The MMC training is divided into 3 modules, each of which is 2-day training and there is a period of 4-5 weeks between one module to another. The trainees are middle managers from 6 companies, namely Bui Gia, Grande, Amore, Wood Plus, Woodsland, Hafele Hanoi) and researchers from Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agricultural and Rural Development (IPSARD), Vietnam Forestry University (VFU) and Vietnamese Academy of Forest Sciences (VAFS).
In the first module (21-22 Feb 2014), the trainees are first introduced with different characteristics of a production company, which include personnel, personnel assignment, input-output of a section, receiving a production order, difficulties of a production company, and decisive issues of supplier-consumer relationship. Then they are introduced with structure, management system (organizational chart, HR management, job description) and areas (development, work preparation, production, technical services-maintenance) of a production company. In the end of the first module, the trainees are instructed how to make a proposal of improvement project and how to collect data. They have four weeks to draft their own proposals of improvement projects and start to collect data for their projects.
The training topics of the second module (12-22 Mar 2014) are quite advanced to the trainees. They are guided how to calculate different costs of a production enterprises (such as direct-indirect costs, cost of a specific machine, cost of a specific furniture, and so on) and provided with measures to improve production efficiency (such as proposals for productivity improvement, proposals for quality improvement…). The trainees also have chance to share their draft proposals of improvement projects, which are revised by the trainer so as to be feasible for a short period of time.
In the last module (25-26 Apr 2014), first the trainees are introduced with A-B-C analysis which helps them define which type of products they make small investment, but bring big turnover. Then they are trained with basic management tools, namely authority, work planning, effective communication, rules in giving orders, advices for an effective meeting, guidance in probation time, steps to have proper decision, and effective group working. After that, they do self-assessment on their knowledge and application of those tools. Then they select one tool which they are not good at to make improvement plan (activities/steps they will apply it in their work). After implementation (4-8 weeks), they will make a short report on their results to be submitted to their management board.
At the end of the third module, the trainees/ trainee groups, who implement their improvement projects, have chance to present their results of implementation. Their CEOs are also invited to the presentation and give comments to those projects.
For a short time of implementation (5 weeks), the trainees only select a process or a machine for their improvement projects. Their results of implementation from those improvement projects will be lessons learnt for them to implement other improvement projects for other processes or machines in future.
CEOs expect improvement projects have no stop. They should be continuously implemented by middle managers at the production. The proposals of improvement projects sometimes valid and feasible, but sometimes not. However, CEOs should make comments to the poor improvement projects, guide their staffs to focus on feasible points, and motivate them to implement those projects. If they do not have chance to try, their enthusiasm and inspiration will go down and they will never do any other improvement projects.
The project has provided the trainees with the method. It is the turn of CEOs to give chance for their staffs to implement those improvement projects. They need framework and resources (such as time, workers, investment…) to do it.
After all, most trainers satisfied with the training content and method. More than 80% agreed that the training objectives for each topics were identified and followed, the knowledge they have learnt can be applied to their job efficiently as well as the content was organized and easy to follow. All the training materials were given out to each trainer. Furthermore, training facilities were considered good in terms of lighting, machines, fittings and so on. Trainers were evaluated as qualified and gave proper knowledge about each training topic compared to the trainees' levels. Class participation and interaction were encouraged also.
Following the first two training modules, in the 25-26th of April, the third training course was organized by component 5 for middle management training.
In this component, trainers were introduced to different basic management tools including:
- Work planning
- Effective communication
- Rules in giving orders
- Effective meeting
- Guidance in probation time
- Steps to have proper decision
- Effective teamwork
After that, each trainee evaluated his/her own knowledge and the level to apply basic management tools, and chose one tool that they were weak at to make improvement plan from 4- 8 weeks.
At the end of the training course, some trainers had chances to present their improvement projects. These projects were built between the course 1 and course 2 (1month), and was implemented between the course 2 and course 3 (1 month). Director of each company with trainers joining in the courses was invited to watch the presentations to give more comments.
Within a short time, the trainer chose only one part of procedure/ machine to implement the improvement project. Projects’ results help them draw much experience that they can apply to other procedures/ machines. These improvement projects are expected to be made frequently in companies.
Component 5 (Implement Education and Training Related to Veneer Production and Use in Manufacturing) has just finished conducting 2 training courses on middle management for supervisors coming from different wood processing companies and government institutions with the objective to increase knowledge and understanding for middle management level about how a wood processing company should operate with efficiency and productivity. These 2 training courses were followed by series of training courses organized in 2013 for different management levels of wood processing companies, such as knowledge of Corporate and Market Strategies and Promotion of Veneer (for CEOs); Production Management and Increasing Efficiency in Veneer Processing Departments (for supervisors); Veneering of Surfaces (for supervisors and workers); and internal trainings for supervisors and workers of a furniture production company (Woodsland).
