Looking to expand your business into the Singapore market? Becoming a PSG (Productivity Solutions Grant) vendor might just be the right move for you.
This guide provides all the information you need to become a PSG vendor in Singapore. From eligibility requirements to application procedures, we’ll guide you through the process step by step.
Firstly, let’s start with some background information on PSG.
A Brief Introduction to PSG
The PSG was introduced in April 2018 by the Singapore government to support local businesses in their digital transformation journey. The grant was crafted to replace two existing grants, the Innovation & Capability Voucher (ICV) and the Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC).
Let’s refresh your mind:
The ICV allowed registered SMEs to claim up to eight vouchers valued at $5,000 each. The vouchers could be used to cover consultancy, equipment and training services. On the other hand, PIC granted businesses a 400% tax deduction or 60% cash payout for investments in innovation and productivity efforts.
Both grants were aimed at helping SMEs improve their productivity and competitiveness, but they had some limitations and complexities that made it challenging for businesses to utilise them fully. In response to these challenges, the PSG was introduced to simplify and streamline the process of accessing government grants for SMEs.
What is a PSG Vendor?
A PSG vendor is a company that provides pre-approved solutions under the Productivity Solutions Grant. These solutions cover various areas such as IT, automation, equipment, and training services.
As a PSG vendor, your business will have the opportunity to tap into a growing market of SMEs looking to improve their productivity and competitiveness through technology adoption.
As of April 2023, PSG covers 50% of the qualifying costs for SMEs to adopt pre-scoped IT solutions and equipment, subject to a grant cap of $30,000 per entity. That makes it an attractive option for SMEs looking to invest in technology solutions.
Eligibility Criteria for Becoming a PSG Vendor
To become a PSG vendor, your company must meet the following eligibility criteria:
Be registered and operating in Singapore
A key prerequisite for becoming a PSG vendor involves having a physical presence in the country. That means your business must be registered and operating within Singapore’s jurisdiction. This requirement ensures that you are compliant with local regulations and capable of providing immediate, hands-on support for implementing approved PSG projects.
Offer Relevant Products/Services
Your product or service portfolio must align with the categories outlined under the Productivity Solutions Grant. Doing so ensures that your offerings are relevant and beneficial to SMEs seeking to enhance their productivity and competitiveness.
Aligning your solutions with the PSG categories not only improves your chances of approval as a vendor but also makes your offerings attractive to potential customers, as it illustrates your commitment to aiding local businesses in their pursuit of technological advancement and growth. This alignment provides a win-win scenario for all parties involved, fostering a supportive and flourishing business landscape within Singapore.
Have a Proven Track Record
To qualify as a PSG vendor, your company must possess a proven track record of successful implementations and satisfied clients. This requirement assures potential clients that you have the expertise and experience to deliver on promised outcomes. It also demonstrates your commitment to providing quality solutions and services, further increasing your credibility as a trusted vendor in the Singapore market.
Maintain Up-to-Date Knowledge
As a PSG vendor, it helps to stay updated on the latest technology trends and advancements in your respective field. It not only allows you to offer cutting-edge solutions to clients but also ensures that your business remains competitive in a rapidly evolving market.
Staying informed about industry developments also enables you to identify potential opportunities and adapt your offerings accordingly, positioning your business as a forward-thinking and innovative vendor.
The Top 7 Pre-Approved PSG Categories:
This category covers a wide range of IT-related solutions, including software development, cloud computing services, cybersecurity measures, and data analytics.
Businesses can leverage productivity solutions to streamline operations and increase efficiency. Examples of such solutions include project management tools, HR software, and accounting systems.
Financial Management Solutions
PSG offers support for businesses looking to implement financial management solutions such as accounting software, payroll systems, and tax filing services.
Digital Marketing Solutions
In today’s digital age, having a robust online presence is crucial for businesses. PSG provides funding for digital marketing solutions such as website development, search engine optimisation (SEO), and social media marketing.
