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All Settled In: Our New Home in Changzhou, China

If you’ve ever moved, you know the planning, pain, and eventual excitement that can come with the experience.

Moving an electronics manufacturing facility—including 150 team members and all the materials and equipment required to make a Creation Business Units tick—is not a whole lot different. Except, perhaps, for packing up the crystal…

Our Beautiful New Manufacturing Facility

On June 25, our Changzhou team opened the doors and started building and shipping product out of our new home.

It’s a beautiful facility that’s tailored for electronics manufacturing—a marked improvement from the building we have been in for the past six years.

With 75,000 square feet on two floors, lots of natural bright light, and a much better layout, we have both the room to grow and the environment we need to help us take the next step.

Creation—Changzhou, Our New Facility

Creation—Changzhou, Our Brand New Facility

Ahead of Schedule & Under Budget

As with all things, the experience was not without challenges.

Renovations in the new building started six weeks late due to contract delays with the landlord.

A new tenant was already scheduled to move into the existing building, and there was a good chance the electricity would be shut off if we delayed. The move had to proceed as scheduled.

The timeline was seriously cramped and totally inflexible. The team in Changzhou had just six weeks to turn a concrete shell into a modern facility for electronics manufacturing plus one more week to move—with no margin for error.

And you know what? The team pulled it off.

In fact, we were up and running one week ahead of schedule without any shipment delays, and, (don’t tell Arthur), under budget to boot.

With a lot of hard work, tense moments and persistence, production restarted just seven weeks after the first hammer was swung.

We went from this:

Empty Shell of Office Area

Empty Shell of Office Area

Manufacturing Area Before Changzhou

Definitely a ‘Work In Process’ environment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To this, in 35 days:

Sparkling Manufacturing Creation Changzhou

Our now-sparkling manufacturing space in Creation’s new Changzhou facility

Beautiful Office Space Changzhou

Our open office area for co-located Customer-Focused Teams in Creation’s new Changzhou facility

 

3 Key Things This Process Has Taught Me

As a foreigner and an observer for most of the construction and moving activity, there were a number of key learnings:

#1: Strong Focus Leads to Great Power

The team had no options to stay in the current building. We had to be in the new facility, no matter what, and no matter how, by July 1.

The objective, the required actions, and the consequences were crystal clear.

The team was focused, which resulted in very little time and energy being wasted, and so they moved with power.

 

#2: Speed Comes from Commitment

We had to move fast.

And that meant our contractors and trades teams had to move fast.

And they did. Do you know how?

They moved in. I mean they literally moved their tools, and beds, and tents into the factory so they could work around the clock. They committed. And things moved quickly.

 

#3: It’s the Middle that Matters

We spent almost a year planning the renovation and move and had a relatively strong picture of what we wanted to achieve, what it would take and what it would cost.

The end result is even better than we had hoped.

But without all the sweat, the late nights, the very hard work from a lot of focused people, the planning would not have mattered, and the result would not have been realized.

It was the middle that mattered—the focus, the execution and the push until completion.

 

A lot of people were involved in making this all happen – too many to mention. But four need special recognition:

In addition to his Process Engineering responsibilities, Kevin Ye managed the project with a lot of tenacity and ensured the contractors did what they said they would do.

Tony Ji, our Operations Leader extraordinaire, made sure the move plans were all in place and that not a single product shipment was late.

As he always does, Mike Serio, our Engineering Leader, helped ensure that when the power got turned on, the “stuff” worked.

And my partner in China, our General Manager Charles Ma, kept the whole thing together.

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3 Responses to All Settled In: Our New Home in Changzhou, China

  1. Charles Ma September 16, 2012 at 10:29 pm #

    very well written, thanks Kevin!

  2. Kevin Beckett September 24, 2012 at 11:44 am #

    Kevin and Charles,
    A hearty congratulations on this significant move in China!  I know your commitment to uninterrupted service to your customers is an imperative, so I am sure the whole team is right proud of the great achievement.

    • Creation Technologies September 25, 2012 at 7:41 am #

      Thanks Kevin. We are very proud of the team that pulled this together – the results really speak to their commitment and capability. We have learned a lot over the years from our customers and friends like Beckett on how to serve our people and customers better. We are already looking forward to having you visit again someday! ~Kevin

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