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EMS Group: Empowering Workforce, Gearing up for FIRe

EMS Group: Empowering Workforce, Gearing up for FIRe

Like many other organizations, the EMS Group of Companies has been innovating its business to keep up with the ever-changing world of business. As one of the private Filipino-owned groups in the country’s electronics manufacturing industry, it saw how inevitable these transformations are to remain competitive and stay true to its value of growing with its pool of Filipino talents.

This mindset has led to EMS surviving the global financial crisis in 2009, which has affected and wiped out at least 90 percent of its production output. At that time, EMS has already grown its workforce from 800 people to at least 1,800.

But, according to EMS Group Chairman and CEO Ferdinand “Perry” Ferrer, instead of layoffs, they decided to retrain their workers to learn new skills—this is what his father, the late Francis Ferrer, former president of the Ayala-led Integrated Micro-electronics, Inc., told him to go about the problem.

EMS Group spent the next year and its resources to retrain their workforce through the Alliance Mansols, Inc., an EMS subsidiary established in 2010. In 2011, the gamble paid off as the retraining program yielded a substantial pool of manpower that can run the idle plants affected by the global economic crisis. These talents manned the plants’ production processes, from value engineering to quality control, among others.

Aside from the parent company, EMS Components Assembly, Inc., established in 2004, as well as the Alliance Mansols, Inc., the EMS Group also put up other companies. This includes the Creotec Philippines Inc.; EMS Resources Technology Inc.; EMS Services Philippines Inc., and EMS Services International, Inc. EMS Services International also opened recently its office in Japan.

Innovation as a key to ensuring success

For Perry, the willingness to change and innovate can help any company to succeed.

As automation and digitalization become a significant part of today’s workplaces, EMS embarks on another big change as it aims to empower further its workforce with modern resource planning (ERP) system as part of the company’s digital transformation strategy. The project aims to bolster EMS Group’s productivity by upgrading its systems with SAP S/4HANA, which will be hosted on the Fujitsu Cloud to enable EMS Group’s cloud integration and Hybrid IT strategy.

As a fully integrated ERP system, SAP S/4HANA allows organizations to utilize artificial intelligence (AI) to transform business processes both in the cloud and on-premise. It will also improve business operations by automating its systems and reducing manual processes.

With the modern ERP system in place, EMS will now have a credible source of information across companies within the finance, procurement, inventory, operations, engineering, quality, and maintenance processes. The system will also improve financial reporting and analysis by accurately capturing and recording all cost revenue information across several revenue streams.

Lighting up the FIRe

EMS also considers this project as one of its ways to activate its Fourth Industrial Revolution (FIRe), or the IR 4.0, digital transformation journey.

The FIRe, essentially, refers to the overall shift toward digital platforms. Modern digital technologies and applications will transform nearly every industry and sector, including the semiconductor and electronics industry.

Dealing with change

Perry pointed out, on the other hand, that the automation of their processes is a major transformation for the organization. “From a semi or mostly manual processes to now having a fully integrated and digital system to tackle them, is a big change for us, even for our operators, which compose 92% of our total workforce,” he said. “Acceptance will be the biggest challenge. SAP S/4HANA is already a tried and tested system but, the way we adapt it internally will dictate our transformation moving forward.”

Perry noted that it is important to maintain the collaboration within the departments and all levels in the organization. It is critical to let all the employees understand the benefits of the new system, including the opportunity of learning new skills needed in utilizing the system. “There will be a lot of resistance, especially that we are going to change their work. Most people do not like change but, we want to make sure that we show them its benefits so, they will accept it,” he said.Keeping employees motivated

Aside from the benefits of changing digitally, Perry said that taking on this transformation all boils down to providing opportunities to upskill Filipino talents and help them grow with the company.

For more than 24 years, Perry has worked outside the country, working as a high-ranking executive for different companies in Europe, the United States, Canada, and China. He also has no plans of coming back to the Philippines but, when his father asked to help him in managing EMS, he decided to take on the challenge.    

A Unique approach to digital transformation

As EMS Group’s implementing partner for the project, Fujitsu brings its unique approach to driving digital transformation through co-creation. This approach enables the company to deliver value through digital solutions suited to tackle the specific needs of its partners.

With 45 years of local presence and expertise, Fujitsu Philippines provides businesses with cutting-edge IT solutions and services nationwide. It also offers cloud technology that provides relevant and cost-efficient IT solutions to all organizations of various sizes and needs. 

To know more about Fujitsu Philippines, Inc., visit the website at http://www.fujitsu.com/ph

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About The Author

Raymund Ravanera is an accomplished and experienced graphic designer with almost 20 years of creative expertise working in the graphic design industry. He loves the latest gadgets, food and movies. Currently, he owns and manages megabites.com.ph, an online technology and lifestyle blog since 2015.

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