Human Resource Management Solutions
Managing employees effectively is essential for the success of any business. PSG covers HR management solutions like employee performance tracking tools, recruitment software, and training programs.
Customer Relationship Management Solutions
Building and maintaining strong customer relationships is vital for business growth. PSG offers funding for customer relationship management solutions such as CRM software, customer loyalty programs, and feedback collection tools.
Logistics Management Solutions
For businesses that deal with product delivery and transportation, PSG offers support for logistics management solutions like inventory management software, supply chain optimisation tools, and shipping tracking systems.
Pre-approved Vendors List
Here are the top 7 pre-approved vendors in Singapore’s PSG program:
Leverage the digital marketing expertise of MediaOne, honed over 13 years of contributing to the success of billion-dollar enterprises. This wealth of knowledge has been meticulously refined into a comprehensive package for SMEs. MediaOne offers a range of digital marketing services, such as website design, SEO, social media marketing, Google Ads, and content marketing.
MediaOne first forayed into the digital marketing space in 2008, building on its foundation of Whitehat SEO services. Since then, they have expanded their services to cover almost everything businesses need to thrive online. Their team, experience, and results have earned them numerous accolades and awards, making them a trusted and reliable PSG vendor.
Beginning its journey in 2015, HashMicro introduced an innovative cloud-based system dedicated to automating comprehensive business operations. Fast forward to the present, and it boasts an impressive clientele of over 1750 businesses spanning fifteen diverse industries.
HashMicro offers a holistic suite of 40 solutions that includes but is not limited to, ERP, Accounting, Supply Chain Management, Warehouse Management, E-Invoicing, Document and Contract Management, Asset Management, CRM, POS, Membership Management, Construction, Inventory and Procurement, Barcode, Fleet Management, and Manufacturing.
Abundant Accounting provides a broad spectrum of services, including Corporate Advisory and Management Consultancy. They also offer Accounting & Taxation services, along with Corporate Secretarial duties and CFO Insight.
Their diverse portfolio of services makes them a one-stop solution for financial management needs. Their expertise and experience can help businesses streamline their accounting processes and achieve better financial outcomes.
Accounts 101 services include Xero Conversion & Training, Tax Computation, and Accounting & Bookkeeping. With a robust client base of 65 and a wealth of experience spanning 12 years, they bring a high level of expertise to their offerings. Their team of qualified accountants and advisors is dedicated to helping businesses manage their finances efficiently and effectively.
#5. Ace Business
With a harmonious blend of technical prowess and practical business insight, Ace Business develops custom, cost-effective, integrated solutions. These solutions are meticulously tailored to help businesses surmount their everyday obstacles.
From IT products such as printers & plotters, large display presentations, audio-visual systems, surveillance systems, and live broadcasts to business IT and web solutions such as cybersecurity, cloud ERP implementation, and website development and hosting, Ace Business is a one-stop solution for all your IT needs.
Since 2008, 361 Degree Consultancy has been playing an instrumental role in fostering the growth of SMEs. Their strategic approach involves deploying new software solutions or consolidating multiple software systems into one streamlined platform. They are committed to enhancing business operations by leveraging the power of unified software integration.
Established in 2012 by Andrew Koh, a former Chief Agency Officer of HSBC Insurance (Singapore) Pte Ltd., Biz Edge Consultancy Pte. Ltd. is a trusted name in the Singapore market for online marketing solutions.
Their expertise spans SEO, SEM, Social Media Marketing, and Lead Generation, equipping businesses with a comprehensive digital marketing strategy to carve out a competitive edge.
Step to Become a PSG Vendor in Singapore
Let’s zone into the main topic of this article: how to become a PSG vendor in the Singapore market. Let’s break it down into seven simple steps.
