The report reviews my three months work of attachment at Agriquip Agencies (EA) Ltd which is part of compulsory course work prior to the compliment of a diploma in business management. The report is an overview of experience gained, activities carried out at Agriquip Agencies (EA) Ltd, challenges faced during my attachment period and how I overcame them. In My attachment I was rotated in all the departments of the organization. 1.1 AGRIQUIP AGENCIES (EA) LTD
Agriquip Agencies (EA) Ltd is an organization specialized in Importation, distribution, Wholesale and retailing of a wide variety of Agricultural and industrial machineries and their accessories. The company was established in 1968 and it is based in Nairobi Industrial area along Lusaka road. It has branches in major towns, in Kisumu city, Mombasa city and Eldoret town. It has a number of appointed distribution agents in other towns in order to assist in distribution of their products. The organization draws its major customers in the Sugar factories by providing them with industrial spare parts, in agricultural sector it supplies the tea firms and plantations with various machines and their accessories for ease of their farm work. In industrial sector the firm provides the manufacturing companies with spare parts for their machinery to ensure the production does not halt due to lack of spares. The firm also targets the automobile industry by ensuring that they have spares in hardy in order to continue with their business without interruptions due to lack of spare parts. The firm obtains its products from different parts of the world and ensures they maintain good relationship with their suppliers and maintains the necessary stock levels in order to cope and satisfy the demands of their customers. 1.1.1 Vision of the Organization
To be the leading firm to transform Africa into a prime trade and investment destination 1.1.2 Mission Statement
To turn Africa risk into opportunity by providing high quality, cost effective Agricultural & industrial equipments.
1.1.3 Core values
Strive to carry out their business with customer focus approach combined with integrity, creativity, unity of purpose and an attitude of getting it right the first time. 1.1.4 Corporate Objectives
– To consistently focus on our customer needs and provide them with products of the highest quality and standards that ensure they enjoy value for their money. – To transform Africa into a prime trade and investment destination by ensuring steady supply of quality products to our business partners in other sectors To ensure safety of environment and users of our products by providing products which are environmental friendly To invest in research and development in order to design products which are cost effective and satisfy the emerging needs of our customers 1.1.5 SWOT Analysis
An analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) was carried out to identify the firm’s internal strengths and weaknesses (internal analysis) in relation to external opportunities and threats (external analysis). This was undertaken with a view to identify and take action to leverage the strengths and opportunities and transform the weaknesses into strengths and threats to be turned into opportunities. This goes a long way in enabling the organization to achieve its objectives 1.1.6 STRENGTHS
The main strengths of Agriquip includes the following;-
i.Committed and experienced staff. The staff members are committed and have good skills and experience in their respective units. ii.Proper communication channels: the communication channels are well defined and the management created room for creativity and innovation as well as expressing their opinions freely without fear or intimidation.
The firm was noted to have a number of weaknesses which includes:- Little room for growth- The firm does not have well structured policies which provides for promotion and staff growth path. Lacks clear recruitment policies
Unequal distribution of work
Do not have proper allocation of resources.
Technological Development – These are opportunities which the firm can exploit to reduce cost of its operations Research and development – The firm can invest in R&D in order to understand the needs of their customers in order to come up with products that are capable of satisfying their customers and remain competitive. 1.1.8 THREATS
Competition – Due to the technological change the firm is faced with competition from other suppliers Counterfeit goods flocking the market – The firm should invest in campaign against use of counterfeit products.
1.2 DURATION OF ATTACHMENT
I was attached at Agriquip Agencies (EA) Ltd for eight weeks from 17th December 2013 to 8th February 2014. During this period I was rotated in all the departments of the firm starting with administration, purchasing, imports, accounts, sales and stores. I was taken through the various operations of the above departments and was able to practice what I learned in class. The attachment was very interesting as I had an opportunity to practice and utilize my technical skills and equipped me with understanding of the various management functions.
