An Interview with Mr. Heon Chee Shyong, the CEO of Aluminium Company of Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. (ALCOM).

Heon Chee Shyong was appointed to the Board of AGB as President cum Chief Executive Officer on 9 August 2018. He graduated with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Hons) and Bachelor of Commerce – Management from the University of Wollongong, Australia. He also completed the General Manager Program from the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) at the University of New South Wales. He started his career with NS BlueScope Lysaght (Malaysia) Sdn.Bhd. (formerly known as BHP Steel Building Products Sdn. Bhd.) in 1991.


Since then, he had accumulated 22 years of working experience within the NS BlueScope Steel group holding numerous key leadership roles. He served as President/Director of NS BlueScope Lysaght Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei operations overseeing 7 businesses across the region taking leadership roles on strategic business development and building a functional leadership team across the various business units. He is the Immediate Past Chairman of Aluminium Manufacturers Group of Malaysia (FMM – AMGM) after serving for 4 years. He is currently serving as the Deputy Chairman of AMGM.


Mr. Heon Chee Shyong, the CEO of Aluminium Company of Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. (ALCOM)

1. As the largest manufacturer of rolled aluminium products in Malaysia and a leading supplier in the Asia Pacific region, could you share the background of ALCOM?

ALCOM has been in this industry for about 60 years and next year is our 60th anniversary. ALCAN Aluminium Ltd., Montreal, Canada was invited by the late Tunku Abdul Rahman to invest in Malaysia, and in 1960 Aluminium Company of Malaysia (ALCOM) was formed. ALCOM will be celebrating it’s 60th anniversary by 2020 and probably one of the few public listed companies back in 1969.


Palm Oil Mill used ALCOM products due to corrosion resistant, durable, thermal efficiency and eco-friendly

2. ALCOM’s main products include Fin Stock, Specialty Products, Roofing Products, and Foil Products. In general, what are ALCOM’s product specialties and advantages compare to other competitors in a similar market?

Fin stock is one of our core products where we sell to big air-conditioner companies like Panasonic, Sharp, and Daikin. We also produce coated fin which is coated at our fully owned subsidiary ALCOM Nikkei Specialty Coating Sdn Bhd.


Along with that, we have roofing which we have been selling in Malaysia for a long time. Roofing is one of our core products that are suitable for the corrosive environment especially those along the coast or plants and buildings that need to be more corrosion resistance. Most people are familiar with steel roofing but not aluminium roofing. The corrosion resistance of aluminium is far more superior in comparison with steel. A factory or house along the sea or coastline will corrode faster because of seawater or because of issues such as chemicals or acid from a processing plant.


Another benefit is that ALCOM can provide money-back guarantee if clients sell the aluminium back to ALCOM and we will buy it at a prime value and not at scrap value. The concept is very similar to gold when you sell it back to the goldsmith and them buyback at the current value. Aluminium is infinitely recyclable. We are trying to increase our recycle content by increasing the use of recycled aluminium from our buy-back guarantee program.


From this program, our customers are assured of the value of their investment while ALCOM can achieve its “Green” objective too.


3. What are the demands of the palm oil mill industry in terms of the diverse production of

aluminium?

The major part of a project that we want to tackle with the palm oil industry is the roofing. As palm oil processing plants can be very corrosive, I am sure industry players are looking for something more sustainable. Aluminium roofing will be a better choice.


4. The company’s products have penetrated all over ASEAN, Middle East, and North African regions, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korean and the Australian continent. What are some challenges that ALCOM face and how does ALCOM work to overcome the obstacles?

The world is slowing down so the demand itself is much lower. That is a challenge for everyone in the region and the world across. Everybody is fighting for the same market. What

we are doing in ALCOM is using this period to rationalize and consolidate ourselves by focusing on productivity. We have recently implemented Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) at ALCOM.


Because the volume is lower, we are spending more time on keeping the cost low and improve productivity all across. This is the season where we will have to keep our costs at the lowest we can. We are capitalizing on digitization as we move towards the artificial intelligence. We are investing in the future and migrating ourselves to Industry 4.0.


This profile was designed specifically to provide a wide spanning capability, to have a high water carrying capacity and to accommodate foot traffic without damage

5. What are ALCOM’s plans on working and focusing on the sustainability and environment effort?

ALCOM has always been approaching business in a more holistic sense and not just focus on profit. We are looking beyond profitability and focus on the environmental, safety and community. ALCOM has started this journey more than a decade ago where we are proud to continue to build a responsible & sustainable business. ALCOM’S mission is to exceed our business partners’ expectations by engaging our people in a safe working environment to deliver superior aluminium solutions to increase stakeholders’ value.


6. As the award-winning of Prime Minister Award, what is your advice to the player in a similar market? What is your point of view regarding the palm oil mill industry currently in Malaysia?

We are proud to be the recipient of the Prime Minister Award. My advice for people who are trying to get there is to approach business more holistically. Profit will not be sustainable if we

don’t look at the business as a whole. There are challenges that we notice palm oil industry is going through like all the businesses, the ups and downs of palm oil prices will be a distraction but nothing beats a business proposition that focus on people for long term sustainability. All the best!

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