Factory Management – our key to maximizing factory performance

by Sanna Magnusson, Global Marketing Manager

We know that being close to our factories is crucial, both geographically and on a personal level. This enables us to develop long-standing relationships with our factories. Our strategy for delivering quality includes being onsite and working directly with the factories. 

[This blogpost is also available in German]

Our Factory Management team have daily contact with the factories and our quality engineers are directly responsible for the factories’ performance, as well as for building relationships and working proactively with them to achieve improvements.

We have talked to some of our Factory Management employees to hear their view about working at NCAB Group, challenges and highlights in their daily work and their thoughts about the situation with the Corona virus and the effects of that.

Jack Kei, Managing Director Factory Management

Jack Kei has been Managing Director for Factory Management in China since 2006.

What are your responsibilities as Managing Director?
“I manage the Factory Management team in China with the aim to engage and develop our team and our factories to deliver high quality and delivery performance to our customers world wide,” says Jack Kei.

Why did you start working for NCAB?
“I was searched by the head hunter “Counselor Swedish Trade Committee”. To run the China branch felt like a good platform for me, to manage a small company with the target to grow using my experience and ideas. Luckily the management of NCAB Group is very professional and NCAB FM China is a really good platform for me! I love my job!”

What is the most interesting part of your role?
“To develop the team in China and grow together when we gradually offer better and better support to all local sales offices in the Group. We are harvesting a stronger and stronger and more confident team when we are fighting together with all our colleagues in the group in the daily business of PCBs to support our customers world wide.”

During the situation with the corona virus, what do you see as the biggest challenge?
“This is something that is somewhat out of our control. The biggest challenge is to protect our colleagues, employees and business partners from the virus and at the same to organize our team together with our factories, logistic partners and customers to minimize the negative effects. We need to be on top of things and monitor to understand the situation to able to act quickly together with our partners. Communication is key to set up priority plans and support our customers.”

What do you think are the most important factors for a successful long-term factory partnership?
“To develop together with our factories. One part is the focus on quality in our production processes and in the final product. Being on site, monitor and the way we do this as consultants and controllers is vital. Another part is that we always share our knowledge with our factories, not only knowledge specifically related to the PCB, but experience regarding management, company culture etc. By focusing on the importance of a partnership, we gain respect from our factories and the other way around.”

What is the best thing with a career at NCAB?
“The company culture and the mutual respect we share as colleagues. There is room for self-development, taking responsibility and making own decisions. Colleagues, functions and department always support each other – this is like a daily routine.”

Angela Wang, Finance/People & Culture Manager

Angela Wang is Finance/People & Culture Manager since 2018 at NCAB in China.

What are your main responsibilities?
“I have a dual role at NCAB as Finance and People & Culture Manager, a combination of analyzing financial data and conduct budgets as well as developing the company culture, recruit the right people and assure they get the training needed to excel in their roles.”

Why did you start working for NCAB?
“After eight years without promotion in a Canadian company, I began to look for a new job to challenge myself. NCAB is a Swedish company, which appeals to me. Nordic company cultures and employer brands are highly recognized in China. I was also deeply impressed by the whole interview process of NCAB. During the recruitment I learned that the company value the importance of a strong corporate culture and has many opportunities for international communication. This is truly attractive to me.”

What is the most interesting part of your role?
“I enjoy my combined roles. The financial part allows me to calm down and focus on analyzing data and charts. My focus on people & culture is committed to the cultural development, people are full of enthusiasm and ideals which I find very inspiring and interesting.”

During the situation with the corona virus, what do you see as the biggest challenge?
“The economy will be hit hard by the coronavirus. I think the biggest challenge for an enterprise is whether its employees have confidence in their company and are willing to go through the difficulties. How strong the company culture is plays a very important role. In this regard, I have full confidence in the future development of NCAB.”

Describe NCABs company culture?
“A company’s culture depends on its values. NCAB’s management style is very human. The company emphasizes strong relationships, not only internally, but also the externally with factories and customers. Everyone works in a happy environment and contribute to the same goal.”

What is the best thing with a career at NCAB?
“One of the best things with a career at NCAB is being able to communicate with people from different cultures all over the world. This helps us understand the world better and understand the value of life. I love working in this kind of multinational company, NCAB has broadened my global dimension.”

Hellin Shi, Expeditor Group leader

Hellin Shi has been working as Expeditor Group leader at NCAB Factory Management since 2012.

“My main responsibility is lead time management. This includes capacity booking, optimize logistic solutions with our local offices, optimize and monitor the logistic parts of our systems and train new staff”, says Hellin Shi.

Why did you start working for NCAB?
“Previously I worked for a PCB factory where focus was on general efficiency and following instructions, more than on employee growth. In NCAB, where we deeply integrate, cooperate and manage various factories, people are the most important resource and focus is on what and why and not only on when and how, which is empowering.”

What is the most interesting part of your role?
“NCAB is an international company with customers all over the world. I deal with many complex and unexpected challenges every day. I think the “unknown” is fascinating and our task to solve these issues keep us young and motivated.”

How does a typical day at work look like?
“Lead time is a crucial factor to our customers. I always start by checking if there are any urgent matters. Often we need to find solutions fast, it can be stressful but in these situations I try to use my logic and communication skills. After that I try to minimize potential risks by monitoring data to predict general performance, such as factory lead time, consolidations of shipments, flight monitoring. Taking preventive actions helps me avoid stressful situations.”

What opportunities do you see working for NCAB?
“By working within logistics, I understand production, delivery performance and also the factory operational processes. I would find it interesting to study supply chain management or be a professional logistic consultant for our local offices and factories.”

Describe the NCAB company culture?
“I see the culture as the soul of a company, it tells who we are. I like our culture as it respects people, but also, efficiency is apparent, we are no fat cats. Customer is number 1 to us and we strive to exceed their expectations. High quality is central, it does not just mean quality of the product, but also that we provide high quality service through our way of working.”