Thursday, July 28, 2005

First Sumiden embarks on a lean journey

Business Times p.B3

By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM
First Sumiden embarks on a lean journey

IN its bid to curtail rising costs of production and remain competitive and profitable, First Sumiden Circuits, Inc., is undertaking a major revamp of its processes, structures, supply chain and customer interaction with what is known as lean manufacturing.

What is lean manufacturing (LM)?

LM is a series of proven techniques that cause work tasks in a process to be performed with minimum of waste resulting in greatly reduced wait time, queue time and other delays. It involves identifying and eliminating nonvalue-adding activities in design, production, supply chain management and in dealing with customers.

As waste is eliminated from processes, it takes less work and less material to manufacture products, so productivity increases. Higher productivity means making more products with the same amount of resources, so product costs go down. Other than reducing waste, the benefits of lean manufacturing are:

• Improved response time of a multiproduct line
• Improved quality
• Reduced manufacturing cost and inventory cost
• Improved productivity
• Improved customer-response time
• Gain in market share
• Improved revenues

In May First Sumiden hired the services of Dennis Hobbs, president of Manufacturing Matters, Colorado, USA, to conduct for its operations team a weeklong implementation training on lean manufacturing. By end of this year, lean manufacturing will be fully implemented in the whole manufacturing operations areas and by next year, First Sumiden will apply Lean Principles in its administrative areas. LM is being dovetailed with its current Six Sigma and other existing quality initiatives to accelerate organizational and environmental changes.

From these improvements, First Sumiden projects a savings of up to 20 percent of production space which can be used in the future expansion of its operations. It is looking at reduced manufacturing cycle time and improved inventory turns. LM will allow First Sumiden to meet customer expectations for lead time, on-time delivery and profitability as it competes in the demanding global market.

With LM, First Sumiden is now uncovering its nonproductive capacity. It is looking at stock-keeping, kitting and material handling. Later, it will remove a good deal of wait time, downtime, rework and scrap. It also hopes to eliminate firefighting and other time-wasting practices. Eventually it will be able to grow its business while maximizing labor efficiency.

Dan Lachica, First Sumiden president, says that all these initiatives are major determined steps toward its entry into the big league by strengthening competitiveness in the global electronics market.

THANK YOU! The Rotary Club of Quezon City North together with Principal Avelina Salvador and 114 teachers at The Tatalon Elementary School are grateful to those who are making their four-Saturday Accelerated Learning Workshop possible. Early sponsors are Adrian and Ronjie Aquino, PDG Meliton Salazar, Noemi and Deo Salumbides, Rosan Salcedo, Ma. Lirio EscaƱo and Mila and Ardel Fadri. It is not late; the workshop will still run on July 30, August 6 & 13. Please call 0917-8996653 or e-mail pa­ for details on how to contribute or, if you are a Rotary club, how to conduct the workshop in your favorite public school. Remember: gawa, hindi ngawa!

(Moje, president of Paradigms & Paradoxes Corp. and RCQC North, awaits your feedback at

Thursday, July 21, 2005

The successful saga of First Sumiden

Business Times p.B3
Thursday, July 21, 2005

By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM
The successful saga of First Sumiden

IN its first attempt at applying for the Philippine Quality Award, First Sumiden Circuits Inc. immediately gained recognition for proficiency in quality management. This means First Sumiden has achieved significant progress in building sound processes.

A little backgrounder: In February 2001, PQA was institutionalized through Republic Act 9013 as a global competitive template for private and public organizations in the country, patterned after the US Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

Actually, the saga of First Sumiden is not an overnight success. It started during its start-up period (1996-99) when it laid the foundation of its work systems and procedures. Some of the major initiatives it undertook were:

• ISO 9002 certification in 1998
• ISO 14001 certification in 1999
• Lopez Group ESH Program in 1999
• Tinig Sumiden (Employee Suggestion Program) in 1999
• Perfect Attendance Award in 1999

First Sumiden draws its strength from its stakeholders, i.e., Sumitomo Electric Industries Inc. (SEI), First Philippine Holdings Corp. (FPHC) and Sumitomo Corp. Being one of the global leaders in the manufacture of flexible printed circuits (FPC), SEI brings its expertise in technology and sales and marketing into First Sumiden, while FPHC provides professional management and initiatives for business excellence.

