BSMH5023 – SHRM – TECHNOLOGY NOWADAYS ARE MORE IMPORTANT COMPARED TO CAPITAL AND MANPOWER

Rapid and ongoing advances in technology have created a workplace where laborers are being replaced by knowledge workers. An organization’s “technology” is becoming more invested in people than capital. Thought and decision-making processes as well as skills in analyzing complex data are not “owned” by an organization but by individual employees. This is in stark contrast to traditional manufacturing organizations where the employer usually owns or leases the machinery and production processes, and duplication of the organization’s “capital” is restricted primarily by cost considerations.” (Jeffrey A. Mello, 2011, p.5). In a group of 3-4 persons, please critically discuss the statement by providing examples from workplace experiences.

1          INTRODUCTION

Organizations have entered a new era characterized by rapid, dramatic and turbulent changes. The accelerated pace of change has transformed how work is performed by employees in diverse organizations. Change has truly become an inherent and integral part of organizational life. Basically, Strategic Human Resources Management is about identifying the right vision, mission, core value and goals towards the organization. Or in a simple words fully utilized the resources according to the needs of the organization.

Strategic Human Resources itself also have been explained as resources which relates with the organization according to the business environmental in their long term commitment in order to meet the markets and also the expectations from their stakeholders, (Johnson and Scholes; 2002:10).

In order to have an efficient processes in selecting a better resources, each organization need to ensure that they have studied their strength in every aspects of resources to ensure that they can manage to achieve their goals in the first place. As for that, deciding which resources are important in order to ensure that the company can overcome the cost of others which reflect the performances of the organization itself. Moreover, we know that each company has their own, resources which they rely on it such as manpower, skills, capital, and technology.

To ensure the organization choose the right resources they need to do some studies towards the implementation of each of the resources. Plus, they also need to know the cost, pros and cons for each of the resources which they want to use in their organization. Besides, a better planning also is necessary where; they need to know whether they used the main resources in such a long term or short term period.

2          WHY STRATEGIC HUMAN RESOURCES IMPORTANT IN EACH ORGANIZATION?

Strategic Human Resources are important to ensure the manpower and skills been evaluated according to the needs of the organization. Therefore, performance evaluation is very important in order to reward their manpower with the suitable skills that they have according to their performances.

Besides, Strategic Human Resources is important due to, organization itself to perform their responsibilities as performing a greater support towards their business environment according to the business policy that have been stated for the organization ( Sheehen, Holland & Cieri, 2006).

There is also another definition which relates with Strategic Human Resources, where as one organization, they need to ensure anything that they decide being optimized according to the functions and resources of the organization itself. This is very important to form the long terms goal as it being coordinated by the organization itself to formulate the strategies and decide the best decision for the entire organization, besides to pursue the expectations from the customers and also the stakeholders (Ellers & Lazenby: 2007:1).

Moreover, Strategic Human Resources is important to determine the number of peoples who can manage the organization according to the business activities which related with their core businesses. Thus, Strategic Human Resources and Human Resources Management are very important in deciding the success or failure of the organization.

In Strategic Human Resources itself they need to consider the operational level of each function inside the organization, due to that Human Resources Development is part of enhancing and improving organizational performance based on individual performances and throughout performances of the process. From here, each skills being developed, and the skills will come out as a best practices to be the competency of the manpower itself.

Operational level acquire people to have some sort of knowledge and skills, to carry out the tasks been given from time to time. As refer to United States manager, they learned to think in the scope of Quality Management and also productivity issues.

Each issue in every level needs to be encountered differently as though they have to settle down several issues which based on each level according to the pyramid of responsibilities itself. Other than that, Strategic Human Resources is more on the output driven rather compared to input driven. Such examples can be including where, training will be measured according to the number of hours or throughout the years. But, besides it the firm wanted to see whether the attributes for the output driven been achieved or not.

Strategic Human Resource personnel is very important in order for them to have a multi skilled , cross – functional, empowered, team players, having high, emotional intelligence (EQ) and also can think out of the box.

