Thank You Very Much!!!

The last 17 days have been very interesting and exhausting too! The group had a fantastic time in China and Hong Kong! The whole trip went very smoothly and no serious things happend.  The trip ended yesterday with a interesting company visit. Today, the first students have already left Hong Kong this morning while others extend their stay in Hong Kong and enjoy their free time.

At this point, thank you to all companies for welcoming us! We enjoyed visiting you very much and it was very interesting to get an insight in Chinese and Western businesses operating in China!

A big thank goes to the group for supporting the organistion team and the active participation during the trip. It was a lot of fun!

Thank you all for making this trip possible!!!

Last Visit, Last Day, Last Highlight!!!

Delicious Catering on Baord of the Yacht

Delicious Catering on Baord of the Yacht

Last day of our China-Trip – the sky was crying! At it place, it must be mentioned that we were very lucky with the weather during the last 2.5 weeks. Today, we visited Kühne & Nagel, the leading logistic company around the world. After an interesting presentation about the business, Mr. Looschen invited us for a 3 hours boat cruise through the huge harbour of Hong Kong.

We were served delicious food while we enjoyed the spectacular views from the sea. Later on, Tom from Hutchison, explained us how the harbour is logistically handled. Everything is automated and there is a very sophisticated system in place. Continue reading

Leaving China After Two Highly Interesting Company Visits

ZHAW with Kimmo Ahtokari and Janet Chu

ZHAW with Kimmo Ahtokari and Janet Chu

Once more, we left early in the morning as we had a tight program and finally, the transfer toHong Kong. We left the hotel shortly before 8am and we made our way through the rush hour to the SGS branch where we arrived 10 minutes prior to our schedule arrival time. Kimmo Ahtokari and Janet Chu already expected us in front of the building. After a warm welcome by Mrs Chu, Mr Ahtokari started his interesting presentation about the company SGS and in general, about SGS in Guangzhou.

The company is active in more than 100 countries. In China, it has dozens of branches. However, most of them are located along the coast. They are located very close to their customers. In Shanghai, where most of the mobile telephones are built, SGS set up a test centre which is specialised on them. Hence, the company adapt its services according to the industry located in the area. Continue reading

A visit at Consul Nievergelt

The Largest Watch Market of the World

The Largest Watch Market of the World

After a late arrival last night the morning program was individual. A small group of six students decided to take up Professor Rüttimann’s suggestion and visit the Guangzhou watch market, currently the largest whole sale market for watches world wide. The array of fake and cheap watches on offer was breath taking, with hardly any marketers wanting to sell single pieces.

One student even got CHF 1’500.- offered to him, should he be willing to part with his Omega Speedmaster. Needless to say, the student did not want the Swiss watch industry to be cheated and therefore declined the offer.

It was interesting to see how many foreigners (not tourists) were in the market to profit from the products at hand. Continue reading

Quality products from a rural area

Interesting Discussions at Subachi, Guilin

Interesting Discussions at Subachi, Guilin

Leaving Yangshuo and its stunning landscape after only one night was sad, but the next company was awaiting us. Therefore, we drove back to Guilin by bus and visited the Subachi company. This firm produces various leather products with a focus on armbands for watches. Mr Liu Yun, Deputy General Manager, welcomed us in his meeting room where we started the visit with a question and answer session.

After many questions, Mr Yun guided us through the production halls. It was amazing to see how much handwork lies behind each and every armband. It undergoes roughly 12 different steps until it can be shipped to Europe. It was very good to see that China does not only produce low quality products but also produces for the high-end premium market. Mr Yun also told us that the company receives daily a air freight shipment with different leather (crocodile, sting-ray, snake, etc.) types from all over the world. Continue reading

Leisure Day in Picturesque Yangshuo

Swiss Students During the Li River Cruise

Swiss Students During the Li River Cruise

After checking out of our hotel in Guilin, our bus took us to the wharf at the Lijiang River, where we started one of the most beautiful boot trip of the whole China expedition. Between our start in Guilin and our final destination in Yangshuo the Lijiang River travels over 83 kilometres exactly like a jade ribbon winding among thousands of grotesque peaks.

