How do we make use of technology to gain competitive advantage?

Mr Ng Tiong Gee
Mr Ng Tiong Gee
Executive Education Fellow
Advanced Computing, NUS ACE
Chairman of Yellow Pages

Article Contribution by Mr Ng Tiong Gee

15 Years ago while working as a CIO in a semiconductor contract manufacturing company, we created a digital twin that mirrors what is happening in our production floor. Our customers have a virtual factory in their backyard and can see the product as it moves through the factory in real time. It was a big hit with the customers and helped us in securing contracts.

Technology has advanced rapidly since then. Internet of Things have enabled continuous collection of data from sensors. Consider a production line collecting data from machines, ERP data, quality control data, recipes among others. A good digital twin can ingest all the data and display a virtual copy thus enabling the plant personnel to understand the data and make better decisions.

Shumit from Accenture showed me how they helped one of the largest poultry food supply companies in Asia implement such a process. IOT data gathered in the farm helps the farmer reduce wastage and increase production of eggs and also improve the animals’ health.

A major global miner is able to move its production, planning and control activities from multiple mine sites to a new remote operations centre. The ability to implement a supply chain visualisation tool showing all key metrics aids their decision making for the whole business.

Last month, TK Ng, the CEO of SFX Corporation, an Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality startup gave me a tour of the projects that he has implemented recently. They helped a large security company based in Singapore implement an AR/ VR system to train their security personnel with very effective results. Security personnel can now train under very realistic scenarios and in the future they can be guided by senior security professionals sitting in operational centers when faced with complex issues.


Virtual reality has been deployed to enable accuracy of the supply chain, maintenance and also training operations. With the help of these technologies, these digital twin systems can help engineers troubleshoot and repair machines in remote sites. Coupled with a root cause analysis tool, it can speed up troubleshooting and predict failures before it happens.

Companies who take advantage of these technologies in their production process will gain a competitive advantage while those that does not will risk being left behind.

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