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CONTENTS: PG:

1. Introduction 2

2. Purechem Veolia’s internal and external environmental components 2

2.1 SWOT and PEST analysis 2

2.2 Organisation’s Strength 3

2.3 Organisation’s Weakness 3

2.4 Organisation’s Opportunities 4

2.5 Organisation’s Threats 5

3. Changes and challenges that Purechem Veolia is undergoing 6

3.1 Examining the changes 6

3.2 Redesigning of the works 7

4. Corporate Development Team Findings 8

4.1 The Suggestions & Proposals 8

4.2 Adopting a different mindset 9

5. Future Sources of Change in the Industries 9

5.1 Embarking into the “Green Technology” 9

5.2 International Organisation for Standardization (ISO 9001) 10

5.3 Training & Information 11

5.4 Tailored Market Research 11

6. Conclusion 11

7. Reference List 12

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1. Introduction

Purechem Veolia Environmental Services was formed in Jan 2007 between Veolia Group and
a local SME, Pure Chemical Industries. Its services span over a broad spectrum, including
municipal and hazardous waste collection, recycling, transfer, treatment and disposal, for
municipalities and the industrial sector, as well as public cleansing for local authorities. The
mission statement of the organisation is ‘to deliver effective, efficient and consistent level of
services with innovative solutions while achieving a profitable growth and increasing value
for all our stakeholders.’ After the merger, the organisation managed to secure a public
cleansing tender with the National Environment Agency (NEA) for a period of 5 years.

In their newsletter the CEO, who is firm believer of research and development (R & D) and
champion of innovation, warned his organisation not to let the recent successes get into their
heads and prophesised that 5 years from now, the industry will rely on technologies that have
yet to be invented. It is imperative continuous improvements are required to achieve customer
satisfaction and to build on their success and acquire other sizable and profitable
governmental projects. He warned that there is no room for failure as it will result in the
layoff of 60% of the current manpower in one of the divisions in the organisation.

The Managing Director realised that it will be the best opportunity for him to reframe their
organisational structure due to the expansion into a new territory and the securing of the
urban cleansing tender. They will target intervention processes based on the focal aspect of
human process, strategy, techno-structural and human resources issues (Hayes, 2007). He
then initiate a Corporate Development (CD) team tasked to build up the organisation learning
capacities, pursuing business excellence and aligning staff to the organisation key strategies
and goals.

2. Purechem Veolia’s internal and external environmental components

2.1 SWOT and PEST analysis

The first approach that was required of the CD team was to draw the framework for the
analysis of the organisation’s macro-environmental factors that can be expressed in terms of
its Political, Economic, Social and Technology (PEST) analysis. This combined with external
micro-environmental can be classified in Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats
(SWOT) analysis (Middleton, 2003). This will enable the team to clearly identify the triggers

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of changes which have so far been applied or changes that could be applied to the
organisation to improve it further.

2.2 Organisation’s Strength

Veolia Environmental Services is known as the second largest environment services


organisation globally, and they are operating from a network of subsidiaries worldwide. With
its broad spectrum of services, the organisation is very competitive and able to maintain its
integrity as the leader in the industry. In the early days of its operations, the organisation
primarily runs its businesses in China that became the fundamental for them to expand their
business in the globalized economy. They are also able to tap into the Group’s vast
experience in the global waste industries market and with this strong brand recognition, they
managed to grow substantially over the years. Their focus would be to invest in the most
advance and latest technology that would became the core competence to the organisation.
The rapid development by its Asian headquarter based in China is an internal strength for
them in having a strong financial support and as well as a focused strategy that is already in
place for their human resource management and development.

2.3 Organisation’s Weakness

As majority of the organisation’s manpower is in its public cleansing department, they need
to constantly maintain their operational efficiency as any lapses can results in the loss of
confidence by the authorities. This will prevent them from receiving further government-
funded projects which are required to sustain the expenditure and huge investments in
expensive fixed costs, as well as high cost of training and retaining labour. For example, if
they are to regularly miss any public cleansing projects, many of the equipments invested will
be left idling.

Due to its large control of waste management activities across many sectors, the organisation
may not have the flexibility of some of its more focused competitors and will be left
frustrated when their low-skill ground crews are not able to benefits from using some of the
latest technology as they are not technology savvy to adopt these devices. They could have
used the Mobile Data Terminal (MDT), which functions is to communicate with a central
dispatch office on the MDT as it will save them time and prevent any miscommunication
when retrieving feedback from Customer Services. This will be more effective rather than the
traditional method of retrieving by phone call and then submitting the paper reports manually
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after the work is done. Other paradoxical issue faced by the organisation is that even though
they are known globally, they only seem to have presence in relatively few countries
worldwide.

