Winter Term 2014 – Shanghai and Fine Furniture

Today was our fourth day in Shanghai and we all were all up bright and early to head to the coastal area of Shanghai to visit Fine Furniture. We arrived early in the morning and were greeted by security at a large gate that surrounded the 2.5 million square foot manufacturing facility.

Mr. Vincent Chua, vice president, provided a detailed presentation that explained the history, mission and manufacturing process of Fine Furniture. After the presentation, we were given a tour of the manufacturing facility. It was amazing to see the level of hand-crafted detailed work that the 1,000 workers completed on a daily basis. The company builds more than 1,400 different models of furniture out of the manufacturing facility that we visited. Additionally, there was an additional facility on-site that housed the owners’ other flooring business. Due to time we were not able to visit this part of the facility.

Mr. Chua provided his insight on how he believed the company would develop in the future and the difficulties of competing with other companies because of antidumping tariffs and other evaluations.

After lunch we were greeted by Simon Zhan, general counsel at Volvo Construction Company. When we arrived onsite we were provided safety equipment so that we would be able to tour the manufacturing and fabrication facility. Volvo Construction Company prided themselves on how they allowed their employees to provide suggestions about the workplace to be taken into consideration. It was amazing to see that the employees at Volvo are able to build an excavator in 28 minutes flat and build all the parts within two days. Mr. Zhan provided an explanation of the importance of government relationships in Shanghai and also told us his view of anti-corruption from a compliance officer viewpoint.

Written by: Monique Smart


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