Day 8 – Shanghai: Visit to Kuehne+Nagel and journey to Hangzhou

After checking out of the hotel we took a bus to the German company Kuehne+Nagel, which provides to its custoemers fully integrated supply chain solutions. Mr. Gino Marzola (General Manager of Kuehne+Nagel Shanghai) and Markus Johannsen (Seafreight Manager) welcomed us at the headquarters in Shanghai. Afterwards Mr. Benjamin Schatzel, Assistant seafreight manager, held a presentation and gave us very interesting insights in to the main business units. Kuehne+Nagel operates in the field of seafreight (No 1 worldwide), airfreight (No. 3 worldwide) contract logistics (No. 3 worldwide) and road and rail logistics (No. 6 in Europe). The presentation was followed by a lunch consisting of delicous sandwiches offered by Kuehne+Nagel.

In the afternoon accompanied by Benjamin Schatzel and Ms. Amelie Saupe (Marketing Executive), we embarked the bus towards Yangshan Port. The journey took us about 1.5h from which the last 20 minutes led over a 32.5 km long brand new bridge to an artificial island. On a viewpoint we had a magnificent view over the port with it’s thousands of containers and many departing and arriving container vessels. Then we made a tour through the exibithion halls of the Yangshan Port Management Center. One could marvel at a mindblowing model of the whole harbour area. After some last pictures we headed towards the Shanghai Hongqiao train station, where we embarked on a train to Hangzhou. Arrived in Hangzhou we took taxis to our next hotel.

Day 7 – Shanghai: Shanghai VW (SVW); Artwell (Cashmere) and Wuzhen (Venice of China)

Ready for another long and interesting day around Shanghai we met early in the morning in the lobby and boarded the bus for heading to the first company visit of the day. After driving out of Shanghai for quite a while we arrived at the VW factory where we had the chance to have a look at one of the company’s high-quality production plants producing the brands VW and Skoda for the Chinese market. We had a quick instruction by a video-tap followed by a ride through the production and they showed us two of the three main production areas. It was fascinating to see all the robots working on the cars and especially the pure form of just-in-time production was impressive. Unfortunately it was kind of a standardised visit and it was not possible to ask detailed questions about VW in China.

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Day 6 – Shanghai: Free time and acrobatic show

On Sunday, there was no official schedule. The students enjoyed the free day in the beautiful and exciting city of Shanghai which offers lot of opportunities. Some students went shopping, others sightseeing, others had to recover from the night at M1NT.  In the evening, the students with interest in acrobatics took the chance to visit the Shanghai Magic & Acrobatic Troup at the Shanghai Magnolia Theatre. The show was very impressive – a great combination of traditional and modern music and performance.

Day 5 – Shanghai: World Financial Center / Yuyuan Garden / Chinese Opera

First day in Shanghai was drawn by many breathtaking impressions. With recharged batteries, we met at 10:30 at the hotel lobby to start our sightseeing day with Dr. Rüttimann. We were walking through urban canyons, crossing the main shopping area but always the tremendous skyscrapers in the field of view. And then the first big highlight of this day: Observation platform of the “bottle opener” (World Financial Center), the newest and tallest skyscraper with a height of 492 meters. At the 100th floor the city was lying below our feet and the view was fabulous. It has to be mentioned that this very modern city is by far comparable to any other big cities of the world.

After receiving a birds eye of view of Shanghai, the tour continued with walking along the Bund Promenade and a nice cruise over the Hangpu River. On the other side, we went to see the Yuyuan Garden which was built in the Ming Dynasty, more than 400 years ago. Yuyuan literally translated means Happy Garden. At the late afternoon the official part came to end. Our big group spread over the whole city.

Some students enjoyed bargaining at the Bazar, purchasing faked watches, bags, t-shirts and so one. Others spent their time in buying tailor made suits and business clothes, visiting the Shanghai Cunfucian temple or taking a ride with the high speed Maglev Train. The evening program started with an old, traditional Chinese Opera, continued with a roof-top bar and ended in a premium club where we enjoyed the Shanghai nightlife.

