Company Background

Mr Happy Lim, started Premier Precision Industry Pte Ltd (PPI) more than 70 years ago. The company was set up in Singapore in 1996 and specialises in precision plastic injection moulding and has operations in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia China, & Philippines. Their clients are mainly from the Automotive sector and count Takata, Kiekert, Toyota, Hyundai, Citroen, Audi, Honda, Volkswagen, among others as their customers. Occasionally, they will receive and process orders for producing plastic injection moulding used by airlines and toy parts manufacturers. In 2020, when the company moved to its present location, it streamlined its production processes and invested heavily in R&D to cater to more complexed clients’ requirements. The improved facilities enabled better and more consistent quality products to be produced.

Mr Happy Lim had the opportunity to attend Singapore Polytechnic’s AMLead Programme Nov 2022 in Germany to have the first-hand opportunity to learn from the Best-in-Class on the possibilities of i4.0 technology adoption, to improve productivity and competitiveness. He was impressed with the range of i4.0 technology applications for manufacturing, how it transformed manufacturing activities and how people capabilities and jobs should be developed and designed.

At the beginning of the year, the management team comprising MD, COO and CFO decided to penetrate the airlines and toy parts market as part of their business expansion plan as the orders from these segments is growing steadily. They are also looking into improving their operating manufacturing efficiency, i4.0 technologies to track and monitor the entire precision plastic injection moulding production, storage and distribution processes. Ideally, they would like to arrive at a “lights-off” stage where they can leave the manufacturing processes to run from start to finish for the large majority of the time.

Below are some of the key points noted by the HR manager when she went around interviewing various company stakeholders.

Challenges faced by the Company

• Issues like delayed production, waste, and poor planning hamper business growth.

• Learned from AMLead Programme and saw manufacturers are now abandoning static business processes and automating them.

• No effective ways or means to manage operations and forecast supply and demand.

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• Range of platforms and devices being used; not able to holistically have oversight of business operations and activities.

• Logistics processes are paper based and not linked to their Manufacturing Execution System (MES), and data must be manually transferred.

• Production activities getting more complexed especially with new products, crucial for company to prevent and minimize defects.

Growth of Company

• Aspire to be the top 5 precision plastic injection moulding in Singapore in the next 5 years.

• Wants to expand business to include airlines and toy parts market.

• Automation, technology and Big Data analysis the way ahead for business competitiveness.

• No strategy or roadmap yet; current plans are devised by the senior management only, comprising MD, CFO and COO.

Process, People, Technology

• How can we use algorithms and data to effectively manage operations and forecast supply and demand?

• How can management and key personnel have oversight of business operations and activities?

• How can we automate our production process so they can digitally, in online/real time, inform the subsequent departments and even their end customers what stage of the manufacturing process their products are at?

• How can we reduce machine downtime and improve operating manufacturing efficiency?

• Majority of skilled employees are more than 50 years old and mostly are non-SC.

• Existing employees have low levels of digital skills and resist looking at data to make operational decisions. How can we train them to improve their digital skills and use of data?

• New hires especially ITE and Poly graduates often quit within 3 months, citing shift work and low pay as key push factors to quit.

• How can we attract younger employees to join the company?

Section A (100 marks)

Answer all questions in this section.

Question 1

Use the steps in the Active Improvement Approach to measurement and reporting and appraise what needs to be performed for each step by PPI.

Word limit: 600 words (20 marks)

Question 2

Propose two types of data with examples that will be essential for HR project measurement and evaluation in PPI’s case and explain how these can support the achievement of PPI’s business goals and objectives.

Word limit: 600 words (20 marks)

Question 3

Analyse PPI situation using the Fish Bone Diagram to identify the problem and possible root cause(s). After, appraise the suitability of using the Fish Bone Diagram for PPI situation.

Word limit: 600 words (20 marks)

Question 4

PPI intends to adopt i4.0 technologies for the company. The CEO has tasked you to construct a checklist comprising five (5) criteria so that he can evaluate the technology solution consultant objectively. To help him in his evaluation of the technology solution consultant, he requires two questions per criterion to evaluate the suitability of the technology solution consultant in meeting PPI’s needs.

Word limit: 600 words (20 marks)

Question 5

The CEO is interested to find out about the effectiveness of technology adoption training workshops conducted for employees. Design a project evaluation plan and use the Kirkpatrick Evaluation Model to evaluate the effectiveness of such training workshops.

Word limit: 600 words (20 marks)

Answers to Above Questions on Human Capital

Answer 1: There are many such steps included in the active improvement approach to measurement and reporting that can be utilised by Premier Precision Industry Pty Limited in order to effectively address the challenges and improve their performance. The important steps included within this model are to identify the process that affects its operations, measure the process and perform its analysis, achieve improvement and therebu control to ensure proper management.

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