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Is Factory Management Getting Better in China Over Time?

ShenZhen Loowoko Technolgoy CO., Ltd Hits:903 Belong to:Custom

What is your image of the factory owner (‘laoban’ in Chinese)? A man in his 50s who has no formal education and can’t speak English, wants to take all the decisions in his business, has placed 5 family members in various positions, and has a chauffeur for driving him around in a BMW?

To be sure, many fit this stereotype. But I have also met many other profiles. Here are a few examples:

  • A funny 35-year old who can speak English and wears baggy pants to work every day in the summer (started his factory 7 years before, with a majority investment coming from a trading company).
  • A 45-year old who recently bought out his partners and is pushing his brand to sell in department stores. He wants to compete on the Chinese market based on his products’ style and quality.
  • An ambitious 30-year old whose father owns another factory (and funded his son’s venture) who invests aggressively to make more and more technical products and escape commoditization.

Are these exceptions? In a sense, yes. But there are many, many such exceptions. And in some aspects their factories are better managed than most of their competitors’. I think we will see many more of them emerge over the next 10 years, as many in the ‘old guard’ sell their businesses or go bankrupt.

The problem is usually simple — they have never visited a well-run company! And they often have misguided notions about what practices help them in the long term.

We worked on an e-book that lists 22 DOs and DON’T about factory management. It will give you an overview of the horrible business practices we have witnessed over the years, along with the approaches of the best-run companies on the same topics.

In particular, the e-book covers:

  • What management should focus on
  • How make sure each department focuses on their right metrics
  • How to translate that focus into action plans that are visible and can be follow upon
  • How to help each employee know how their performance is evaluated
  • What type of office layout is preferable
  • What type of meeting adds value
  • Tips for effective checks & balances
  • Mistakes to avoid in the pay system for production operators
  • Healthy routines for coaching and delegation
  • How to keep an eye on the long term
  • The value of prevention or quick reaction vs. late reaction
  • The bases that make continuous improvement possible
  • The right approach to long-term improvement

You can access the e-book here (you’ll need to fill out the form first).

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