Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Office Pictures

Well I finally got some pictures posted. The first picture is of me at my desk. There are no cubicles with high sides here, you can hear people's phone conversations from all over but the workers don't seem to mind.

The other pictures are around the office in different areas. It was designed to have a very traditional Chinese style with a carp pond and fancy paintings. It is really a treat to be able to work in such a unique place. The ponds have a small waterfall into them and fish swimming around.

In the second and third pictures you can see the tea drinking area. I have been told that this is where they can take important clients to talk business but I haven't seen it used yet. I want to try it before I go! The very small tea cups are on the table and the pads around the table are where you sit. Also notice the stepping stones to get out to the deck.

The last picture is of the top of the stairs, there are two huge fake trees that act as pillars. They are pretty lifelike so it feels like you are working outside!

Home Decorating Fair

So why do you come to the Guangdong province? All of the great manufacturers! Before coming to China I had hoped that I could have some interaction with the companies to learn about the different products they make and strategies they use to provide competitive products.

My friend from Kimward (a partner with the logistics company I am working for) invited me to go along thinking that I could make some contacts with foreign importers and could offer them our logistics services. We took the subway to the large complex located near the Pearl River. We got to the entrance and found out that the tickets were 20 Yuan (not quite 3 dollars). However in China there is always a second way to do things, so one of our collogues bought 3 second hand passes from people next to the subway exit! They were only 4 Yuan a piece (less than a dollar), and you could sell them when you were done with them for 2 Yuan!

Inside were hundreds and hundreds of manufacturers selling things like sinks, faucets, flooring, hinges, doors, locks, etc. My friend from the export office was going to find new products to export to different countries. I was going just to learn and observe what it was like but I got far more attention! Since I do not look Chinese they frequently came up to me to hand me their contact information and brochures.

I was surprised at how few foreigners were actually there, it seemed like most of them were domestic buyers. I have heard that during the main Canton Fair the place is filled with buyers from all over the world.

Even though I am not a buyer I think I might contact some companies to see if I can get a tour of their facility.