2.4 Organisation’s Opportunities

With the organisation’s good reputation in the global economy and strong financial support, it
is listed as one of the strongest players among its competitors. They are able to continue with
their current mission goal and there is a tremendous opportunity for them to improve and
expand their business in the future, as waste never ends. In addition, as more contracts are
signed between the organisation and National Environment Agency (NEA), it will provide
opportunities for them to enhance its organisation benefits as well. These benefits could be
from receiving government grants or rebates to help fund organisation research.

With the use of more advanced technologies, companies will be able to research and develops
new products with higher quality to cater to the constant demands for better products in the
market. This can result in fierce competition among the major companies and force them to
change and innovate in order to introduce ingenious products which will benefit the life of
the consumers or countries. Discovery of new products with higher performance (e.g.
cleaning solution, oil) and smaller in size (e.g. vacuum sweeper) will increase the
productivity of staff and machines and ultimately increase profits. They can play their part as
waste management leaders by increasing world pollution awareness and spearhead
environmental projects such as encouraging the use of eco-friendly products in order to help
decrease the depletion of natural resources and be environmental friendly.

From the legal aspects of the business, the process of applying for R&D patent, which is
territorial in nature, requires separate applications to be made in each of the country where
the patent is required. However, with the introduction of the Patent Co-operation Treaty
(PCT), it will be possible to file the patent applications in different countries concurrently.
This will facilitate companies to seek patent protection for their invention in several countries
simultaneously by filing an international application with a single office, in one language and
a single set of forms and fees. Loosening of regulations by Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in
the foreign quota in labour intensive sectors such as construction and environmental
industries will benefits them as manpower shortage is a constant problems face by them.

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2.5 Organisation’s Threats

Political threats posed by the government regulations and legal issues are formal and informal
rules that the organisations must comply with. Singapore has maintained a period of political
stability under People’s Action Party (PAP) as the ruling party in Singapore since the
country’s independence in 1965. However, there are chances that more candidates from
opposition parties may be elected into the parliament in the next general election and this will
affect the formation of districts and zones for the elected members of the parliament.
Purechem Veolia’s will be directly affected as the demarcation of the constituency is likely to
be increased. With this increase, the area of each zone will be smaller and more non-
traditional competitors (i.e. smaller companies) are expected to enter the market and compete
for public waste-related projects as the required investments are lower than before.

Being one of the leaders in the industry means, the organisation is targeted for intense
competition domestically, regionally, and even internationally. With the global ranking, the
organisation is very much targeted by the local businesses political situation. Other local
companies that operate in this competitive environment, which are mostly small and medium
enterprises (SME), might merge amongst themselves to create stronger competition to the
organisation.

The organisation will have difficulty in preparing for succession planning due to the lack of
qualified talents as younger generations will be reluctant to work in waste management
industries as they do not have a high opinion of this area of work due to its long working
hours and being labour-intensive. It is also deemed not glamorous to be associated to be
working in organisation dealing with ‘rubbish’.

Due to the recent global financial meltdown, the GDP of Singapore has slowed down
considerably and it has resulted in the increase of unemployment rate in the country, as
companies have started to retrench staff in order to cut costs and headcount. Due to this,
banks are also unwilling to loan out cash and it could mean that the government and other
companies will cut their budget on environmental services as they have more important
priorities to handle.

Declining birth rate in Singapore since the last decade will result in fewer working adults for
the next generation. With the shortage of local manpower for employment, more foreigners
will have to be employed to work in Singapore. Managers and employees are required to
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communicate effectively within the culturally diverse workforce of these foreign workers
from countries such as China, India, Thailand and Vietnam. This will affect the productivity
of the organisation as foreigners might not understand the language and require more time to
understand and process instructions from the local managers.

This declining birth rate has already resulted in Singapore being labelled as an ‘hour-glass
society’. More retirees are forced to rejoin the workforce because of the shortage of young
working adults to support them. These generation gaps in workplace may also cause tensions
if not dealt appropriately by the management.

3. Changes and challenges that Purechem Veolia is undergoing

3.1 Examining the changes

After the CD team has analysed the organisation’s external and internal environment
components, the next step was to examine the changes and challenges that the organisation
had undertaken and to improve those which are not appropriate and to work towards the
expected standards. The methods will then be reviewed and relevant suggestions will be
proposed to the management to benchmark for the best practice.

Issues that have been identified based on departmental perspectives are organisational
technical systems such as their Total Quality Management (TQM), staff appraisal procedures,
training and development, and succession planning. Top management usually decide on these
measures and there are little or no consultation with the line managers, superintendents and
employees who are directly involved. The staff appraisal procedures leave little room for
employees to voice out their real concerns because it is usually a one-way communication.
Training and development programmes are initiated based on inaccurate assessment of the
employees’ actual job competencies, and there are deficiencies in employees’ performance
which cannot be corrected by training alone. There are no formal guidelines on succession
planning and employees are disillusioned when someone is promoted not based on his or her
competencies but on other factors which are deemed unfair.

