Integrate Brand, Customers and Employees—Talking with Hu Jian, Manager of Shanghai Minmetals Fasteners
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Shanghai Minmetals is a state-owned trading company that has a long history of 58 years. With endeavors made by Minmetals people generation after generation, its business keeps expanding and its trading scale grows rapidly, achieving long-term stability in business performance. In 2006, the trading value of Shanghai Minmetals was close to 800 million US dollars. Its fastener brand "Diamond" exceeded 50 million US dollars in terms of export value. Its products enjoy a ready market all across the world, covering more than 70 countries and regions.

Why makes its "Diamond" so shine? It is our great honor here to interview Mr. Hu Jian, Manager of Shanghai Minmetals Fastener Branch.

CFI: At the very beginning, what's your goal for "Diamond" brand?

Hu: Our goal is to improve its export scale and strive for national famous export trademark through building and developing our own brand.

CFI: From this goal, what kinds of strategies have you applied in terms of brand building?

Hu: We make full use of our advantages in export scale and market information. Based on brand strategy, we increase and expedite brand building, brand recognition and brand protection, making them in system and in order. To achieve brand effects, we integrate brand, customers and employees according to market development.

CFI: As far as I know, besides brand, you are also looking for the balance among brand, customers and employees. Few enterprises can notice that. Could you please tell us how to carry out this strategy?

Hu: We implement a development system based on brand, an operation system based on customers and a management system based on employees. All of them are equally important. One of them strongly connects with and strengthens the other.

We consider the exports of "Diamond" brand products as our main strategy, and further develop famous trademark effects in the market competition, establish and complete the measures on trademark development, recognition and protection. With government's supporting policies, we push trademark registration overseas, and set up overseas registration plan for the key trademarks. Meanwhile, we will further crack down on counterfeit goods and maintain our property rights, and strengthen the contacts with law-enforcement departments like Industrial and Commercial Bureau and Customs to study and deal with foreign-related infringement cases to protect our own property rights.

To implement the operation system based on customers, Shanghai Minmetals develops business in depth and fine. It exerts itself to satisfy with customers. Its structural organization consisted of various types of work optimizes the allocation of resources, and reduces the management levels, so that the efficiency will be improved and the costs will be reduced. The all-directional point-to-point operation style facilitates the communications with customers, strongly enhancing the cooperation between both parties. With lots of contacts and comprehensive information, it can provide considerate services for customers. There is an old saying, "No common goal, no common cause to cooperate." Both parties cannot come to a common operation idea and code of conduct step by step until they get to influence and boost each other. With over years of efforts, the varieties of its products expand quickly and the brand goods expedite significantly. Its market share keeps increasing year by year.

Hu:  But, we cannot neglect our loyal staff team full of creativity and energy, which is our essential competitive edge. In terms of management system based on work, in some degree, people are in a subordinate position. People have to obey all indexes, which kills the energy and creativity of employees. Along with our establishment and perfection of ISO quality management system, our management system now is based on people. Every system design highlights the importance of employees, providing the widest space for every employee. It has been proven that the essential change creates good environment for the whole team, laying a firm foundation for Shanghai Minmetals' distinct corporate culture.

CFI: What're your short-term and long-term plans?

Hu: It is expected that our sales in 2007 will increase by about 10%. For the long term, we will follow the market trend and satisfy customers' needs. You have to follow this rule whatever industry you're involved in.

CFI: Nowadays, the market competition becomes so fierce. What makes you difference?

Hu: Our employees are good at thinking in customers' perspective. They always consider what customers concern and what customers need.

Brand, customers, and employees coexist and integrate as an organic whole, which makes Shanghai Minmetals always be the leading company in the ever-changing market. During the course, brand, customers and employees grow rapidly and are completely enhanced. In return, brand effects, customer development and employee upgrade all add new energies for the sustainable development of Shanghai Minmetals.

Translated by Alice

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