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Articles & Papers 2005 to 2009

Articles & Papers 2000 to 2004

Articles & Papers 1995 to 1999

Articles & Papers 1990 to 1994

 

"Required Capabilities to Meet Customers' Specific Requirements in Diverse Markets"

Barry Sahba, Managing Director, Matrix Group

July 2004

Our customers need effective, innovative and practical solution to minimize their total cost of ownership and we have the capabilities to deliver such. .. Read More

"Developing Best-in-Class Sales Operations"

Barry Sahba, Managing Director, Matrix Group

Aug 2004

Clearly, we are focused on our customers and they expect the best. Within our core markets, we are aggressively pursuing plans for achieving excellence - Our international sales teams must ensure consistent pricing, quoting, and delivery as well as an outstanding customer-service, worldwide. .. Read More

"A Smooth Production System - Think Lean, Practice Lean"

Barry Sahba, Managing Director, Matrix Group

June 2000

At Matrix Group Companies, the production system is based on the well-known TPS reflecting the latest in lean practices. We have been successful at implementing such production system mainly because we had established the "lean mentality" early on since the early 1990s. The system has created tremendous benefits for us and our customers alike, especially for meeting deadlines and focusing on world-class on-time delivery, every time. This leverage alone has put us ahead of the curve, shaving significant amount of time from typical delivery schedules well ahead of the industry standards. .. Read More

"Work Environment at Matrix Group Companies"

Barry Sahba, Group Managing Director and Lex Lander, Group Administrative Director

Matrix Group - Feb 2007

Here are some information about our Group, our Organizational Structure, Corporate Culture, People Orientation and Empowerment, Business Approach and Customer Focus as well as our Performance Record and Continuous Improvement initiatives. ..Read More

"It Pays to Think Inside the Box Also"

Barry Sahba, Group Managing Director and Darius Cohn, Deputy Managing Director

Matrix Group - Dec 2002

For the longest, we have been leading our groups and teams to "Think Outside of the Box" encouraging them to break down the obstacles and go beyond the boundaries of conventional thinking to foster innovation. Once they get there and go through the paradigm shift, the more creative ones can indeed come up with break-through concepts and solutions.

Looking from another angle, experience shows that most inventions have come out of the need where people sought better ways for doing things; so it pays to think outside of the box also. For the most part, by setting certain limits, i.e., forcing people to "Think Inside the Box", they can also be creative and find new ways to solve problems and come up with break-through solutions. Selecting the right path and the best approach depends on what you want to achieve and must be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Pending the nature of the problem you want to solve, and its source, you must consider both approaches because no two problems are really alike.

In selecting the right approach, there are many variables to consider when you are preparing your team to solve problems in Process Improvement, Manufacturing Operations, New Product Development, Product Planning, Market Planning, Organizational Issues, Strategic Planning, etc. .. Read More

"Creative Thinking - Creating Innovative Solutions"

Barry Sahba, Group Managing Director and Darius Cohn, Deputy Managing Director

Matrix Group - Aug 2002

In order to create the expected results and meet our goals, we need to look beyond optimizing our processes and boosting productivity. We need to promote creative thinking to arrive at innovative solutions. One key component is to create a fun work environment. Inspired people along will come up with better solutions to problems, breakthrough concepts to product development, and innovative approaches to strategic planning. ..Read More

"For Every problem, There Are at the Very Least TWO Good Solutions"

Barry Sahba, Managing Director

Matrix Group - Oct 1997

For every problem, there are at the very least two good solutions!  "failure is not an option". I was brought up and trained that We have a team of highly professional business managers on our management team, all well-trained in what they do and are there to help other employees to achieve success. .. Read More

"Change is Good"

Barry Sahba, Managing Director

Matrix Group - Jan 2000

The world around us is changing, regions are changing, countries are changing; even, the rate of change itself is changing and generally increasing with advances in technology. No matter where we operate, the environment and situation are continually changing, thus, if we don't reciprocate and continually adapt to accommodate changes, we will lose our leverage and momentum; and, eventually will go down. We must move with times - The solutions and strategies that worked yester years, may not be applicable today.

