SME assistance programs: DOST’s MPEX

mpex

Handled by the Department of Science and Technology’s Technology Application and Promotion Institute (DOST TAPI), the Manufacturing Productivity Extension Program (MPEX) aims to increase productivity of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in the Philippine manufacturing sector.  Its priority SME beneficiaries are those serving export markets or have the potentials for export.

The program seeks to achieve this  productivity-improvement goals by identifying strategies to improve productivity of exporting or export-ready SMEs and recommending productivity improvement measures for immediate implementation.

The assistance is carried out by a team of experienced and highly-trained consultants from the academe, including the UP Institute for Small-Scale Industries (UP ISSI).

Coverage

MPEX consultants study and propose improvements in the following areas:  capacity utilization, financial systems and controls, human resource utilization, machine and equipment utilization, plant maintenance, manufacturing systems, materials management system, process and operations, product design and packaging, plant layout, quality control assurance system, safety and housekeeping practices and facilities, wastage levels, and work organizations,

To avail of the MPEX program, firms may be endorsed by industry association or the Department of Trade and Industry or apply directly to the concerned DOST regional office. MPEX consultants may recommend firms for inclusion in the program.

Screening process

SMEs indorsed or recommended for MPEX assistance undergo a screening process to determine if they qualify to the program.

The screening process proceeds in four steps:

  1. DOST-NCR’s program coordinator, with a team of consultant, conducts plant visits to SMEs and introduces MPEX.
  2. Owners / representative of potential firm beneficiaries are invited to a matching session for interview and evaluation. DOST-NCR shall be responsible for the identification and selection of final firm beneficiaries.
  3. Matching of firms with MPEX team is done through DOST-NCR in consultation with firm beneficiary and team concerned.
  4. Firms shall signify their agreement to participate in the program in writing.

Intervention Process

  1. Each team of consultants prepares a work program for DOST’s approval.
  2. Each firm to be assisted designates its own personnel to assist the team during project implementation.
  3. Basic performance indicators to be assessed or measured at the start of the study include capacity utilization, output per worker, wastage levels, existing manufacturing systems and related operations.
  4. The MPEX team in consultation with the clients selects an area where productivity improvement potentials are great.
  5. The team then implements an in-depth study on the selected productivity improvement concern and formulates recommendations for implementation of the firm beneficiary.
  6. If needed, services of technology experts relevant to the firm’s operation will also be tapped.
  7. Recommendations are discussed and validated with the firm’s management and whenever possible, implemented immediately.
  8. A technical report by each team shall be submitted to DOST-NCR, documenting the assessment, analysis, evaluation and recommendations made.
  9. Each productivity study shall be completed two  man-months from contract signing plus one  man-month for the installation of recommendations.

Participation to the program is free of charge. However, full commitment and cooperation of the firm beneficiary is required specially in sharing relevant information to the team.

Photo from: dost.gov.ph/mpex/

 

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