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
After a delicious breakfast at our Hotel “Shangri La”, we went to see Wu Qubo from the Shenzhen Development and Reform Commission who told us a lot about the Industrial Zone in Shenzhen. He was the first host to use a professional translator which made the conversation seem more formal. He said that Shenzhen is continuing its efforts to grow economically, yet they will try to do so without exploiting the environment further. He said that they are very much aware of the pollution problems as well as water shortage.
After this meeting with a political representative, we visited the Swiss company Schurter which is producing electrical devices in the local factory. Managing Director Martin Bannwart was the one giving us a tour of his factory. We were surprised at the relatively small size of the factory and the low number of employees. This shows that even small businesses try to profit from the Chinese low-cost labour. The factory was rather basic. Continue reading
This morning at 7:30 am we met in the hotel lobby to take a bus to the Piano Factory. We arrived at the Piano Factory around 9:00 am. We were greeted with a warm welcome from Mr. Nieverget, the Swiss Consul General, and his wife Mrs. Nieverget. We were all very delighted to share this experience with them.
The Piano Factory was very fascinating for all of us. It was very interesting to gain insight on how the pianos are manufactured. We were able to see how the quality of the products are controlled as well as the working environment within the company. It was also strange to hear the pianos take quite a long-time to make, but at the same time see how efficient the factory runs. After the factory visit we had a short meeting including a session of question and answers.
After the Piano Factory, we went to an authentic Cantonese lunch! It was most of our first experience with Cantonese food and it was delicious. We had a large variety of food to try. The lunch included fresh chicken, shrimps, vegetables, tofu, noodles, fried rice, and green tea. Needless to say, the lunch was very fulfilling for all of us.