s why you should know Audrey Wisch and Alec Katz. On their own, they are remarkable. They are both about to be sophomores at Stanford, winding down a gap year courtesy of Covid-19. Alec is studying aerospace engineering and Audrey is a history major. In their spare time, they started a for-profit edtech company, Curious Cardinals — a company that’s already profitable.

That these education entrepreneurs, and the company they built, are fire-starters is

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How these entrepreneurs turned their inventions into profit


You have a great invention idea. So, how do you turn it into a profitable business, especially if you want to do it later in life?

The secret is managing risk wisely, says David Deeds, professor of entrepreneurship at Opus College of Business at University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. (Full disclosure: EIX, the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Exchange from that school is a Next Avenue funder.)

“Older adults have less time to recover from a failed business,” says Deeds. “On the other hand, [this generation has] more financial capital, better credit and better networks” than younger ones. So, Deeds notes, they are in a good position to manage this risk.

Managing that risk is exactly what the following three inventive inventors over 50 have done over the past few years when launching their companies. Their stories sound straight out of public radio’s “How I Built This” show.

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