Issue No.4 - June 2017         

The pros and cons of employee engagement were thoroughly discussed in the previous issue of the Napco Newsletter. This issue looks at the positive aspects of human capital and how that translates with the Napco Consumer Products Division.

Several organizations have dubbed the human resources department the Human Capital Department or Talent Acquisition Department. The core aspect in any of the aforementioned labels is the human aspect.

Economist Theodore Schultz invented in the 1960s the term ‘Human Capital’ to reflect the value of human capacities. He believed human capital was like any other type of capital; it could be invested in through education, training and enhanced benefits that lead to an improvement in the quality and level of production.

Imagine a state-of-the-art production facility worth millions of dollars but having no humans to operate it. What good would it be? This is to say that the human factor in any business context is the main pillar driving that business forward and making it grow. This is certainly a natural aspect in a company like ours whereby we take pride in our workforce across all levels.

We celebrated earlier this year the retirement of two long-serving employees Nallor Joseph and Vaddakumche Varghese, both of whom have chalked up an average of 38 years' service. The possibility of this remarkable milestone was only achievable due to their dedication, hard work, and, most importantly, their high level of engagement in their respective roles.

Nallor and Vaddakumche developed extensive expertise in their roles thanks to their inquisitive nature and eagerness to learn. Having had constant valuable opinions as to what is to be done and how it is to be done led to further engagement from their part. Consequently, they had organically become part of the decision-making process without requesting it. This was in stark contrast to those who fight their way through, based on a hunger for power and authority. On the contrary, it was Nallor and Vaddakumche’s high level of engagement and selflessness that set them on this track, proving how genuine behavior is ultimately rewarded.

The culmination of their careers was made all the more remarkable by the truly emotional farewell gatherings attended by management team members and colleagues with whom they have worked for more than three decades.

Their careers with Napco should be a shining example to each one of us.

Welcoming females into the Napco workforce: Hiring Saudi women is both a need and a must

Napco strongly believes the private sector is a key agent in advancing gender equality and empowering women.

Recent research shows that when women are integrated fully into the labor market, there can be significant macroeconomic gains. Empowering women to participate fully in the economic life of a country is essential in allowing more stable and just societies. Such a move would help to improve the quality of life for women, men, families and entire communities, as well as upgrading the performance of businesses.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has been moving toward this ideal. It has witnessed in recent years dramatic advances in women’s education and the incremental opening of work opportunities. Statistics issued by the Ministry of Education in 2015 revealed that there are more Saudi women studying in universities than men.

The ministry also reported that Saudi women are studying in various fields, including education, social sciences, arts, business, law, engineering, natural sciences, agriculture, medicine and the service sector, thus providing a reservoir of human capacity from which the KSA can benefit.

A variety of economic factors – low oil prices, the rising cost of living, and a rapidly growing population – have made it vital for women in the KSA to enter the workforce. And they have recently been doing so in record numbers.

First step toward women empowerment

The KSA has taken major strides in empowering women. This has led Napco to be more than ready to incorporate Saudi women into its own workforce.

Napco Riyadh Paper Products Company (NRPPC) took an incredible step forward in 2016 when it opened a women-only production unit. The newly established unit comprises a large and comfortable working area capable of accommodating up to 30 women. It is equipped with the facilities and utilities – restrooms, kitchen, supervisor room, prayer room, and so on – required to motivate and keep the female workforce comfortable.

Napco has responded in earnest to a call by the ministry to increase the role of Saudi women in the economy, including boosting by 2030 their participation in the national workforce from 22 percent to 30 percent. The company intends to attract more graduates and increase the number of female hires in the coming years.

Napco CPD’s HR Mobile App: Involving people, inspiring success

Napco Consumer Products Division adopts the latest powerful tools to revolutionize internal communications and organize all employees inside a private and secure HR mobile App.

Napco CPD Human Resources Department is relentlessly investing in support mechanisms and engagement structures that allow our people to work in a unified way, and most importantly, within a caring family atmosphere.