1.3 DEPARTMENT ATTACHED
1.3.1 ADMINISTRATION DEPARTMENT
I was attached in this department for one week from 17.12.2013 to 21.12.2013, working for 5 days from Tuesday to Saturday. This department deals with the following activities; -Receiving recording and distributing mail to the relevant departments for action. -Maintaining staff attendance records
-Assigning duties to office assistants, clerks and delivery staff
-Allocating resources for use by all the units within the organizations
-Issuing local purchase orders for office stationeries
-Maintaining fuel consumption records for all the company vehicles
-Attending to customer queries and directing them
-Filing and maintaining safe custody of the company files
-Recording out going mails and dispatching them
-Processing leave application forms for the staff members
1.3.2 IMPORTS DEPARTMENT
I worked in this department for two weeks starting from 23.12.2013 to 04.01.2014. I was working from Monday to Saturday except during the holidays i.e. 25th, 26th December 2013 and 01st January 2014. The duration that I was attached in this department I was assigned to do the following jobs -Application for import license (IDF)
-Filing of all the importation documents
-Opening the costing sheets files
-Application of marine cover notes
-Receiving the shipping documents from the overseas suppliers and coordinating clearance with the clearing agents
-Processing customs bonds with KRA
-Computation of import duties and customs taxes
-Arranging for payments for customs taxes and other levies
1.3.3 PURCHASING DEPARTMENT
I was attached in this department for duration of one week from 06.01.2014 to 11.01.2014, working for six days from Monday to Saturday. During this period my duties were:- -Receiving and recording requisition from the stores
-Filing requisition and other purchasing documents
-Updating order records
-Preparing and sending enquiries to the overseas suppliers
-Sending purchase orders to the suppliers
-Recording purchase orders in the order book
-Receiving quotations from the potential suppliers
-Follow up with the suppliers to expedite our supplies
1.3.4 STORES – I worked in this department for duration of one week during which I was tasked with the following responsibilities. -Issuing requisition for purchase to the purchasing department. -Receiving and verification of goods to ascertain they are in conformance with our order confirmation. -Issuing goods received notes
-Filing of documents
-Supervising stock taking
-Binning of the incoming stock in their respective bins
-Retrieving stock from the bins to be sold
-Updating the stock issuance forms
-Raising stock adjustment slips
1.3.5 SALES – I was attached in this department for two weeks from 20.10.2014 to 01.10.2014, working for 6 days per week. During this period my duties were:- -Taking orders from customers and raising sales invoices
-Recording daily sales in the sales day book
-Assisting the purchasing department to raise enquiries to the suppliers -Keeping track of daily sales documents and ensuring they are properly distributed to the various department for appropriate actions -Assigning enquiries received to the counter salesmen to action -Issuing ETR receipts for the sales made
-Receiving customers complaints on the company products and directing them to the responsible persons for appropriate action5 1.3.6 ACCOUNTS – I was in this department for one week from 03.02.2014 to 08.02.2014. My assignments were:- -Receiving sales documents for the previous day and checking the calculations -Entering sales in the sales day book
-Entering purchases in the purchase day book
-Writing receipts for the payments received from the debtors
-Writing cash book and petty cash books
-Preparing remittance advice notes
-Preparing PAYE, VAT returns online
-Preparing bank reconciliations
-Preparing debtors analysis schedules
2.0 ATTACHMENT EXPERIENCES
2.1 GENERAL ACTIVITIES UNDERTAKEN.
The general activities undertaken on daily basis were to ensure that all the documents to be used for the day are available as required, depending on the department attached. 2.1.1 Filing of various documents – Filing was also classified as an important general activity undertaken in the Organization. I sorted and classified the various documents depending on the required classification methods adopted by the different departments within the organization and putting them in their respective files. 2.1.2 Classification and handling information in the office set up. I classified and handled office information in a confidential and secret manner as files were not to be exposed or left unattended as they contain confidential information which should not be disclosed to everyone.
2.1.3 Planning of daily activities – As a general rule and practice of the organization, every employee was expected to prepare a daily work plan for the activities that he was expected to perform in the course of the day. I had to start my days with a plan which entailed arranging my work in the order of priorities as directed by my supervisor 2.1.3 General office administration – I ensured that the duties allocated to me by my manager were promptly executed and maintained conducive environment for daily operations. 2.1.4 Customer Relationship Management – I ensured customer’s requests were promptly handled and the responsible managers were informed of the enquiries through the daily reports. I responded to the enquiries through emails, telephone calls and any other appropriate channels of communication. I also directed the enquiries to the right person for assistance. 7
2.1.5 Office tidiness – After the office had been cleaned, I ensured that my desk was neatly arranged to facilitate smooth flow of work 2.2 SPECIFIC
I undertook the following activities in the various departments attached 2.2.1 Records management – this involved receiving incoming documents, recording, classifying, arranging, opening respective files, updating of records, capturing data relevant to the various departments, storing and retrieving files , locking the documents in the cabinets and restricting unauthorized persons from accessing any records under my custody. I performed this work in all the departments attached. 2.2.2 Filing of tax returns – in the accounts department I was tasked with preparing VAT returns, PAYE returns, advance tax returns, Withholding tax returns, NSSF returns, NHIF tax returns 2.2.3 Computation of Customs taxes – In the imports department I performed the duties of preparing imports declaration forms using KRA Orbus system, lodging customs entries using TRADEX- SIMBA system and arranging payments for the taxes through the bank. 2.2.4 Processing Customs Clearance documents – I was also tasked with processing clearance documents and clearing the import consignments at JKIA.
