Thursday, 5 March 2009

What I’m working on….

Today’s Vietnamese word of the day sounds like neeug which means water. Appropriate on many levels, as I’ve been drinking lots of it due to the humidity and it has been falling from the sky today.

I know that some of you are interested in hearing more about my client and what I am working on. The Dung Cuong Company produces steel products such as girders (not of the Irn Bru variety!) for the local construction industry and over the past few days I’ve discovered Mr Dung (sounds link Tzooum) is a bit of a man about town.

At 5’9” I tower above him and he keeps telling me how tall I am. I’ve been introduced to the 2hour lunch break where nobody speaks about work and after the meal everybody is expected to go for a nap. This is the time when I like to type up my notes on the laptop and prepare the material for my next session/interview with the client. It’s difficult to get out of the habit and I do get some strange looks. At least it frees up my evenings to socialise with the other IBMers and our local hosts ;-)

The Vietnamese economy is growing very rapidly. With lots of entrepreneurs and new businesses they are very keen to learn. Through working with Mr Dung to analyse the local Hai Phong steel production industry and his company’s current production processes, this has helped to select areas for potential improvement for his company. After only 4 days, we have identified the value of giving basic excel training to the accounts team in order to automate a largely paper based accounting process, as well as providing basic project management training to the production manager to assist him in managing customer orders through the production process. I was told today that their customer orders are ‘never delivered late’, but this, I discovered, is because they do not have an agreed delivery deadline to meet. (Maybe all projects should run like this?!) Though these activities may appear seemingly basic to most corporations, I have had a wonderful response from Mr Dung and the company’s employees. Who could believe that people could get excited about spreadsheets and project planning?! This is consulting in its purest and rawest form, away from the jargon and suits. It’s very rough and ready and you can physically see the value you are adding on a daily basis.

For all of you worrying about my wedding dress fitting, today I filled my boots at lunch time with some delicious bbq pork ribs, prawns, rice, cabbage and fruit. 8 weeks to go until the big day! :)

1 comment:

  1. I like the idea of the 2 hours break. I'll take it to my actual project team (you know them!) but I think I won't that popular after this suggestion. I am really enjoying reading you tonight. All the best for the rest of your assignement.