The current Napco HR mobile App constitutes a corporate culture-change platform that improves employee engagement and productivity. A large number of employees from different company departments can now share key issues that could lead to new ideas in management, productivity, quality, and other corporate issues.

The scope of the content variety and the well-chosen entries mean the staff can now tune into the organization’s strategic focus, follow the lead of colleagues with success stories, and even share their personal views and comments about the management’s strategies.


People are the ones who create the company’s competitive edge. Underlining their success story is a great source of inspiration for others to excel. By highlighting peer recognition, the HR Department is respecting the hard work of individuals’ achievements. Recognition boosts people’s self-esteem, which, according to Maslow’s hierarchy, is the second highest need of a person.

The aim behind this initiative is to disseminate mutual respect among team members and increase loyalty levels. Although not all the details of the successes that users come across might be applicable to them, employees can still be inspired and motivated by their teammates’ dedication.


Activating this initiative promotes common corporate culture and immediate updates among the staff. HR mobile Apps can also be used as a cost-effective platform for developing and deploying tools to support business operations and decisions. Visitors can view information and data about the company’s new ventures, policies and performance via their smartphones rather than maintaining physical documents.


It has always been important for Napco to build a culture of openness and transparency. When we listen to what our employees have to say, we foster better dialogue between them and the management. This section helps our employees feel heard and valued, so they're more motivated to undertake great work and stay at our company longer. We have ensured that this place is a safe space for them to speak their minds, ask questions, and obtain feedback.

After reading the staff’s comments, the division’s managers can easily uncover blind spots in the company and address issues for a better work flow.


Knowledge is a necessary component of success in all professional fields. Our employees can test their knowledge on general topics, including the company, its history, brands and values.

A simple but challenging list of multiple choice questions is set and ready to test our employees’ knowledge and encourage them to educate themselves and improve their overall skills.

Value Stream Mapping: a plus in the Napco Riyadh Paper Products Co supply chain

Why we should be opting for Value Stream Mapping

a lean production method that enables leading manufacturing companies to analyze the production process and identify any bottlenecks causing the company to lose its competitive edge. VSM can identify disrupting factors, in order for production rates to maintain an upward trajectory once again.

How Does VSM help?

VSM is a lean-management method for analyzing the current state of production, and for designing a future state for the series of events that takes a product or service from its beginning to the customer. VSM is a planning tool that optimizes the results from eliminating waste and specifying value-added and non-value-added activities. This visible understanding of the current flow of activities allows for a future map that will help in reducing waste in significant ways, decreasing flow times, and making the process more efficient and effective. Two maps are compiled as visual means to depict and improve manufacturing flow and the production process. These include a map of the value stream’s current state, and a map of the value stream’s future state, which presents an option for enhancing the achievement of higher performance levels. VSM is considered to be the preferred methodology for identifying the inherent waste and losses occurring within an operation. As a management tool, value stream mapping is used to strategize actions that will guide the operation toward the future outlined state.

How was VSM created at Napco Riyadh Paper Products Company?

Representatives from the sections within the supply chain combined their efforts in conducting the initiative of the Manufacturing and Logistics VSM at NRPPC business unit. The concept value stream included the production flow for the transformation of raw materials into the final product. This was in addition to the delivery process, from receiving orders to the final execution.

Process Boundaries

VSM was conducted within the organization, starting with the supplier (RM) and ending up to the customer (FG). The process included the receiving and storing of materials, the production of end items, storage procedures, and the dispatching and collecting of goods.

The team mapped the flow of goods in the supply chain: the start and end points of the process map respectively being the raw materials and the finished goods.

The steps we followed

It was mandatory to review and map the process flow, since the supply chain process was already operational. Information flows, along with additional related data like time, were collected and inserted for analysis. Processing and analyzing the data unveiled different problems, such as lengthy cycle times, non-added-value activities, incompliance, potential gaps, and so on.
Solutions were then presented by the team to the senior management for further evaluation. An action plan that included a series of improvements was set. The plan included a set of well-defined responsibilities and deadlines that were required to achieve a shared vision.

