The ‘not so secret’ diary of Ed Clark – Episode 5, China

The end of my 5th month here at ITL of course brought about my much anticipated trip to China.

I went there to further my research on the work that I have been doing and to learn from the other side about the difficulties an international supply chain can cause. In doing so I was also able to visit several facilities, including our very own factory, Bellis Technology Ltd where I received a very warm welcome from our team over there. I was given a similar reception at the various suppliers’ facilities, even being referred to as an “Honourable Guest”. This hospitality provided me with a great environment to gather the information that was required to finish my work.

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I was able to learn about different manufacturing processes, especially where plastics and injection moulding are concerned, all of which I have been able to add into my recommendations for the Directors. Seeing the tools and machines used to make our parts, and so many other products in the factories along with the sheer size of the operations in these companies offered a fantastic chance for me to learn more about both manufacturing and exporting.

In terms of personal development though, the trip was amazing. Witnessing such a different way of doing business was indispensable. From being presented with more business cards than there is room in my wallet (cards that you have to accept with two hands I quickly realised), to witnessing the incredible work ethic over there.  Away from the business side however, just to have the opportunity to immerse myself into a culture so different from our own in so many ways was such a great experience.

While I’m on the subject of cultural differences, my attempted use of chop-sticks was the cause of much hilarity for the guys over at CHT (one of our moulders), as I tried and failed miserably to pick up a steamed dumpling (the trickiest of foods I found), proudly, by the end of the week I found myself being complimented on my ability to use them. I can only assume though; that both Max, our tooling engineer and Mr Ding, our driver, who paid me the compliment missed me trying to eat the rice!

My time in China was a fantastic opportunity and I am extremely grateful to ITL for facilitating it. Not only for this trip but also the work that they have trusted me with in my placement so far.

Edward Clark, Industrial Placement. 06/12/13

Edward Clark