How To Become A Pre-approved Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) In Singapore: The Ultimate Guide

How To Become A Pre-approved Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) In Singapore

The Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) was started in April 2018 to help businesses boost productivity and automate mundane tasks with smart IT solutions—hence the name.

It’s pretty straightforward: if your business is registered and operating in Singapore and wants to invest in IT solutions or equipment, you’re in. Also, only SMEs with at least 30% local ownership, annual sales of up to S$100 million, or fewer than 200 employees, qualify.

PSG

But how do you become a PSG vendor in Singapore?

For businesses looking to supply their goods and services to Singaporean government agencies, landing that coveted pre-approved vendor status is a game-changer. Imagine the doors it can open, the growth it can spark, and the success it can bring.

This simple yet significant badge can elevate a company from good to great. In this guide, we’re diving into why becoming a pre-approved Vendor for PSG Singapore matters, breaking down the benefits, and showing you the pathways to get there.

Let’s embark on this exciting journey to unlock new opportunities and growth.

Who’s a PSG Vendor in Singapore?

A PSG vendor, or Productivity Solutions Grant vendor, is a company that Enterprise Singapore authorises to provide pre-approved productivity digital solutions and services.

These vendors are selected based on their expertise and track record in delivering quality solutions to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore improve their productivity.

Benefits of Being a Pre-approved PSG Grant Vendor in Singapore

  • Good for Growth: Being approved as a PSG Grant Singapore vendor will help your business grow. You can reach more clients who need digital solutions. The government also promotes approved vendors, further boosting your visibility.
  • Credibility and Trust: Being an approved vendor means the Singaporean government trusts your business. That can make clients more likely to choose you, especially SMEs looking for PSG funding. It gives your business a competitive edge.
  • Access to Government Funding: One major benefit of being a PSG Grant Singapore-approved vendor is access to government funding. It helps SMEs with the costs of adopting digital solutions.

Approved vendors can offer their services at a lower cost, making digitalisation more affordable.

  • Competitive Advantage When Bidding for Government Tenders: Pre-approved Vendors have an easier time bidding on government tenders. Being a pre-approved vendor means that the vendor’s products and services have already been vetted and approved by the government, eliminating the need for additional approval processes.
  • PSG Pre-approved Vendor Status: For businesses looking to grow in Singapore, getting pre-approved vendor status under the PSG program is key. It boosts growth, builds government partnerships, and increases credibility. Embracing this status puts businesses at the forefront of Singapore’s developments.

Eligibility Criteria for Becoming a Pre-approved PSG Vendor in Singapore

  • Company Registration: You’ll need to secure the necessary licenses and permits, a crucial step to get your enterprise off the ground. Worry not, though—the process is designed to be straightforward and efficient.
  • Having a Physical Office or Address Right Here in Singapore: One of the key prerequisites is having a physical office or address right here in Singapore. That ensures that vendors are actually part of the vibrant, local business ecosystem.
  • Align your services with the Pre-approved PSG Product or Service categories: Doing this can make your products more appealing and highlight the unique benefits that elevate your customer experience.

How to Become a Pre-approved PSG Vendor in Singapore

How to Become a Pre-approved PSG Vendor in Singapore

Step #1: Attend ICM Briefing Session

Your first step to applying to be a pre-approved PSG vendor is to attend an ICM briefing session.

You can check the dates here:  https://www.sgd.org.sg/

Step #1- Attend ICM Briefing Session

If you missed a previous vendor briefing, follow this link to watch it.

Once done, you can go ahead and fill out this form. It’s super simple: you’ll find three fun multiple-choice questions about the vendor briefing, plus a quick section where you get to confirm you’ve watched the whole video.

Once done, you can go ahead and fill out this PSG form.

Step #2: Research and Understand Your PSG Category

There are different PSG categories designed to meet the needs of various industries and businesses. Each category offers specific solutions suited to other types of products or services. It is crucial to do thorough research to find the category that best matches your business’s offerings.

Here are a few examples of the PSG Categories:

  • Accountancy
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Building & Construction
  • Early Childhood
  • Engineering Services
  • Estate Agency
  • Food
  • Food Manufacturing
  • Food Services
  • Landscape

 You can find a list of all the categories here: Go business

You can find a list of all the categories here- Go business

Step #3: Make Sure Your Business Meets the Criteria Set By The PSG

Eligibility: Ensure your business meets the PSG criteria. That usually means being registered and operating in Singapore and offering solutions that align with the grant’s goals.