Day 4 – Bejing: Zimmer/Montagne, Olympic Stadium and Fast Train to Shanghai

Our last day in Beijing started in the morning, where we had to check out of the Novotel and be ready for boarding the coach. Around 8:30am the coach took us to the Zimmer’s (US company) new acquisition, the Montagne factory in Changping District. We were warmly welcomed by Mr. Robby Kissling (Integration Director) and his team. After a detailed presentation, that contained information about the changes, which had been made since the time Zimmer had acquired the company, we were shown those changes while walking through the factory. As earlier described by Mr. Kissling during the presentation, Montagne produces orthopaedic implants for the Chinese market. Even as those products are in the mid range, seen from a global prospective, those product are on the higher end for the Chinese market, as the sell around USD 3,500. When Zimmer was taking control over the factory in the beginning of the year, post-merger integration process started. Continue reading

Day 3 – Bejing: Visit of Swiss Gastro Bakery / Great Wall / Olympic Stadium by night

This day started early, too early for some to realise the urgent need of an umbrella. With our private bus we drove to Swiss Gastro Bakery, located north of Beijing. This company is focused on frozen bread and mainly owned by Alfred Hiestand known as “Gipfelikönig”. There we had the honour to meet Mr. Andreas Weih, General Manager of the bakery.  Starting with the tasting of delicious pastries we received valuable information about a Swiss company which entered the Chinese market and faced several challenges.  So to mention is the fact that Chinese people do not have the custom to eat baked bread, therefore Swiss Gastro Bakery mostly supplies hotels and enterprises. After a tour through the factory we had the possibility to experience a Chinese lunch the way the factory workers had it.

The afternoon program included a walk on the Great Wall. We drove with the bus to Mutianyu and had perfect weather conditions. Geographically this small village is located in the Hurairou District, characterised by few tourists. After a two hours walk on the wall itself, , the organisation team surprised us with cold beer. At the end we skidded down to the bus which was a great deal of fun.

After another bus ride we arrived at the Olympic stadium and could enjoy the breathtaking lightshow at the olympic area by night. Totally exhausted we are now back in the hotel and looking forward to the guided tour inside the Bird’s Nest tomorrow.

Day 2 – Bejing: Forbidden City, Swiss Embassy and Beijing duck restaurant

Our first official day in Beijing started with a wake-up call at 7am. After breakfast with sushi and noodle soup we met at the lobby to walk to the Forbidden City. With myriads of Chinese people we walked through the large historic sight. Our kind tour guides gave us interesting information about the Chinese history. The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located in the middle of Beijing and now houses the Palace Museum. For almost five hundred years, it served as the home of emperors and their households, as well as the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government. In ancient times, there were over 8’000 houses within the walls and it would have take about 6 days to see the whole place. After the tour we climbed the “Kohlenberg” which is located right behind the Forbidden City. Everyone was exhausted when we reached the summit, but the view was teriffic. Continue reading

Day 1 – Bejing: Start of trip Tue. June 28

Today our trip started 10’000 miles away from home, in Beijing. Everyone arrived on time and we could begin this trip with a welcome drink and a getting to know each other. People are very enthusiastic and can’t wait to start into the real program tomorrow morning. Prof. Dr. R. Rüttimann held an touching speech to align everybody to the goals of the trip.

Some students already arrived a few days early and could adapt to the Chinese way of doing things. Others just arrived on time and were still a bit jet lagged after the welcome get together at Shichahai lake. Eventhough we had some problems to manage that all the students arrived on time and at the same place with nine different taxis, we finally succeded to cheer on an awesome trip in China, where we are going to see a lot of different companies and will have various different insight views into Chinese business.

What some of the students already experienced during the short pre-trip time:
– food on the night market (scorpions/snakes/etc.)
– taxi drivers who can’t read English nor Chinese and therefore drove through the city for about half an hour without any clue where to go to.
– visit to a few awesome sightseeing spots
– beer prices differences between 40RMB and 2.8RMB.

Tomorrow we will have an official visit at the Swiss Embassy and a speech will be held by a Correspondent of a famous Swiss Newspaper. Everyone is looking forward to that.

And now it’s time to call the night. Please read more tomorrow.

Welcome Drink

Trip to China 2011

This year, the ZHAW School of Management and Law again organizes a field trip to China. The class led by Prof. Dr. René Ruettimann will visit between the 28th of June and the 16th of July interesting places with valuable contributions to understand better the “Kingdom of the middle”. This year’s trip focuses on the cities Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Yiwu City, Guilin, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hongkong. Basically, the trip focuses on four main areas:

The main attractions will be large and midsize Chinese companies, Swiss subsidiaries in China, historical and cultural attractions as well as speeches and lectures at two universities. The organization team exists of M. Lehmann. J. Brzezek, A. Naeff, S. Haelg and M. Colle. For all interested in the progress of our trip, please read our daily addition to the blog 2011 and receive more details about our activities.