I have personally experienced a situation whereby one of my business competitors decided to take a screenshot of my company’s logo from our website and submit it as his own trademark. Fortunately, we spotted the submission within 2 months of the submission date and were able to challenge his application. This was an important learning experience for me on the importance of protecting your trademark early.
We may think that trademark registration is an expensive and difficult process that requires us to hire a consultant. Surprisingly, it is easier than we imagined. By doing some research online, I figured out that I can DIY my trademark application.
How to submit your trademark application yourself
Log on to the web portal by IPOS (Intellectual Property Office of Singapore) called IP2SG (URL: https://www.ip2.sg). You can login to this site using your Singpass or Corpass to submit your trademark registration.
You can apply for trademark protection by submitting an online form for trademark registration. There are a lot of forms on the portal, because IPOS deals with not just trademark, but also other intellectual property like patents and copyright as well. That makes it a little intimidating. However it is actually quite simple. The form that you need to pay attention to for registering trademark in Singapore is Form TM4.
The awesome folks at IPOS had come up with a simple step-by-step manual on how to fill up form TM4. You can download the PDF of the user manual via the following link: TM4 User Manual
In a nutshell, what you need to do is to specify your company’s detail, trademark detail and also specify the classes of trademark which you wish to apply for. A trademark class, to put it simply, is the category/industry in which you want your trademark to be protected. For example, two companies happen to have the same name, Subway Shots. One is a photography service company while the other is selling hard liquor. They will most likely register the same name under two different trademark classes, according to the industry they are in. The fee for trademark registration is on a per class basis, which makes it costly to register your trademark across all classes.
Extending your Singapore trademark Internationally
Later on, when you wish to extend your Singaporean trademark internationally, you can submit the form MM2, which is for extending your Singaporean trademark to other countries participating in the Madrid Protocol. This should be done after you have gotten your local trademark approved. For details on how to do this, you can take a look at the user manual provided by IPOS. The PDF can be downloaded here: MM2 User Guide
During my filing, I found that the officers of IPOS to be very helpful on my queries. They are consistently supported me during my DIY trademark applications.
For DIY registration of Singapore trademark, the fee is about $240 to $374 per class. For more details of Trademark registration & the fees, visit this link: IPOS Trademark information
When it comes to managing inventory, easy is the last word that comes to any inventory manager or business owner handling inventory. However, it can be a breeze if it’s done properly and with the right software.
With Equip Inventory management software you will be able to solve common issues like:
Not having enough inventory
By using our low stock quantity alerts for individual inventory you can ensure that you will always have enough stock for your business to operate smoothly.
Inaccurate Inventory Tracking
Losing stock equates to losing money. Avoid losing money by being able to keep track of every single product in your inventory and it’s location should you have multiple warehouses or storage locations.
Too much inventory
Avoid spending unnecessarily on stock that you already have, especially if it’s perishables. By using our stock control software you will be able to see all stock levels in your inventory and make sure you have the right levels of stock at the right time, ensuring maximum cash flow for your business.
Not knowing when to purchase stock
With our real time updates and reports on your inventory via our cloud based inventory management software, you will be able to have the information as to when you should buy your next round of goods.
High costs of an inventory management or stock control software are usually factors why companies don’t invest in a proper inventory management software.
The real question is, in the 21st century, how can businesses afford not to have management software for their inventory? Besides fixed assets, inventory is usually the largest priced asset of any business. Allowing those assets to go unchecked, unregulated, and unsupervised, as it goes from supplier to consumer leads to a decrease in profits. Meanwhile, the return on investment for management systems is enormous. The five main areas where businesses usually see ROI are in: Managing inventory, as noted above, excess stock, or a lack of stock, can cost you. Warehouses can cut costs by not purchasing inventory until it’s needed and can earn price breaks by ordering in larger quantities. Maximizing labour- Getting the most out of employees without wasting their time, including in the training of new employees, is crucial, and increased productivity is a hallmark of quality inventory management software.
Satisfying customers- Beyond your business benefitting from good customer service, satisfying customer orders also prevents your company from violating service-level agreements.
With the government being committed to help more small and medium enterprises (SME’s) transform digitally to stay in business amidst tech disruption, having an idea of where to start off can be a big question.
At Edgeworks we recommend starting off from the core part of any business, the backend.
