Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Morning Visitor

Well, I got a bit of a shock the other day coming out of the shower.  I am on the 6th floor of my hotel, so I don't really need to worry about people looking into my room, but this guy took me by surprise.  I'm a bit more cautious now, although he probably won't be back for 6 months.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Work Permit Application is Completed

After several months of trips and paperwork back and forth to the Chinese government offices, the paperwork for my work permit is done.  I had to go through an extensive physical examination, submit my resume, work history, professional experience, references, letter from Schumacher Elevator saying that I was really going to China for a joint venture project, and even a letter from the Waverly Police Department saying that I was not a bad person with a criminal record.  Whew!  Now I still need to have some paperwork done in Chicago before I return.  Here’s the team from Schumacher China that processed the paperwork.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Runfa Office Building

I just realized I am doing a post on 11-11-11. There must be something special about this day. Maybe I should go get some ice cream. Oh wait, I'm in China. They don't eat anything cold here. Well, what should I do tonight at 11:11? I have a few hours to think about that.

Okay.  As promised, this post is about the corporate office building, where I also have an office on the 7th floor.  Schumacher Elevator (China) Company is a subsidiary of The Runfa Group, which owns eight large factories in this area.  The elevator company is actually very small compared to the other eight companies.  The corporate offices for all the Runfa Group factories are in this building, which is right across the street from my hotel (which is also owned by the Runfa Group).  One day I was headed for lunch with a lady from marketing and we ran into the founding owner of the all the Runfa companies.  He is a visionary who has worked hard and made a big difference in the quality of life in his community.  Mr. Yu is now 74, and stepping back from the day-to-day management.  Every time he sees me he greets me warmly.

Jia Ai Ping (pronounced Jah), me and company founder, Mr. Yu

Close-up of the front entrance.  I am posing with two engineers back in September – potential buyers.

Inside the front lobby.  Pretty ornate.  This picture was taken yesterday after the customers signed a contract for four elevators.  They drove four hours to see our company.  We always show them the best offices when they come.  I think I was saying “money” when they took the picture.  Our closing rate was 30% before I came to China. We are currently closing 90% of our deals.  The sales manager is standing next to me.  The customers are on both sides.

The marketing department.  Most of the time the marketing people are working at the factory office.  This is just to impress the customers.

My office.  I usually spend my mornings here and afternoons at the factory.

View of the inner courtyard as I head for the front gate on my bike

Saturday, November 5, 2011

This Week in China

Work continues on the hotel swimming pool building outside my window.

View of the factory below from my office window.

Moved into the new offices at the factory.  Sorry, I haven’t had time to get all my technical journals in my bookshelf yet, Tim (ha ha).

Grocery shopping with my interpreter.  Compare this to the Fareway meat counter.  L-R Shrimp (with their heads and little eyes), duck heads (yes, they eat the brains) and pork (mostly bone, no meat).

Chicken feet and…chicken feet.  Would you like them spicy?  Edison bought a bag of six to snack on when he got home.

Typical snack for me.  Actually, this is was my supper tonight.

Lunch with a few people from the Marketing Department and Installation Departments.  Normally we eat a bland catered meal at the factory.  This was an impromptu run downtown for a few of us that were working at the Runfa building that day.  I'll tell you about the Runfa building in my next blog.

This was actually the best food I’ve ever eaten in China.  Every dish was very good.  Bethany thought you would appreciate more pictures of me, so here I am with one of the sales reps.  Note the “spoon” in my right hand.  I’m getting pretty good with the chopsticks.  I rarely eat with silverware anymore, unless I am having eggs for breakfast by myself - or oatmeal in my room. 

Annual safety inspection.  There are 36 elevators in this apartment complex.  We are in the machine room at the top of the elevator shaft.  We passed the inspection, of course. 

Visited a local company today where we outsource our laser cutting operations until we can afford to buy a machine.  Purchasing a high tech laser cutter is high on our To-Do list. 

This is a typical example of the flexibility and precision of a computer controlled laser cutting machine.  This machine can cut sheet steel up to 30mm thick. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

English Class

After a month at the factory, I decided to start teaching English class.  One of the things I have been talking about is “mutual cooperation and mutual benefit”, which is one of the company mission statements.  My job in this joint venture is to transfer technology from Schumacher USA to Schumacher China.  If we cooperate, we all benefit.  One of the ways I am building relationships is to go above and beyond the call of duty.  I am making an effort to learn the Chinese language, which they appreciate, and I also want to help them learn the English language.  Lunch time is a perfect time to teach some rudimentary English, so I have invited them all to join me for lunch in my conference room if they want to learn English.  I have about eight eager students.