Sample essay on Manufacturing and Engineering: Unilever – United Kingdom

Unilever is the brand name of  multinational corporation that manufactures and markets brands popular household consumables which include food and food products, health, hygiene, and beauty products, home care brands, and personal care brands among others. These include popular brands such as omo, dove, knorr, axe, sunsilk, Lipton, and blueband among others. In the United Kingdom, the company has various stations which include Unilever house at Springfield drive in leather head. Unilever provide employment for 8000 people. 1520 of these are employed in manufacturing and 32000 in administration, management, and clerical work. 39%of the total work force comprises of women; with 42% of these in first level management, and 7% in senior level marketing. Unilever devotes a large amount of human and financial resources towards development of products. This is carried out in all Unilever franchises. The purpose of this paper is to examine the niche of engineers in this company (Jones, 2005).
The research method employed to achieve this purpose is interviewing. This consisted of open ended questions that were answered by an engineer, a manager, and an employee in the human resource  department. Additional information was obtained by observation in the course of touring the business and factory premises (Creswell and Charles, 2008).
The engineers at Unilever work in both administrative posts as managers and in the factories at various roles. They have several different functions and roles at their posts. There are general engineers but others have specialty in electricity, food, structures, machines, and manufacturing among others. The journey to being an engineer at Unilever starts with application of an on line form. There is a provision for graduates application at their website. The selection process then takes place until successful applicants are shortlisted. These enter a training program and with time, they are well qualified to be put on the payroll as regular employees. There are currently no openings in the engineering section of United Kingdom's Unilever (Gibb, 2007).
The roles of factory engineers include: ensuring daily production targets are met, ensuring machines are in optimum condition for production, ensuring safety in the factory; training of machine operators; ensuring the machines are serviced regularly and repaired when necessary; and establishing ways of economizing factory resources. Engineers in different factories but the same capacities have different roles that are determined by the nature of the products the factories manufacture. Within the factories, engineers: assess the situation and estimate accurately work force utilization and the space needed; methods and processes for manufacturing of items; decide the positioning of machines; decide when to use computer technology tools; and advice on changes that would lower costs of production but not affect the quality of products. Responsibilities of engineers in management include: monitoring and evaluating the departments they head, supervising the workers in those departments, besides being required to sometimes perform traditional engineering work (Ferguson,1994)
There exists an engineering code of ethics which is enforced by various bodies that oversee the conduct of engineers. These include the Engineering council, the Institution of Engineering and technology, and the Association for consultancy and engineering among others. An engineer owes it ti his or her employer to: not reveal business secrets without the employers` permission, to inform the employer in case of any pending accident, not to attempt work for which they are not qualified, honesty to their employers, and should decline double payment for any work done among other duties (Baura,  2006).
When looking for an engineering job, several factors should be considered. These include: the legality of the enterprise; engineers should not accept to enter in any unlawful dealings, good salary and career advancement opportunities, and the institutions reputation among others (Gibb, 2007)
Self employment for an engineer may be good and bad for several reasons: the engineer will be in absolute control of the enterprise, but, it is very hard for one to raise funds for expansion alone; all the income goes to the investor, but there are no benefits; and it is very difficult to attract high level clients and employees, but the business is easy to dissolve. Working for a big company is advantageous in that they are able to pay better in terms of benefits and overtime, and support career progressivism among other reasons. On the other hand, it is hard for the administration in these big corporations to interact with, and treat their employees according to their personalities and needs. Small companies are flexible in their operation, it is easy to keep records at these establishments, and they offer variety in terms of work available, but, on the other hand, ones job description will not always be clear due to assignment of different tasks, and improper handling of borrowed fund will most of th times lead to their collapse (Mancuso, 2010).

Baine, C., 2004.  Is There An Engineer Inside You?: A Comprehensive Guide to Career Decisions in Engineering. McGraw hill: Ireland
Baura, G. D.,  2006. Engineering Ethics: An Industrial perspective. Harpercollins: London
Creswell, J. W., and Charles, E., 2008. Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches . Whitmore publishing: Burntwood
Ferguson, S. E., 1994. Engineering and the Mind's Eye. Denver: Hexham
Gibb, A., 2007. Get That Job! The complete, thorough, hands-on guide to the whole recruitment and selection process - for graduates and ambitious executives in early career. Macmillan : London.
Jones, G., 2005. Renewing Unilever: Transformation and Tradition . Schiel: New Milton.
Mancuso, A., 2010. LLC or Corporation?: How to Choose the Right Form for Your Business. Random house : Chesterfield.