The entrenched organisational culture promotes a deficiency perspective, which focus its
attention on the dysfunctional aspect of the organisation and has led to many interventions
designed on the assumptions that the organisation comes with problems that have to be
solved. This leads to single-loop collective learning, doing things repeatedly, continuous
improvement within the existing paradigm and relatively ineffective when it comes to
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facilitating organisational transformation (Hayes, 2007). For example, whenever feedbacks
are received from customer, no effort have been made to assess the root cause of the
problems and no one will follow up on the actions taken to see if it is possible to improve
further. Intervention such as doing things better may not apply in all situations. As such, it is
necessary for double-loop collective learning and some of the things to be done differently,
rather than to do the same thing over again to satisfy the customer.

3.2 Redesigning of the works

Works was redesigned and new roles, such as Superintendent and Quality Control (QC)
department have been created so that task performance can be improved by decentralising
decision on the ground during the Central Regional Office (CRO) and North West Regional
Office (NWRO) contract preparation. The intention of these changes is to lighten the
workload of Operation Manager and reduce unnecessary travelling time to travel from office
and worksites to attend to major complaints. Superintendents are to be in charge of a group of
Supervisors so that they can concentrate on their own clusters and empowerment will be
given for them to make decisions on the ground for greater efficiency and QC will be the
independent party to ensure that standards set has been complied. This method, though might
initially appear efficient on the surface, had caused significant misalignment as it had
unintentionally created another level of hierarchy causing more gaps and moving
communication synergy away when Superintendents, Supervisors and ground crews are not
working collectively with the QC department.

For example when the Liquated Damage (LD) is given by NEA officers to penalise the
organisation for not meeting up to the expected standards, the Superintendents are required to
provide explanation for the received LD to higher management. This analysis will required
supporting documents such as photos of the work done however most of the time the photos
would be mismatched when the Superintendents do not communicate well with the
Supervisors and ground crews to pinpoint the actual locations where the LD was received and
which of the pictures to download from the Supervisors camera. QC might also get the wrong
locations when they go for their routine sample audit.

Though the organisation understand that change is necessary and should be embrace
throughout the organisation, various departmental heads have different perception on the
matter, and commonly, there will be no uniform agreements on the most critical issues that
will required interventions. They are more comfortable with interventions that focus on
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changing structures, technology, and information system, neglecting the critical aspect of
people issue such as the motivational factor to get a job done. For example when QC
department highlighted to top managements that they have to repeatedly reprimand the
Supervisors and crews for jobs not done satisfactorily, the top management had commonly
dismissed these incidents and view it as flaws in structures, system or technology without
even probing into the cause of the actual problems themselves.

4. Corporate Development Team Findings

4.1 The Suggestions & Proposals

After discussing and analysing their findings, the CD Team first proposal to the Managing
Director was to reorganise the organisational chart by putting the right people at the right job.
The traits the organisation should look for in their Superintendents and Supervisors are
courage and the ability to accept personal responsibility. Although the top management will
ultimately bear the full responsibility, Superintendents should have the courage to stand up
and challenge the status quo for the benefit of the organisation, moving away from fear,
towards an organisational culture that embraces dissent views which are constructive. They
must be able to accept personal responsibility and hold themselves accountable for results as
these will show that as employees, they are willing to commit fully and expand their efforts
to reach the common organisation goals and objectives.

Human resources should modify their strategy and embark on high-performance work
systems that focus on coordination, commitment, communication and learning. The
organisation mission should focus on reinforcing change rather than to drive it and human
resources should kick start the effort by having a new corporate slogan, “Steadfast &
Agility”. All new employees must be oriented to understand the mission and values of the
organisation, and putting into practices during their daily work routine.

4.2 Adopting a different mindset

Leaders should adopt a mindset of appreciative inquiry towards issues rather than ‘problems
to be solved’ attitude. Adopting a mindset of appreciative inquiry will encourage and
cultivate a ‘possibilities to be embraced’ mindset. The organisation can also consider action
research as a form of intervention for change. Action research is a collaborative approach to
problem solving and manage change and involves participation from all members of a
department who will be directly affected. This involves five steps from data gathering for
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diagnosis to implementation of an action plan (Hayes, 2007). For example, a change
management initiative such as engaging an external change agent to facilitate the working
relationship between the organisation’s QC, NEA, Standards, Productivity and Innovation
Board (Spring) to steer and pull the group towards congruity. This can be achieved as all
relevant parties will be involved in decision making to discover the issues which are critical
in reaching a decision. Seeing their organisation taking the initiative to engage the governing
bodies for solutions, the employees would be more encouraged to voice out their views,
therefore creating a ‘sense of belonging to the tasks’ and the subsequent solutions that will be
implemented. The participation and active involvement from employees will enable the
organisation to collect more accurate data to achieve optimum decisions.

