FROM just a small machine shop in General Santos that started operating in 1960, Rafols Machine Shop and Engineering has expanded its operations to Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte and Lanao del Sur and increased its work force from 50 to 110.
Rafols Machine Shop was able to expand its operations with the assistance of Department of Science and Technology’s Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SET-UP) and Manufacturing Productivity Extension Services.
Allan Rafols, the owner of the machine shop, decided to enroll in the SET-UP program in 2010.
Today, Rafols Machine Shop offers the following services: fabrication, repairs and maintenance or machining, engine reconditioning, and towing services.
From the start of its operation in 1960 up to 2009, Rafols Machine Shop persistently encountered problems in the quality of its services, which made it hard for the company to expand its operations.
Inspired by a number of successful SET-UP adopters in the region, Rafols Machine Shop sought out DOST-Region 12’s interventions and enrolled in SET-UP in 2010.
Through SET-UP, Rafols Machine Shop was able to acquire one 20-foot lathe machine, appropriately designed to address demands for heavy-duty works while taking on the smaller jobs as well.
With the machine’s size capacity and high precision, the firm attained top-speed and quality performance as manifested both in its services and finished products.
At present, it is the only shop in Region 12 that can perform heavy-duty works involving machining/repairing/reconditioning of marine engine parts, and engine and differentials for vehicles. It also does machining, repairing, and milling, among others.
Next, Rafols availed of DOST’s Manufacturing Productivity Extension Services, a program that assists small- and medium-scale manufacturers to attain higher productivity. Because of this, the management capability of Rafols Machine Shop has been extensively enhanced, and the technical competence of its skilled workers has improved significantly.
Rafols Machine Shop also acquired DOST assistance for the technical training of its personnel on equipment operation and maintenance, as well as product appearance improvement.
With DOST’s interventions, the firm is now producing world-class products with high technology content, enabling it to be more competitive and thus meet the demands and requirements of the market.
Productivity has been bolstered while sales figures leapt impressively from P100,000 to P2.5 million a month., pulling annual revenues from P8 million to over P55 million.
These positive developments enabled the firm to open branches and construct another building with an area of 815 square meters for its operations, which is three times bigger than the old 270-square meter building from where Rafols Machine Shop first operated.
From a relatively small-scale firm, Rafols Machine Shop is now a medium-scale enterprise.
DOST has indeed made a difference in the transformation of the machine shop, creating an impact not only on the firm’s market status, but also on the locality by generally strengthening linkages and networks with its backward and forward industries.