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Job Loss Watch
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redbean



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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 11:13 pm    Post subject: Job Loss Watch Reply with quote

I am creating this thread to post all matters related or contributed to more job losses.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Someone posted in YPAP that there might be retrenchment in SATS soon.

Also read something in the papers that insurance agents at NTUC might be losing their jobs.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SINGAPORE : Come May 16, NTUC Income will start selling its full range of insurance products directly to customers through salaried consultants.

This will be done through two new Insurance Business Centres that will be set up at its Bras Basah Road headquarters and at Tampines Point.

However, the insurer says its team of commission-based insurance advisors will still be the backbone of its sales operations.

You can now buy insurance products directly from NTUC Income at its two business centres.

Trained consultants will be on hand to give free and impartial financial planning and insurance advice.

Said Tan Kin Lian, CEO of NTUC Income, "In the past most people buy insurance from an agent who has to visit their house many times. This is very costly, which is why insurance is so expensive. If people are willing to come to a business centre to buy insurance from salaried employees, it's possible to reduce the cost of insurance significantly for the benefit of the consumers."

Unlike traditional insurance advisors, who are paid hefty commissions, these consultants are given a fixed monthly salary and modest incentives.

Said Nancy Hoon, insurance consultant at NTUC Income, "In my experience as a commissioned agent, we have required sales target to meet every month and every year. As a result, some of us may lose sight of focusing on recommending clients the best solutions."

Income says this method of distribution will offer the public a choice and allow them to get useful information with no pressure to buy.

Said Mr Tan, "We know that for an insurance agent, about half the time is spent looking for a customer, and the other half of the time is then spent to provide the right advice. If this new model works, potentially it is possible to reduce the cost of selling by 50 percent. Of course, this will take some time to materialise."

The new business centre will officially open this Tuesday.

Income says if this business model succeeds, it can mean cheaper insurance and, in the long run, fundamentally change the way insurance products are marketed in Singapore. - CNA /ct


With this new model of selling insurance, insurance agents can become extinct in no time unless they become employee/consultant of NTUC coop. Will there be a net drop in number of people employed to service clients in the industry?

One thing for sure is that the income of insurance consultants will be lower as the model is supposed to be more efficient and cost effective. But the quality of service will very likely be 9 to 5 and anything after these hours, call back tomorrow or please come to the office tomorrow.

The insurance consultants will be a salaried employee and gone will be the resourceful and enterprising agents who could make millions.
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Matilah_Singapura



Joined: 08 Mar 2006
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Location: LAND OF SMILES & INSTANT GRATIFICATION, of Delightful Exploitation...and a true Buddhist spirit!

PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 1:21 am    Post subject: Get RID of some jobs: the public sector Reply with quote

Crisis = Danger + Opportunity

What about those who gain jobs because of the quick and constant change in the nature of work?

If you are good at selling, you needn't worry lah. You'll beat 99.99%of those cloistered intelllectuals who think there shit don't stink, and come out with wild-assed theories on how a govt can structure a society by regulation and interference in peoples' lives. Evil or Very Mad

Good sales people are worth their weight in gold - because every companiy's balance sheet depends on how fast it clears its inventory.

If you can sell insurance, you can sell marine insurance etc... all the "specialised and esoteric products" - where the bucks are really BIG.

Some jobs just plain need to go: civil service, public intellectuals and of course grossly overpaid ministers and the president. Shocked

The Public Sector is a euphemism for a "Den Of Legal Thieves" Laughing
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redbean



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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not many people will walk to a company to buy insurance. And there are many types of insurance that you need the insurance agents to push and offer to customers. Even life insurance is not a a plate of fried kwayteow that people will queue up to buy. The agents have to push the products.

To think that by opening a stall and people will come willingly to buy your insurance, then the insurance must be like xo durians, in hot demands.

However, insurance products can be programmed, with all the data in the computer and makes thing easier and more manageable. By so doing, it requires lesser manpower, but not sure about lesser cost as the system needs to be maintained and updated. The hardware, the engineers and programmers, systems people, technicians, all cost money. And the office space. It is just redefining and restructuring the job.

More efficient, yes. Cheaper, maybe. Some jobs will be lost, yes. And some new jobs created.

I find it hard to believe that selling insurance is so easy. Set up a store and customers will come marching in.
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theodore



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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not a matter of ease.

In the early 90s, every agent you talk to will push you an endowment or whole life policy covering critical illnesses. Late 90s is the golden era for ILPs. These days, the agents are telling you that surgery/hospitalization plans are better than those cover critical illnesses.

Are these advices driven by the need of the consumer or by that of the salesperson? Try to ask for a term life policy (and say you wun buy anything else) and see how many agents will entertain you. At the end of the day, the advice you get from these 'financial planners' are derived from just 2 factors: Volume (how many of the same products they can sell) and margin (commission per sale of that product). Your needs are your concerns, not their's or anyone else's.
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Matilah_Singapura



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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

redbean wrote:

I find it hard to believe that selling insurance is so easy. Set up a store and customers will come marching in.


