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Doing it the Amos Way
AS A small local firm in a competitive industry, marine and offshore firm Amos International relies on productivity to maintain its edge. The firm has consistently paid attention to productivity processes and has even developed its own philosophy of getting the most out of its operations called the Amos Way, said its managing director, Danny Lien.
The Amos Way consists of providing staff with clear instructions and guidance on how they should be performing their roles and tasks in the most efficient manner, he added.
The company has introduced a range of technology and machines to augment this culture among the staff.
For instance, staff are equipped with wearable scanners that allow instant checks to verify with customers' orders. This eliminates errors. The company also has vertical lift modules and automated guided vehicles, which allows items to be stored vertically instead of being spread out on the floor.
The company also uses mobile technology to speed up processes. It has its own app through which it sends an electronic proof of delivery. This updates delivery information and reduces delays in invoicing.
These measures have resulted in some impressive productivity gains for the company. The mobile scanners, vertical lift modules and automated guided vehicles have resulted in fulfilment accuracy by 75 per cent.
"Picking and packing errors, which previously averaged 10 to 12 times per month have been reduced to the current two to three times per month," said Mr Lien.
"I believe that as the team gets more familiar and accustomed to these technologies (the initiatives were introduced just this year), we can look to achieving a zero-error status in the near future."
These productivity measures are crucial for a small firm in a tough industry, especially faced with a labour crunch, he added.
"Being a SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) means that we are constrained by the amount of resources we have to compete. Therefore, we have to constantly explore ways to do things faster and better with the same amount of resources (or even less) to remain competitive," he said.
Mr Lien also believes that pushing ahead with productivity sends a strong signal to the rest of the industry that the firm is forward looking. "The adoption of technology and automation sends a clear signal to the industry that Amos is a forward-looking organisation that believes in continuous improvement," he said.
"It also creates positive vibes for our customers as we demonstrate our willingness and desire to sail along with them at the forefront of innovation and technology, instead of remaining status quo by sticking to traditional and outdated ways."
And while the entire marine and offshore industry is facing mega headwinds, the company remains focused on delivering results. Amos is challenging itself to do better in sourcing and processing orders so as to become the supplier with the quickest response to customers.
"Escalating business costs and the labour crunch have also pushed us to innovate in order to operate effectively despite resource constraints. These two key factors provide us the impetus to continuously seek for productivity improvements," said Mr Lien.