Charting The Course Of The Future – Part 1

The new Del Monte management tenet of “stakeholdership” which espouses that all employees have everything at stake in the success of the company and must therefore contribute to its stability, was recently stressed by Juan F. Sierra as he outlined the company's directions and thrusts for the future during the Annual Business Conference, at the Ruth Pyle Library in Cawayanon, Plantation.

Focused on the theme “Mastering The Winds of Change”, the one day business confab was attended by almost 100 senior executives and middle managers from Plantation, Makati, Bugo Cannery and the Corporate Headquarters.

In his keynote address, Mr. Sierra urged all attending executives to take the lead in turning around Del Monte's traditional corporate culture of “paternalism” to that of “stakeholdership” which provides employees at all levels with opportunities to actively participate in decision-making. This new management perspective can also pave the way for a greater sense of employee achievement, self-esteem and loyalty as well as company solidarity.

“Stakeholdership is an attitude of mind that says we must do everything to protect the interest of the company because in doing so, we protect our own”, says Mr. Sierra.

During the conference, the participants were also appraised of the state-of-the business by the vice presidents and directors assigned to various operating units of the company: A.T. Castillo, Marketing/Sales Trends; D.L. Carter, Pineapple Operations; D.J. Brennan, Finance; A.C. Pabayo, Employee and Community Relations; LV. Dejos, Cannery Operations; and R. E. Lorton, Plantation Operations.

Executive Insights

After attending the recent Annual Business Conference, some of our executives did a mental exercise on the company's directions and thrusts for the decade. Below are some of their insights on the company's changes as well as priorities.

“With the recent drastic changes in our company, the introduction of stakeholdership concept, I believe, is the way to the future. We have already set the engine of change. Perhaps, what we need now is extra power to surmount the challenges ahead of us.

Our role in the Supply Group is to procure the right materials at the lowest cost and at the shortest lead time. With the current focus on cost reduction and cash management, this role or function should be aggressively and effectively pursued. Being aggressive and effective also means being innovative and creative. We should go beyond the boundaries of how things were and presently done!” Antonio P. Casino, Senior Manager, Supply

It is obvious that Del Monte, a company “in transition”, will have difficult years ahead. The stature of a company, however, is not determined by the number of difficult years it will encounter in the future but rather how it can survive those years and still emerge a winner. Del Monte is just that. It has survived in the past and I see no reason why history should not repeat itself in the present. To borrow a cliché, Del Monte is “armed to the teeth” to face the future.

Managing cost is still a number one concern of the company. It cannot be overemphasized that a “costlier” Del Monte cannot last very long in this competitive day and age.

One good thing though about managing cost is that everybody is a part of it. It is something shared and not a monopoly of any single individual. It is our attitude and complacency that can run berserk. If all of us can only incorporate the words “Sacrifice and Honesty” in our employment lives and practice them in the workplace - we should not be talking about cost at all because it will manage itself. Ernesto S. Cruz, Manager, Plantation Operations

What should each manager do for the survival of the company? Reduce cost and treat each expense as if it is our own expense. Jaime N. Ong, Corporate Secretary

A Salute to Supervisors

It's nice to be with supervisors who are in high “spirits”.

While we have gatherings for our own families, We have this occasion for our Del Monte Family. Where we gather with friends who have already retired, renew old “pinagsamahans” and getting amazed how our old friends managed to stay young. It is reassuring to know that after all, there is life after work.

In my previous speaking engagement with this group, I made some joking remarks that at the rate the USSSI is growing, we might be in a position to buy out Del Monte. That statement may still seem to be “quixotic” but it may not be as funny anymore.

This organization which started as BSA (which stood for Bugo Supervisors Association) has endured the sale of Del Monte to RJR, the merger of RJR Nabisco, the buy out and dismantling of KKR and the sale to Merryl Lynch, which would finally end up with DMPI belonging to an organization which is smaller than it was 20 years ago.

The United Supervisors Sales Services Inc. is a living example of how our Del Monte supervisors have translated their experience, talents and energies into a productive venture. For more than 10 years, the USSSI has been a source of extra income and service to thousands of Del Monte employees. From a simple catering service back in the sixties, the USSSI has grown into a multi business concern engaged today in profitable trades such as financing and retail shop management. By any measure, the USSSI is one of the most successful organizations managed by Del Monte Employees and one of the most lucrative at that I am proud of the USSSI as I am proud of its creator - the Del Monte supervisors.

The USSSI proves that the Del Monte supervisors have got what it takes to build and to maintain a profitable business. It is an index of what our Del Monte supervisors can do for Del Monte Philippines' Business if we can harness their potentials fully.

Continue to Part 2

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