First Sumiden is registered with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority as a pioneer economic-zone enterprise. Its plant is located at the special ecozone of the Light Industry and Science Park in Cabuyao, Laguna.

First Sumiden manufactures printed circuits which are small, lightweight wiring components with electronic circuits printed on a flexible film. To meet customer needs for complex parts mounting indispensable for high-density information transmission, First Sumiden has recently established flip-chip mounting technology for FPC applications. Consistent with its PEZA registration, First Sumiden sells 100 percent of its FPCs to the export market.

Your cell phone most likely contains First Sumiden’s FPC, but this FPC first traveled to a manufacturing company abroad, say in Finland, then it is shipped back here as a cell phone. If you count all the cell phones, hard disk drives, car audio equipment, DVD and CD players, cameras and printers in the world, that’s how many FPCs First Sumiden has manufactured all these years.

To be a world player, First Sumiden relentlessly shapes a culture of innovation, empowerment and agility that values employee learning and continuous improvement.

To do this, First Sumiden hired in 2001 its first local president, Dan Lachica, after a succession of three Japanese expats. It pursued major initiatives such as strategic thinking and planning, installed a technology exchange center, initiated 5P and self-assurance; certified Six Sigma Black Belt training at Seagate, participated and excelled at the Lopez Group’s Environment, Safety and Health (ESH) Awards Program (won the President’s and Chairman’s Awards), formed a Design Group and began Bible Study.

In 2002, it installed SAP ERP, VRP/RP (never mind these initials, they are too technical for me, too), conducted an employee-satisfaction inventory, set up the Six Sigma Foundation and won the Lopez Group Founder’s Award for ESH.

In 2003, First Sumiden launched its performance-management system and aligned individual performance with Top 10 Goals using balanced scorecard, undertook integrated management system certification and customer satisfaction survey; and won the ESH Chairman Award.

Last year, it participated in the Lopez Group Oscar Award and initiated a masteral program for their engineers, Bible-based culture, Employee Consultative Council, Quality Improvement Teams and Six Sigma Black Belt Public Training.

Year to year, with all these initiatives, First Sumiden realizes improving productivity and increasing profits.

Next week, let’s zero in on some of these initiatives.

THANK YOU! The Literacy Program (Accelerated Learning Workshop for Tatalon Elementary School teachers and Adopt-A-Classroom/Classroom Guardian) of the Rotary Club of Quezon City North has gained wide acceptance and support among civic-minded individuals in the country and abroad. We are receiving an unexpected financial and moral support. If you have not yet signed in as a sponsor for the teacher training or a classroom guardian, please call 0917-8996653 or send message to para­ Tatalon ES’ indefatigable principal Avelina Salvador is knocking at your heart.

(Moje is president of RCQC­North for RY 2005-06.)

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Adopt a classroom, share your blessings

The Manila Times
Business Times p.B4
Thursday, July 14, 2005

By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM
Adopt a classroom, share your blessings

“If all the rich and all of the church people should send their children to the public schools they would feel bound to concentrate their money on improving these schools until they met the highest ideals.”— Susan B. Anthony

“We class schools into four grades: leading school, first-rate school, good school and school.”—Evelyn Waugh (English writer, 1903-66)

“If there were no schools to take the children away from home part of the time, the insane asylums would be filled with mothers”—Edgar W. Howe

LAST week we discussed the Accelerated Learning Work­shop the Rotary Club of Quezon City North will run for all the teachers at Tatalon Elementary School. A companion program to that is Adopt-A-Classroom/Classroom Guardians Program.