Objectives: The PSG helps SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) with digital transformation.

PSG Grant Pre-Approved Vendor: Your solution should show clearly how it can help SMEs improve productivity and efficiency.

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PSG Grant Pre-Approved Vendor- Your solution should show clearly how it can help SMEs improve productivity and efficiency.

8 Approval Criteria for the Pre-approved PSG Vendor

#1. Your Solution Must Meet the Needs of the SMEs You’re Targeting

At least five SME customers must have enthusiastically expressed their satisfaction with the quality of the vendor’s solution.

The solution must have checked all the boxes in the Solution Checklist in your specific sector, as listed in Annex 1.

Click on your specific category to download the entire document in PDF.

Click on your specific category to download the entire document in PDF.

source

General Self-assessment Criteria

General Self-assessment Criteria

  • A Good Track Record with the Government: The vendor must have a good history with government agencies. The vendor should not be suspended for breaking any PreApproved@SMEsGoDigital rules or code of conduct.
  • No Unresolved Customer Complaints: The vendor must have no unresolved customer complaints. Simple, right? Think of it as a golden principle in the world of stellar service. No loose ends, no unhappy clients. It’s all about keeping the harmony and building trust.
  • Industry Relevance: The vendor’s solution must meet the latest self-assessment checklist. At least five customers should have used the solution with PSG support by the 10th month of the current contract.

#2. A Track Record of Helping SMEs Increase their Productivity

At least five SME customers have shared their stories of achieving a remarkable 15% boost in productivity thanks to the solution. The number is even higher for those in the Construction and Facilities Management (FM) sector, soaring to at least 20%.

#3. The Solution Must be Affordable to SMEs

At least five small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) customers must have expressed satisfaction with your product or service pricing.

These customers didn’t just get a service; they landed a fantastic bargain, making the whole experience a win-win.

#4. The Vendor Must Have a Proven Track Record with the Solution

The Vendor Must Have a Proven Track Record with the Solution

At least five small to medium businesses have used the solution for at least six months and are still customers. There must be no bad feedback from customer surveys.

The vendor’s company must have been in business for at least 18 months.

Note: Testimonials must not be from related or subsidiary companies.

#5. The Vendor Must Have Adequate Resources to Support the SMEs in Your Industry

At least five small business customers must be happy with your service or product as a vendor. You must be available to offer 8 hours of support, either on-site or by teleconference, five days a week, and be available 24/7 by email or contact form.

#6. You Must be Financially Stable

You must have a positive net equity for the latest financial year. That’s to say, your current ratio should be at least 1.0 or higher.

That means your current assets divided by your liabilities should show you have enough resources to cover your short-term obligations.

That means your current assets divided by your liabilities should show you have enough resources to cover your short-term obligations.

#7. You Must Have a Good Track Record with Government Agencies

As a trusted partner in the field, you must have a strong and commendable track record with government agencies.

You must ensure you’ve maintained your standing and are not in any way suspended from pre-approval considerations.

#8. You Must Have a Fully Function Website

You must have a fully operational, professional website where users can find all the details about your solutions. Your site should be designed to be user-friendly and comprehensive, ensuring users can easily navigate and discover the information they need.

Step #2: Take the Vendor Self-Assessment Eligibility Test and Submit

Check this Vendor Self-Assessment Eligibility Tool.

This handy little tool lets you quickly see if you’re on track to join the Pre-Approval@SMEsGoDigital Program. Before you dive into the application process, giving yourself a quick check-up is a good idea. Think of it as your playful way to ensure you’re ready to jump in and succeed.

Check this Vendor Self-Assessment Eligibility Tool.

Go through all the questions, and if all your answers are yes, you can proceed with the application process.

Step #3: Your Vendor Application

Step #3- Your Vendor Application

When you’re ready to submit your documents, you can do it through the super convenient SMEs Go Digital Pre-Approval System (SGDPAS). Just ensure you’ve checked off everything on the Vendor Self-Assessment Checklist and meet all the eligibility criteria.

Your submission must include all the essential documents. Think of it as a treasure hunt where every item brings you closer to approval. You’ll need:

  • Your ACRA profile
  • A solution usage report
  • Sample Terms and Conditions or contracts with SMEs
  • Contractual agreement with your Data Centre Service Provider
  • The C.V.s of your deployment personnel, an organization chart
  • The pricing for each solution package you’re applying for

 It sounds like a lot, but trust us, it’s worth it.