So easy ah? Shocked

Then your competition does the same... "Capitalism HATES a profit"

Wah... you want easy job, join the govt lah!
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redbean



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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If this NTUC model is successful, then all the other big insurance companies will definitely follow suit. And insurance cost will go down as the role of insurance agents will be so much simpler, like bank tellers, just do data entry.

By then all insurance agents will be employed as insurance counter clerks or paid like counter clerks but called financial advisers or consultants.

this kind of restructuring is very efficient in cutting cost, and also savings for the clients and the organisations. only need to pay cheap salary for some full time clerks.; Laughing
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Matilah_Singapura



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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If this NTUC model is successful, then all the other big insurance companies will definitely follow suit.


It will be "successful" if the the profit goes up. Long-term profitability is the only test businesses are interested in.

There is little point in cutting costs if the profit falls too, or competitiveness is decreased.

The market gives "feedback" to all management decisions. It never fails.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2006 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While NTUC Coop is restructuring their business model to cut the cost of selling insurance products, it did not count on the 'hard sell methods' of banks to get customers.

When banks use hard sell or unfair tactics to improve sales, should this be questioned? And this is what Tan Kin Lian is doing. Then there is also the new Fair Trading Acts coming into force soon which is supposed to level the playing field and prevent unfair trading practices.

For those who advocate a laissez faire environment, they may say it is ok. Any organisation can leverage on their strength to gain market share, like hard sell method' or 'dumping' or undercut the competitors by unfair pricing or inducements.

The selling of insurance by high pressure tactic as mentioned by Tan Kin Lian is one of such examples. Another example is for banks to offer below the market commission to retain, attract or capture new customers. This is exactly what some banks are doing, selling some products by underpricing the market and make their profits from their main products.

Are such practices ethical and tolerable under the Fair Trading Acts? What would happen is that such practices will destroy the jobs of those businesses with dedicated professionals or agents, and thus causing job loss. It will in the long run also destroy the market as well.

This is an area which the govt can do to prevent job loss and curb the Levianthan in the banks. It is the muscling out of small players by big boys and has nothing to do with efficiency and professionalism. And the govt has a duty to protect the small guys from such unfair practices.

Unless the govt sees the destruction of jobs as a good thing and authorise or encourage the banks to keep doing what they are doing.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2006 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just as I was talking about the devil I chanced upon a report with this comment.

'DBS Group Chief Jackson Tai welcomes competition in the Singapore Banking market - but what he wants is 'a level playing field and sound competition'. He told BT he does not want a situation in which some players are allowed to extend credit on different terms. Instead, he wants a market with trasparent rules that are applied equally to all players. 'The regulators and markets, in the end, will do their job in making sure that the playing field is level,' he added.

Now am I angry or why am I feeling so cynical? I really hope that Jackson Tai will use DBS as a shining example of fair play and show the rest of the banks how to play fair and be transparent in what they are doing.

I would like to have a word with him.
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Matilah_Singapura



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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2006 4:55 pm    Post subject: The Sovereign Consumer Reply with quote

Key concept: IN THE REALM OF HUMAN BEHAVIOUR - A NATURAL CONSEQUENCE OF THINKING - ANYTHING GOES (regardless of what you think)

redbean wrote:
When banks use hard sell or unfair tactics to improve sales, should this be questioned?


If they are not violating property rights - no, "authorities" should leave them alone.

Every advantage is an "unfair" adavantage over a competitor. Once regulators start enforcing "morality", the cuntry is slipping down the slope of socialism.

The only people "valid" to question them are the (sovereign) customers - who are perfectly free to take their business elsewhere.

Quote:
For those who advocate a laissez faire environment, they may say it is ok.


Not just OK. Business should be encouraged and allowed to do whatever is necessary to serve their customers better and improve the businesses bottom line and long-term purpose.

Succesful businesses make successful societies. The only objective measure of a society success is how much wealth (private property) is created.

Quote:
Any organisation can leverage on their strength to gain market share, like hard sell method' or 'dumping' or undercut the competitors by unfair pricing or inducements.


Dumping and undercutting reduce long term profitability. It wastes resources. However to gain "market share" it might be neccessary to "pay a price" like offer lots of "freebies".

I like price wars. This happens when businesses compete fiercly with each other. Who wins? The Sovereign Customer. It is lovely to see the big and powerful blow their private property to the benefit of the Sovereign Customers. It's like "paying tribute to the king" Laughing

Quote:
The selling of insurance by high pressure tactic as mentioned by Tan Kin Lian is one of such examples. Another example is for banks to offer below the market commission to retain, attract or capture new customers. This is exactly what some banks are doing, selling some products by underpricing the market and make their profits from their main products.


Fantastic! High pressure tactics means the industry is tough. The industry is tough because customers are choosy, selfish, disloyal, greedy and impatient.

Therefore it take good businessplans executed by competent and strategic players to deliver the best, and HOPE that the customer bites.

You wanna get the customer's money? Boy, you'd better be good at what you do, and find some way to make him "like you" enough to buy from you.

