Ok, since I don't expect much from the sime darby scholarship, as I think I did really badly during the 2nd stage assesment, so I'm gonna give a full detailed account of the whole event. Also partly to release my despairity through writing it all out.
Date: 23rd April 2009 (Thurs)
Venue: Legend Hotel, KL, Cenderawarish room
Ok, so, my 8am session had only like 8 candidates, 5 boys and 3 girls. Most of them were in the same batch as me in the 1st stage of assesment. And I actually met another gymnast, all the way from Kedah, which is kinda amazing. Shasi, if you're reading this, hi! So, we were speaking gymnastic language for a moment. lol
So, let's get down to business...
1) Individual presentation based on case study
Basically, were suppose to do a case study based on this software company, called Evolution Technology System (ETS). They had 4 main sectors, can't really remember, think is, Soft product, IT consulting, and bla3... dunno lah. Anyway, we were given their total sales and the no. of staffs in each sector. We were also given the surveys in % of our strengths, weaknesses and in other stuff like, does the company understand the client's needs.
The task is:
1) To note any findings based on the surveys
2) To find what are the long term and short term soloutions to it
3) Construct a time plan for the company
Ok, note that, we have to read ALL of those and write our ideas on a "flipchart" (aka Mahjong Paper) in just 30 MINUTES!!! It took me 20 mins to read and jot down all my ideas, and 10 mins to draw/write. They actually timed us with a stopwatch.
After 30mins, we were suppose to go to our respective rooms with the assessors waiting inside. Actually, for my case, my assessor was late. So, we pasted pur 'flipcharts" on the hotel mirrors and walls. After like 10 mins of waiting, this long-hair-dragon-lady came in and this is where things were going down.
I spoke fast! And too brief. It was suppose to be a 15 minutes presentation, due to my panic state and erm... too brief mind, I made it into a less than 5 minute presentation. The AGONY!!! When I've finish my presentation, she looked at the stopwatch and she gave a very .... dunno how to describe, but it's definitely negative look. So, then it was the 10min Q &A session.
There was one part, bout the company biggest weakness is that the sales team was difficult to get. So, I've suggested GPS system. And I even told her, worse come to worse, we should install a GPS system to make sure where our sales team are and our clients could get a hold of them. I was only CRAPPING! Then, of all the other solutions I came up with, this was the only she kept hammering me during the 10 min Q&A.
"How is the GPS system a solution to the company? I'm quite interested in this solution. Could you elaborate further?"
"(In my heart) Sh1t... Pick another one la! (Really saying) Erm, well I said if worst come to worst, we could install GPS system to track down our sales team and check whether they are during their work during office hours. That way, we could easily get hold of them. Besides, we could also cut cost in the long run. With the GPS system, we don't need as many staff just to man a location to conduct sales. We could easily tell them where they should be during peak hours, and put them in more strategic locations."
"So how does cutting down the staff actually can be cost-effective?"
"(Desperately thinking) well, by cutting down the staff, we could cut down on our cost of giving salary, and thus cutting down our cost of production and this generates more profit." Just said whatever was in my economic notes. lol
"But, don't u need like skilled workers to man it? And this GPS system is certainly not cheap. How could you still say is cost effective?"
"(In my heart) Die la... Never thought of it.. T.T (Speaking) Well, yes, it may cost a lot, but in the long run, I would say it's a good investment, as customers would be more satisfied with our services and thus, we'll have more bussiness deals."
Think that's it. Didn't shake her hand, cause felt really intimidated. Though, she did help me take down my 'flipcharts'. I felt really depressed with my own performance, as I stuttered a lot, and use a lot of 'something like that...' in my presentation. To make things worst, I was lost for a while, didn't know where we were suppose to meet after the 1st task. So, I went into the same room where we registered, found out that I was the 1st to finish, depression level increase. So, sat stoning like an idiot, until Kak Husna found me. lol. Then, it was the 2nd task.
2) Group Discussion based on case study
So, ETS company wants to relocate its HQ (more like Business Developement and Marketing unit) to a more strategic spot. We were given 3 choices, Kulim (Kedah), Cyberjaya and Ipoh. All newly relocated staff will be given RM10,000 each. To hire a new staff, including interviews and advertisement, RM7000 each.
-Will have RM50,000 grant if HQ is shifted there, gov trying to boost the economy in northern region.
-Marketing Director will stay
-10% staff will quit
-Accomodation rental, RM 4000+
-Flat growth, based on last year survey
-20% workers will quit
-Had good link to highway, accesible
-price of houses going up in the next 5 years, means if shift now, our own building as an asset will appreciate
-Steady growth based on last year survey
-Accomodation rental, RM 5000+
-25% of staff will quit
-Top 5 sales people will stay
-Good facilities given, gym and recreational centre, improve working environment
-Builds good image in the market
-Fast growth based on last year survey
-Accomodation rental, RM6000+
I was all out for cyberjaya. C'mon la, Kulim ya la, save a lot of money, but is there any proper infrastructure there? Any international transportation like KLIA, and the LRT? What if we wanna to do international trade? And branding is very important, as we want people to know us, thus creating good business prospects. Market demand is high.
