The Grey Chronicles


Culture of Management

In 2005, when Global Steelworks Infrastructure, Inc. [GSII] became Global Steel Philippines (SPV-AMC), Inc., two declarations were published and posted in various plant areas. One was Culture of People and the other was Culture of Management. Both documents were signed by local and expatriate division and department heads. After four years, it is but proper to analyze if these declarations were religiously adhered to.

The declaration on Culture of Management dealt with the customer, stakeholders, results, synergy, resources, growth and continuous improvement.

We exist because of the customer.

Two sets of customers are served by GSPI: domestic and export markets. The bulk of GSPI customers are in the domestic sector, then hire expatriates to handle these accounts even though most of them have yet to visit the plant in Iligan for a tour of its facilities, and its various production processes! Encourage customers to write commendation letters for our products, then publicize it so everybody in the industry knows about it!

We take responsibility of our actions and decisions.

This is also similar to the Culture of People declaration, i.e., “We empower employees to make responsible decisions and be accountable for the results.” Plan each production run irrespective of line equipment’s constraints, then just pay the demurrage and so be it; or volley the blame to the perceived inefficiencies of the production division!
Order a legion of household appliances for the Blue Houses, then fail to pay the monthly installments and let these be repossessed by the respective suppliers at a loss.
Or an expatriate manager letting go of some products not meeting customer specifications and when these were subsequently complained as such by the customer, the supervisor during that shift was blamed?

We value partnership with stakeholders.

If the basis of stakeholders is the composition of the Board of Directors, then only during the GSPI June 2006 bankers presentation was it identified that Pramod Mittal, Chairman, and four persons, namely: Vinod Mittal, Sangita Mittal, Seema Lohia, and Ashok Argawal, serve as directors of Global Steel Holdings. Unfortunately, there are no published reports on the number of shares each one controls. Of course, if your stakeholders are part of your immediate family or relations, definitely blood is thicker than money, or was it the other way around?

We deliver quick and effective results — right the first time, every time.

How quick is quick? When an equipment delay lasts for a whole day or more because of the lack of appropriate spare parts or components. Or its resolution was bogged down because of endless arguments as to who or what was responsible, and a series of why-why was previously conducted but consequent recommendations to limit recurrence were not acted upon.
Or when rehabilitation plans were started, restarted, held, abandoned, or resumed for the nth time! What all the expatriates need was needed yesterday! Personal excuses are definitely not acceptable, but equipment delays are?

We blend global strategy with local strengths.

Let the expatriates do the thinking, leave the doing to the locals. Maximize the strengths of the locals to a point of strenuous exertion to successfully achieve the strategic plans, formulated exclusively at the corporate headquarters, no questions asked!
Hire expatriate expertise, pay them millions, because unlike local employees, who never deserve a higher pay anyway, have no expertise in such highly technical endeavors.
Envision the first blast furnace in the Philippines as part of the global strategy and hope to tap the local banks’ financial strengths or ask for government concessions on mining rights to consummate the 51-year elusive dream of the country!

We optimize operations within limited resources.

Operate even at a loss. Limited resources means no safety paraphernalia against heat, oil, rust or dust! Optimize use of ‘Indianeering’ way in problem solving, instead of engineering a solution. Cater to the idea that if the facilities can be maintained without spare components or repaired without buying repair kits, they can definitely be operated without operating spares.
Transfer portable parts, such as control cards, pumps, or motors from one line to another to maximize its usage. Then when both lines using the same parts need to be operated, blame purchasing for failing to requisition the needed spares.
Operate through leaking polka-dotted roofs and gutters, even though the company adequately supplied the domestic galvanizers with the raw products for roofing materials!
Adopt ballpark standard rates of consumption from other subsidiaries to another subsidiary, irrespective whether the equipment specifications and line capabilities are dissimilar, then challenge everybody to attain what was set as corporate standards!

We earn and grow.

What earnings? Money is truly NO object, especially so if company is in need of cold-hard cash! From 2004 to the present, management representatives regularly stated that the company is in the red every month and every year! Maybe this is effective, now, most employees are starting to believe it. But of course, the company is definitely growing everyday . . . in debt!

We thrive on continuous improvement.

Continuous improvement on how to reduce costs, such as less cash disbursement if we can muscle a discount. Try improvement on the length of delaying employees salaries or withholding remittances of employees’ contributions to government-mandated services.
Continuously improve the alibis previously given why the 13th-month pay lasted an impasse of 155 days; why the mandated sick leave conversion has yet to be converted to cash; why the previously illegal non-cash compensatory leaves for employees became suddenly legal; why night or overtime premiums can now be converted to equivalent compensatory leaves.


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