Flexibility is the key, lack of it will cause stagnation which increases inertia, diminishing excitement, creativity, innovation and eventually our progress.
So, "change" is good! We should all learn to welcome and embrace change - That's how we progress. ..
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"Time to Market is Critical to Our Success"

Barry Sahba, Managing Director

Matrix Group - Aug 1999

In today's global economy, "Time to Market" has become more critical than ever before. In the past, the high-tech industry as well as consumer-electronics and perhaps fashion industries were the only ones concerned with the evolving markets in a race against their competitors - Today, we all are. Driven by the marketplace, every manufacturer is trying to move at full speed and bring out products to the market.

However, for us, the key is to stick with our product plans and not miss any of the scheduled release dates. We rather focus on increasing flexibility and respond faster to our customer base. Our ability to change course without much creating a significant level of disruption in our operations has been crucial to our success. ..
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"Progress - Improvement Must Be Measured"

Barry Sahba, Managing Director

Matrix Group - May 1995

Quite frankly, if you can't measure progress, it probably is not there! If there's progress, before you report such, must be able to somehow quantify such and show every area of improvement. .. Read More

"Feedback is Fundamental to Motivating Your Team"

Barry Sahba, Managing Director

Matrix Group - Aug 1994


The essence of management is to develop a team of highly motivated and committed people with the right skills. To build up such enthusiastic team, your most important role is to provide the leadership and motivate them. We all know that financial rewards are always nice but the real motivators are satisfaction with the job itself making the work interesting and challenging, having or gaining the right level of responsibility, making achievements, receive the deserved recognition, and on the right-track for gaining skills for advancement. Your team will achieve more when they feel they are valued and trusted. Your feedback to your team about their work is fundamental to their motivation. .. Read More

"Problems"

Barry Sahba, Managing Director

Matrix Group - Aug 1994

Unlike what you think, we do want to hear about problems, so we can solve them together! It drives all of us nuts when we hear of some problems too-late; when, we can't do anything about them anymore. As part of your management effort, you must convince your team that this is not ancient world and no one is going to execute the bearer of bad news! .. Read More

"Decisions - Having the Right Information is Absolutely Vital"

Barry Sahba, Managing Director

Matrix Group - Dec 1994

Rapid and decisive decision making is not intuitive - Even if you consider yourself an extraordinary leader, you can't simply make good decisions unless they are supported based on established facts and relevant data. With the right information system in place, we can quickly reach a consensus and make informed decisions. So, having the right information is absolutely vital. Therefore, talk to your people and learn about every detail. Can't make decisions in vacuum - Do as much legwork as possible and gather what you need to know. Also, try to identify potential problems at the onset to prevent setbacks and even possible disasters. Get everyone together and ask "what can go wrong?" to get everyone thinking and planning contingencies... Read More

"Manage Activities, Not People!"

Barry Sahba, Managing Director

Matrix Group - Sep 1994

Management is about getting things done. It's about building up an enthusiastic team and helping them achieve the right goals. It's about gathering the right set of information and making decisions. Most importantly, it's about applying common sense. Your experience and common sense are your best guide in analyzing the problems and coming up with the right solutions and right decisions. Those of us as practicing engineers, have always had to apply practical common sense, clarity and precision in everything we do and "management" is not any different! However, we manage activities, not people! You ought to coach people. .. Read More

"Maximizing Project Efficiency"

Barry Sahba, Managing Director

Matrix Group - Dec 1992

Before you embark on a new project and commit the resources within your group for the next "X" number of weeks or months, let's make sure everyone is on the same page and understands the scope of the project at hand; that is, what is required and by when, even go beyond that asking why it is needed. Make sure the project statement not only has the required clarity but also everyone has read the full document and agreed to all terms and conditions. This way, you can force all concerned to actually think about the details and "what if" scenarios before they start.

