Year: 2019

Horne Speaks to Students On the Importance of Passion in Business Pursuits

Executive chairman of ARC Manufacturing Ltd Norman Horne has impressed upon University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) students the importance of passion in business pursuits.

Horne was addressing the university’s Entrepreneurial Expo last Wednesday. The event, presented by students from the Joan Duncan School of Entrepreneurship, was held under the theme ‘Creating Opportunities, Developing Economies’ and saw several booth set-ups from local micro-businesses in sectors spanning food preparation, health, and beauty to fashion and home décor.

Horne drove home the steps to successful entrepreneurship. “In Jamaica, ARC is a large enterprise, employing over 500 persons but we started very small  with passion alone as the beginning of our success,” stated Horne as he guided attendees through the technical and theoretical aspects of Jamaican entrepreneurship.

Through the duration of his just under 20-minute presentation, the ARC CEO detailed his initial humble upbringing to early life and the opportunity to study overseas, an opportunity, which eventually earned him, acclaim in the local business fraternity.

Engaging students with his steps to personal success Horne also relied on textbook theory as he explained key concepts to business sustainability, especially in the Jamaican market. The subject of much turmoil and spills developing economies like Jamaica often present entrepreneurs with a true test of will power and faith, Horne explained, “only the paranoid survive”.

“Where will initial investment come from? How will you cover ongoing expenses before generating a profit? These questions must be answered. How will you manage? You do so by following gut feelings, doing research, business intelligence, lobbying, personal experience and sometimes relying on the experience of others. What are the resources available? Who is your competition? We asked ourselves these questions regularly and we not only managed but we managed very well and remained almost clinically focused,” continued Horne.

The former senator emphasized the importance of sticking to the initial plan and details laid out after research, SWOT and other analyses. He also stressed the importance of integrity in business and maintaining an excellent reputation.

“Successful entrepreneurs use the plans they have created; consistently and patiently working hard to establish their businesses; always marry the practical lessons to the theoretical lessons. Your mind will lead you, your work ethic will push you forward and your sound character will cement your success,” Horne stated.

Published by The Jamaica Observer 

Build on Quality with ARC Manufacturing – #DesignWeekJa2019

On Tuesday, the design crowd headed to 14 Bell Rd, Kingston, home of ARC Manufacturing Limited for their Build On Quality Showcase. ARC Manufacturing Limited has dominated the local building supplies industry in both manufacturing and distribution. The company invited local design creatives to enter the ‘ARC’ so they could fully appreciate and understand the ins and outs of the massive operation.

Suppliers, customers — both existing and new — learned about the myriad of products and services the company offers, but was most impressed with ARC’s history of employing and training young Jamaicans to become professionals. Executive Chairman Norman Horne in his address underscored the need for a Design District in Jamaica, where creatives can come together and showcase their talents. He lauded Design Week conceptualiser Novia McDonald-Whyte for her efforts in driving businesses like his into the creative industry.

Conversation aside, guests rocked to the beats of the award-winning drumming group Jamique Ensemble, then had an afternoon snack courtesy of Marlene Foster Catering and Leanne Sweet Tooth. With rain forecast many thought they would miss out on the factory tour but the grey skies turned blue just long enough for a group of stakeholders to traverse the extensive property with Senior Manager – Technical Levar Beezer.

Published by The Jamaica Observer

ARC Chairman Calls for Creation of Design Districts

Executive chairman of ARC Manufacturing Norman Horne is calling for the Government of Jamaica to legislate the creation of “design districts” in Jamaica.

“Our zoning laws should be amended to create an environment in Jamaica, albeit a street, a couple of streets or an area that is called the design district. But only people who are participating in the creative industries should be allowed to rent, lease or buy spaces to distribute, market and sell their products and services in that specific area,” Horne stated in his address, during ARC Manufacturing’s Build on Quality Showcase, held at its Bell Road headquarters in Kingston

He added that the design district would also be a space where entertainers and culinary artists can ply their trade.

ARC Manufacturing’s Build on Quality Showcase, which included a tour of the company’s manufacturing plant, forms part of Jamaica Observer’s Design Week.