And here’s another critical step: nominate your Appointed Representative (AR). That should be a key member of your management team who’s ready to be the go-to person for IMDA. If there’s a change in your AR, give IMDA a heads-up as soon as possible.

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Step #4: The IMDA Evaluation

Step #4- The IMDA Evaluation

IMDA will dive into your completed submission and examine it to see if you meet the eligibility criteria.

They might also roll up their sleeves and request more detailed insights into your financial standing. They could even chat with your top brass to get the lowdown on your business model and solution. And don’t be surprised if they ring up five SMEs already benefiting from your solution to get the real scoop on its impact.

If your submission doesn’t hit the mark on eligibility or misses important documents, you’ll get a notice of rejection. Bummer, right? Keep everything complete and timely!

Your journey might also include an invite to show off your solution in a demo session. Keep it snappy, and make sure you highlight the key features.

Show them how your solution can supercharge SME productivity. If possible, put your solution in the spotlight with a live demonstration of the hardware and network it’s designed for.

Step #5: IMDA Approval

Step #5- IMDA Approval

You’ll receive a Letter of Appointment upon a successful application. That letter needs to be accepted via SGDPAS.

IMDA appoints the vendor for one year, but there’s a twist. They can opt to extend the appointment for another year.

Now, there’s a catch with the Pre-Approved@SMEsGoDigital program. The appointment only allows the vendor to sell the specific solution and version evaluated and pre-approved. It’s all about that solution—no switching or applying it to other versions or products.

And, just a heads up, this pre-approval isn’t a golden ticket. While it signifies that the solution has been evaluated, it’s not an endorsement from the government.

IMDA warns you against marketing it as government-endorsed or something along those lines.

On Approval

When you get approved for the Pre-Approved@SMEsGoDigital program, you can proudly display the Pre-Approved@SMEsGoDigital brand—just be sure to follow the Brand User Guide.

IMDA can spotlight your business and pre-approved solutions by featuring you on their website and other government portals. Don’t worry. It’s like free advertising.

They might also ask you to collaborate with them to showcase your solutions. It’s a fantastic opportunity to flaunt your innovations.

Plus, they could occasionally request some info from you, like through surveys, even up to three years after your official stint ends. That helps IMDA keep track of how beneficial your solutions are. So, gear up, stay in touch, and make the most of this exciting journey.

Step #7. Extending Your Appointment Period

Step #7. Extending Your Appointment Period

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) will closely examine how Pre-Approved@SMEsGoDigital vendors are doing during the 10th month of their initial contract.

Why? To figure out if they should extend the working relationship for another year. Yep, it’s decision time.

They have some key criteria to guide their choice:

  • Strong Track Record with Government Agencies:

You should have had a positive history of working with government agencies.

You shouldn’t be on any suspension list due to violations or non-compliance with the PreApproved@SMEsGoDigital Terms and Conditions and Code of Conduct.

  • No Unresolved Customer Complaints:

There should be no outstanding complaints from your customers.

  • Relevant Industry Solution:

Your solution should fulfill all the criteria outlined in the latest Vendor self-assessment checklist.

At least five customers should have adopted the solution with the support of the Productivity Solution Grant (PSG) by the 10th month of the current appointment contract.

Initiating a Change Request: Guidance for Pre-Approved@SMEsGoDigital Vendors

Do you have some services or offerings? Maybe there’s a policy update that needs attention? No worries! As a Pre-Approved@SMEsGoDigital Vendor, you can initiate a change request anytime. Just gather your supporting documents, and IMDA will take it from there.

Approval and Publication

Once your change request is submitted, it’ll be reviewed thoroughly. If it gets the green light, IMDA will make it official by publishing the changes on the respective government websites.

How to Withdraw Your Company, Agency, or Service from the PSG Vendor Program

How to Withdraw Your Company, Agency, or Service from the PSG Vendor Program

If you’re an ICM vendor thinking about stepping away from the Pre-Approved@SMEsGoDigital process, here’s the lowdown. Just drop a written note to IMDA letting them know you’re pulling out.

There is no need to explain why; it is as simple as that. Once you inform them, IMDA will neatly file away all the information you’ve shared.

Remember that any fees you’ve paid until that point are non-refundable.

But here’s the silver lining: you can always come back. If you decide to re-apply for the Pre-Approved@SMEsGoDigital status down the road, it’s like hitting the reset button. Your fresh application will go through the whole shebang again—four stages: paperwork, fees, and the work.

So, whether you’re hitting pause or charging ahead, you’ve got options.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.

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