CIO50 2019: #6 Yeo Beng Huay, Singapore Customs
The implementation of a Networked Trade Platform (NTP) at Singapore Customs was rolled out as a “one-stop trade and logistics ecosystem” to support digitalisation efforts in Singapore.
According to Chief Information Officer Yeo Beng Huay, the aim was to connect players in the trade value chain in Singapore and onwards to counterparts abroad, providing the foundation for the city-state to become a world leading trade and financing hub.
Designed as an open digital platform, NTP leverages emerging to offer a range of innovative trade-related services to meet the evolving business needs of the trade and logistics ecosystems.
For example, traders can maximise value-added services - such as cargo freight booking, trade financing, cargo insurance, customs declarations and payment reconciliation - to arrange shipment more easily, improve cash flow and better manage trade compliance.
By bringing players across the trade value chain onto a single platform, Yeo Beng Huay said NTP enables end-to-end digital trade, allowing businesses to optimise transactions with the government and commercial services throughout the trade ecosystem.
Acknowledging that “trade is the lifeblood of Singapore’s economy”, the deployment of NTP helped overcome challenges associated with a fragmented supply chain housing “disparate silo systems”.
A typical supply chain processing for international trade can involve up to 25 parties generating 30-40 shipping documents with the exchanging of goods, money and information at each stage.
An efficient supply chain will help businesses reduce operational costs and enhance their competitiveness.
Therefore, NTP was implemented to ‘stitch’ the digital islands together, to help businesses achieve greater operational efficiency, boost competitiveness and create more business opportunities.
Through NTP, businesses can streamline processes, share digital trade documents such as, invoices and permits, to improve transparency and efficiencies, expand their business networks and tap on the potential of data analytics to draw new insights.
Since launching in September 2018, Singapore Customs has on-boarded more than 40 value-added Services on NTP, assuming the role as “a network of networks”.