Preparing marine cover notes and ensured all our imports are duly are insured against damages, pilferage or loss in transit. Updating the imports register and ensured that all the imported is up to date 2.2.5 Customer relations – I was tasked with receiving customers’ complaints on the company products and directing them to the responsible persons for appropriate action. I took note of the issues raised and forwarded them to the relevant heads of department and made a follow up to ensure the necessary action has been taken and feedback has been communicated concerned person. I also ensured there was a working co-ordination between the various departments within the organization and the right information was communicated to right person on time. 2.2.6 Stock management – I assisted the stores department to improve on their stock management procedures. This was through improvement of their systems of stock recording, issuance and documentations. Other tasks included – Issuance of purchase for requisition forms to the purchasing department, issuing goods received notes, supervising stock taking, binning of the incoming stock in their respective bins, retrieving stock from the bins to be sold, Updating the stock issuance forms Raising stock adjustment slips among others Receiving and verification of goods to ascertain they are in conformance with our order confirmation.
2.2.7 Administrative Duties – I was assigned to perform administrative duties which includes. Maintaining staff attendance records, Assigning duties to office assistants, clerks and delivery staff, Allocating resources for use by all the units within the organizations, Issuing local purchase orders for office stationeries, Maintaining fuel consumption records for all the company vehicles Filing and maintaining safe custody of the company files, Processing leave application forms for the staff members as well as tracing of different types of files and taking them to the required departments. 2.2.8 Purchasing functions – This involves the tasks of receiving and recording requisition from the stores, Preparing and sending enquiries to the overseas supplier, Sending purchase orders to the suppliers, Recording purchase orders in the order book, Receiving quotations from the potential supplier, Follow up with the suppliers to expedite our supplies, Issuing requisition for purchase to the purchasing department. Receiving and verification of goods to ascertain they are in conformance with our order confirmation. Assisting the purchasing department to raise enquiries to the suppliers 2.2.9 Sales of Company Products – This involves taking orders from customers and raising sales invoices, Raising cash sales in case of cash transactions, Recording daily sales in the sales day book, Keeping track of daily sales documents and ensuring they are properly distributed to the various department for appropriate actions, Assigning enquiries received to the counter salesmen to action, Issuing ETR receipts for the sales made
2.3 AN ANALYSIS OF LEARNT KNOWLEDGE AND APPLIED SKILLS
The communication channel in the AGRIQUIP AGENCIES (EA) LTD is vertical. Communication channeled from top management down to the middle level and subsequent to the lower level. Junior officers give feedback through the same channel until the information reaches the senior management for action. I learnt that for smooth and efficient operation in any organization there must be an effective communication system which facilitates the flow of information. 2.3.2 TO EMBRACE TEAM WORK – I learnt that it is crucial to have good co-operation between the workers which enables department activities to be coordinated smoothly and efficiently. Any organization must encourage Team work and coordination within all its departments in order to achieve the overall objectives of the business. I learnt to build team work and to cooperate with both the internal and external customers of the organization.
