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Topics: Refrigerator, Chinese character, Air conditioner Pages: 45 (16135 words) Published: October 12, 2013
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Haier had been founded as Qingdao Refrigerator Co. in 1984. With China opening up to world markets, foreign corporations began searching for partnerships in China. One of these, Germany's refrigerator company Liebherr entered into a joint-venture contract with Qingdao Refrigerator Co., offering technology and equipment to its Chinese counterpart. Refrigerators were to be manufactured under the name of Qindao-Liebherr (simplified Chinese: 琴岛—利勃海尔; traditional Chinese: 琴島-利勃海爾; pinyin: Qindao-Libohaier). The installation of Liebherr's equipment and technology was accompanied by new quality management processes. By 1986, Qingdao Refrigerator had returned to profitability and sales growth averaged 83 percent per year. With sales of just CNY ¥3.5 million in 1984, sales rocketed to CNY ¥40.5 billion by 2000; a growth of more than 11,500 percent.[2] The municipal government asked it to take over some of the city's other ailing appliance makers. In 1988, the company assumed control of Qingdao Electroplating Company (making microwaves) and in 1991 took over Qingdao Air Conditioner Plant and Qingdao Freezer. Zhang Ruimin and the corporate revival[edit]

By the 1980s, the factory had debt of over CNY ¥1.4 million and suffered from dilapidated infrastructure, poor management, and lack of quality controls, resulting from the planned economic system and relevant policies.[3] Production had slowed, rarely surpassing 80 refrigerators a month, and the factory was close to bankruptcy. The Qingdao government hired a young assistant city-manager, Zhang Ruimin, responsible for a number of city-owned appliance companies. Zhang was appointed the managing director of the factory in 1984. When he arrived in 1984, Zhang decided that improvement was needed to the factory's quality control. In 1985, a customer brought a faulty refrigerator back to the factory and showed it to Zhang. Zhang and the customer then went through his entire inventory of 400 refrigerators looking for a replacement. In the process he discovered that there was a 20 percent failure rate in his merchandise. To emphasize the importance of product quality, Zhang had the 76 dud refrigerators lined up on the factory floor. He then distributed sledgehammers to the employees and ordered them to destroy the refrigerators. The workers were hesitant; the cost of a refrigerator at the time was about 2 years worth of wages. Seeing their distress, Zhang said: "Destroy them! If we pass these 76 refrigerators for sale, we'll be continuing a mistake that has all but bankrupted our company." The refrigerators were destroyed. One of the hammers used is on display at company headquarters as a reminder to posterity. Haier had been founded as Qingdao Refrigerator Co. in 1984. With China opening up to world markets, foreign corporations began searching for partnerships in China. One of these, Germany's refrigerator company Liebherr entered into a joint-venture contract with Qingdao Refrigerator Co., offering technology and equipment to its Chinese counterpart. Refrigerators were to be manufactured under the name of Qindao-Liebherr (simplified Chinese: 琴岛—利勃海尔; traditional Chinese: 琴島-利勃海爾; pinyin: Qindao-Libohaier). The installation of Liebherr's equipment and technology was accompanied by new quality management processes. By 1986, Qingdao Refrigerator had returned to profitability and sales growth averaged 83 percent per year. With sales of just CNY ¥3.5 million in 1984, sales rocketed to CNY ¥40.5 billion by 2000; a growth of more than 11,500 percent.[2] The municipal government asked it to take over some of the city's other ailing appliance makers. In 1988, the company assumed control of Qingdao Electroplating Company (making microwaves) and in 1991 took over Qingdao Air Conditioner Plant and Qingdao Freezer. Zhang Ruimin and the corporate...
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