East Meets West

Jimmy Hsiao Jimmy's Corner

We had quite a few visitors to our new Shanghai office on November 19, 2009, including Nora Neibergall, Cindy Urbaytis, Karen Collins, and KK Poon from Institute of Supply Management (ISM), Marcus Chao from Lean China, Tim Yeh and Kenneth Mao from Zheng Heng Industry, and Marty Komer from RT-Systems. Most of these visitors did not know each other. It just happened that they all came to visit us on the same day.

In order to efficiently use our time, I proposed that we all go to Hyatt Jing Mao Hotel for lunch, which is one of the nicest places to entertain visitors in Shanghai. My dear friend Marcus asked, “How come you never took me to such a treat?” Well, I answered that it was simply extraordinary that, without planning, all these important people would gather at Logic Shanghai at the same time. It was time to celebrate and to see what we can do for each other.

We reserved a room on the 86th floor at the Jiang Mao Club, where you have an extraordinary view of Shanghai. As the government of Shanghai prepares for the Shanghai World Expo, there is a lot of chaos on the ground. From the 86th floor, however, you see only the magnificent skyline of Pudong and Puxi (west and east of Shanghai) and feel a rare serenity. While our guests were getting to know each other over the lunch table, I observed that having us all gather here at the same time shows that the world is truly a global community.

I was very excited to have Nora Neibergall, Cindy Urbaytis, Karen Collins, and KK Poon from ISM visiting Shanghai. As many companies increase their volume of sourcing in China, I always felt that ISM should come to China soon to offer their services in education, consulting, and certification. Logic and our partner company ADR* have collaborated to develop an eLearning package geared for purchasing professionals, which is now part of the ISM-ADR Academy* of Supply Chain Management online curriculum. Logic and ADR* have already collaborated on several training projects in China. It is great that ISM, now the largest organization of its kind, is finally coming to China.

Zheng Heng Industry is a casting and machining manufacturer in China. They have been growing at an extraordinary pace, riding on the wave of the Chinese domestic automotive market. I visited their plant in Chengdu where they have one of the largest iron sand casting operations in China. The general manager, Tim Yeh, has been a longtime friend. He and owner Mr. Liu visited me in Michigan recently, thinking about starting up operations in Michigan. I urged them to consider Michigan’s proximity to the automotive industry and the engineering experience and talent here. They are in the process of hiring a few engineers in Michigan.

Marcus Chao, formerly general manager of Delphi Automotive China, now runs Lean China, which promotes Lean practices in China. Logic and Lean China are collaborating on an eLearning initiative to educate professionals about Lean practices through interactive media with localized eLearning courses.

Marty Komer from RT-Systems is a Logic client. We worked with them on part of their .NET version of their warehouse management system. Marty and I visited five factories during this trip. Most of them showed a strong interest in adopting the warehouse management system. One even urged us to implement the warehouse management system right away in their newly established plant in Vietnam. Before the trip, there was some doubt about whether China was ready to embrace automation and lean techniques. With Marty’s years of experience in warehouse management, those doubts were dismissed immediately. There is no doubt that factories and distribution systems in China need a modern warehouse management system.

While admiring and enjoying the great Shanghai cuisine, we almost forgot the real purpose of these visits. At the end, some of our guests were saying “good luck to your venture in China” while others were saying “good luck to your venture in the U.S.” I wish all of them the best. When they are successful in their mission, Logic will be successful in ours.

* Editor’s Note: ADR Academy has been disabled and discontinued by the Institute for Supply Management. These offerings are no longer available.