Clarity is the most important ingredient in effective project management. Beyond a set of clear project specifications, you can improve the overall project efficiency by developing the right task structures of what needs to be done and how to do it by matching each task to the right person on your team - Keep in mind that everyone on your team must not only contribute to successful completion of the project and achieving the right results but also gain some experience or additional skills.

Perhaps the most critical area for improving project efficiency is in development of proper time estimates - And, this takes a lot of experience but can be practiced regularly to hone such skills. The major obstacle is when you come across a group that due to lack of prior experience can't and often won't commit to firm time tables and schedules, which are "a must" for handling any successful project. In such case, the only course of action is to launch concurrent training programs to build their confidence. Nevertheless, as the project manager, you do need to establish project controls by setting clear milestones to define, communicate and report progress. At the end of each project, you must gather everyone involved and reflect back to review the lessons learned. .. Read More

"Cherishing Failures - Allow Your Team Make Mistakes Also"

Barry Sahba, Managing Director

Matrix Group - Jan 1993

Outside the realm of operations, in particular manufacturing operations, where repeatability is "a must", practiced and demanded every day for achieving consistency in quality, in areas such as product development and market development, people should be allowed to conduct experiments to find better better ways of doing things. Basically, they should feel free to think creatively and be allowed to make some mistakes and experiment; thus, they may not be doing things right the first time - And, that's OK.

Also, as part of any project management training, we ought to develop and include certain experiment modules encouraging people to try different things and expect them to make mistakes - They'll definitely learn more from their mistakes than successes. This way, when they are assigned projects, they will make less number of mistakes and progress will pick up more speed; furthermore, they'll learn about risk management and cost savings will be tremendous.

Moving on, in innovation, you can not expect to do it right the first time. .. Read More

"Do it right the first time, or don't do it at all"

Barry Sahba, Managing Director

Matrix Group - Oct 1992

From an operational stance, where tasks are supposed to be repeatable.

But problem-solving tasks are different. Basically, do all your planning before you start on a project, and, do it right the first time, or don't do it at all

"Concurrent Development"

Barry Sahba, Managing Director

Matrix Group - June 1992

The key to launching successful fast-track concurrent product development is a fully trained cross-functional team. Usually, the bulk of the work for initial development is done by the R&D team, but all other groups can definitely pitch in and contribute in areas such as conceptualization. Cross-functional teams are project-pulled from various departments such as marketing, finance, purchasing, manufacturing and quality. Concurrent development programs can be designed to also cut down many of the major delays that can throughout the course of product development. Concurrent development gives you a leg up on your competition by providing you with a wide selection of practical solutions and options. .. Read More

"Perfection - The Futile Quest"

Barry Sahba, Managing Director

Matrix Group - Jan 1992

We all live in a world where "absolute perfection" is unachievable. Worse, a futile quest for perfection merely wastes our resources, and more importantly a lot of time. As part of our continuous improvement program, it is our vision to work towards perfection; it implies perfection can't be our mission because we can't do everything absolutely 100% perfectly and attain perfection within a reasonable time-frame. Our job is to eliminate as many glitches and imperfections as possible and ensure customer satisfaction in everything we do.

When it comes to products, of course, we can deliver perfect quality; same is true with everything else within our system where we do have control over the outcome. But when it comes to making decisions and launching a project, it is truly not possible for us to line up all the ducks in an "absolutely perfect" row before we finalize the decision and get rolling with a program.

You have to trust your team-mates when you have done your job and motivated the team - They take pride in their work and want to do the best job possible, and, they will. None of us have the luxury of time to polish up everything until it shines, and then move on - This wastes valuable time. We can't expect to have the absolute best tools, machines, techniques, processes, etc before we take on a project challenge - Must be realistic and think practical. As long as everything seems to be fit for the purpose and sufficient resources are available, must start up your engines and kick off. Experience shows that often it doesn't worth the time to wait and gather everything together. Besides, most of our projects seem to be fairly similar, some need customization but can be quickly tailored to the specific requirements. We can definitely negotiate with the customer to work out a reasonable schedule but can't make them keep waiting and risk losing them. ..
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