The overall objective of the SME Assist is to strengthen the competitive capability of local SMEs in the global arena in three different phases. Phase 1 involves piloting the development of the culture of basic Kaizen capability of SMEs; phase 2 involves cloning and sustains the success of the piloted approach; and phase 3 is to achieve a world class capability and growth. The SME ASSIST is at its fromation stage. The main and important objective for 2010 is to establish this Center of Excellence. To achieve this objective, the SME Assist team is currently developing and testing on a model, which is anticipated to assist SMEs participating in the SME Assist program. At Present, SME Assist is handling ten projects, with five SMEs participating in the SME Assist program and five assessments and LEAN transformation projects with a multinational company in Penang. From the current SME involvement, SME Assist and contribution from University Sains Malaysia’s (USM) resources, we hope to develop our core competencies, in other word, our products for the year 2010.
The SME Assist team is currently capitalizing on the transfer of knowledge through a network of retirees, engaging with experts (or consultants), academics and graduate students from various disciplines in USM. To achieve the above three major objectives, the principal agent is the retiree who has vast experience, network, recognized in the industry and has the passion to pursue the dream of establishing a centre of excellence, which SME Assist is all about. There are plenty of previous studies showed that trust is one of the major practices in business deals. In regards to this, natural relationship that has been established over the years between retirees (from multinational companies) and SMEs (contract manufacturers) are keys to approach SMEs that have real needs.
The SME Assist team has identified the real needs of five SMEs and is currently providing solution to their needs. At the same time, five other projects will be carried out with a Penang-based MNCs that involve five academic staff from the School of Management.