Reporter Pinsheng, Wang / Tainan interview
Fong Kee (FKI) International Machinery, which is a long-established enterprise with a long history of 69 years in Yongkang, Tainan. FKI customers are in 160 countries around the world.
How to become a world-renowned advanced machine manufacturer from an iron factory that was originally unknown? Today, let's listen to the legendary story of Larry Wei, the second-generation operator of the behind-the-scenes helmsman.
"The first time in my life to go abroad, a 55-day amazing journey, and the determination to enter the world"
During the WWII, the founder C.C. Wei was recruited into the army during the Japanese occupation era and worked as an apprentice in the Japanese naval factory (the factory was specialized in manufacturing the A6M Zero). After WWII
, C.C. Wei returned to Taiwan and used the bench work skills to develop and manufacture plastic extrusion machinery and equipment, which was very popular in Southeast Asia, thus laying a solid industrial foundation for "Fong Kee".
Fong Kee (FKI) president Larry Wei said: "My father had no funds when he started his business. After his aunt who ran a business in the family learned about it, she always gave money to support and encourage him. My father is grateful for his kindness
aunt, and the aunt's name ends with the word "Fong", and is specially named company as "Fong Kee". "
always has a smile on his face and is polite and easy-going, while he talks about his career, he immediately pays full attention. Because my father runs a factory, I have been exposed to the export business since I was a child. And,I know that I will be responsible for the operation of the company in the future. Since high school, I have made several excellent classmates and invited them to work together in the company after graduating from university, organizing an all-round team and jointly establishing a complete management system.
Twenty-eight-year-old Larry Wei, in order to expand his export business, carried a suitcase by himself. In an age of inconvenient transportation, difficulty applying for a visa, foreign exchange controls (only $40 per day is the upper limit for going abroad), lack of information, and no credit card. He went to North, Central and South America to expand the market
American customers were quite surprised to see him. They only wrote to contact him a few days ago, and visited him after few days. They praised his high efficiency and fluent English communication. Customer immediately signed a check and placed the order. Larry Wei said, "This is my first order to set foot in the United States, and I am very excited." With this order, the travel expenses were earned, and it took 55 days to travel all the way from North America to Central and South America. This journey has opened his eyes to seeing different cultures and doing business with people from different countries, and he understands that it is necessary to have excellent talents and R&D technology in order to gain a foothold in the fiercely competitive global market.
"Flying to Australia to learn R&D technology, fully upgrade machine performance and prospect"
Thirty years ago, the plastic extruder manufactured by FKI sold well in Southeast Asia,however, in the eyes of large companies in Europe, America and Japan, the performance of the machine was not well. Larry Wei thought about how to improve the quality of machinery, so that big international companies are willing to buy it? Turn around and head to Australia. He said: "Australian customers have the latest and expensive machinery and equipment, because Australia has a small population, a small market, and little benefit. I told them, 'If you cooperate with me and let me refer to the European equipment you purchased, you can provide good prices. I will give you cheap equipment.” The Australian customer agreed immediately, and Larry Wei obtained many of the latest research and development technologies.
Years later, Larry Wei and his team have developed various types of extrusion machinery and equipment that are comparable to the high standards of Japan and Germany, and provide customized services. They have been sold to 160 countries and the cumulative sales exceeded 10,000 units.
Facing China's imitation of knockoff equipment, Larry Wei said, "If you want to imitate it, up to them. If you don't have software and technical talents, no matter how good the machine is, you can't use it." The size, material, and assembly specifications of each machine are all different. Even if the exact same machine is imitated, there must be excellent technicians who can operate, maintain, and deal with problems such as failures. "Taiwan's core technology and experience cannot be copied."
"Take care of employees carefully, three generations of the family are from FKI; basic conditions for succession, the first priority is to communicate in English without hindrance"
In the future, FKI will have the opportunity to be included in the "Top 10 Plastic Extrusion Machinery Manufacturing Companies in the World", but Larry Wei is proud of having a group of employees who like as their families. More than a decade ago, the government promulgated a new labor base law, requiring owners to follow the regulations. At that time, many companies ignored the new law, but Larry Wei knew that if he did not deal with it now, more problems would arise in the future. According to the new law, the amount that the actuary has to bear is as high as more than 200 million.
Larry Wei asked employees to explain the company's financial situation first, then explained that if the new law stipulated that the company would go bankrupt directly. He proposed a compromise plan that let the employees felt his sincerity and intentions. Finally, the two sides reached a consensus.
He applied for loans from three banks. The bank asked him the reason. He said that the new law was on the way, to solve the problem of the labor standard law and protect the rights and interests of laborers. At first, the bank did not believe it, thinking that it was borrowing money in its name, because there is no such "silly boss" in Taiwan.
He jokingly said to the employees, "The company has limited funds, so it can only provide a part of the money, and the bank is willing to lend me the rest. Therefore, I owe the bank money now, and everyone will work hard to help me pay off the debt in the future. "This move deeply touch all the staff, and they are more willing to work hard with Larry Wei to solve the difficulties together.
"The wife of a senior employee specifically called the company to ask how the deposit book got a lot of money. After I explained it to her, she kept thanking me." Larry Wei said the past and couldn't help laughing. "Bosses are obliged to take good care of employees. Don't just treat employees as employees, they are family members. Family members take care of each other and grow, so that the company can continue to go forward." This is the secret of Fong Kee's 69 years of success.
When it comes to the issue of succession, Larry Wei emphasized that the third-generation successor must have an interest in the industry, start from the grassroots level, and must be fluent in "English". "The successor is not the boss who speaks out. You should do more than the employees, be considerate of the employees' hard work, and connect with the world. Be a model in the eyes of everyone and play the role of a leader." When will he be ready to hand in the baton? Larry Wei said that now he has stepped back behind the scenes, and now the company is handled by the third generation, but if he encounters difficulties, he will be willing to make suggestions.
Seeing successful operators from Larry Wei, he always looks at things from the other side's standpoint, and treats people with sincerity, whether in shopping malls or in life. In recent years, Taiwan's social class confrontation and ethnic groups have been severely divided. Have you ever thought about what the problem is? In fact, the answer is close at hand, but we ignore it.