RCQCNorth, in partnership with Rotary District 3780 under the leadership of Governor Benjie Bacorro and concerned volunteer families will endea­vor to help alleviate, if not totally solve, the problems of individual classrooms in public elementary schools starting with Tatalon ES.

Schools, particularly elementary schools, for kindergarten to grade 6 or 7, are places to learn, explore and grow. They are supposed to provide opportunities for schoolchildren to be confident, self-directed and active learners.

A developmentally oriented school environment is safe, nurturing, caring, transforming and creates the best educational programs for children, teachers, nonteaching staff and parents. Very recent government statistics reveal that only one out of five elementary school students are ready for high school.

Some of the reasons given were: lack of teachers and high teacher/student ratio, teachers with inadequate teaching skills, lack of classroom (class size of 45-68 students for every 4 meter by 5 meter classroom), lack of or inadequate classroom facilities, lack of or inadequate learning materials, and many others.

This program is committed to the cultivation of academic excellence and of individual potential through a cooperative, caring, enriched environment. We seek to help the teacher provide the children a play and learn environment that supports their physical, emotional, social and cognitive developmental needs.

How could you, dear readers, participate? This is your opportunity to do a good deed for teachers and students in public schools on a one-year basis only.

You can get involved with the education of our youth by helping create a creative and caring learning environment.

How will you help?

You and your family or group of friends could volunteer as Classroom Guardians and adopt one classroom for one year (now until March 2006).

• Assist in ways beneficial to a productive and enjoyable learning environment on a visit-us-whenever basis. Classroom Guardians are welcome to spend a few minutes, hours or days getting to know the teachers and students. We encourage volunteer parents to bring their children in for familiarization visits, to join Parent Teacher Association activities, to be a guest story reader, to be an inspirational speaker or to just spend a few extra minutes to chat with teachers and students.

• Assist in improving the physical condition of the classroom such as repainting of classroom and repair or replacement of broken desks and window jalousies.

• Assist in improving/obtaining teaching aids and equipment needs such as computers, TV set and VCD player (to enable them to hook up to Knowledge Channel and to use multimedia learning materials), blackboard and chalk and others.

• Good second-hand computers, television set, VCD player, music box, electric fan, and others are acceptable. Unacceptable expensive and unnecessary wants such as air-conditioning unit because it will entail utility costs to the school and other classrooms may not be so lucky to get one.

• Assist in feeding program for malnourished and undernourished students. Tatalon ES, for instance, has identified 133 severely malnourished pupils and practically all students are in different stages of under­nourishments; and most teachers, too.

How do you join? Please contact me at (0917) 899-6653 or for details.

And/or you may also want to sponsor one or more teachers (P2,500 a teacher) to the Accelerated Learning Workshop on July 23 and 30, August 6 and 13.

Please pass this information on to your friends and colleagues.

While our politicians and street parliamentarians are grandstanding, let us buckle down to helping our country by helping our teachers and grade school pupils.

Gawa, hindi dada!

(Moje is the president of RC Quezon City North and is very passionate about this project, Building a Creative and Caring Learning Environment for Public Schools. Drop by RCQCN meetings on Thursdays, 7 p.m., BigShot Billiards and Bar, Delta Theater, Quezon Avenue, QC.)

Thursday, July 7, 2005

Tatalon Elementary School Needs You

Business Times p.B5
Thursday, July 07, 2005

By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM
Tatalon Elementary School needs you

Upon the education of the people of this country the fate of this country depends. (Benjamin Disraeli—statesman, novelist and author of Great Britain’s Education Act of 1876)

Ask me my three priorities for Government, and I tell you: education, education and education.(British Prime Minister Tony Blair in a speech at the Labour Party Conference) And as Rotary International enters into its second century of service above self, it is putting emphasis into three areas: literacy, water access and public image.

Consider the circumstances at Tatalon Elementary School. And these conditions are the same or even dismal at other public elementary schools in Quezon City or the whole country.

