Sunday, December 27, 2009

Something for deliberation (21)

Went for trekking with my sons this morning. Later, we went to the stall at the park for breakfast. I finished my nasi lemak ( rice cook with coconut milk, eaten with fried dry chili paste ). Then my youngest son asked his brother, "what is this long thing in the chili paste?". Without my spectacles, I told him, "it must be the chili not properly grounded!". On closer look, the brother said, "it's a cockroach, pa!"

Everything stopped for a moment. Customers at the next table looked over. The nasi lemak was well liked here, so many customers would have taken the same food as we did.

I called for the operator and showed him the culprit. Upon seeing that , he apologised profusely to me. He took out his phone and called the supplier saying he would complain and get him to come over.

I didn't wait for the supplier to come. I asked for the bill. The operator said it's on him and I said no, "those food which were clear, I will pay except the one which was not".

Before I left, the operator explained, "I am very sorry for the incident. Hope you understand that I don't cook and prepare the food. I buy from people to sell. ( He felt the explanation was needed because I come here to eat whenever I come here trekking )

I said, "Fine! That point I can understand. There is a cockroach found in the rice, what is your action? You have to do your part, play your role with responsibility. Don't be out of business because the food other people cook which you are selling is not hygienic, when you provide good service and are well liked by the customers for your good PR? You have to do quality control. You cannot keep quiet and keep buying from this people.

My point is this :
You don't cook the food, so if it's unhygienic , that is the fault of the cook; if you buy food from cook who cannot cook clean food ( after bringing the matter to his attention ), then it's your fault. You are being more irresponsible, in fact. Don't just blame the cook for not cooking the food in a clean way, you too can help in that matter by playing your role RIGHT!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Something for deliberation (20)

As a businessman, profit margin from the selling price or cost has little meaning. Profit margin must be seen from the context of time that one needs to spend to make that amount. It's not how much one gets to make from the selling price that is important but how much time needs to be spent to earn that amount!
The same reasoning should apply when the same businessman becomes a customer, consumer, when he buys a service or product : Higher price does not necessarily mean it's more expensive and cheaper price does not necessarily mean it's cheaper.
Can customers be made to understand this point? Would they consider this point when the price quoted to them is different i.e higher? What if the difference in price is justified by the inclusion of add value?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Something for deliberation (19)

I come across this statement in an advertisement : Quality is our product. Service is our business. This organisation that put up the advertisement did not say / see that X which they are producing is not their product and producing X is not their business. What a perception!!

It got me thinking ; what is our business then and what is it we are selling?

Is it fabrication and installation? Production? Contracting?

I want to make service as our business and quality as our product. This is a powerful statement. The focus of the business must be very clear and precise. One has to be sure of the company business, to strengthen the company's positioning, to direct the company along the journey to where she wants to be / go.
I shall be deliberating further on this.......

Something for deliberation (18)

It's very common in our line to have customers complaining that our price is expensive because others are quoting, advertising for the purportedly same job cheaper.

What makes the price?

Do all customers only look at the price based on what they are charged to decide which company charges cheaper? Would they consider other features such as convenience, ease of communicating & coordinating the job, after sales service alongside the price to decide which company charges cheaper?

Something for deliberation (17)

If one's business can get bust if one doesn't get paid for the job, how can credit be given indiscreetly? How can there be no management over credit?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Samples of aluminium frame and glass for casement window

Above photos are the standard types of aluminium frame and glass being used to make casement window. Besides the natural anodised, medium bronze, champagne gold for the window frame, there are also close to twenty colours to choose for powder coating.
As for the glass, there are clear, tinted ( dark,blue,green,bronze ), reflective ( blue and green ) glass to choose for the window.

Something for deliberation (16)

There have been cases of business, companies big and small, closing down or winding up because they couldn't get paid for the goods or jobs delivered. When competition is high, you will find profit margin low. The squeeze does not only come from lower margin but also from longer term of payment.

The smaller you are, the harder you will be hit insofar as operating business in a tough environment is concerned. When the time comes to pay supplier and subcontractor, smaller sized businesses will have more problems if they cannot pay. More often than not, the bosses will have direct dealing or negotiation in the transaction and there is practically no" buffer layer" in avoiding commitment that is due.

Big company, organisation will have their managers to deal with smaller sized businessmen and it is easier if these gentlemen say " account has not prepared, processed the payment ; account has overlooked your case ", " the company is holding on your payment". When this happens, the latter have to start "rummaging the bush in the forest to hunt for the rabbit", to meet his commitment.

The headache faced is one thing. Many can accept it as part of the job hazards. But there are some who have to close shop because their customers cannot pay them.

This brings me to the points I want to highlight in this posting :

1) How much does the knowhow and skill that are involved in the business that have been closed down really worth? And I say, if any business had to close shop under such circumstances, then their knowhow and skill did not worth much, if there were indeed knowhow and skill involved!!