Damn hard. Damn frustrating. Can bust you balls. Now you know why people who got rich from business are some of the toughest people around. They deserve to be rich - because the price they pay for doing so is HUGE.

Quote:
Are such practices ethical and tolerable under the Fair Trading Acts? What would happen is that such practices will destroy the jobs of those businesses with dedicated professionals or agents, and thus causing job loss. It will in the long run also destroy the market as well.


The world doesn't owe anyone a job, nor does it owe any commercial endeavour a profit. There is too much emphasis on "workers". Workers are only relevant if there are CUSTOMERS. Business is only relevant if there are customers.

Quote:
This is an area which the govt can do to prevent job loss and curb the Levianthan in the banks. It is the muscling out of small players by big boys and has nothing to do with efficiency and professionalism. And the govt has a duty to protect the small guys from such unfair practices.


No it doesn't. The only duty of govt is to protect private property - and the first private property it that needs protection is that of the CUSTOMER.

The customer has a right to the cheapest, best product his money can buy. The customer's private property is what enables him to exist and be happy. It protects him from suffering.

By interfering with the market, the govt is behaving in an ANTI-CONSUMER way. By regulating business, they interfere with the businessman's mission - to serve as many customers the best way he can, and do it better, faster and cheaper than his competition.

Quote:
Unless the govt sees the destruction of jobs as a good thing and authorise or encourage the banks to keep doing what they are doing.


No govt wants to see jobs destroyed. Why? Self-interest. When jobs are destroyed and businesses go bust tax revenues decrease, and there is political pressure to bring into exsistence a welfare state.

I state again: no one owes anyone a living, nor any business a profit.

Both jobs and profit are the result of RATIONAL, PRODUCTIVE effort.

If you want to earn, you'd better learn to serve. You'd better learn to put personal petty differences aside and appreciate other individuals as unique and special creatures the universe has given life to. You'd better respect your own life and the life of others. And you'd better be sensitive to the needs of others, as well as your own needs.

Some people may call the above "selfLESSness". In my reality, I call it selFISHness. Because you need to be aware - that everyone is selfish, greedy and impatient. And damnit, they are "stingy" too.

Capitalism has a bad reputation. It rewards people who are willing to serve their fellow man. Benevolence.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2006 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[b]Every advantage is an "unfair" advantage over a competitor. Once regulators start enforcing "morality", the cuntry is slipping down the slope of socialism.

The only people "valid" to question them are the (sovereign)customers - who are perfectly free to take their business elsewhere.


Matilah, 2 points.

The customers who should know did not know what is happening behind their backs. So they could not question.

The second point is that the govt should not govern the business but the people running the businesses. There are too many unethical things that organisations are doing. Can't believe the things supposely honourable people are doing to gain a little advantage.

Today we hear Tan Kin Lian and Jackson Tai both complaining about unfair tactics. Can there be fair play if there is no referee? Obviously no. or else they would not be screaming.
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Last edited by redbean on Wed May 17, 2006 11:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Matilah_Singapura



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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2006 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The customers who should know did not know what is happening behind their backs. So they could not question.


In this respect, market democracy is no different from political democracy: If the customer wanst his "needs" met properly, then he has to be pro-active.

Being in the market as a producer or consumer means "active participation". If people don't give a damn about how they use their private property, then they are likely to diminish that value or lose it altogether.

Because market participation is a voluntary activity, it means you are responsible for you private property. In other words:

YOU CAN'T CHEAT AN HONEST MAN.

Market participation is an individual enterprise. The setting up of a watchdog (not govt!) is also individual enterprise. The market can solve any "problem".

Quote:
The second point is that the govt should not govern the business but the people running the businesses. There are too many unethical things that organisations are doing. Can't believe the things supposely honourable people are doing to gain a little advantage.


Anything does go, whether you like it or not. Freedom means freedom of association - and you can't force people to change. Just take your business elsewhere if you don't agree with people's "unethical" behaviour. Ethics and morals are PERSONAL choices. No one has the right to change them - for any reason.

Quote:
Today we hear Tan Kin Lian and Jackson Tai both complaining about unfair tactics. Can there be fair play if there is no referee? Obviously no. or else they would not be screaming.


They have the right to scream. They are using their private property. I also have my private property: my ears. I can use it to listen or ignore.

I choose to ignore. Laughing

Even a referee can't guarantee "fair play" ("fair play" to who BTW?).

Only one person can police behaviour: the individual.

I say again: In this Universe, in the realm of human behaviour, anything goes, whether you choose to believe it or not.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2006 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When 55 is old.

The case of the NTU professor who at 55 is considered old, reduced to half pay is a case of doing and saying different things. If 55 is considered old, then the govt must quickly come up with a plan to terminate everyone reaching 60. After 60, one is no longer worthy to contribute to society regardless of the profession that one is in.

And in the academia, 55 is only the beginning when all the information pumped into the little brain has just been simmered to perfection to be dished out to the students and society.

I would strongly suggest that if this is what our society think of people at 55, then make it a national policy. Everyone on reaching 55 must have his or her pay halfed. And this policy should start with NTU with no exception.

Only exception is in parliament where old is gold. Wink
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