Managing the 5Ms of productivity


IF you are an investor in the Malaysian stock market or have been following the latest business news, you would notice that the KLSE Composite Index peaked at 1,895 points last year and now it is below 1,700. You would also note that among all the Bursa Malaysia indices, construction has fallen the most, from 325 points 52 weeks ago to 160 now. That’s more than a 50% drop!

The fall is due to various prevailing external and internal factors. However, you do not need to be an avid investor to notice the conspicuous slowing down of construction activities in our country post-GE 14 (14th General Election). A slowdown in property and social infrastructure development will eventually lead to reduction in foreign investment, and the cascading effects will be felt by the manufacturing, logistics, and financial sectors.

On the other hand, we have an oversupply of malls, grade A offices and high-end residential properties especially in Kuala Lumper. Besides this, government debt and liabilities are currently valued at over RM1 trillion.

The government and developers should therefore be mindful of the situation when deciding their future projects. On their part, companies involved in construction, whether as developers, contractors, consultants or suppliers, must be cost-competitive in providing quality services. This can be done through successful management of the 5Ms (materials, machines, money, methods and man).

Among the 5Ms, man is the most crucial factor. The right person knows the correct method to operate machines, make use of the materials and handle budgets professionally. The right person will have not just high skill sets but also high discipline, integrity and honesty.

Successful manpower management is achieved by hiring the right people and giving them the right training, evaluation and remuneration.

Most important of all are the leaders or managers. The right leader would not just guide his or her fellow colleagues and teammates but would also inspire and lead them by example. When you get the hang of managing people, the other 4Ms will be a piece of cake.

LOW JUN YING

Kuala Lumpur

Letters , economy , business , KLSE , construction