Along the river we saw spectacular landscapes and elegant hills. A lot of excellent poems and literary works in modern or ancient appreciate the beauty of the river. Most impressive for all of us was to see the scenery which is painted on the 20 Yuen bill in real. The boot trip finally ended in Yangshuo. Continue reading

Heading Towards the West!

Waiting for Take-Off at Shanghai's Airport

Waiting for Take-Off at Shanghai's Airport

Once again, the group had to get up very early and met each other in the lobby of the hotel at 6.30am. Hence, everybody was still a little bit sleep at this early stage of the day. We then headed to the airport, quickly checked in our bags and waited for our flight to Guilin.

Before boarding the aircraft, Mr Ruettimann took the chance to give as a wrap-up over the past days in China. We visited so many different spots, starting from the North Korean boarder and then to Shanghai and its greater area. In addition, we got in touch with local students and visited many companies.

Among the participants, first signs of "information overload" can be identified as well as a decreasing level of energy. Hence, we have planned two days off in Guilin and in Yangshou where we will have time to relax and think Continue reading

A Very Interesting Last Day in Shanghai

Happy Swiss People after a Lunch Offered by Cooper

Happy Swiss People after a Lunch Offered by Cooper

The day started with a bus ride to Cooper P.S.T.C in Shanghai. The head of Cooper Power Systems Technical Center China, Mr. Dr. Roger Perkins, welcomed us at the entrance. Cooper Industries has seven different divisions of which Cooper Power Systems is one of them. Cooper Power Systems is also a subsidiary of Cooper Industries.

First he gave us a brief introduction of the company, which vision is “One Team, One Dream, One Billion”, and then he invited us to have a walk through the factory. They splitted us up into three groups and gave us funny looking goggles for eye protection. The main products of Cooper Power Systems are transformers, regulators, connectors and fuses. Continue reading

Suzhou – Area is Definitely Huge and Impressive!

Mr Foehn During His Presentation at the Rieter Production Site

Mr Foehn During His Presentation at the Rieter Production Site

After a 2h-bus-ride we arrived in Changzhou at Rieter Textiles (RTSC). We were welcomed by Mr Sigi Foehn, Head of Rieter Textiles China, who presented us a brief presentation about Rieter in China. According to Mr Foehn the core competences of Rieter China are its sourcing and procurement strategy, its logistics processes and its explicit quality management.

The main challenges are the know-how protection which can only be solved by innovation, the pushing to high end segment while loosing low and mid range (which is the largest segment with an amount of 2/3) and the adjusting and stripping down of their products which leads to problems for the sales department. As far as facts and figures are concerned it can be stated that 250 out of 600 employees can speak English. China – a low number of expatriates working in Changzhou. Mr Sonderegger, Head of Operations, showed us Rieter’s assembly and manufacturing area which was Rieter’s first mover with regards to a pull system (kanban, kaizen). For the vast majority of us, it was the first time seeing such an operations management in action. Continue reading

Three Company Visits with Mr Bi

Discussions Among the Participants During a Company Visit

Discussions Among the Participants During a Company Visit

Today our group had a tough but really interesting trip into the world of leather and furniture industry. After a “healthy” breakfast we left Hangzhou to explore the Haining City Lili Leather Garments factory in Haining.  Mr. Bi and Mr Wang Sen Sheng, the General Manager of the company, showed us all the different steps, which are necessary in the leather jacket production line.

It was impressive to see how much work it takes until the jackets are ready to be shipped out into the western world. The model they are producing for companies like Pierre Cardin contains over 100 individual pieces for each jacket.

After a great lunch with company representatives and Mr. Bi, we went to a company called “Haining Nice – Harvest Furniture Co., Ltd.” which is specialized in the furniture production. Continue reading