Step 1: Attend Vendor’s Briefing
Step 2: Check eligibility & submit the completed checklist
Step 3: Provide a tech demo if eligible
Step 4: Submit an application form if shortlisted
Step 5: Once your application has been approved, you’ll receive a letter of appointment
Step 6: Accept the appointment by signing the letter and returning it within seven days
Step 7: Receive your PSG vendor status and get listed on the IMDA.gov website
Step 1: Attend Vendor’s Briefing
The first step towards becoming a PSG vendor is to attend the Vendor’s Briefing. This briefing provides an overview of the program and its requirements, as well as tips on how to submit a successful application.
Every first Friday of the month, SGTech organises Vendor Briefings where they divulge information about the SMEs Go Digital program.
These monthly sessions are a crucial resource for prospective PSG vendors looking to gather insights and details about the programme.
You can check the schedule of upcoming briefings on the sgd.org.sg.
All companies must attend the briefing before applying for PSG vendor status.
If you’ve never attended a vendor briefing before, here’s a video of one of the sessions to give you an idea of what to expect:
After viewing the video, you can fill out this form. It contains three multiple-choice questions to ensure your understanding of the vendor briefing and a section where you affirm that you’ve watched the entire video.
Step 2: Check Eligibility & Submit Completed Checklist
You must submit the vendor self-assessment checklist within three months after attending the briefing. This checklist serves as an eligibility assessment to see if your company meets the requirements for PSG vendor status.
You can download and complete the self-assessment checklist from the IMDA website to determine your solution’s eligibility for PSG based on your company’s scope of services.
For instance, if your company specialises in digital marketing services, you can check for the eligibility criteria under the “Generic (applicable to all industries)” category.
That could include, but is not limited to, as outlined in the Vendor Self-assessment Checklist:
(a) The ICM vendor should include their most recent annual financial statement. If the company has been incorporated since 2018 or earlier, you should also provide financial statements for two additional years. Each financial statement should encompass an entire year’s worth of financial data.
- b) You must provide the contact information of five local SMEs who have successfully implemented your solution for at least six months but not more than 18 months. Also, you must include the invoices issued to these five SMEs along with a post-usage survey they completed. Remember that each Vendor Self-assessment Checklist might ask for extra requirements to be met, as outlined in the attached Instruction worksheet.
(c) You must provide a comprehensive write-up of your solution, elucidating how it boosts SMEs’ productivity by at least 15% in their day-to-day operations or processes. That could involve various aspects, such as workforce optimisation, time efficiency, process improvement, cost reduction, revenue growth, increased turnover, or customer acquisition/retention enhancement. Your explanation should demonstrate the tangible benefits your solution brings to SMEs.
(d) You must submit a detailed plan or proposal that clearly outlines how you, as an ICM vendor, intend to organise, manage, and deploy resources effectively for large-scale implementation to SMEs. Be sure to include how you plan to handle logistics, technical support, and training, as these are crucial elements for successful mass deployment. This proposal should demonstrate your capacity to handle the demands of a broad-scale rollout and your strategy for ensuring smooth operations.
Once all the requisite conditions outlined in the Vendor Self-assessment Checklist have been fulfilled, ICM vendors can submit all necessary documents. This can be done through the SMEs Go Digital Pre-Approval System website.
Here’s the URL: https://schemes.imda.gov.sg/smesgodigital/pages/default.aspx.
In certain instances, the IMDA may seek further details about the ICM vendor’s financial standing. They may arrange an interview with the key figures in the vendor’s management to better understand their business model and the solutions they offer. Additionally, the IMDA may find it necessary to reach out to the five existing enterprises that currently utilise the solution.
Step 3: Technology Demo
Should all the Vendor Self-assessment Checklist criteria be met, qualified ICM vendors are welcomed to a technology demonstration session. During this event, vendors can present and exhibit their proposed solutions.
The technology demonstration should be succinct, focusing on the core aspects of the proposed solution. It should clearly illustrate how this solution can enhance productivity within the operations or processes of the SMEs.
If possible, the ICM vendor is encouraged to perform live demonstrations of the solution operating on the target hardware and network environment, where applicable.