Horne, a former senator, noted that he is willing to invest his influence to agitate the Government for the formation of a design district to house the “creativity and knowledge” of Jamaicans who are so inclined. He also invited guests at the showcase to do likewise, including Member of Parliament for St Andrew South Western Angela Brown Burke — and a former mayor of Kingston & St Andrew — in whose constituency ARC Manufacturing is based.

The executive chairman remarked that the concept of Design Week will be one he will “try to entrench” in the company’s culture for years to come.

Also speaking at the showcase, Jamaica Observer Senior Associate Editor – Lifestyle and Social Content Novia McDonald-Whyte said Design Week was conceptualized to provide people and companies in the construction and interior design space with exposure to the wider Jamaica. This, she said, was the missing link in the newspaper’s lifestyle brand.

Published by The Jamaica Observer.

Norman Horne — from rocky upbringing to building an empire

Who would have thought that the executive chairman of high-profile company, ARC Manufacturing got his baptism in hardship and near poverty during the early 1960s before he could establish himself as one of the foremost business leaders in Jamaica now?

Former People’s National Party Treasurer Norman Washington Horne, his christian and middle names acquired through his father’s close association with former president of the People’s National Party Norman Washington Manley, used tough times as a lad growing up in the fertile lands of Bull Savannah in south -east St Elizabeth as a launching pad for the economic greatness that has been thrust upon him.

In a family of 10 children it was regular for youngsters attending the dominant institution for lower learning to walk through the school’s entrance barefooted. Indeed, the majority of all students in the village pressured the soles of their feet with flesh-to-dirt contact, and those who chose not to were labelled as show-offs.

Driven by the husband and wife team of “Teacher Tingling” and his spouse, who both served as principal — he first, and she upon his retirement — as well as other teachers’ solid stance on education, among them Ruby Blythe, the young Horne sought to sew his seeds of progress from early by clearing the ground for the launch of what would become something huge. Interestingly, many of the same teachers and school leaders taught his mother.

“In that period, you had an option that you either learn or you are punished to learn,” Horne told the Jamaica Observer in a midweek chat. “They had a subtle jack — a tree that grows very slim, extends very slim branches that’s difficult to break, and when you move it into your hands it whips up and down. That was an instrument. As children we were never late for school and homework was always on time. Despite the fact that we didn’t have electricity, what we had was what was called the ‘Kitchen Bitch’, a lantern also called ‘Home Sweet Home’. We were extremely competitive because we were forced to compete to see who wants to come first, second or third in class at the end of the period — and just about all of us were fighting for the premium spot, so we were always forced to compete,” Horne said of the laying of his educational foundation. “Those formative years were great years because it helped to reinforce your discipline; it helped to reinforce respect for people’s property and respect for ownership; it helped to understand that you must be satisfied with what you have, and never envy a man for what he has; and it teaches you character in a sense. We understand that, as human beings, how we feel inside is how we think, and how we think is how we act, and how we act it forms our character. Therefore, the objective was just to act proper, and we believed that once your act was proper then your conduct thereafter would reflect the same.

“Apart from the fact that we had all the games in the world that we could play without a computer or any type of automation, we were never short on games; we were never bored. Where one, two or more of us [were], if we weren’t reading, studying, playing games, then there were the mango fields, the melon fields, the tomato and the paw-paw and the sweet sop, promegranate, naseberry. So in order to find food we had a wide range of outreach that you could go, albeit if you were going to someone’s property to take their food you would ask first, and very seldomly would be denied. In those days we had not an abundance of, but sufficient fruits that we could turn to, particularly when there was nothing at home to eat,” Horne reflected.

But despite the challenges and the hiccups that were present them, the home spirit was still alive and flourishing.

“My mother had the greatest economy of a home. In the latter years she raised us without a father being at home, but we could always bank to start out on Sundays with rice and peas and chicken. No change, Only if she couldn’t afford it then we get something else. On Mondays and Thursdays it is usually soup — gungoo peas, French bean or pumpkin soup, and chicken soup.

“Friday was usually a beef day and that is because on Friday morning the local butcher would be basically killing one or two cows for that weekend, based on demand. On Saturday it’s usually fish. That’s because on Saturday morning we would go to Alligator Pond fish market. Barracuda was an interesting fish, because when we take it home the first thing that my mom would do is put it out in the sun. If flies pitch on it then it’s good to eat. If there are no flies then you rubbish it.

