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“As one of the first ‘Fully Owned Foreign Enterprises’ FlexiForce China started out of a typical hotel room in Wuxi. We all learned by doing. We conquered cultural differences, local bureaucracy, import laws, lack of infrastructure and more. But we did build an impressive presence in China. Thanks to all who supported!” – Stado Kiewiet de Jonge, Managing Director FlexiForce China
In the second half of the year 2003, we decided to investigate a local presence in China. We hired a Dutchman, Mr. Stado Kiewiet de Jonge, to start up our business over there. The main challenge at first was to build a base in China from where we could manage and coordinate our regional purchasing and from where we could organize a solid local quality control. Secondly, FlexiForce needed a position in the Asian market for domestic sales in China and distribution of the components into the Asian and Oceanic region. All of this was achievement independently, by starting a wholly owned foreign enterprise in China, which at that time, was not easily done! What started in a small hotel room in Wuxi, eventually developed into a facility of 18.000m2 with around 100 Chinese employees.
A MUCH BIGGER CHALLENGE COMPARED TO OTHER ASIAN COUNTRIES
With an office staff of 20 people and 80 people in the workshop, FlexiForce China had a rapid growth in the first few years of business. Every month, over 30 containers were shipped! Cable break devices, hardware sets and the production of hinges, all carried out at our location in China.
Working effectively in China was a much bigger challenge compared to other Asian countries. However, Stado Kiewiet de Jonge succesfully brought the ‘FlexiForce-culture’ to the worksite allowing for a solid base for company growth.
China is known for its low labor rate, in combination with product quality issues. However, the standard of living is China has grown rapidly over the past years. For FlexiForce the main priority in China is and will be, securing the quality of the products. By setting up a ‘factory production control’ system that is very strict and consistent, and includes frequent quality checks at our suppliers, we can continue to deliver high quality products that make a difference.