Palawan hospital, furniture manufacturer get business upgrade from Microsoft PHBy Matikas Santos
MANILA, Philippines—A hospital in Palawan and a furniture manufacturer that previously caught fire were the top two companies given a boost in their business through Microsoft Philippines’ “Upgrade My Business” promo.
The Palawan Adventist Hospital in Barangay (village) San Pedro, Puerto Princesa City won the top prize in the online contest; 10 Microsoft Office 2010 Pro Plus programs, two laptops with Windows 7 Operating Systems, a server hardware complete with Small Business Server Essentials software, and a P40,000 office Makeover Package.
Doctor Melvyn Orbe, President of the Palawan Adventist Hospital, said in an interview after the awarding ceremonies held Tuesday that they started as a clinic back in the late 70′s and only grew to a hospital in 1988. They are now a tertiary level hospital that is modern and up-to-date in terms of services, he said.
“We needed to upgrade our system to meet our daily requirements in the hospital’s operations. We are very grateful that Microsoft has chosen us to get the upgrade that we really need,” Orbe said.
He said that before, they had to do the patient records and paperwork manually, which led to patients being discharged after two or three hours. Now with the technology boost given to them by Microsoft, they will be able to upgrade their patient records, billing and accounting processes, and link the different hospital departments together. They are able to discharge their patients in as fast as 30 minutes, Orbe said.
Palawan Adventist Hospital currently has a bed capacity of 54 but will be able to increase it to 70 to 80 once their new building is completed, Orbe said. They record around three to four thousand patients going through the hospital monthly with as much as seven thousand patients during peak seasons, he added.
The hospital was also the chosen referral hospital of the United States Armed Forces who visited Palawan during the Balikatan Exercises with the Armed Forces of the Philippines this year, Orbe said.
Rising from ashes
The second place winner was Furniture Contractors Inc., a family-owned furniture manufacturing company that is more than 30 years old and which lost its facilities with all their stocks in a fire in November 2008.
Ian Uynicky, President and Owner of Furniture Contractors Inc. said that the fire “happened Saturday night, so our warehouse was full of furniture that are ready to be delivered on Monday and our other suppliers had also just made their deliveries. So it was really full.”
He said their entire production facility with all the stocks “were completely wiped out.”
They were able to get back on their feet because their customers and suppliers decided to extend them credit for their recovery, Uynicky said.
It also helped that their at least 150 strong employees stayed with them. “Since we are a 100 percent local manufacturer it’s the people that make the business grow,” he said.
“It’s the skill of the people that make the business move,” he added.
“Microsoft helped us in the recovery [because] we were using Microsoft products already as interim tools,” Uynicky said.
He said that they use Microsoft programs for their inventory management, accounting, finance, cost analysis, products database, timekeeping records, etc.
“Right now our IT team is very limited, but there are plans to expand. When we get more people, [we] would need additional licenses so they can work on multiple tools at the same time,” he said. Microsoft’s prizes will be of great help to the company, he added.
The third place winner was PC Health Computer Sales and Services in Tacloban City. Microsoft was able to boost their business which “lacked the right facilities for its clients, project development and services they offer.”
Boosting SME businesses
Microsoft’s “Upgrade my Business” promo is part of their “Transform your Business” campaign which “serves as an avenue for Microsoft to help fellow Filipinos make smart investments to continuously sustain productivity and growth,” it said in a statement.
“Microsoft has always empowered start-ups and small and medium businesses through cutting-edge technologies, enabling them to manage and grow their organizations in today’s knowledge economy,” John Bessey, Microsoft Philippines Managing Director, said in a statement.
The online contest was done from February to June 15. Contestants submitted a video or an essay explaining why their business needed an upgrade. An internal panel of judges would then decide who are the most deserving to get a business upgrade based on a criteria that was posted online.
“We were happy about the split between participants coming from the Metro and the provinces,” Isa Aviles, Commercial Marketing Lead of Microsoft Philippines, said in an interview.
She said the cash prize “office makeover package” was an additional “fun factor” in the contest. “Winners will have a free hand in choosing how [they] can apply the fund to upgrade [their] facilities,” Aviles said.
“We’re happy with the kinds of business that we were able to attract, very diverse,” she said. “We’re glad that our campaign has reached different profiles [and] different geographies.”
Aviles said they were very pleased with the success of the promo and will very likely do “fun contests like this” again.
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