“Tuesday and Wednesday we called those ‘Ben Johnson days’ where anything goes — whether it is just crackers and milo, sugar and water with lime and bammy, my mother always ensures that she provides something for us. What she tells us is you never beg, you never steal, and so she would say in her own way to all of us that the Bible is very clear — either you learn a skill or a trade, otherwise you are going to be a liar or a thief. So, school was reinforced because of that. She would then say to my sisters, is either education or Percy Junor,” Horne asserted.

Percy Junor was perceived to be a rich man at that time, who has a hospital named after him today.

“So,” Horne continued, “my mother would say to the girls, ‘You have two choices, either you get a good education or you are going to find a Percy Junor for a husband.’ She would say to the boys, it’s either good education or Breadnut Wood,’ which is where we usually go to farm — the majority of the farming took place there,” Horne said.

Although the professional options as children looking into the wider world were limited at the time, Horne said that the work choices of parents, who worked mainly on farms, was not what the younger folk wanted at the time. Therefore, there was a serious focus on trying to learn all they could in the classroom, which went to another phase when the doors of Junction Secondary School opened to those who were ripe enough to leave primary school.

After turning 16, Horne embarked on a mission of urban migration, landing in Kingston where he enrolled at Excelsior Community College to do advanced level subjects, and also took on the world of work. Before long, he landed his first job at a shoe manufacturing plant on East Street, downtown, upon the recommendation of then Member of Parliament for St Elizabeth South Eastern, Derrick Rochester.

Later, he would dip his hand in the insurance industry, working at the now-defunct American Life Insurance Company (ALICO). That, too, did not match up with the direction in which his wandering mind wanted him to go. So the next move was to enter a foreign land — the United States of America — at age 20.

“When I was leaving, my father took me from Junction, Bull Savannah, to a place called Gutters. In those days, 1979, Michael Manley (then prime minister) said you could only leave with US$50, so I was expecting to get US$50 from my father. He gave me US$13 instead and said to me ‘son, this is all I have’. He said ‘I don’t have much but I have my integrity. I have never earned a bad dollar in my life and if I were to receive one I would not accept it, and this is my gift to you; it’s worth more than the 50 dollars’. I took that, and off I went to America,” Horne continued to relate to the Sunday Observer.

Further studies in New York, an extended trip to Toronto, Canada, and back to New York built upon the already-laid foundation which resulted in bachelor’s and masters degrees, and thus the way was finally cleared for the big man to sample his boyhood dream — that of excelling in business in North America from where he would return to inject a needed potion into the Jamaican productive scene, armed with the know-how and competence of how to make things work.

Published by The Jamaica Observer

ARC Team Joins Community Members to Give Haile Selassie High Facelift

It was a day of fun, fellowship and hard work as members of ARC Manufacturing Ltd joined forces with representatives from the Hunt’s Bay Police Station and the Police Youth Club to renovate and repair sections of the Haile Selassie High School in Kingston.

The move which came amidst prolonged violence in the community saw the Spanish Town Road citizens and school body giving their support to paint and repair the male and female bathrooms, do a complete overhaul of the Home Economics classroom and bathroom, as well as the cosmetology department. The school is set to undergo further renovations, as it provides a haven for students from surrounding communities.

ARC Manufacturing said it strives to be a pillar of support for the community by taking on projects aimed at improving the lives of citizens in the area, especially children.

“We don’t want to just exist in our community, we want to be felt. ARC is known as the building materials specialist but we want to also be known to build relationships in communities across Jamaica”, states Executive Chairman, Norman Horne.

ARC employs more than 350 workers, with over half of its workforce originating from the surrounding area. ARC Manufacturing is a leading manufacturer of premium-quality building materials  and serves both domestic and international markets.

Published by Loop Jamaica.

Community Members Team up to Give Haile Selassie High School A Facelift

It was a day of fun, fellowship and hard work as members of ARC Manufacturing Ltd joined forces with representatives from the Hunt’s Bay Police Station and the Police Youth Club to renovate and repair much-needed areas of the Haile Selassie High School.

The move which came amidst prolonged turmoil and violence in the community saw the Spanish Town Road citizens and school body giving their support to paint and repair the male and female bathrooms, do a complete overhaul of the Home Economics classroom and bathroom, as well as the Cosmetology department. The school is set to undergo further renovations, as it provides a haven for students from surrounding communities.