 

3          IMPORTANCES OF TECHNOLOGY, MANPOWER AND CAPITAL

Globalization has also been accompanied by massive technological change which is transforming the workplace and bringing new skill demands. The development of existing technologies and the creation of new technologies have proceeded at a remarkable pace over the last 10 to 15 years. This has contributed to the development of new products, new services and new markets. It has helped transform entire industries, as well as the operations of numerous individual workplaces and enterprises. Just as the traditional car mechanic has been replaced by electronically-savvy car technicians, a recent Rand Study argued “technological advances are expected to continue to increase demand for a highly skilled workforce, to support higher productivity growth, and to change the organization of business and the nature of employment relationships. Technology advancements are also occurring in biotechnology, materials sciences, nano-technologies and many other areas that will impact the water industry. These technological advances will create new jobs and cross-disciplinary skill requirements that will challenge current job design.

Technology, manpower and capital are very important to the organization due to resources that need to be allocate according to the need of the organization itself, by considering relevant factors which relates the needs which might helped the organization to boost up the performances of their company and manage to handle the tasks according to what the organization have plan for the future needs.

Each resource below has its own roles in the organization itself to ensure each of it being identified very well by the organization itself. Human Resource department need to study very well the needs of each resource together with other organization functions for them to able to decide the right quantity and quality of each resource needed.

3.1         Technology

Technology is one of tools of scientific knowledge that been used practically in industry which helped the manpower to manage their work efficiently by using the right machines, equipment or software to assist the performance of the organization itself.

Technology helps the HR itself to form efficient services by having:

3.1.1    HRIS – where the technology helps the organization in acquire, retrieve, analyse and distribute certain information regarding on human resource itself.

3.1.2    ASM – One of tools using the application server model which is based on Employees assessment.

3.1.3    Other example such as; workflow technology, vendor management system, application tracking system, performance management software, internal mobility software, executive and key people management software, E – recruitment software, and virtual office system.

The example above, have been introduced to simplify the tasks of HR in doing the right things and making a better decision without taking too much time in dealing with this kind of situations.

3.2         Manpower

In Strategic Human Resources, certain numbers of manpower needed to fulfill the tasks been given at specified time. The manpower will be chosen according to their knowledge and skills that they have before being absorb as permanent workers. Due to certain policies the manpower will be tested in a certain period of month before being absorbed to permanent workers as resources of expertise of the company.

3.3         Capital

Sum large amount of money be invested to start a business or it can be defined as a property of wealth which owned by one person or organizations such as buildings and equipments.

4          PREVIOUS SCENARIOS

Human Resources Management and Strategic Human Resources Management need to work together to maintain the performances of the company. By using and selecting the right plan and decision making in selecting resources which not easy in come out with a right decision. Strategic Human Resources Management should be align with strategies that have been state under the corporate goals of the company whereby the functional concerns are more traditional compared to nowadays situation. This is not only considered the criteria of peoples inside the organization. It also include the roles been played by both the employer and workers to achieve the corporate goal. The traditional ways previously the HR appraisal is based on employees rather than the top management.

As such example, the most important things is where the appraises based on certain criteria such as internal and external satisfaction, productivity and quality . There also considered other criteria such as team work, attendance, neatness and boss satisfaction by having less weight on the criteria.

4.1         Manpower.

Previously, the manpower issues are due to searching the manpower without choosing their knowledge and skills as the main factors of selecting the manpower. Organization will classified their workers into certain departments, but mostly like in factory they will consider the minimum certificate that they have. Which maybe the basic skills like reading and writing are better. But when it comes to managerial level, it becomes choosy and too rigid in selecting the manpower. Simply said, it does actually refer to the industry of working itself.

4.2         Knowledge and skills.

There is some critic whereby, the era of implementation is considering knowledge as an important skill to implement the strategy by the organization. Moreover, the statement been made without knowledge, the organization can’t come out without all the resources if they do not have the knowledge in the area that they needed. Besides, knowledge and skills become necessities in order to implement the strategy in the organization.

Other resources such as raw materials, capital and technology are not difficult to find out by the organizations it become less important due to supply of functions of the CEO’s and managerial level in decision making in order to decide for the best for the organization. The supply becomes higher on the highest position where, the managerial level will lead the organization for a better future.

