It is only through best practices and adapting to changing customer needs that an organisation can raise its quality standards. Such has been the case for PCI Limited, a global electronics manufacturing services provider headquartered in Singapore. PCI Limited offers design, component sourcing, supply chain management, manufacturing and logistics services to clients efficiently and with high standards of quality. Its wide-ranging scope of clients include those in the consumer, industrial, commercial, medical and automotive sectors.
Many would not immediately associate the electronics manufacturing industry with excitement and vibrancy. But what many do not know is that its pace of work is fast-paced and fairly dynamic. Dominic Chan and Matthew Festo, both of whom have been in the industry for over a decade, are proof positive that the industry is not all that drab and dreary. They share their experiences with sincerity and refreshing candour.
Tell us about your role at PCI Limited.
Dominic Chan: As Senior Vice President of the Operations division, I am responsible for most of the organisation's operations. The three main areas I give attention to are material supply, fulfilment planning and sourcing of suppliers. Complementing these areas is our IT function which is also under my charge.
Matthew Festo: I currently hold the position of Director of the Business Unit. Our job in the unit is to manage and expand our customer base. This includes making sure orders go out on time, customers are satisfied and that quality issues are dealt with on a timely basis. My unit also conducts business development work – we look at our customer's roadmaps for their products and try to align our capabilities with their needs.
Dominic Chan Jin Hou
Senior Vice President, Operations
Tell us about the developmental opportunities you have received.
Dominic: I joined the company as a Purchasing Manager with a relatively small portfolio. I was only responsible for purchasing materials. As I moved along, I was given the chance to dabble in the logistics and planning portion of purchasing management and my role expanded. This is testament to the fact that you will be given various opportunities at PCI if you are willing to try new things.
I also remember having to take a lot of time off work while I was pursuing my EMBA (Executive Master's of Business Administration) at the National University of Singapore (NUS). I was required to do full-time study for two weeks every quarter. PCI was supportive of my study plans, enabling me to complete my course.
Matthew: As PCI is a global company, you get the chance to work with customers and suppliers from all over the world. This helps you develop personally and professionally because you learn how to work with so many different styles. As a contract manufacturer, we cover all aspects of businesses – from supply chain management and contract management to sales. This allows you to receive incredibly broad exposure.
As managers to a team, you also do a fair bit of hiring. What qualities do you look for in prospective employees?
Dominic: The various teams I supervise take charge of different functions, each requiring people with unique skillsets. Aside from that, there are attributes common across all functions. Staff should have strong problem-solving skills. This comes hand-in-hand with having an open mind and a positive can-do attitude to resolve issues. It is also important for staff to have good interpersonal skills. There are a lot of interaction and communication efforts with internal and external parties, and interpersonal skills are necessary in order to foster healthy collaboration.
Matthew: Members in my team are contract and sales focused people, so they need to have good analysis and negotiation skills. Another quality important among my staff is that of self-leadership. You do not necessarily have to be a manager before you start developing independence at work and leadership qualities.
Matthew David Festo
Business Unit Director
Tell us about the culture nurtured at PCI.
Dominic: Working in PCI is never mundane. The environment and culture here is built on tenacity and the ability to approach problems in a head-on manner. We take pride in creating that kind of environment – one that forces employees to find the eagerness to work things out.
Matthew: The nature of the job is such that we have mini crises every day. This is why it is important for us to foster a problem-solving culture and an environment that promotes learning and coaching. In PCI, people will take the time to explain to you what we need to do and why we need to do it. This helps fresh graduates and new employees understand the reasons behind why we do certain things.
Any advice you would give to those exploring their career options?
Dominic: Do not feel constrained by your area of specialisation. Many people I know and have worked with do not end up working in their field of study. It is thus important to keep an open mind when deciding on your stepping stone!
Matthew: Even if you are unsure of what you want to do exactly, pick a direction to take and have three- to five-year goals to keep in mind throughout your career. Seek a company and position that can help you achieve those goals. Ideally it will be a company big enough where you can grow and continue to grow with in the long term.
When you are interviewing for a prospective job, the interview should be a two-way process. It is important to ask questions about the environment, culture and the style of your direct superior. These things play a part in your chance for future success.