16 July 2012

Chapter 5: Kedidi's Recommendation

            Based on my experiences as intern in Global Factor Sdn. Bhd (GFSB), I would like to suggest a few suggestions that hopefully will change the business nature, style and mindset. An outsider reviews or suggestion is fairly important as for check and balance. Mr. Abdul Razak once said that the staff can’t see problems clearly because they have been part of the system for too long. They need someone from the outside to give them some productive views so that they can improve. This is not a perfect proposal. Listed below are three points that I would like to highlight.

i.                    Sales and marketing
Sales are not marketing. Sales should create revenue for company. Company depends on salesperson for revenue. That is not enough to achieve sales target. On next subsection, I will explain about sales.
While marketing activities are numerous and varied because they basically include everything needed to get a product off the drawing board and into the hands of the customer. The broad field of marketing includes activities such as:
a.      Designing the product so it will be desirable to customers by using tools such as marketing research and pricing.
b.      Promoting the product so people will know about it by using tools such as public relations, advertising, and marketing communications.
c.       Setting a price and letting potential customers know about our product and making it available to them.
A market researcher (or marketing director or marketing manager) works together with advertising and promotion managers to promote an organization's products. Using surveys and buying habit statistics marketing managers estimate the demand for products and services and identify markets for products. Marketing managers also help to develop pricing strategies to maximize profits and market share while making sure that customers remain satisfied. In collaboration with sales, product development, and others, they monitor demographic/sociological trends relative to the need for new products and often have a major role in product development.
In smaller and mid-size businesses marketing and sales are often just one department and a Sales & Marketing Manager is a typical position. In brief, hire a good manager is very vital!

ii.                  Production
Production means the development and creation of goods and services using resources to stimulate exchange. It is the physical output of a manufacturing or service company. Production  involves three processes – raw materials, work in process and finished goods. Means of production refer to the concept which combines the means of worker and the subject of worker. Means of worker simply means all the things which require worker to transform it. Subject of worker means the material to work on.
Therefore, production is the combined resources and equipment needed to come up with goods or service. Having a Chief of Production (Production manager) will boost the production efficiency.

iii.                Employee training
Staff development or employee training refers to the processes, programs and activities through which every organization develops, enhances and improves the skills, competencies and overall performance of its employees and workers. The human resource department is generally vested with the task and responsibilities of staff development.

Implementation of proposals:

i.                    Sales and marketing
a.      Use a sales pitch to catch people’s attention
b.      Develop catchy slogan or memorable logo to use on all marketing material.
c.       Describe product to potential customers.
d.      Research the target clients. Clients are most important concern. We need to know customers' needs, wants, likes and dislikes. Once we know their needs, we can market our product or service to meet those needs. Also find out their ages and where they live. All this information helps we understand our customers.
e.      Create marketing materials. Design brochures and fliers to hand out to potential customers. Or hire a graphic designer if we want something professionally made.
f.        Develop a plan of action. Outline our steps. Know who we are marketing to and how we will market our material. Marketing is not a one-time event.
g.      Put our plan into action. Designate time for cold calling and emailing. Fliers and brochures will bring in customers at random. Calling and emailing reaches clients directly. Make calling, emailing and sending out marketing material all part of our marketing strategy.
h.      Test our strategy. Find out how well our plan is working by looking at our new customers and clients. Re-evaluate our plan. Find our strengths and weaknesses. Change our plan to suit our needs. Know what our competitors are doing and change our plan accordingly.

ii.                  Production
In production, there are two types of production. They are batch and flow production. Batch production is refers to a specific group of components, which go through a production process together. As one batch finishes, the next one starts. For example on Monday, Machine A produces a type 1 marker part, on Tuesday it produces a type 2 marker part, on Wednesday a type 3 and so on. All marker parts will then go forward to the final assembly of different categories of marker parts.
Batch production is described as 'intermittent' production and is characterised by irregularity. If the rest period in batch production disappeared it would then become flow production. Flow production is therefore a continuous process of parts and sub-assemblies passing on from one stage to another until completion.
Units are worked upon in each operation and then passed straight on to the next work stage without waiting for the batch to be completed. To make sure that the production line can work smoothly each operation must be of standard lengths and there should be no movements or leakages from the line, i.e. hold-ups to work-in-progress.
 Although with modern robotics it is possible to create variations in products being produced through continuous flow techniques, typically such products will be relatively standardised.
For flow production to be successful there needs to be:
a.      A continuity of demand. If demand varied, this could lead to a constant overstocking of finished goods.
b.      Pre-production planning to make sure that raw materials are purchased and delivered just-in-time, that sufficient labour is employed and that there is continuous attention to quality throughout the production process.

Shown below are benefits of flow production:

a.      Ease of using just-in-time techniques to eliminate waste and minimise costs
b.      Labour and other production costs will be reduced through detailed planning and the use of robotics and automation
c.       Deviations in the line can be quickly spotted through ongoing quality control techniques
d.      As there is no rest between operations, work-in-progress levels can be kept low
e.      Minimal storage space requirement.
f.        Minimal physical handling of items.
g.      Investment in raw materials and parts are quickly converted into sales
h.      Control is easy.    

iii.                Employee training
I suggest GFSB should focus and emphasis their strength on employee training. Human resource department will play their role in developing their staff. The HR Department typically charts out a workable staff development roadmap comprising training programs and initiatives to align with the corporate objectives and long-term organizational goals. Staff development programs are highly metrics-driven. The goal is to see measurable improvements in staff performance and overall productivity in the medium-to-long term period.
Listed below is the benefits gained from staff development:

a.      Emphasis in all staff development programs is on improving and enhancing skills of employees and making them competitive on all fronts.
b.      Seek the role of relevant external training agencies, specialized coaches and other consultants to supplement internally-developed staff development programs.
c.       Staff development is a continuous process and involves meticulous and rigorous planning by the HR team and company.

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