Besides, there also some issues with regards to selecting a knowledgeable manpower. Why organizations prefer to have a better manpower? For them when the manpower has a knowledge, easy for them to give instruction to the manpower without having problem in two ways communication. Meaning the instruction been given clearly without any doubt that the manpower will disobey the instruction from the managerial level.

As we know the organization it have few layers whereby we can identify whether the manpower can be classified as upper level, middle level or bottom level. Clearly, we can see how each organization manage to have a good leadership under one leader. The leader on the top management need to be synchronized which able for the others to follow the path that they want. If the information been instructed not according to the purpose of the organization, they will have some troubles in dealing with their people later on. As for that two ways communization play important roles in ensuring that each people in the organization received the information needed by the firm itself.

4.3         Capital.

Money in term of capital is very important to ensure that the organization something in hand which is very important in order to use it for having kind of resources such as materials, hire manpower, buying machineries or equipment and others. Each organization needs to have sums of capital for them to manage the resources needed. But some of the company who having a problem in having an ample capital to invest. They do manage to lease the machineries for certain period of time rather than buy the machineries. Which will cost them more than expected? The firm itself has a strategy where they try to reduce the capital of their company. But at the same time maximize their profit as well.

5          NOWLEDGE WORKERS

These are workers whose main capital is knowledge. Typical examples may include software engineers, doctors, architects, engineers, scientists, public accountants, lawyers, and teachers, because they “think for a living”.

What differentiates knowledge work from other forms of work is its primary task of “non-routine” problem solving that requires a combination of convergent, divergent, and creative thinking. Also, despite the amount of research and literature on knowledge work there is yet to be a succinct definition of the term.

The issue of who knowledge workers are, and what knowledge work entails, The first point to the most narrow and defined definition of knowledge work, such as Florida’s view of it as specifically, “the direct manipulation of symbols to create an original knowledge product, or to add obvious value to an existing one”, which limits the definition of knowledge work to mainly creative work. Then contrast this view of knowledge work with the notably broader view which includes the handling and distribution of information, arguing that workers who play a role in the handling and distribution of information add real value to the field, despite not necessarily contributing a creative element. Thirdly, one might consider a definition of knowledge work which includes, “all workers involved in the chain of producing and distributing knowledge products”, which allows for an incredibly broad and inclusive categorization of knowledge workers. It should thus be acknowledged that the term “knowledge worker” can be quite broad in its meaning, and is not always definitive in who it refers to.

Managing knowledge workers can be a difficult task. Most knowledge workers prefer some level of autonomy, and do not like being overseen or managed. Those who manage knowledge workers are often knowledge workers themselves, or have been in the past. Projects must be carefully considered before assigning to a knowledge worker, as their interest and goals will affect the quality of the completed project

6          WHY NOWADAYS TECHNOLOGY IS MORE IMPORTANT IF COMPARED TO MANPOWER AND CAPITAL?

 

Are these new technologies really responsible for a decade of lacklustre job growth? Many labor economists say the data are, at best, far from conclusive. Several other plausible explanations, including events related to global trade and the financial crises of the early and late 2000s, could account for the relative slowness of job creation since the turn of the century. “No one really knows,” says Richard Freeman, a labor economist at Harvard University. That’s because it’s very difficult to “extricate” the effects of technology from other macroeconomic effects, he says. But he’s skeptical that technology would change a wide range of business sectors fast enough to explain recent job numbers.

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That robots, automation, and software can replace people might seem obvious to anyone who’s worked in automotive manufacturing or as a travel agent. They believe that rapid technological change has been destroying jobs faster than it is creating them, contributing to the stagnation of median income and the growth of inequality in the United States. And, they suspect, something similar is happening in other technologically advanced countriesThe workforce for the future will require a significant investment in people. Nowadays, why each organization prefers to have technology as main resources compared to other kind of resources?

This is also due to some efficiency been detected by having technology where it helps in simplified the condition of the organization. There are few cases that I’ve been go through pertaining this issues. Such example :

7          7 ELEVEN

7 Eleven, where previously they are having too many manpower to key in the data of the products item according to the Stock Keeping Units (SKU). Then, the management decided to cut down the number of manpower been used by using software which can simplified the key in data processes. By having this kind of solution 7 Eleven can cut down the cost in hiring the manpower by having this kind of system for long term goals.