In Singapore, most SME’s still use the conventional excel sheet or even the traditional pen and paper method to keep track of stock which leads to high rates of error. Without accurate accounting of how much inventory a business has, where that inventory is located and what will be needed to complete incoming and future orders, no company can run efficiently enough to turn a profit and generate growth. Shockingly, inventory inefficiency is common for many businesses in Singapore. Inaccurate inventory records create a higher lead time (the time between the initiation and execution of a process), which means a slower response to demand, market changes and stock outs. This, in turn, can create customer disapproval when products aren’t available as needed. For small businesses, the margin for error is too small not to meet required demand (only about 50 percent of small businesses survive past four years). Plus, a shorter lead time has become an important source of competitive advantage. By understanding what’s key in the inventory and stock take process we have developed efficient ways for you as a business owner to manage and improve on your stock and inventory processes. Check with us today to see how our software can help your business grow and stay relevant in today’s business landscape.
Save time and money Automated inventory will in save you time that now allows you to spend on identifying your best sellers and ensuring they are sufficiently stocked. What’s more, updating inventory is now one less administrative task for you to do, so you can use your time to promote and expand your business. Our software has the option to go cloud based, allowing you to access information about your stock from anywhere. This means that if you can provide access to your staff if you have a remote office, a remote workforce or just someone who has to use the ERP system while at home or while away at a conference.
Setting goods restock levels It’s one thing to have your stock automatically update across all of your channels, but what about when you need to order more stock? Most (good) inventory systems come with a preset reorder value that automatically sends off a purchase order to your supplier. Our Equip management system has a built-in reporting element to save you time when identifying your viral products. In business, stock is the greatest asset, so forecasting and planning for your popular items is vital to increase sales over multiple channels.
Reduce Human Error As your business expands, you face increased pressure to send out the correct product at the appropriate time and to the exact location, while ensuring your product is of good quality. As these orders are processed, the risk for human error grows because the orders must be assigned to specific warehouses and handled by several members of different teams. Our software allows for businesses to streamline their warehouse operations because the software collects information in one centralized place, administrators can easily manage the stock in multiple locations as well as any 3rd party partners. This streamlines management of the entire stock process and helps improve delivery times, in effect increasing customer satisfaction.
Manage stock and customers Manually updating your stock across all of your channels can be a very tiresome process. You can feel like you are up to your eyeballs in spreadsheets, especially if you have a large product range. Here is where the issue of overselling and underselling materializes, when you manually manage your inventory. Prevent disappointing your customer by informing them that the product is no longer available. With our inventory management software you will automatically be able to update your stock across all of your channels to avoid this problem.
By having an inventory software does not mean that your business will automatically improve its inventory management processes. Here are some problems that businesses face when dealing with inventory management software and how we at Edgeworks Solutions solve them.
Problem no.1 – Not planning your product Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) properly
The number one problem that customers face is the lack of knowledge of planning their product SKU numbers because they do not understand the importance of having one. By not planning ahead and listing your products properly with an SKU, there is an increased likelihood of:
Having either not enough serial numbers for a certain product range leading to different numbers for the same product Confusion amongst different products with similar SKUs.
Problem no.2 – Not having a barcode software
Having a barcode software is a must when it comes to inventory software as it not only saves time but also manpower. It allows for easy tracking and access to real time data on the inventory management system information about the stock.
Problem no.3 – Not setting a low stock quantity reminder
Not having stock when your customer needs is one of the last problems you want to have as a business owner. Yet this is something that happens very often when a low stock quantity reminder is not set especially once business is in full operation.
With our inventory management software we can set reminders for individual items, allowing staff and managers to react to low stock for certain items and order them in time.
Problem no.4 – Not using reports to help you make important decisions
Reports is a very important thing when it comes to inventory management and stock control. Reports allow you to have a bird’s eye view of your business from the back-end perspective and this allows you to make quick decisions like planning stock ordering schedules, planning delivery schedules to your outlets, negotiating prices with your suppliers or adjusting selling prices of your products to make up for sudden changes in the economy or business environment to stay ahead of your competitors.
So having an inventory system or an inventory management software is just the first step to helping you organize and increase efficiency in your business. Learning how to use it and making sure the software has the right features to help your business is also key.
Our E-quip Inventory System is based off feedback from our clients and developed in such a way to improve efficiency and minimize stock errors so that you can spend more time elsewhere, like increasing sales!