The IMDA, with its exclusive decision-making authority, will carefully assess the presented solution. Should they find the proposed solution suitable, the Application form will be forwarded to the shortlisted ICM vendor, propelling them into Stage 4 of the vendor application process. However, in the event that the proposed solution does not qualify for the next stage, the IMDA will promptly inform the ICM vendor of this outcome.
Step 4: Application
The ICM vendor must duly fill out the Application form and submit it through the SMEs Go Digital Pre-Approval System website, accessible at this link. The submission should be bundled with all necessary supporting documents, such as:
- The ACRA profiles
- Solution usage report
- A sample of Terms and Conditions or contract between the ICM vendor and SMEs
- A contractual agreement between the ICM Vendor and Data Centre Service Provider
- CVs of individuals involved in deployment
- An organisation charts
- The pricing details of each solution seeking pre-approval from IMDA.
The ICM vendor is required to delegate an Appointed Representative (AR), preferably an influential member of the vendor’s key management team, to serve as the primary point of contact for IMDA. This representative will be responsible for handling all matters associated with Pre-Approved@SMEsGoDigital. It’s important that the ICM vendor promptly notify IMDA of any changes regarding the AR.
Step 5: Evaluation
Once submitted, the application will undergo a thorough evaluation. The assessment will focus on the following key aspects:
(a) Solution Quality, including its functionality, reliability, usability, and portability, which carries a weightage of 40%;
(b) Affordability of the solution, making up 10% of the evaluation;
(c) The potential impact of the solution on productivity and growth within the targeted SME sector, contributing 20% to the overall score;
(d) The ICM vendor’s capability to widely deploy the solution, including the provision of training and post-sales technical support, also weighing 20%; and finally,
(e) The financial stability of the ICM vendor, accounting for the remaining 10%.
IMDA holds the sole discretion to assess the application and reserves the right to modify the evaluation criteria without providing prior notice to the ICM vendor. If a solution does not make it to the subsequent round of the vendor application process, the ICM vendor will be duly informed by IMDA.
Stage 6: Pre-Approved@SMEsGoDigital Vendor
IMDA will designate the ICM vendor as a Pre-Approved@SMEsGoDigital Vendor upon successful evaluation. That appointment will be valid for one (1) year or any other duration as decided by IMDA.
The Pre-Approved@SMEsGoDigital Vendor status granted to the ICM vendor is strictly bound to the specific solution and the version evaluated and approved in the appointment letter. This designation is not transferable and does not extend to other solutions or versions of the pre-approved solution that the ICM vendor may sell or market.
The Pre-Approved@SMEsGoDigital status does not imply or guarantee that the solution offered by the approved vendor is suitable for every purpose and/or devoid of any potential defects. As such, the Pre-Approved@SMEsGoDigital status should not be misrepresented or marketed as a blanket endorsement of the solution’s fitness or flawlessness.
Once the ICM vendor has been granted the status of a Pre-Approved@SMEsGoDigital Vendor, they are permitted to use the Pre-Approved@SMEsGoDigital brand, provided their usage adheres to the stipulations set out in the Brand User Guide.
IMDA, at its full discretion, has the authority to disclose the details of the appointed Pre-Approved@SMEsGoDigital Vendor and the respective pre-approved solution(s) on its own website, other government sites, or any other publications that are pertinent to Pre-Approved@SMEsGoDigital.
Step 7: Publication of Pre-Approved Vendors
Upon successful evaluation and appointment, IMDA will publish the details of the appointed Pre-Approved@SMEsGoDigital Vendor and their pre-approved solution(s) on their website. That serves as a public directory for potential SME buyers to quickly identify and engage with pre-approved vendors.
That publication will also help create greater transparency and trust between vendors, IMDA, and SMEs in Singapore. It allows for open communication and easy access to information about the approved solutions, making it easier for SMEs to make informed decisions when considering digital solutions for their businesses.