Besides, by having technology the productivity in term of efficiency can be maintained and it can be avoid from any errors. By having technology as main resources there are many things can be considered by cut down the numbers of manpower, the organization can used the capital to other resources or it might help in upgrading the technology been used.

According to their IT manager, Michael Peck at 7 Eleven, business drives the technology not technology drives the business. As for that, 7 Eleven always find a way to maximize their performances by having a better services technology. Such example, SAP being chosen to support the master data and retails cost and rebates. Furthermore, 7 eleven try to upgrade their machineries which they have been chosen IBM as the best machineries that they have. IBM been chosen because of their scalability and also the efficiency. By choosing IBM also they can maintain the performances of the data that they have because of security of the assurance by IBM.

7 Eleven also implement the mobile technology where they need to use it as to reduce the number of paper being used in their operations. This application been used to see the feedback been replied by the customers in order for them to have a continuous improvement in their services. This kind of application known as “Survey on the Spot”. Plus, it can help in reducing the time in term of getting to know their customers wants. This also helped them to have a quick response from their customers throughout the survey on application been made.

8          MYDIN MOHAMED HOLDINGS BHD

The other scenario is when Mydin Mohamed Holdings Bhd introduced the scanner where the products can be eligibly found and proved by JAKIM as product which have halal base. The machines helped the consumer to check the items and the company which produces the products itself. This also helped them to reduce number of manpower in entertaining the products itself to the suppliers.

Besides, Mydin also have implemented some technology gadget in their retail life. This is in order to ensure that the services that they provided is align with the current situation nowadays. Mydin worked with Motorola in having kind of gadget which helped them in not only scan the goods in managing inventory, but also when replenish their stocks and managing their prices. The gadget or the “the one stop centre” is kind of good facilities been provided by Mydin to their customers in order for the customers to choose their products efficiently by knowing the discount of each products that been promoted. The technology had given an advantage to customers, marketers and the staff itself, due to minimizing duplication of goods and also they have kind of business intelligence technology which to be used to help them in giving a real information by having a systemic scalability equipment.

Other than that the Mesra card now have been upgrading where once the customers card being swipe throughout the counter the card itself will reveal all the information regarding on the users profile , give them some coupon s when they spend their money at certain level. From them also Mydin notified the goods from time to time.

Besides that, Mydin also have worked together with Allied Telesis in partnering for having better services in IT services. This is where Mydin need to maintain the ordering of goods and communication between their suppliers and also their branches throughout the countries. Such investments helped Mydin a lot in maintain their performances and efficiency in their daily operations. This is to catch up with the demand and supply between what they provide towards their customers. Furthermore, the system that been provided have better access in internet, IP network and also in term of security purposes. Previously, Mydin facing a problem where the system can’t support the entire systems for the operations itself. And they need to ensure the system is safe and keep operating from time to time in order for them to overcome any delays in their operations.

Other than that, Mydin also implement another system for their procurement in order to ensure that the inventory level can be detected easily by having the right quantity to order. By having K-2 based solutions it help Mydin to decide their ordering efficiently by knowing the exact quantity in their warehouse. This also helped them in minimizing the number of manpower needed. Besides there also have another benefit by having more suppliers discounts, increase their annual profit about $300,000, saving up to $800,000, stock request time reduces from five days to 3 hours, IT support requirement advanced, the network ready to expand from 17 to 27 stores in a year. It helps Mydin a lot in making their decisions on time.

Some of the forklift been used in Mydin warehouse not been owned by them as well, they only lease it and pay the maintenance fees, as to reduce the number of capital been used to control the budget in having the forklift . Mydin itself have their own strategic planning for their corporate goals. As for that, they always planned it very well according the needs and throughout missions of the company.

9          TOYOTA

In Toyota case whereby the technology is playing an important part where they need to have technology not only for their assembly lines but also in ensuring that they able to reach the customers due to certain circumstances such as emergency cases. Management in Toyota have decided to use technology as part as conveniences tools in order to manage their information for giving a conveniences services to the customers by using Internet. Besides, Toyota organizes the technology itself for their employees to update any information, plus they can recall the Toyota products, to help the customers to handle their automobile very well. Besides by having technology they can keep sending e – mails to each other in order to send congratulations e – mail and also keep updating and motivating each others from time to time. Internet helps the company to communicate with each other among the department and also throughout the company branches.

