Name of Recipient:
Mr. Alvin Chee
The Singapore Armed Forces is part of the fabric of Singaporean life. Thousands of citizens enlist into the army to defend our country’s sovereignty. However, we often overlook one of the most important facets of the Armed Forces – the vehicles.
Many of us will no doubt see the significance of the vehicles. From the tonners that shuttled servicemen to field camps to the majestic armor tanks that we see on National Day Parades. These “green” vehicles are as much a part of the Singaporean psyche as our local culinary delicacies.
As such, it is of great importance that the vehicles remain in tiptop condition on a daily basis. One company that happens to provide automotive and repair services for vehicular fleet owners and major repairers, is ACMA Engineering Works and Trading Pte Ltd.
Established in 2007 by ex-army regular, Alvin Chee, ACMA is a company that is well known within the industry. Counting heavyweights like ST Kinetics, ST Synthesis, and Vantage Automotive Pte Ltd as partners.
Shedding light on the origins of his business, Alvin mentions that he was in the armor division as a regular and learnt many useful vehicle repair and preservation skills. Subsequently, Alvin chose to leave the armed forces in search of greener pastures. However, that turned out to be a rocky path at the beginning.
Armed with an “O” Level certificate and a job history of an army regular, employers did not see much relevant experience in Alvin. Thankfully, he managed to find a job as a store man in a warehouse. The job of a store man required Alvin to work long hours at a stretch, usually from 6am to 10pm. Furthermore, he had to travel from Clementi to Loyang for his job. Alvin says that he had to learn from the bottom, however, this also gave him the chance to learn about stock ordering and man-management.
After gaining skills as a store man, Alvin eventually left the company and took on a few other jobs, such as a CLO Liaison Officer and a workshop manager.
Finally in 2007, Alvin decided to take the leap and set up his own automotive maintenance and repair business. He worked day in and day out in order to get ACMA off the ground. Through much hard work and dedication, his sales figure more than doubled in 2008.
When asked about this increase in sales, Alvin said: “I feel that if I run a business, I must always have my own target. In short, I don’t just sit there and do nothing.” He added that his success can be attributed to his network, man-management skills, and most important, his good fortune of possessing a good team.
Alvin talked about a high turnover rate in his staff. He said that this is one of the biggest problems that he faces on a daily basis. However, he firmly believes that an entrepreneur is a person who invests in his staff. Only by doing so, can there be team cohesion and a common bond within the company.
Evidently a person who has a clear idea of entrepreneurship, Alvin said: “The essence of entrepreneurship is to always improve, never ever settle, or be too comfortable.” Touching more on this point, Alvin says that one must always think out of the box in order to improve and provide unique services to customers.
Shedding light on his source of motivation, Alvin stated: “I have a dream, I follow my target, and try to make that happen. Nothing is impossible. (世上没有做不到的事, 只有不想做的事)”
It is also by following his dream that Alvin is constantly innovating and improving ACMA’s services. The company currently holds the distributorship for FirePro Vehicle Suppression System. This system will lower the risk of fire occurring in an automobile. In the event of a fire, the FirePro system will discharge aerosol within 5-10 seconds to flood the engine compartment, extinguishing the fire. Alvin says that he took on the distributorship because there is a rise in the percentage of car fires in recent years, and he wanted to help car owners in that regard.
In addition, Alvin has also been working on a prototype, called “A Graceful Kit”. This product allows drivers to push a button to signal their gratitude to other drivers while on the road. A driver can simply have to push a button and a “thank you” sign will appear at the back of his/her car. Alvin came up with the idea as he realized that many drivers might not get the chance to thank each other while they are on the roads. He hopes that this will create a culture of courtesy and etiquette on the roads.
Always planning for the future, ACMA is launching a new workshop for daily walk-in customers. Alvin explained that this is a concept that he had thought of for quite a while, and is excited to set up his own workshop. This novel idea will include car repairs at any time of the day, for six days a week. For example, a customer can choose to bring his car to ACMA’s workshop in the morning for repair and get it back after a meal or after work. The extra bonus will be that ACMA will provide a free meal to all of their walk-in customers. In addition, there will also be massage chairs, SmartTV, SurfStation, Playstation booths, and many more at the workshop.
Alvin came up with this idea because he noticed a lack of “fun” and “relaxation” when it comes to workshops. Usually, workshops are just places where customers hand their cars over to be repaired. That is why ACMA chose to do things differently, the company focuses on a holistic approach, where customers can get their cars fixed, and feel relaxed in a homely environment, for an entire family.
Needless to say, ACMA is a company that is always looking to create something new within the industry. It will also be this sense of creativity, coupled with an ethos of hard work and dedication that will ensure ACMA’s success for many more years to come.
5 Soon Lee Street #06-20
T| 6710 7654
F| 6710 7655