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Why We Are Providing Manufacturing As A Service – Fayewa

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Posted: Apr 1, 2016 at 3:26 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Olufunke Fayewa is the chief executive of Hibiscus Contract Manufacturing Company. In this interview with Ikechi Nzeako in Lagos, she says the company is unique in the sense that it provides manufacturing as a service to manufacturers in the country who do not have the facility or managerial acumen to produce their own goods. She added that the firm provides a platform at low cost to clients who are into consumer-packaged goods

 

Excerpts:

 

 

 

What is the objective of the company?

 

My passion for Hibiscus Contract Manufacturing Company comes from my seven years in manufacturing and product supply. One thing about manufacturing is the different type of jobs it creates. If you look at the plant, you have frontline workers, you have the managers and you have many ancillary workers. It creates different levels of jobs. Even beyond the factory, when you look at the supply chain, you must have someone to supply the raw materials; you must have someone to supply the packaging materials. So it tends to create a lot of jobs. The company pays taxes to the government; then you do some corporate social responsibility in the community you are operating in.

So you can see how you are touching the lives of so many people. So for me when you compare manufacturing to something like importing of goods, manufacturing touches the lives of more persons positively. At a time that there is economic crisis in the country and foreign exchange is very scarce, a lot of people are looking at ways to produce goods in the country and they do not have the know-how and they do not know the required standard and do not know how to acquire operational excellence, Hibiscus Contract Manufacturing Company seeks to provide that platform of a world-class facility with quality management system to our prospective clients.

 

How are you able to do that?

 

I think in manufacturing, there are two parts, one is the people and the other is the organization. Hibiscus Contract Manufacturing Company aims to be a high-performing organisation where everybody is involved in the plant where some people come from outside to service and maintain the plant. When someone is working on the line, that line is like a child; they know everything about the line. When the line is sick, they know why it is sick and how to fix it. They also understand that for an operating facility to run effectively, there must be standard procedure; rules that you follow everyday. There are targets and if you do not meet a target, you must understand and explain why you did not meet the set target. This is the kind of mindset and attitude that we bring into the manufacturing process.

 

What has the experience been for the company?

 

For Hibiscus Contract Manufacturing Company, it is something that we are still working towards. We are at this expo to see if we can provide manufacturing as a service to small and medium enterprises in the country. What we have learnt is that a lot of small and medium enterprise owners are excited about the service and are saying, “I do not have to go through all the hassles if someone else can do it for me”. So the response to the service has been encouraging. There has been interest from small and medium enterprise owners; there has also been interest from big time players in the manufacturing company. I am very encouraged by the interest that has been shown in what we do and we are moving on to the next level.

 

What are the challenges that you have faced in doing this business?

 

The challenge Hibiscus Contract Manufacturing Company is facing is in the area of cost competitiveness; for a reason, people have been importing into the country and you have many manufacturers complain that the cost of producing in Nigeria is high due to lack of infrastructure – electricity, water, road and security; those will be a challenge. But now that foreign exchange is scarce and some goods have been banned from being imported into the country by the federal government, this will serve as an incentive to begin to manufacture in the country. The next challenge that I see is the supply chain; if we produce in the country and have to import your raw materials, you still need foreign exchange and that will be difficult in the short term. However, Hibiscus Contract Manufacturing Company hopes to be able to provide small and medium enterprises and other businesses with foreign exchange that will tie us to the next two to three years when the economy, hopefully, will start to recover. Even in that challenge, I see an opportunity; once there is a local production base, we create an incentive for another suppliers in the supply chain to localise the production of that local raw materials so that over time, the cost of your production will be dominated in the naira and the cost of your raw materials will also be denominated in the naira.

 

What challenges has the company faced in terms of clients’ acceptance of its offering?

 

Specifically as a company, what Hibiscus Contract Manufacturing Company faces is lack of understanding of what contract manufacturing is all about. Many small and medium enterprises do not understand what contract manufacturing is all about and they are skeptical about manufacturing in the country. This is because of poor infrastructure in the country and we hope that the infrastructure issue will be resolved as the federal government has promised.