2) Knowhow / skill alone is not enough to run a business. It can be an integral part but it is not the whole thing. It can be one important thing but it is not everything. There are other important parts that complement to make the business run competitively......

About the other parts, " I shall return ".

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Something for deliberation (15)

When the "fact of the matter" is such : There is surely more than one way to get X done and you are definitely not the only one who can do that, then knowing how to play a role, to complement the overall process is more important than knowing how to do a specific job / task.

Somebody needs to play that specific role which is very important but no player is indispensable.
As has been said, there is no indispensable man in a business, company. In larger context, not even in any country in this world.

China had moved on after Deng XiaoPeng and is still moving forward. Singapore will still continue to grow even without Mr Lee Kuan Yew at the helm

Something for deliberation (14)

I was told of this story that the management of a private hospital telling their doctors to treat every patient in the hospital as their customer and that wasn't received very well by some of the doctors.

This was the rationalisation given : If I had to treat them so well and important, wouldn't that make me as a doctor being less important, significant in status, qualification than the patients. Well, after all I am the doctor and I am needed to treat them!

Well, I believe everybody has his reason, point to believe what he wants to believe. The perception plays a very important role in shaping one's belief.

If one, be it doctor, lawyer, engineer, accountant, architect, sees oneself as the specialist with the attitude "I definitely know more than you", the service aspect of the job rendered will not be satisfactory. One the other hand, if one carries out the job from "doing business or a businessman" standpoint and has the perception that nothing happens unless something happens at the marketplace, then I believe, the result will be far more satisfactory.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Something for deliberation (13)

Few days ago, I said that being able to work as a team is more important than knowing how to do certain job in the wider context of renovation and sub-construction line. Why did I say so?

The marketplace is getting smaller with the help of technology, especially the information and communication technology. Who is selling X and where are they? Who is doing Y and where are they? It is not hard to know that : If not through Internet, there are advertisement through many medium.

If you look hard enough, you will find that there is "not just one clinic or accounting / secretarial firm around". If doctors, lawyers, accountants, engineers, architects are not exempted from the competition and challenge brought about by the opening up of the market, what make other professionals and skilled men otherwise ?

Professionals and skilled workers under one organisation / company, nowadays, have to be able to work as a team, with each playing a role to get the job done, contribute to the larger goal. This should be the perception. The emphasis must be on service.

When you accept the "fact of the matter" that you are "not the only guy around who can do X" and, " it always take more than one guy to get X done", you should understand the importance of being able to work as a team and providing service. This "fact of the matter" is especially true in renovation and sub-construction line.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Something for deliberation (12)

In free market or what they call open economy, if supply is more than demand, price MUST go down. In the context of doing business, providing a service, if there are more people who can do a certain job of which you are also doing, then that skill will become a commodity and it is subject to the forces of demand and supply.

Showroom cum office - plain gypsum board partition

Plain gypsum board partition which come with the paint colour of the customer's choice, that is the main reason the plain gypsum board is used instead of the vinyl gypsum board.

The finishing after the painting will give the partition a brick wall's look.

With the partition constructed under the suspended ceiling system which uses 2'0" x 4'0" gypsum ceiling board, you can have a very strong partition wall.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Partition - Aluminium mesh

Aluminium mesh is used as the infill to make security door, grille, fence and partition as illustrated in the the photos of this posting.

It can also be used for making machinery guards, security enclosures, decorative cum security screens, open air shelves and etc.

There are numerous benefits in choosing the aluminium mesh for the above mentioned usage/ purpose, namely, anti-rust, fire proof, vermin proof, good visibility, easy passage of air and light while ensuring security and protection.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Modern office theme.....less is more (3)

When the set up and furnishing is neat, organised, uncluttered, there will be less visual stress and distraction because what is soothing to the eyes will give a calming effect to the mind.

One part of the jobs of designing is to create illusions ; knowledge and experience to work on what is there, on one part, and making the eyes believe what is not there, on another part.

Modern office theme - less is more (2)

Many modern offices nowadays are favouring the "less is more" theme or trend even when space are not a constraint.

If it is of no use, don't put it there ; if it is not necessary to be so big or many, don't make it so.
That is a good guide to setting up one's office with minimalist theme.
I have this to share about the minimalist theme or style in furnishing and setting up one's office :
the main point is to keep every other things pure and purposeful while ensuring the form follows function.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Something for deliberation (11)

I went to get some document printed at this stationery shop which also provides the service of getting name cards and company's rubber stamps done.
The boss was telling one customer that the price for getting the rubber stamp done was X Ringgit and it would take one week to deliver the goods. If the customer wanted it in one day's time, it could be arranged but the price would be 30% more. And the customer agreed to it.

I believe in some other industry, this concept is also being practised. In our industry, renovation and sub-construction, very often we find customers compare strictly on price. If it is acceptable that it costs you more to have the rubber stamp done faster, why is it not so when you can get the job done faster by company A that company B cannot give you?

Everybody agrees that time is money. When you could save time, you save money. Is it not so?

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