3 candidates were all out for Kulim, saying that less competitors, save a lot of money, retrench less workers, no need to spend so much money on training new people. Marketing Director will leave if not Kulim. Got RM50k grant from government.
Then, we argued the growth there is FLAT! Is not a long term investment. If go Ipoh, or Cyberjaya, the growth could cover out cost in the long run. Plus, no infrastructure, how to survive?
They argued back, that's why we have to take a risk. We shall stimulate the economy in Kulim if we shift our HQ there. Every company has to take a risk.
I argued, but we can't take a risk based on false hope that the government will actually stimulate the economy there. Why don't we take a risk that is somthing that already has a confirmed growth than something that might grow or not grow? And what's the point if we keep all our workers, but there's no demand for our products? Btw, the market force there is really small as most northern regoin ppl are, no offence, less educated and tech savvy compared to the KL side.
Then, she argued, well, that's why we should start up and help the economy there. If we don't do it, who's going to do it?
We argued again, why wanna start something from scratch when we already have all the available facilities in Ipoh and cyberjaya?
And then someone interjected, Ipoh is the midpoint, of both sides, making it accesible to both sides of the peninsular of Malaysia. And it's also well linked with all the highway. And why wanna set up a company in a saturated company where there's so much competition going on in Cyberjaya, where as Ipoh, doesn't have a saturated market and we can grow further?
I argued, why do u say saturated market is not good for the company? With competition, we could continue to innovate and come up with more cost effective ways and thus grow and expand. Plus, where do you think all the skilled workforce go to, a saturated market or an unsaturated market?
And it went on and on..... Then suddenly, a fax came in. Saying that cyberjaya will take 6 months before we could settle down. So, cyberjaya was crossed of the list. Kulim had increasing crime rates, and security force is needed where it cost RM10,000 per month. Ipoh, had some electricity problem and it takes RM30,000 to fix the whole place up.
So again, we were debating betweem Kulim and Ipoh. Saying Ipoh, we get to pay one shot, whereas Security is a long term liabilty. RM10k per month would be RM120k per year! Majority went for Ipoh, and only 3 out of 8 still went for Kulim.
3) The Role-Play
I was suppose to be a consultant of the Soft Product Division of ETS company. I was Ahmad Roslan. My client, Michale Lim is not satisfied with my product, ASIATRADE BOND as he thought he could use our products to trade US Treasury Bonds. So, The ASIATRADE thing cost RM15,000 and for user training is RM 2000 per head. If bought by in the month of Jan, and an e mail is sent by the end of the 1st week, a discount of RM1000 could be given on the user training (max 6 users).
So, solutions given were, specifically ask our IT guys to create the software in 6 months, and enhance the ASIA program for another RM20,000. Or, wait for 12 months, for the already developing US treasury bond software. A Claim of RM3000 maximum can be given withouth going through the management.
So, my assessor (was a female) was like saying that we were not informed that the product doesn't trade with US Treasury Bonds. Your sales team also could not be reached as I had further enquiries.
I said, well, on behalf of the company, I would like to apologize for the miscommuniation. So, here's the solution I'm gonna offer... Bla3
You mean we are suppose to pay another 20k just to enhance the program, my management won't allow it. I can't agree with the price. I told her, well, I could give you a maximum discount of up to RM3k, and since you're regular customer, we'll give discounts from other sectors, like IT consulting, and etc..
No, my management told me the budget is RM5k. (WTF!)
Well, I can't agree on giving a price that low. The most I could give you is RM15000 to RM18000. It depends on my management too. Unless you wan the RM15k, maybe I could discount it further for you.
No, my company needs it in 6 months. And also, I would like the delivery of the product to be less than 6 months (Go die la!)
Hmmm... Maybe we could do something bout that, but I can't guarantee you a number, maybe I would give you a range from 4 months to 6 months.
C'mon la, we have been your regular customers, and it's only a small issue, just give a discount everything settle.
Ok, I could give you a discount only up till 3k. More than that, I have to go through my management but, I assure you it'll be a favourable reply.
I can't have that, I need at least a guarantee. Only few discount, can give staright away?
I think I've lost my patience, and I said "Ya, sure. Straight away!" Then she was like saying "Great, Marvellous" in a sarcastic manner, and i thought shit, i must have did somehting wrong. Then I changed my mind and told her no gurantee but fabourable reply.
She seem grumpy (maybe she's just role playing), and she said ok, when can I get back to you on this? I told her regarding the prices, I could get back in 2 days. The deliveray duration, I could get back to her in a week.
That's it la.. Now waiting for favourable reply from them also. lol.