ARC Manufacturing Ltd strives to be a pillar of support for the community by taking on projects aimed at improving the lives of citizens in the area, especially children. The manufacturing giant hopes to continue this and future work that is aimed at fostering healthy relationships throughout the communities.

“We don’t want to just exist in our community, we want to be felt. ARC is known as the building materials specialist but we want to also be known to build relationships in communities across Jamaica”, states Executive Chairman, Norman Horne.

It is with this commitment to their community that ARC remains the employer of choice for more than 350 workers, with over half of its workforce originating from the surrounding area. ARC Manufacturing is Jamaica’s leading manufacturer of premium-quality building materials for over 22 years and serves both domestic and international markets.

ARC Manufacturing Now Selling Its Own Branded Fork Lifts

ARC MANUFACTURING has struck a deal with Chinese firm Biola to produce a range of forklifts to be sold under the ARC name.

Executive Chairman Norman Horne says he spent about three months touring facilities and looking at different models before settling on a supply partner.

“The company that produces for us is Biola. Without calling any names, they are the same company that produces for some international brands,” Horne told the Financial Gleaner.

Horne says the normal route for the procurement of forklifts in Jamaica is to purchase second-hand brand-name units at auction such as Hyster or Toyota, and ship them in.

The problem is that wear and tear in the industrial world has less to do with calendar age than hours of use. It is therefore not a stretch to find that a six-year-old forklift can outperform one that is, say, four years old, simply because the newer one was used for more hours, according to Horne. He says many who procured equipment on the basis of age ended up with machines in need of frequent repair.

His own firm, he added, was among them.

“In former times, many industrial firms had these second-hand forklifts that we had to rely on and the downtime was simply horrendous. It was unbelievable the parts issues and service issues we had,” Horne said of the 22 forklifts that made up Arc’s fleet.

Arc Manufacturing has been expanding into new areas – including the commissioning, two weeks ago, of a metal slitting plant.

Arc Manufacturing has initially invested US$1.6 million in the development of its forklifts and the creation of a division to handle distribution and sale of the equipment to Jamaican companies, Horne says.

The Bell Road, Kingston-based company has been testing the Biola-made forklifts in its own shop for six months to assess their functionality.

“We brought in 10 so far, and the purpose of that was so that we could test them. We did that over the last six months and we’re absolutely pleased with their performance, and we’re ready to make them available to the public,” Horne said.

“The type of work we had to use 22 old forks to do, we now use 10 to do the same, with excess capacity left over,” he added.

Horne says the Arc forklifts span the full range, from 10 tonnes down to 3 tonnes of lifting capacity. They are available in diesel engines for heavy industrial applications and flex-fuel gas/LPG for closed warehouse or food-processing applications.

He would not, however, say the price of the units, only that an average forklift would be about 70 per-cent of the cost of a second-hand name brand forklift. Checks by the Financial Gleaner indicate that a Hyster would run about $48,00 to $54,000.

Arc Manufacturing has ordered 100 forklifts from Biola, of which 10 has been delivered and another 20 is due to be shipped by the end of June.

Four of the forklifts have been sold so far, and Horne says he will be offering full servicing of the equipment.

“We’ll be taking 20 for our personal use and release 80 to the trade,” said Horne.

“We have all the parts. There are two mechanics and we’ll be taking on some from the automotive school [JAGAS]. They are being trained to service these units. This should allow us to provide a full package,” he said.

Published by The Jamaica Gleaner

Government Pursuing Programme to Facilitate Trade

Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, says the Government has commenced a programme of trade facilitation to increase Jamaica’s chances of global competitiveness.

He was speaking at the launch of ARC Manufacturing Limited’s metal slitting plant, at the company’s Bell Road address in Kingston, recently.

“Some weeks ago, the Cabinet approved a number of initiatives to further enhance and facilitate trade, including the elimination of a number of fees and charges that are no longer relevant but have been on the books and people have been collecting,” he said.

Mr. Shaw said this programme seeks to give local manufacturers a competitive advantage. “It cannot be that we are encouraging local value-added manufacturing, but encourage low duty importation of competitor goods. I am going to be focusing on trade facilitation. We have to make it easier for people who want to add value in Jamaica and create jobs and create prosperity in our country,” the Minister emphasized.

