SEPM was founded in 1988 in Johor Bahru, the second largest city in Malaysia, initially as a small production base. Its electric wire and flat cable divisions steadily achieved good results and, a decade ago, the production division of SEPS, its original parent company in Singapore, was wholly transferred to SEPM. The company has grown to 740 employees and 4 factories, and owns one of the few manufacturing sites that have large equipment for radiation crosslinking electric wires and with the ability to produce thick heat-resistant electric wires. The demand for thick electric wires used in automobiles is showing a solid increase. In response to request for environmentally conscious products, replacement with halogen-free electric wires is in rapid progress. In addition to these products for export purpose, SEPM manufactures flat cables for sales in Malaysia, which account for about 70% of the flat cables produced by the company.
Malaysia is a multiethnic state composed of Malays, Chinese and Indians. We have to bring together and direct employees from different ethnic groups with totally different identities, and in doing so, we strictly follow the policy of not dividing them by race but evaluating them fairly based on their abilities. The high percentage of female staff (accounting for 70% of all employees) is notable and local female workers are performing well including in administrative posts such as factory directors and managers.
I am in charge of purchasing direct raw materials for the factories as well as machine parts and supplies such as stationery. I am making efforts to strengthen our competitiveness including searching for local suppliers offering products at lower prices and concentrated purchase. It is also important to explain regulations based on ISO 14001 and give guidance to the suppliers to control them. The potential of our company is attractive for me. In particular, I hope the automotive-related businesses grow more in Malaysia.
I started to work at SEPM 15 years ago, and have directly experienced the growth of the company. The expansion of our business has created many jobs and brought benefits to Malaysia. I have learned much about production control, and now supervise 107 employees as the director of the first electric wire factory. The improvement of the welfare system and the hygienic environment has lowered the labor turnover rate, and we have no labor problems. To meet any customer demand is the challenge which I, as a factory director, am always aware of.
* Interviewed in July 2008.