Loh, Geok Cheng Priscilla
Powering Towards Operations Excellence at Kim Tiong.
[Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]
Success in today's challenging and unpredictable global business environments is marked by the ability to push the boundaries of the operations to a greater height by speed, efficiency and effectiveness. A Small Medium Enterprise (SME) company, like us, Kim Tiong Enterprises continually questions the conventional ways of performances, and always on the look out to embrace fresh paradigms to redefine the operational perspectives and create new solutions that transcend the company into extraordinary.
The dawn of the twenty-first century is characterized by pervasive change throughout the global economy. The ability to rapidly adapt to change and more importantly, drive that change, has become a survival factor for firms across the economic spectrum. With this active and adaptive mindset, I am tasked to study the operations of our company in Singapore and identify the key business areas that need to be improved significantly in its operations in order to meet its strategic objectives and fulfill its mission statements. Undisputedly, operations management is crucial to every business.
Back in the days of the early eighties, Kim Tiong Enterprises was formed with only one ship-chandling business unit. As the company spreads its wings and expands, another three business units like the marine offshore supply, pharmaceutical and marine diesel supply are formed. This expansion allows the company to create the profile of a business mix, enlarge its products and services offerings but in the meantime, it poses insurmountable challenges.
Through the business process analysis (BPA), it kicks off with the attempts to identify and eliminate the non-value adding activities as these activities add cost to our operations but not the values and reduce the ROA, ROE and profit margins of our company. Although each of these four business units is re-structured to streamline the processes and is confronted with different set of challenges and problems, the aim for every unit to further improve performance is similar.
Once the areas for further improvements are identified, relevant approaches are recommended and introduced for applications such as the Just In Time management for Ship-Chandling unit; Focused Operations and Total Quality Management for Marine Offshore Supply unit; Lean Operations for Pharmaceutical unit; Order Management Cycle for Marine Diesel Supply unit and Supply Chain Management for the centralized operations to emerge ahead of the competition.
In the fundamental move to realign the processes through fresh approaches, pharmaceutical and marine offshore supply experience constant sales turnover while ship-chandling and marine diesel supply unit suffered drastic dips in the first quarter of this year but only picked up in the later part of the year. Generally, improvements are observed across the board ranging from the supply chain, operations, servicing to marketing but the various units reckon that better performances can still be further enhanced.
By incorporating the recommendations within the Hill's framework, challenges are transformed into opportunities and problems into successes but areas like the Human Resource Management, e-business, strategy execution, etc require further attention as these factors will impact our business units, affect our performances and dampen our sales turnover tremendously. The winning spirit entails more than achieving colorful sales performance. Scale is defined not just by a company's sales turnover; the human contribution plays an equally important role; the formation of an effective task force to implement the recommendations; the ability to penetrate business operations through the information technology is just as essential and the successful executions of the corporate strategy will ensure sustainable success for the company.
Indeed, in a competitive dynamic business world whereby operations is the core function and if this essential function is supported by other functions such as the sales, marketing and human resources, then continuous success will be within our reach. Coupled to these, the belief in fostering cohesive relationships with all its stakeholders - by they staff, business partners or customers - where each individual contributes to the overall achievement of the company will shape and lead our company to greater heights.
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