Day 15 – Slowly southwards

Today we travelled several hours by bus to get from Guangzhou (Canton) to Shenzhen on the road we made stops in both, Heshan (Green Mountain) and Dongguan.

Approx. Routing – calculated from


We met at 7.20 am to get on the bus at 7.45, and then we proceeded to Heshan, where we visited a Swiss Company called FRANKE.



produces kitchen supplies, industrial coffee machines, bathroom utilities and fast-food kitchen, mainly for McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken. Our visit focused on the ladder products, after a brief introduction from mr. Gao, senior regional operations director, we saw the production line. It was built as every manufacturing process textbook would suggest (see our figure). The Japanese 5-S (seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu, and shitsuke in English sorting, set in order, systematic cleaning, standardising, and sustaining) was present; every team had a board where the actual state of accomplishment was shown.


                                Production site – lean-management

Graphic Display of the Production – no detours

Afterwards, two other members of the board, Ms. Wong – Regional Sales Director Asia – and Mr. White – Regional Project Execution Director joined for an exercise, in which the student-groups answered certain business case questions. These answers were checked by the three directors. During lunchtime we could continue the discussion.


After visiting FRANKE we left Dongguan to visit the South China Mall, the largest shopping centre in the World, total constructing cost reached about CHF 500 million.  However, as the shopping centre was a) too big b) badly accessible (no highway, subway or train station) and c) built in a rather poor area no one rented out shops. This impressingly showed that building without prior market research can have disastrous consequences. 99% of the shopping space is vacant since its opening or using other words: 43 Shops out of 2.300 possible ones are busy.

             “New South China Mall” – cover for a construction site demolishing parts of the Mall

Subsequently we boarded the bus again and after a convenient two-hour bus ride we arrived in Shenzhen. Prior to this we were given some facts about Shenzhen, like  its policy of being a modern and sustainable city that had an amazing growth from a small town to one of the major cities in the World due to the opening reform of chairman Deng. However, our hotel could somehow withstand this governmental policy of being modern and sustainable, it has that charming ten-years-ago “made in China”-atmosphere and is well suitable for field trip students with a major in zoology.

Written by the following members of group 4:

Florian Maier & Lukas Bühler



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