Our lean initiative - 'DPL Operating System', replaces previous functional structures
Good human-resources practice recognises that employees and employers have interests that coincide as well as interests that diverge. Its object is always to enhance and maximise the first kind of interest, while mitigating, as far as possible, the second. In other words, the object of good HR practice is to turn employee and employer into partners in a mutual enterprise - partners who recognise that what is good for one must also be good for the other. This is the basis on which DPL engages its people, seeing to it that employees receive appropriate returns on their investment of time, skill and labour - returns measured not only in pecuniary terms but in job satisfaction and security, health and safety, personal and professional development, a sense of belonging, and quality of life.
At a time when customers are becoming more cost-conscious pressure on our margins can be relieved in only two ways namely developing new products and continuous reduction of cost.
This was the road we travelled in 2012/13, new products and achieving leaner operations. Our lean initiative dubbed DOS (for 'DPL Operating System'), replaces the previous functional structure. It has helped us reduce production timelines and reduce waste along the entire process cycle, from receiving a customer order to delivery.
Largely as a result of the DOS initiative, downtime has decreased and reject rates have fallen. Overall equipment effectiveness at our plants have improved by more than 10% through the year.
The DOS concept, originally implemented to reduce waste and slim down our operations, offers a good opportunity to help build stronger ties between employees with different skill sets and functions. It integrates workflow and processes, helping our people see one another as fellow team members with shared goals. This, further integrates individual efforts into a seamless whole, creating a more effective process flow that not only saves time and money but also improves productivity. Just as important, it ensures that the partnerships we build with employees are stronger and more fulfilling.
In the workplace, we strive for equality of partnership and opportunity. Our HR policy is explicitly non-discriminatory with respect to ethnicity, creed and gender. Due to the nature of operations in our factories, however, most applicants for manual positions are male, and this is represented in the male: female balance of our Sri Lankan workforce. In Thailand, where some operations involve less 'heavy' work, the ratio of female employees to male is higher.
The members of the Inter Company Employees Union staged a strike at our Venigros (Pvt) Ltd., factory premises at Weliveriya with no prior notice to the Management. This was in violation of the collective agreement dated July 20, 2012. The illegality of the strike was immediately brought to the notice of the Employees' Union and the Commissioner General of Labour. Since some of the employees failed to return to work and continued to engage in the illegal strike, despite requests from the Management, steps were taken to terminate their services. The matter has been referred to the Commissioner General of Labour and is currently under discussion.