“Since the nature of our investment is manufacturing, there are many components in manufacturing to be considered,” said Mr Soo Lik-Heng, the Site Manager of Flexsys Chemicals (M) Sdn Bhd (Flexsys Chemicals).
“If we zoom in at a very micro level, in order to make the right product for our customers, it takes all the right components – supply and procurement of raw materials, maintenance of the plant, upgrading and control of the plant, quality control, shipping the products to Kuantan Port in time, catching the right ship to arrive at the customers site at the right time - all those are very important components. And all those will not happen unless we have the right people.
“At Flexsys Chemicals, it all goes back to the people, the work culture, the plant location and the country – all are extremely important to us because it will reflect the efficiency of the plant itself. We also stress on the importance of openness so that our people can discuss anything openly. The environment, it is very similar to a project standpoint – from land purchase to project planning to project execution – all are done between people and people.
“At the macro level, it is about the investment environment. The location we plan to invest at has to be politically stable, economically sound, the law execution has to be stable (less change. The laws in Malaysia are firm and interpreted equally by all people. Besides these, cost has to be at minimum to ensure competitive pricing so as to strengthen our presence in Southeast Asia.
The key factor is that there is already an established industrial park in Pahang which is Gebeng. The presence of many successful international names in Gebeng tells us a lot about the location’s infrastructure, its port efficiency, its utility supplies – compared to a new industrial park altogether. Furthermore, due to the strong state's Government support, the Flexsys Chemicals' Site Selection Team was convincingly introduced to Gebeng as a potential plant site. This approach immediately won the hearts of the site selection team members.
There is good balance between work and life in Pahang. There are very nice beaches around and a number of well-developed townships. These important elements have helped Flexsys Chemicals to build its plant here because the company cares very much for its staff. At Flexsys Chemicals, it should not be all work and no play. Where its staff go to after work is very important for them to free their minds and come back to work feeling fresh the next morning.
Another important factor is the opportunity for site expansion here in Gebeng. Pahang has the land area availability which Flexsys Chemicals considers as an opportunity to strengthen its presence in Southeast Asia.
When was Flexsys Chemicals established in Pahang?
Incorporated in 1988, we started construction in the first quarter of 2000. Production was streamlined in the fourth quarter of 2001. Our company, like most chemical plants, started with the human resources (HR) team. Then, the Project Team came on board followed by the Management Team. Once the Technical Team was recruited, the team was sent immediately to the USA for hands-on training. Lastly, we recruited the supervisors and the operators. But, we reinvested into the plant to get more capacity out of it. The reinvestment was the plant’s safety upgrade to make it as safe a workplace as it can possibly be. Thanks to our corporate motto, the work culture here has always been ‘Never satisfy with a status quo. Always find a way to improve’.
To date, Flexsys Chemicals in the Gebeng Industrial Estate is the largest single unit plant in terms of size compared to other Flexsys Chemicals plants worldwide.
How has PKNP assisted Flexsys?
PKNP has helped us a lot with our land acquisition. PKNP has been very supportive with tremendous amount of effort for us to have what we have today. With PKNP's guidance, a lot of paper works were completed in a very short time.
PKNP has also helped Flexsys Chemicals to attain power and water supply in an unbelievably quick and non-obtrusive manner – non-obtrusive because we did not have to spend too much time negotiating terms and conditions because most of the standard packages have been laid out by PKNP on our behalf.
That is why today we are looking at expanding our plant here in Gebeng because we believe we would be getting the same kind of professionalism which we have been getting throughout our tenure here from PKNP.