2.3.3 SOCIAL RELATIONS
The staff members are friendly and this in turn creates unity. The senior officers are free and social with the junior staffs thus making them feel recognized, this enable me to adapt to the environment very quickly. I learnt that through creation of social relation there is room to learn and perform work easily as this encourages breaks barriers and leads to efficient communication and accomplishment of tasks. 2.3.4 RECOGNITION/RESPECT
Respect is highly observed, Staff members respect each other, their seniors and also the public in general. Staff members who perform their duties well are motivated verbally, through recommendation letters, incentives and sometimes promotion. Staffs are also encouraged to upgrade their education. I learnt that when workers feel appreciated they are able to perform their work with minimum supervision and willingly. 2.3.5 EMPLOYEE FOCUS
I learnt that when organization recognizes the contribution of their employees, they see them as important assets and to be invested in and not a cost to be avoided. Employees with personal needs are to be assisted which boosts their morale and increase their out-put. The organization has set clear and explicit standards of service that clients (employees) reasonably expect. They always uphold transparency and accountability in service delivery. They always take corrective action on errors and deficiencies that occur I learned the way the organization should undertake the core mandate. This was by working closely with various departments during my attachment. And i also found out that practical part of management is very interesting. I was allowed to learn the way an organization is supposed to function and what is expected of every employee with regard to terms and condition of service. I was trained on how to develop work/duty schedules which enhances performing tasks efficiently; achieving results and solving problems effectively through consultation of other working mates. 10
During my attachment period I ensured that decisions which I made were in line with the organizations policy and in consultation with my superiors. I applied the knowledge learnt in class in addressing issues like complaints from employees and managed the situations effectively. Through interpersonal skills that I acquired both in training and during the attachment period I was able to interact well with the employees of the organization. I also acquired knowledge on how to communicate with senior management staff and how to address the general population with respect and decorum where one subordinate is entitled to one superior type of management. 2.4 A PROFILE OF SKILLS AND COMPETENCIES GAINED/ACQUIRED – These eight weeks of my internship at Agriquip Agencies (EA) Ltd enabled me to gain skills, competence and experience in various managerial functions. I interacted with many suppliers both local and international suppliers, Consumers of our products, Government Agencies and other clients who required to be attended to. This equipped me with communication skills, negotiation skills and more importantly managerial skills in all sections within the organization as I rotated in all the departments. 2.4.1 COMMUNICATION SKILLS ACQUIRED
I acquired communication skills using various communication channels, I learnt how to write official letters, send and receive emails, communicate well with the managers, others employees and the clients who came to seek for our services. I also learned how to communicate with different kinds of people like the clients of the organizations, customers and management staff using the appropriate approaches. I learned how to communicate through memoranda and ensuring that it is addressed specifically to the right group having simple language to be easily understood generally. 2.4.2 SOCIAL SKILLS ACQUIRED.I learned how to interact well with the employees of the organization. This was beneficial because i was able to work with them well due to the social skills applied. I also worked hand in hand with the management team and was also able to interact well with the other trainees.
Exposure to working in different departments and handling clients with different needs enabled me to gain experience in multi-tasking and therefore was equipped with capability of handling different tasks performed in different departments effectively 2.4.4 CONFIDENTIALITY AND BUSINESS ETHICS – I gained skills of desertion and business ethics which is vital because most of managerial functions must be kept confidential and I was trained on the need to observe ethics and never to divulge information to any unauthorized person and to keep confidential information about any function in the organization at all times. 2.4.5 ORGANIZING I also learned that managerial role requires high level of organization of the resources, functions and time. Through the attachment I was able to gain this skills as the organization has a very strong focus on how the employees organizes their daily activities and utilizes resources allocated to them.
2.4.6 CORDINATION During my internship, I gained skills on how the employees should coordinate in order to accomplish their assigned tasks. I also learnt that all the functions within the organization in order to achieve the mission and overall objective of the organization. 2.4.7 MANAGEMENT OF RECORDS I learnt the skills on how to properly manage company records during my attachment in all the departments of the organization. How to store files safely and protect them against access by unauthorized persons, arrange the properly in the cabinets Employees are handled in a professional manner embracing dignity and respect. 2.4.8 WORK SKILLS ACQUIRED I learned to prioritize work by organizing my working time table. This enabled me to apply management by objective principal.
2.5 OBSERVATIONS AND CRITIQUE
For the duration that I have been attached at Agriquip Agencies (EA) Ltd I was able to make several observations for which I liked some and other I did not like 2.5.1 OBSERVATIONS
Open communication The organization has adopted an open communication policy. During my attachment, I observed that the management encouraged open communication between the managers and their juniors as well as the trainees. This created room for the trainees and junior staff members to express their ideas freely without fear hence created room for creativity and innovation. Good relationship between employer and employee – The firm maintains a good employer /employee relationship. All the employees of the organization are given fair treatment irrespective of the positions they hold. The managers were willing to interpret the policies and guide their juniors and trainees in the implementation of the strategies set to achieve the desired results.