The Training Department must ensure that training and development programmes are
effective enough to produce the required employees’ competencies and behaviours. Training
programmes must be customised and designed in a way that is relevant to employees’ actual
job settings. They must achieve the objectives in allowing the employees the freedom to
apply their new knowledge and skills, thus preventing the same predicaments from occurring.

5. Future Sources of Change in the Industries

5.1 Embarking into the “Green Technology”

Apart from having a long history of working in partnership with NEA, the organisation also
work with other local authorities to help maintain the environmental services to the public
sectors. As one of the industry leaders, the organisation is expected to work together with
them in looking ahead for new innovations and try to adapt them to the waste industries, such
as using the new evolution of technology. The CD Team was also tasked to work together
with the local authorities in looking into the social challenges such as pollution, dwindling
natural resources and climate change as every individual citizen in the nation has high
expectations of the Singapore government in meeting the environmental challenges for the
future generations.

The organisation was then recommended to implement the adaption of the “Green
Technology” which is bringing the promise of a healthier planet by introducing new
technology evolution to their fleets of cleansing equipments such as the Mechanical Sweeper
system known as “Dulevo 5000”. Compared to the old Mechanical Sweeper system, it is
easier and cheaper to maintain, user friendly and has a filter system that is able to trap the

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finest dust enabling each sweeping cycle to ensure that only clean air is exhausted back into
the environment. The side brushes which are positioned outside the vacuum system require
only a small quantity of water sprayed onto them to control the dust from spewing during
sweeping. Moreover, the new sweeper is able to collect and load over half a tonne of debris
per minute, three times the speed of the traditional non-combined sweepers. The
advancement in the technology will certainly ease the drudgery of manual labour.

5.2 International Organisation for Standardization (ISO 9001)

In order to satisfy customer’s quality requirements; complying with regulations and meeting
environmental objectives, the organisation is set to implement ISO 9001 and obtain
registration. It is proven over the years that it leads to the organisation in having better
operations systems, specific key performance indicator and improved profitability. ISO 9000
is a series of documents that define requirements for the Quality Management System
Standard. In order to implement successfully, every employee is required to go through the
general training on ISO 9001 to understand the organisation’s need to meet the requirements
of the standard. Once the individual has modified or developed processes to meet the
standard, he will need to control these processes. Documenting the processes as Quality
System procedures is part of this control in the organisation. The QC Department would have
to play a big role in ensuring that the regulations are complied within the required standards.

5.3 Training & Information

Nevertheless, every employee in the organisation should be given adequate information on


the latest legislation, public trends, government priorities and essential training programme to
provide them with the appropriate skills to do their job effectively and increase productivity.
In the recent news commented that NEA will be launching an $8 million 3R fund to co-fund
new waste minimization and recycling projects. The co-fund will be up to 80% of qualifying
costs and will be subjected to a cap of $1 million per project. Singapore’s recycling rate has
improved from 40% in 2000 to 56% in 2008 and on the track to meet the Singapore Green
Plan 2012 target of 60%. In the longer term, NEA will study the use of legislation to further

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improve the recycling rate in Singapore. The government is taking the lead on sustainable
development and resource efficiency to achieve good growth while maintaining a good
environment and prudent the nature resources (Green Business Times, 2009).

5.4 Tailored Market Research

Purechem Veolia Environmental Services can carry out tailored market research with NEA,
3P, PSB, SPRING etc every half quarterly that will enable to understand the residences’
perceptions and attitudes towards the public services cleanliness and develop a new range of
services that the organisation might render in the future with the local authorities. As such,
employees need to be taught on the data collection and analysis processes of this research
programme.

6. Conclusion

In order to have an effective organisational behaviour, internal factors such as culture, people,
strategy and external factors such as environmental technology and competitors’ approach
need to be considered, reviewed and changed constantly. Channels of communication must
be open among the employers and employees, the right person must be hired to execute plans
and inspire members to greatness. Continuing to achieve good growth while maintaining a
good environment is the organisation priority, and protecting the environment to ensure
environmental standards do not slip, and instead improve. As such, the quote “The only
constant thing is CHANGES” (Hulpke, 2009) and organisation needs to change in the
positive direction in order to survive and prosper.

7. Reference List

Hayes, J, 2007, The Theory and Practice of Change Management, Palgrave Macmillan, New
York, USA

Middleton, J, 2003, The Ultimate Strategy Library, Capstone Publishing Limited, West
Sussex, England

Government, News, Operations, Strategy – Speech by Minister for the Environment and
Water Resources at Committee of Supply Debate 2009, http://greenbusinesstimes.com [02
March 2009]

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