Moreover, Toyota has their owned believed in trust while affecting the lean management against their HR itself. This is because lean management itself based on creating something that will become valuable for the company by using fewer resources. Under this idea, Toyota believes the main ingredient of lean management is based on people. For them, the most critical to solve their problems by having to know what the drives for continuous improvement for Toyota.

The Toyota itself strategically having their owned principle which they come out on their own , for example like just in time – where they only made the things according to what they need, when they need and according to the quantity needed by the company. This is part of the system that been implement by Toyota which helped in elimination the waste.

Other than that, Toyota also have implement Kanban System where they applied it on TPS ( Toyota Production System) , actually Kanban system was taken the idea from supermarket method but it has been formalized as preceding process which helps to retrieved parts been used to communicate from one to another parts.

10     SUGGESTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS.

 

 

10.1   Two way communications are important in order to have a better Understanding in term strategy been making among the functions which they need to achieve according to the corporate goal which have been decide by the organization.

10.2     In order to have a better structure and better understanding among the peers, The Top management need always to remind the employees to be positive and keep thinking forward to be competent in future.

10.3     Other things is the top management and other management level need to ensure that the knowledge or any information that been discussed reach the bottom line as well in order to ensure the employees can clearly see the instruction very well.

10.4     Increasing the complexities in HRD roles, this is where they need to ensure that the employees fulfil the criteria each of them according to attribute functionality.

11     CONCLUSIONS.

As globalization and other financial pressures have increased during the past decade, many organizations have been very successful in leveraging technology to boost productivity and performance. This has left management of human capital as the other key opportunity for cost-containment and productivity gains. The workforce of the future will be working in organizations with strong performance-based systems which incentivize both high performance and alignment to company strategies, values and work practices.

Hiring will focus on attracting top talent that fits the organization culture. Cost-containment pressures may increase the focus on hiring talent with the right skill sets rather than internally training staff. Responsible financial decision making will be expected at all levels and from all employees.

The visual portrayal of paradigm shifts in technology shows how each leading technology is maximally useful for a short period before its peak drops off as another technology moves in to replace it.

Technological change has shaped HR dramatically over the years, and will continue to do so at increasing speeds. Possibilities we can hardly imagine today might soon be commonplace. Like a jumbo airliner gathering speed as it takes off from the runway, technology has been changing faster and faster—and there’s no end in sight. History tells part of the story, and developments waiting in the wings indicate a quickening of technological change with each generation. If for 25 years we used the mainframe and in the next 10 years jumped to client/server architecture, only to find it replaced by Internet applications, what’s next? Will every new technology have half the shelf life of the last one?

As for conclusion, Strategic Human Resources is very important in order to ensure that the firm can move forward and plan the strategy according to the corporate vision where, they need to work as team to ensure that they can meet the goals of the firm. The organization itself needs to plan their resources very well in order to have a proper management in their expertise. Plus, each of organization need to find a way, to reduce number of problems that been faced by them to ensure the process that they been go through smoothly.

Technology is under continuous transformation, becoming smarter, cheaper, easier to use and less structured. As this occurs, the working environment will also evolve to become more and more about the access of knowledge. We are moving quickly into an information-intensive world where knowledge is accessible by all and continuous learning and knowledge retention are critical

12       REFERENCES.

Strategic HRM,Contemporary Issues in the Asia Pacific Region 1st Edition, Julia Connell and Stepehen Teo; Tilde University Press (2010).

The Business Review Cambridge; vol:3,(2005).

Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, 6th Edition.

http://www.mydin.com.my/mydin/tech-retail-therapy

Toyota – Internal and External Factors Influencing Management

Will the Fallen Rise Again?, Sophia Moon.

Strategic Human Resources Development, Lyle Yorks (2005).

Strategic Role of Human Resource, by Rene T Domingo (2003).

http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/management/Tr-Z/Trends-in-Organizational-Change.html#ixzz38G93lLD4

http://www.oracle.com/us/products/applications/ebusiness/21-century-hcm-row-henson-396487.pdf

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