Management commitment to motivate employees – The management had a commitment for motivating their staff members. I observed that all the workers in the organization were very committed to their work and needed minimum supervision. The level of motivation was high and therefore created room for innovation, trust and cohesiveness which leads to efficiency and effectiveness of the organization. Embraced change – On the other hand I observed that both management and employees were very accommodative to change this was due to high level of trust and open communication the management was able to communicate to their employees of any planned change before implementing which translated to less resistance. Employee willingness to teach the new trainees – as a result of high commitment by the employees to their tasks and trust between the employees and the employer, the interns were not viewed as threat to the already existing employees and therefore they were willing to train and 13
guide them in their internship. The work I was assigned truly allowed creativity and innovation in that I was expected to come up with new ideas and ways of effectively managing the resources of the organization in order to meet the targets and increase the efficiency of the organization. I liked the way the organization cared for the social needs of their employees. 2.5.2 CRITIQUES/DISLIKES ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION
Some departments operations are not computerized and therefore it takes long time to acquire information that is necessary for quality decision making. The organization lacks proper progression path which discourages the employees from furthering their training since there is no rewards expected after undergoing the training. The other deficient area that I found wanting is that of recruitment and employment. The organization does not have employment policies and therefore their employees does not fully understand the criteria used. I observed that organizations do not give much emphasis on the course a student is taking, but they prefer students who have basic education and they proceed to nurture them based on their judgment on how one is performing. There is delay in replenishing some products/stocks which have high demands which causes the organization to lose their customers to their competitors. Some suppliers take too long to supply the products. Lack of co-ordination between the purchasing, imports and stores departments hinders the organization from achieving their objectives. The organization has not fully embraced new technological advancement in several departments. This in itself is a setback as technology is known to improving efficiency and less paper work. As an organization that imports products from many parts of the world, I found that their ICT systems are wanting. The organization has not invested in research and development which is a powerful tool for enhancing their productivity and competitiveness.
2.6 STRATEGY FOR UTILIZING OF CONTACTS ESTABLISHED DURING ATTACHMENT During my attachment period at Agriquip Agencies (EA) Ltd I established good contacts, and still keep in touch with them and any time I require information pertaining to particular field am assured that I will have someone whom I can consult. I intend to seek employment opportunities for myself and also my fellow students. In today’s market economy job is only allocated and accessed by those who are networked well or known well. These contacts will also be of great help in securing employment opportunities in future in the field of management. I will also use the established contacts as referees to recommend me in getting employment in the future. SECTION THREE
The industrial attachment was conducted at Agriquip agencies (EA) LTD from 17th December, 2013 to 08th February, 2014. During the attachment I rotated in all the departments within the organization i.e. Administration, imports, purchasing, sale and stores departments as an imports clerk/ supervisor. I learnt various functions of all the above departments and equipped me with knowledge and skills on how to effectively perform duties of these functions. The theoretical knowledge I learnt in class helped me to have a better understand on how to carry out the relevant functions. Some specific activities undertaken needs to be taken seriously by any person assigned to perform them because they can heavily impact on the performance of the organization. These functions includes, Purchasing of products, these should be done by competent personnel who have thorough knowledge of procurement procedures as well as good negotiation skills. Sales, This function should be done carefully as the personnel assigned should have good marketing skills and able to do proper marketing mix in order to satisfy the needs of the Customers failure to which the organization can be affected negatively by becoming the target for competition. Imports, the personnel allocated this function must be having good analysis skill, should have capabilities to analyze the external environment in order to determine the economic situation , understand the inflation rates, rates of exchange as well as effects of the economies of scale.
Accounts, The personnel allocated to this department should be able to produce reports in time and accurately to enable the management to determine the profitability position as well as decide on the course for action. 3.2 CONCLUSION
I sincerely wish to appreciate the management of Agriquip Agencies(EA) LTD for the opportunity they gave to me to pursue my industrial attachment in their organization and also for assistance they accorded to me and being always ready to let me learn from them . The experience gained in the course of my attachment is very important in securing me an opportunity in the job market. I highly encourage the idea of industrial attachment and recommend that the students be supported and given maximum guidance to ensure that they are able to exercise their practical skills that are fundamental in building their career. My eight weeks in Agriquip Agencies (EA) LTD have had a great impact to my career development. I thank the management of The Kenya Institute of Management for creating an opportunity for their students to undergo an industrial attachment that enables them to acquire practical skills in their field of training. The attachment has also enabled me as a management trainee to identify the areas of weaknesses within the organization and recommended to the management on the best course of actions to improve on their performance. 3.3 RECOMMENDATIONS
Agriquip Agencies (EA) Ltd should improve its technological infrastructure by providing more computerized systems enabled with internet to the various departments to facilitate e-commerce. Departments whose operations are not computerized to be computerized in order to improve on the service delivery and enhance their satisfaction to their customers.
To find alternative suppliers for their products in order to ensure products are always available for their customers. Since some of the current suppliers take long periods to supply the ordered products they should seek alternative sources of supplies and create good relationships with suppliers to ensure steady supply of goods. Formulate employment policies. The organization to formulate employment policies that will govern their recruitment procedures, staff appraisal, reward systems, growth and development of the employees among others Investing on research and development. The organization should consider investing on research in order to be able to understand the market treads, the customer needs, the level of competition. The need to develop new products that are suitable for satisfaction of their customer desires. The management of the Kenya institute of management to explore ways of partnering with the private sector investors and the Government to ensure that their students are able to secure attachments opportunities and employment placements on completion of their training.
Courtney from Study Moose
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