What results were achieved?

The mapping resulted in the following solid effects:

  • Elaboration of a complete documentation that would serve as a reference and manual for any future induction of personnel, and a benchmark for the current performance of staff.
  • Better visibility and understanding among the staff and the management of the current process versus what is required for optimization while preserving agility and flexibility.
  • Smooth and synchronized flow of material and information across the different entities of the supply chain.
  • Better utilization of resources either for the Material Handling Equipment (MHE) or personnel, and better allocations and investment of qualifications.
  • Significant inventory accuracy, with a number scoring 98%.
The execution of VSM at the company resulted in the NRPPC team’s continuous attempts to outshine the competition and respond to the fast pace of the evolving environment. This has successfully led to major steps in leveraging the overall manufacturing process.

Market research: an added value for the business

Market Research Manager Leila Harmouch shares insights into the vital role that the Research Unit at Napco Consumer Products Division plays in creating added value to the business.

Why is Napco’s CPD Market Research Unit essential to the business?

Demand in the consumer disposables sector is always changing. This is why the division’s brands turn to us for insights that give them an advantage in the market. We conduct market research in Dammam, Riyadh and Jeddah in order to collect different and reliable consumer behaviors that authentically reflect the voice of the Saudi shoppers. The findings are then submitted to the database marketing system, in order that they can interpret today’s market trends and deliver the right products in the right places to the right people.

Which methods do you use in your market research?

We select our research methods and create our questionnaires based on the aim or objective of each study and upon a detailed brief from the Division Brand Managers. After collecting substantial data on the ground – according to age group and target audience – we combine them with analytical solutions before delivering the findings. Fast surveys are conducted to collect data on consumer reaction to a particular product and its features, including looks, design, usability, colors, packaging and other variables. Shopper research is conducted to provide a complete view of the ‘path to purchase’, understanding shoppers’ pre-store influences, trip missions, planning process, impulses, triggers, switching behavior, and final conversion to purchase.

What makes your findings reliable?

Our methodology is well defined. We conduct face-to-face interviews to ensure the answers are honest, and include a screener in our surveys to make sure our efforts are focused on the right target market, and the testing is adequate to the study. Double checking data collected by the interviewer is also vital in minimizing errors and monitoring credibility. This is done by selecting a random sample of participants and calling them for a second round of answers. It is very important to obtain objective feedback. This is why we choose the right timing to conduct door-to-door surveys which result in honest comments. Napco is driven by a second opinion evaluation. Our market research consultant adds value and credibility to the whole process for results optimization.

How does the Saudi consumer respond to the surveys?

It was initially difficult to obtain high response rates. Today, however, our dedicated professional team of women implement a series of tactics to attract potential research participation. The tactics include choosing the right time to make home visits, in addition to following a strict code of ethics.

We utilize brand equity surveys when dealing with the movement of the brand throughout the year. Usage &Attitude and focus groups, qualitative and quantitative methods are also undertaken in accordance with set targets.

We usually approach potential respondents in welcoming environments and ask them if they are willing to receive us for a personal interview. Offering survey participants a reward helps us collect responses that are more trustworthy. The door-to-door interviews we conduct provide an opportunity to observe the attitude and behavior of the respondents/consumers toward a targeted product.

How does market research help improve branding?

Many companies ask themselves: How do customers perceive us? How does our brand stack up against our competition? Market research allows brand improvement by exploring brand awareness (Are customers aware and familiar with your brand?), competitive comparisons (How do customers view your company compared to the competition?) and personification (What characteristics and traits do customers associate with your brand?).

What in your opinion is the most noteworthy advantage of market research?

Market research allows businesses to learn more about past, current, and potential customers. With this understanding, better decisions can be made regarding upgrading quality, equity, growth, and expansion plans. We at Napco CPD’s Market Research Unit are committed to serving the group by reflecting the voice of Saudi consumers. Most important is making business decisions based on consumer data and not based on executives opinion.