Another measure is the recently launched Jamaica Trade Information Portal (JTIP). The portal provides a single authoritative source for trade information relating to import-export regulations, requirements and processes, which businesses can easily access at any time.

Meanwhile, the Minister commended the management of ARC Manufacturing Limited for its state-of-the-art metal slitting plant valued at US$425,000, which he said, will support national development.

Mr. Shaw argued that establishment of the metal slitting plant comes at an opportune time, as with the increased activity in the local construction sector, this service will meet the demands of the manufacturing sector, specifically the building materials industry.

For his part, Executive Chairman, ARC Manufacturing Limited, Norman Horne, pointed out that the plant is the first of its kind in Jamaica, and that investment in the facility seeks to meet the demand of the local manufacturing industry.

“We have invested in two slitters. They both can do the same thing. One is high speed and the other is medium speed. This industry is new to Jamaica. In our country, we don’t have all the dynamics aligned that are ideal for manufacturing; therefore, we have to look to our advantages and try to capitalize on those,” he said.

Metal slitting refers to the process by which metal sheets are fed lengthwise through a slitter machine and cut into narrow coils. It is an essential manufacturing process which is used in the production of essential building materials, including guttering, roofing tiles, barrel capping, purlins, tracks and studs.

Published by The Jamaica Information Service (JIS).

ARC Commissions Metal Slitting Plant

A US$1-million metal slitting plant is now up and running at Arc Manufacturing Limited, which Executive Chairman Norman Horne says is the only one of its kind in Jamaica.

Arc will produce guttering for drainage, roofing tiles, and tracks and studs used in walls and partitions, among other products, from sheet-metal rolled into coils cut from larger imported stock.

“These machines provide us with tremendous fungibility, in that we can take whatever we want from the coils itself. That eases the burden of being over-inventoried on one side while being short in others,” Horne told the Financial Gleaner.

“With that we can better manage the cash flow,” he said.

The two 15-metre-long machines with rolling cutters are capable of slitting metal sheeting into coils of desired widths, which can be further processed. One of the machines produces sheeting at a rate of 90 feet per minute, while the other, a medium-speed set-up installed for redundancy, produces at the rate of 60 feet per minute, Horne said.

He estimates that by doing the slitting in Jamaica, instead of importing from as far as India, the savings to his company could top 70 per cent.

“It costs about US$90 per ton in the overseas market to have the coils pre-cut. To do it in Jamaica is about US$22 per ton. We’re therefore saving US$68, or at least US$60, per ton,” Horne said.

He told a touring party Wednesday that the machines should increase production by about 50 per cent, since the raw material needed for further processing would be more readily available.

Horne also announced that the commissioning of the slitting plant was a prelude to more installations. He noted that two weeks ago, the company installed a machine capable of producing metal fabric for the construction industry. The fabric can be produced in rolls or in sheets made to specifications.

Additionally, Arc Manufacturing will start producing metal hollow section in various sizes within the next two years, he added.

Published by The Jamaica Gleaner

ARC Manufacturing Gifts Dupont Primary and Infant with Books

Executive Chairman at ARC Manufacturing, Norman Horne recently presented grade one students at the Dupont Primary & Infant School with a selection of books.

He explained that the initiative came as a result of joining the global conversation around reading.

Horne urged the captivated audience of four and five-year-olds to ”use these books as your tools to become the policeman, the doctor, nurses, and lawyers you want to be when you grow up”.

“We are here to guide you our future leaders along that journey, and it all starts here, with these books, that I am sure you will treasure,” Horne told the students.

This initiative is one of many taken by the manufacturing giant in its efforts to help improve the quality of education provided to students.

“Our children are at a stage where they soak up everything around them. So we are happy to have role models in our community who assist us with providing quality education for our students,” shared Principal Andrew Rowe as he thanked the ARC team for their contribution.

“We are grateful for the assistance of this nature, which we can use to make a significant and lasting impact,” Rowe posited.

ARC Manufacturing Ltd. is Jamaica’s leading manufacturer of premium-quality building materials and serves both domestic and international markets.

ARC is the employer of choice for more than 350 workers, with 70% of its workforce originating from surrounding communities.

Published by Loop Jamaica.