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Strengthening productivity and OSH through ILO SCORE Training ensured survival during crisis

Faced with the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been hard hit. Unprepared and often ill-equipped to deal with the health risks and economic impacts, many were unable to cope with the crisis. Nguyen Phuc Mechanical in Vietnam, facing numerous product quality and productivity challenges, might not have survived the pandemic if it had not invested in SCORE Training before the crisis. Thanks to the improvements implemented in the months preceding the pandemic, the effects of COVID-19 on the company were mitigated.

Article | 08 June 2021

Company profile

Enterprise nameNguyen Phuc Mechanical Joint Stock Company
Number of employees50
ProductsManufacturing of boilers, machinery and industrial equipment

Nguyen Phuc JSC is a Vietnamese company specialized in mechanical engineering and manufacturing of boilers, machinery and industrial equipment. Before participating in SCORE Training, this SME was facing many problems in terms of quality and productivity, which prevented it from attracting new clients. Some of its inefficient ways of producing and its lack of organization put off customers who came to visit the workplace. They feared delays and defects and therefore did not place orders. 

To get support, the company decided to enrol in SCORE Training and to take advantage of the Workplace Cooperation module. In this first module, the company learned the basics of workplace cooperation and set up an Enterprise Improvement Team (EIT) to identify problems and opportunities for improvements to be implemented. The EIT is an essential tool of SCORE Training, driving change in the company. It is required that this team be composed of workers and managers, women and men, fixed and temporary workers etc. In the case of Nguyen Phuc JSC, the EIT included representatives from the company's management, operations staff, engineers, and workers, and quickly proved its effectiveness in leveraging the collaboration of all managers and employees to implement improvement activities in the factory. By having such diversity within its EIT, improvements were able to benefit both the company and the workers.

"Thanks to SCORE Training, my company has taken a very good direction. By tidying up our workshop and reorganizing our production process, we have been able to attract more customers. Now our clients place their orders as they enter the factory. Our gains in productivity and quality have allowed us to receive orders from large customers with high standards."

Ho Tien Trinh, Director of Nguyen Phuc Mechanical Joint Stock Company

"SCORE Training taught us a lot about how to keep materials, tools and equipment organized. We were able to implement what we learned to make our workplace cleaner and tidier. Working in the factory is now much more comfortable. "

Hua Duc Nhan, Worker at Nguyen Phuc

An Enterprise Improvement Team committed to improvements in all areas

The EIT quickly identified opportunities for productivity improvements. Before SCORE Training, the company was reluctant to invest in certain machines. However, cutting sheet metal was time consuming and unproductive because it took 5-6 people to unroll the iron coils on the floor and place them in the cutting machine. The EIT came up with the solution of adding a shaft and using an additional rolling machine. This reduced the number of people needed for this task and allowed them to be assigned to other tasks, saving time and space.

Thanks to the well-established EIT and the collaboration of all staff and management, the improvement dynamic was able to continue in the second stage. The company decided to follow up the first module with the Quality Improvement module. The company was facing many problems in terms of quality. The problems were mainly at the stage of the cold rolling of the iron. Before SCORE Training, this stage was long, not very productive and with very uneven quality. In addition, this operation easily led to workplace accidents. It was again at the machine level that the improvements proposed by the EIT were made. EIT's members drafted a new operating principle of the machine and assembled the first version of an improved flange-rolling machine. Three months after the installation of this new machine, productivity has exploded, and quality has greatly improved. Whereas previously it took two workers to cold-roll 60 kilos of iron, the use of the machine now allows each worker to cold-roll 1800 kilos, i.e. productivity multiplied by 300. To reach an excellent level of quality, the company did not hesitate to put all the necessary tools in place and implemented a quality policy, using SOPs, systematically analyses the causes of defects and shares information on quality with the employees.

All of these improvements had to be accompanied by health and safety measures to ensure that the gains in productivity and quality were realized. Having received such productivity and quality gains, the company wanted to continue to take advantage of the lessons learned from SCORE Training. As a result of the company's participation in it’s third module on Occupational Safety and Health , the company now analyses the root causes of accidents, has an OSH policy in place and has established an OSH committee composed of both men and women.

In addition to the productivity and safety improvements proposed and implemented by the workers, the willingness of employees to contribute to the development of the company is also an important achievement. They have developed good solidarity, close cooperation and enthusiasm in the production process as well as in the company's business. It is this success that we will maintain and promote. By participating in SCORE Training, our company marks an important step towards more sustainable development."

Ho Tien Trinh, Director of Nguyen Phuc Mechanical

By taking several of the SCORE Training modules and having such support from management and workers, the company was able to take advantage of the full potential of SCORE Training and move toward more sustainable growth. Without knowing it, all these improvements allowed the company to prepare for the crisis that was to follow and to put in place the necessary measures and improvements to face the COVID-19 crisis with confidence.