• Madani Sahari

Intrapreneurship enhances productivity, creativity

IT is a challenging feat ahead among automotive players as Malaysia embarks on becoming the energy efficient vehicle (EEV) manufacturing hub in the region.

The call will not only demand for quality output of parts and components throughout the entire automotive supply chain but more importantly, the vendors are expected to participate as players in the components design, development and manufacturing, together with the automotive assemblers or Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).

The vendors’ ability to participate in parts development is now more crucial as most OEMs are adopting the modular assembly concept.

The system has demonstrated better cost benefits and high efficiency in the final assembly operations.

In the modular approach, pre-assembled modules are procured by the OEMs from only a handful of suppliers, as opposed to their traditional approach in which individual components are procured from numerous suppliers for their assembly operations.

The local automotive manufacturers have in the last few years introduced the multi-tiered modular practice in their operations.

The decision has led to the division of suppliers into various tiers, depending on the types of components supplied.

The base suppliers, or the Tier-1 suppliers, pre-assemble the modules which they in turn outsource components from Tier-2 vendors. Similar arrangements proceed between Tier-2 and Tier-3 vendors.

The modular assembly approach demands high production management abilities among its Tier-1 suppliers to ensure quality modules are supplied and meet the required delivery time frame. Putting in place quality management, such as the Lean Production System (LPS), among vendors is prerequisite.

To effectively manage the entire operation, as well as be able to participate in the components development, motivation and creativity among employees in the Tier-1 companies are central to their success, both in products and processes developments and the on-line production operation.

One structural change that deserves attention, especially among Tier-1 vendors, to motivate and to inculcate creativity, among their employees is the introduction of “entrepreneurship” concept in their respective organisations.

It is commonly accepted that employees with entrepreneurial drive are the ones that are passionate in their work as well as most motivated and creative.

Entrepreneurs are inside entrepreneurs among employees in organisations that undertake to solve problems without being asked to do so.

They are the driving force behind the innovation and creativity in the companies and help to transform ideas into savings.

Those that are engaged in special projects, such as component design and development, should be encouraged to behave as entrepreneurs in their modes operand, even though they have the resources, capabilities and security of the company to draw upon.

They are rewarded accordingly for being able to deliver results, meeting the set criteria and time frame.

It is therefore extremely important for the institutes of higher learning to teach the basics of entrepreneurship to undergraduates. Whether every graduate becomes entrepreneur is immaterial.

The entrepreneurial spirit and skills can help to mold the graduates into becoming entrepreneurs at their workplace upon entering the employment market.

Bi-model University is one academic center in the country for both entrepreneurial and entrepreneurial courses.

The university can be the reference point for automotive vendors to initiate their entrepreneurial development within their organisations.

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