|Products of Minh Long I.— Photo vnexpress
by Thu Ngan
HCM CITY (VNS)— The deputy director of Minh Long Company, a leading porcelain producer in Viet Nam, surprised participants at a recent conference held in HCM City when he told them that one of his staff members had been given a VND70 million (US$3,400) bonus.
"After we bought a machine from Finland, we realised that we would have to spend $200,000-300,000 to hire new technicians from outside companies to operate the machine because no one at the company knew how to run the machine," Ly Huy Sang said.
Instead of hiring new staff, Sang said he encouraged his employees to first study the machine manuals and learn as much as possible about the equipment on their own.
Because of their study, the company was able to save costs and shorten their technicians' training period in Finland from six to four weeks.
"Thanks to their innovation and creativity, we saved a lot of time and money, so we gave them bonuses. And the leader of the group received VND70 million," Sang said.
The success story of Minh Long company comes as an outgrowth of today's tough economic climate, which requires businesses to cut costs, maintain quality and come up with creative ways to solve problems.
"The company is like a live body. It needs to develop, be creative and change day by day to achieve a better life," Sang said. "No innovation, no existence."
"Thanks to our staff's creativity, our current capacity in one day is as much as what it once was in one month," he added.
Tran The Cuong, director of Viettel's Telecom and Information Technology Solution Centre, has also seen the benefits of an increased emphasis on innovation and creativity.
This was especially apparent when Viettel negotiated a deal with Vinamilk.
Cuong said that many Vietnamese companies buy software from foreign businesses, spending more money than is necessary, and they also neglect the specific needs and demands of Vietnamese consumers.
In the Vinamilk case, Viettel asked the company to use the telecom giant's software to manage the dairy giant's distribution network.
Viettel told Vinamilk that it could pay for the software at a later date. If the use of the software proved to be unsuccessful, the company would not owe any money to Viettel.
However, Vinamilk was very satisfied with the Viettel software, which has been sold to many other companies as well.
"Our story shows that creativity and innovation is part of our daily life, our every breath," Cuong said.
This also applies to another company, Pomina Steel.
Do Duy Thai, company chairman, said that an innovative use of technology had led to low costs and high production levels.
He said that the use of advanced IT was critical to the company's success.
This has led to more use of advanced technologies, helping the business to compete with foreign competitors and survive during the global financial crisis.
"Such stories are lessons for Vietnamese companies to think about creativity and innovation. In the near future, the Ministry of Science and Technology will work with the Association of Vietnamese High-Quality Goods Producers to offer support for domestic companies so they can begin to be more innovative and creative," said Vu Kim Hanh, the association's chairwoman. — VNS