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Reengineering Is Not New To Engineers

QUESTION: What is Corporate Engineering's' role in our organization?

Godofredo E. Arinzol, Group Manager, Corporate Engineering: Corporate Engineering is basically a service group. It provides engineering services to the operating departments in developing new and improving existing equipment, processes and products.

It also operates and maintains the Cannery Power Plant which provides power, steam and water requirements to process the pineapples.

Q: What are your key projects? How do they help improve operational processes?

Godofredo: In the Plantation, Steve Porteus and his staff are currently completing a new harvester with foldable boom wings for easy transport. They also have projects to reduce intercycle time between harvesting and planting and to increase packers and palletizers efficiency at the Fresh Fruit Packing Shed. They have small projects in Land Preparation, Spray and the Feedlot. Next year our big project will be a centralized seed dipping facility which will grade seed into sizes and make the chemical handling safer and more efficient.

The Cannery Engineering Services and Process/lndustrial Engineering department under Ed Villegas are presently responsible for the implementation and the completion of the Cannery Waste Water Treatment Plant. Engineering provides the project contractor the data and plans of the proposed location. Engineering also inspects and audits the project. This plant will treat the raw waste water biologically through aeration to remove organic pollutants.

Another key project being undertaken by Cannery Engineering is the acquisition of additional stand-by electric generating sets. The first set with a capacity of 1250 KW was installed. The second set of the same capacity is scheduled. These gensets will ensure the essential Cannery power requirements during power shortage and brown-outs.

Q: Our company today is looking at how it can best reengineer itself - how it can reduce cost and increase efficiency by combining responsibilities and eliminating unnecessary processes. How does Corporate Engineering contribute to the success of Corporate Reengineering?

Godofredo: Reengineering has been an on-going activity in our area - in our work to improve process and equipment and in our organizational structure. Therefore reengineering, in the light of current corporate organizational development, is not new to us. As early as three years ago, we started combining intra-departmental functions and we have not replaced some positions left vacant by those who resigned or retired.

Q: As a department, who are your most important customers? And as a customer yourself, from which departments do you source services vital to your organization's efficiency?

Godofredo: Our important customers are Pineapple Operations, Marketing, Logistics, Research and Administrative Groups (Financial Planning and Accounting). Our sources of services vital to our efficiency are Purchasing, Storeroom, Finance, Accounting, Maintenance and Quality Assurance.

Q: Would you have some advice to superiors and subordinates that might help our business?

Godofredo: To superiors, I say: Set good examples, practice what you preach.

To subordinates: Be loyal to your work and the company, not to individuals.

Our technology includes the very latest

Q: How would you assess the technology applied in our operational processes?

Andrew Deane, Vice-President, Operations: Throughout our operations in some areas our technology is the very latest. In other areas, we are employing the same technology that has been used successfully for several decades. The critical factor is that we update our equipment and technology based upon market and financial justifications and not just for the sake of the technology itself.

Q: The development of new products is essential to our business. How are we responding to the engineering challenge posed by the development of these products?

Andrew: The engineering group works closely with the New Product Development department as new product concepts are evaluated and if promising, further developed. Many of the ideas currently being pursued by Manny Nisperos and his New Business Development team are outside of our core pineapple and tomato business. Because of the many resources of the engineering group, they are able to provide assistance to these new and diversified products. An excellent example is the work which has been done on the Manila cut meat project in coordination with the New Business Development group.

Q: How effective is our collaboration with engineering consultancy firms?

Andrew: With responsibility for the design and construction of the waste water treatment facility (WWTF) at Bugo, the engineering department evaluated numerous proposals from both domestic and foreign suppliers and contractors. To assure that the final design would perform as specified in a cost effective manner, consultants were retained to provide expertise and recommendations. By performing extensive research and evaluation, combined with the recommendations from both domestic and international technical consultants, the DMPI engineering group finalized the design for the WWTF.

In addition to managing the design phase of the project, DMPI engineers are monitoring every step of construction. Additionally, our engineers have worked closely with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) officials to obtain all necessary permits.

The WWTF project has demonstrated the technical and managerial abilities of the DMPI engineering department in a major undertaking involving many disciplines and organizations.

Q: What kind of government support do we need to ensure maximum return on our capital investments (i.e., in importation of agro-industrial equipment)?

Andrew: There are times when our engineering department identifies a piece of equipment that would improve the efficiency of our operations and/or the quality of our products. However, because import duties levied by the government substantially raise the equipment cost beyond our budgeted resources, it is necessary to postpone the acquisition of some equipment and technology.

This is frustrating because our competitors in other Asian pineapple producing countries are not required by their countries to pay high duties on imported agricultural and processing equipment. As a result, a governmental policy places DMPI at a disadvantage compared to other pineapple producers in a very competitive industry.

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