Classrooms (4meter x 5meter) – 52
Classes – 95 (2 shifts, 6:00-11:30 a.m. and 11:30am-5p.m.)
Students – 5,069 (Kinder to Grade 6)
Severely malnourished students –133
Different stages of undernourishment – practically all students and some teachers
Teachers – 105
Students/class – 45 to 68
Support Staff – 20
Buildings – 6
Restroom – 7 stalls for girls and 5 for boys
Total School area – 9,800 sq. meters

According to Principal Avelina Salvador what they need are: continuous teacher education, improvement of facilities (classrooms, restrooms, desks, etc.), feeding program, provision of necessary teaching/learning equipment and supplies, e.g. television set and CD player (so they could hook up with knowledge channel and also watch educational CDs they have acquired), reference books and materials, textbooks, music box, electric fan, paper, pens and pencils, crayons, and many others.

In her two years as principal, Mrs. Salvador has done wonders for the school. She has started construction of restroom and lavatory in some of the classrooms to prevent pupils from roaming around during class hours, the provision of a few television set for Science classrooms and the cleaning and greening of the school ground, among others. She is a superwoman and she truly loves her teachers and students.

Now District 3780 and the Rotary Club of Quezon City North (RCQCNorth) is embarking on a Literacy Program called Building a Creative & Caring Learning Environment for elementary schools in Quezon City with Tatalon Elementary School as lead school. It will have three components:

1. Accelerated Learning Workshop for Teachers. Who dares to teach must never cease to learn. (John Cotton Dana)

2. Adopt-A-Classroom/Classroom Guardians. Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. (William Butler Yeats)

3. Rewards & Recognition System to enhance the first two. Following the dictum of Balanced Scorecard: What gets measured gets done, what gets measured and fed back gets done well, what gets rewarded gets repeated.

RCQCNorth believes that when you take care of the teacher, the teacher will take care of the students. It will undertake the continuous training of all 105 teachers plus one librarian of Tatalon ES. The first training will be on learning methodologies based on brain theories called Accelerated Learning. The aims of the workshop are: accommodate different learning styles, speeds, and needs; provide orchestrated, life-like, multi-sensory experiences for learners and provide self-directed processes from which the students extract meanings.

The workshop proper will run for four whole-day Saturdays facilitated by topnotched trainors and Accelerated Learning-trained Shirley Hombrebueno, Robin Rubina and Nikko Bantayan of First Gas Power Corporation; Rene Jueco Mayol and Maribel Relatado of First Philippine Holdings Corporation and a dear friend-consultant Ailene Mayol. These trainors are voluntarily investing their talent, time, energy and money. They will continue to hold the hands of the teachers and assist them in applying to their own classes what they learned for one whole schoolyear thereafter.

The officers and members of RCQCNorth, in partnership with Mrs. Salvador will manage the whole program and assist in every way they could. RCQCNorth is particularly committed to raise funds for this program of Building a Creative & Caring Learning Environment from their own pockets and from you.

RCQCNorth is appealing to you, dear readers, to participate in this teachers’ continuous training project.. We will be needing funds for food (4 lunches and 8 snacks plus some pass around food like nuts and candies to keep their energy level high), reproduction of a 350-page reference handouts, teaching/learning materials and administrative expenses. We have estimated that the cost of training per teacher will only be Php2,500.00 because we are able to bring down because the venue of training will be at the school itself and the food will be prepared by their support staff.

If your company is looking for a corporate social responsibility project, please consider this. If you want to help individually, you may want to financially sponsor one or more teachers. You may also volunteer as trainors. Please text, call or email me for details and how to send your contribution. Other Rotary Districts and Clubs who want to use this literacy program are welcome.

We will discuss the Adopt-A-Classroom/Classroom Guardians Program next week. Eventually, District 3780 and RCQCN will extend the same service to all public elementary and secondary schools in Quezon City.

(Moje is president of RCQCNorth and her contacts are: 0917-899MOJE and RCQCNorth meets every Thursday, 7 p.m., at BigShot Billiards & Bar, Delta Building, Quezon Avenue, QC)