Monday, June 15, 2009
Today was one of our latest starts thus far (10:30 AM). Many students took advantage and slept in. We stopped at a large grocery store, similar to Wal-Mart. It was interesting to compare Western and Chinese grocery stores. For example, meat was sold without packages. Seafood was sold incredibly fresh. Customers grab nets to catch live fish. The fish are then taken to a counter where they are killed and bagged; some fish were sold still living!
We then traveled to Key Safety Systems, a manufacturer of airbags, seatbelts, and steering wheels. During our introduction our presenter, an expatriate from America, told us about the challenges he faced doing business in a different country. In China, for example, it is very difficult for companies to lay off workers. After the discussion we toured Key Safety’s plant. We saw various product tests, including vibration and humidity. We visited the Dummy Room, where we saw an entire family of dummies, including women, men, and children. We toured the assembly plant. We saw how Key Safety has implemented various lean management principles, including U-shaped layouts and visual management.
After the visit we departed for Guilin. Our tour guide, Cindy, greeted us and told us about the city. We arrived at the Eva Inn around 9:30 PM. Many of us went straight to bed, but others explored the city.