Wednesday, May 26, 2010


As a business making daily purchasing decisions, we are sometimes overwhelmed with the systemic complexity of the products we acquire and the schedules we abide to provide good service to our customers.

Ill-planned project schedules as well as highly technical products we have no idea about but are tasked to purchase lead overall to more expensive or subpar purchases.  In those cases, we only have so little time to canvass for well-priced items, or we are unable to make good judgment about product specifications because we do not know what are defined good or even good enough.

To obtain better results at purchasing, we first must cover the basics, an honest pro-company Purchasing Unit.  Such would have a sense of ownership to the company and be accountable to purchasing decisions, so that choices are made to minimize cost and maximize value, while serving the company's requirements promptly and adequately, and all the while promoting a company's mission and values.

We have heard too often the stories of the dishonest purchasing officer who insists that the company they work for, the company that provides his salary, be overcharged to compensate for commissions.  Philippines is rife with such.  It may be for this matter that we do not strongly engage the government as a customer.  But it may come as a surprise that the graft and corruption we gripe about in our government are just as unavoidable in the private business industry.  So when we are designing our Purchasing Unit, we must take special care to foster honesty in our personnel, implement checks and balances, and do frequent attentive reviews.

Our purchaser must also be pro-company.  She has a sense of ownership of the company in that her choices must have the company's best interests at heart.  Purchases are qualified based on their contribution to the company's performance.  We do not shop impulsively for unnecessary toys or expensive gadgets that have marginal benefits.  This, even if the items considered are actually good values to companies with the right requirements.  If we are not qualified to make sound judgment on need purchases, we must consult with trustworthy people who are.

Resourcefulness is trait we cannot overlook, especially during canvassing.  For obscure or highly niche products, it takes more effort to find the best deals.  We might have to go through tens of entries from the yellow pages or do a lot of googling to get to the top of the chain.  And we shouldn't forget that, sometimes, we just need to ask our more knowledgeable colleagues.

Finding good purchasers is necessarily difficult.  This is true for most any jobs.  Resumes and tests are not indicators of the values we espouse.  But we start with the basics -- capable people working in a competitive company that values, practices, and trains integrity and professionalism.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A.O. Smith's Renewable Energy Water Heaters

A.O. Smith, the world's largest residential and commercial water heater manufacturer, is off to a rather late if welcome start with heat pump water heaters and solar water heaters.

Since 2005, we've been promoting Fireflux heat pump water heaters and SolarActive solar water heaters coupled with A.O. Smith's hot water storage tanks to elevate energy efficiency in the hotel and resort industry in the Philippines.  We've since lead the energy efficient water heating industry with  perhaps more than 200 heat pump installations to various hotel chains and three to five star hotels.

The past two years, however, brought the giant that is A.O. Smith into the forefront of renewable energy water heating solutions.  A.O. Smith Netherlands started with the development of solar direct and indirect tanks.  Meanwhile, A.O. Smith China introduced an award-winning solar heater design for high-rise condominiums.  A.O. Smith's purchase of Applied Energy Recovery Systems Inc. (AERS) last year finally brought heat pump technology to the table.

Among A.O. Smith's newest water heaters include the Voltex Hybrid Electric Water Heater, an integral heat pump water heater that makes installing heat pump easy and works as a drop-in replacement to traditional water heaters.  A.O. Smith China is also introducing even smaller heat pump water heaters with only 15 to 20 gallon storage capacity, suitable for residential or low volume use.  The push to make heat pump technology available with smaller capacities helps in making this environmentally friendly technology more affordable and ubiquitous.

As the distributor of A.O. Smith, we are very excited to see innovations and development of this fast maturing alternative technologies.  We've learned a lot the past five years in this complex water heating systems serving the most demanding high profile clients.  Now, we hope to leverage as well the technological and manufacturing prowess of A.O. Smith to further spur the country's move towards renewable energy.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Congratulations Admin Team!

It was the obviously inevitable match up, between Admin and Service whose games between were consistently close over the regular season.  Both teams got 5-1 cards at the end of the tournament, and both played their strengths throughout.

Just an hour ago, however, ended Game 2 and the championship tournament.  It was a best of three tournament, but Admin managed to eke out wins against the Service team in both closely contested games 1 and 2.  Both games ended with too close scores near the dying seconds to give spectators bits of excitement and uncertainty. 

In Game 1's final possession of the Service team, they could have overcome an arguably easy two-point lead of the Admin team, but alas, an inbound interception sealed the victory to the champion. 

In Game 2, Service could have tied the game with two free throws with 3 seconds left.   The first free throw miss lead to the difficult scenario of requiring an offensive rebound that did not materialize.  Service was given an accidental final chance when they intercepted the last inbound pass.  Nevertheless, time and distance proved insurmountable.

In the end, both teams gave their all, but only one can win in this competitive game of skills, luck, effort and most of all, teamwork.  Congratulations to the Admin Team for winning 2010's Amici Basketball Tournament!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Basketball Round 5

Last Friday was round 5 of Amici's basketball tournament for 2010.  I don't actually know how many rounds this goes, though with only four teams, there shouldn't be any kind of playoff.  Nevertheless, the standings are definitely showing some obvious match-ups:

Admin 4-1
Sales 1-4
Service 4-1
Thermovar 1-4

Last Friday's Game 1 between Service and Sales was not an obvious runaway win for the Service team.  For most of the game, Service was able to hang to a lead against Sales.  Sales however was able to lead the game a number of times or at least stay close for the rest of the game.  Sales put a lot of effort in defense, regrouping every time a breakdown occurred, at the expense of their timeouts.  The last few minutes of the game gave Sales a 3-point lead that, combined with the seeming consistent game play Sales was showing the last quarter, seemed to guarantee an upset victory for the Sales.  Celebration however was too early then, as Service was able to capitalize on offensive lapses that broke the tempo, and gave the Service the comeback win.

Game 2 however was a rout for the Admin team.  Despite a first half double digit lead by the Thermovar team, the Admin team regrouped with consistent and effective defense to gain the lead and the momentum for the rest of the game.