The corporate focus on innovation at Dubai Aluminium Company (“DUBAL”) has again been recognized internationally, this time through five accolades at the Ideas.America 2011 competition, held recently in San Antonio, Texas, USA. Three of the awards presented to DUBAL recognized innovative employee suggestions. For starters, one of the suggestions submitted by DUBAL employees S Nagulapalli, E Loyola and I Manalili – entitled “Re-design Steam Turbine#14 Deaerator Control System” – won both the Overall Idea of the Year Trophy and the Team Idea of the Year Award. Then, the DUBAL submission entitled “Template for graphite preheat”, by K V Jose and P S Thiyagarajan, won Silver Award in the Green Idea of the Year category.
The other two awards presented to DUBAL fell into the Ideas.America Statistical Awards category, whereby the performance of a company’s employee involvement programme is evaluated in various areas. By definition, these statistics allow companies to compare their programmes’ performance against other companies’ programmes. This year, DUBAL won the SEER Performance Excellence Gold Award for 100 per cent employee participation; and the SEER Performance Excellence Honourable Mention Award for savings per 100 eligible employees.
Clearly delighted at DUBAL’s achievements, Abdulla J M Kalban (President & Chief Executive Officer) says, "This international acknowledgement could not have been possible without the technical expertise and the commitment of our employees; as well as their creativity, which has enhanced our processes significantly. We are proud of our employees, who play a key role in DUBAL's success story. Over the years, DUBAL has won several international competitions, inspiring us to participate regularly in forums such as the annual Ideas.America, Ideas.UK and Ideas.Arabia competitions.”
Marwan Al Sawaleh (General Manager: Human Resources) adds that a culture of innovation is encouraged in the company through the DUBAL Suggestion Scheme, which was established in 1981 and thus celebrates its 30-year anniversary in 2011. “The DUBAL Suggestion Scheme is a great tool as it gives employees on the shop-floor a forum for recommending changes to the way we do things. The scheme is very well received, as evidenced by the number of employees who have contributed thousands of ideas for improvement in all areas of our business. Moreover, the excellent thinking behind their ideas has enabled DUBAL’s hugely successful participation in international competitions – a feat that many organizations try to emulate and of which we are extremely proud, both of ourselves as a company and our employees.”
In 2010, DUBAL implemented and awarded 19,493 suggestions with an overall employee participation rate of 100 per cent. This means that all eligible employees submitted at least one awarded suggestion. Besides, the DUBAL Suggestion Scheme achieved savings of more than AED 19.5 million in 2010.
The Ideas.America Association has been in existence for 69 years and is a non-profit service organization composed of members from all over the world in various sectors such as finance, commerce, industry and government. The association is dedicated to the worth, contributions and benefits of employee ideas and innovation systems, and other employee involvement processes.