On the 21st and the 22nd of February 2014, the first Module of the Middle Management Course was implemented with the participation of 6 wood processing companies. Objectives of the course was introduced to participants with the expectation that after the training, learners will be able to:
The following Training methods were applied during the courses:
On the 21st and 22nd of March 2014, the second Module of the MMC was organized with 18 participants coming from 4 furniture production companies and from the University of Forestry, Forestry Science Institution of Vietnam, (FSIV); Centre for Agriculture Policies (CAP). After wrapping up the main contents learned in the 1st Module, participants were introduced about the new contents which they never received training in their companies before such as: cost management, quality control and productivity. Their improvement projects introduced from the 1st Module was presented at the 2nd Module and would be finished by the supervisors before the 3rd Module starts in late April 2014. As a supervisor, they need to learn how they can contribute to reduce cost for their companies. Besides the knowledge received from the training about cost management, they also learned how to control quality and productivity at their sector, what the relationship between internal customers meant in a company to meet requirements from internal customers for ensuring the quality control in each phase of their production, what their roles as supervisors were in terms of controlling quality and productivity in each of their production steps.
It was shared at the course between supervisors from companies and lecturers, researchers from university, institutions that they learned from each other a lot between practice and theory, how to bring the theory into practice to make their work most effectively.
The participants are all looking forward to attending the 3rd (the last) Module of the MMC to receive management tools for supervisors and presenting their own improvement projects at this last Module.
On 11th April, 2014, the second quarter meeting was held in the project office of VAFS for all representatives from each component to report what have been achieved and what have been planned for the next quarter. About CAP, in the first quarter, CAP have conducted the baseline survey for veneer processing enterprises to assess economic impact and the reports are finished. In the next quarter, CAP will conduct two economic impact assessment surveys at the same time, for small stakeholders and value chain by collecting information, and checking the available data. All other components agreed to support CAP in terms of data or information if needed.
In terms of Vietnam Forestry University, VFU finished checking the quality of veneer to sort them out and writing reports. In the next quarter, VFU is establishing a set of criteria to grade veneers and logs with support from other components.
For GIZ/GFA, this component takes responsibility of updating information on veneervalue.com website and newsletters. The two MMC training courses were implemented with participation of many companies. Up to now, the Veneer Award has received proposals from 17 candidates from HCMC and Hanoi. Another activity is product development with the production of sliding bar using acacia veneer and curved sliding door using vacuum membrane press. In the next quarter, component 5 will continue to be in charge of the website administration, the newsletter 4 and MMC 3. In this quarter, for Veneer Award, the proposals of these candidates will be evaluated and the feasible ones will be chosen for producing real products. Plantation owners are linked to work with the certification and the product development is in progress.
All components agreed to share updated information to component 5 to post on project’s website and newsletter 4 and links of each component’s website will be appeared on the project’s website. CAP will make impact assessment on the Veneer Award (the products and winners).
VAFS has made action plan for activity “Veneer Green Recovery and Thickness Variation Assessment”, “Moisture content variation trials before and after drying”, “Producing multilaminar block and furniture components – Processing methods – multilaminar veneer and LVL for non structural and structural applications”, “Performance testing including gluing trials” and “Improving quality of hybrid/ combined bamboo-wooden veneer formply” and in the next quarter, all this activities have been continued in some manufacturing companies, VAFS Lab and Veneer training center.
Hanoi- On 11th, March, 2014, the participants from component 5 with Mr Henri- the project manager in ACIAR project had a meeting to discuss the progress of project in Component 5. At the beginning, Component 5 in charge of training and extension of capacity building presented what they have achieved from November, 2013 until March 2014.
The first is to administrate the website veneervalue.com and release newsletters to update information about activities of each component. Next is the promotion of Veneer Award through the seminar in Ho Chi Minh city to introduce award to architectural companies and talks with students in Hanoi architectural university to introduce the concept of new material- veneer and the Veneer Award to students. Furthermore, the middle management training included 3 courses are being implemented from February until April with the knowledge focusing on production management provided for supervisors or line managers. These courses attracted much attention of managers and supervisors from wood processing companies. However, the improvement projects are mentioned with too much information and should be shortened and clear. Other issues such as product development and project impact are presented also.
After all, they received feedback from Mr Henri to improve the presentation such as which points should be focused on to get closer to the objectives at the beginning of Component 5, which contents should be added more to the training course and how to make them more effective. The website should be updated with more information supported from other components.