Times are changing in China
23 May 2012Markets
Kopenhagen Fur's representative office in Beijing has undergone a change in leadership, and the turn in management will bring some changes. But the new Manager, Ms Chris Cui, ensures that for the customers everything will be business as usual at the Beijing branch.
In China, people rarely stay in the same job for more than a few years - at most. But this does not apply for Kopenhagen Fur's Beijing office. The majority of the staff has surpassed five years of employment, and that also goes for the newly appointed manager, Chris Cui. For the last seven years she and her colleagues have been servicing the increasing number of Chinese customers who attend the Danish auctions. In fact, Cui started her professional career as a trainee at Kopenhagen Fur ten years ago in Copenhagen, and for the last few years she has been the former manager's right hand. So who better suited to take over?
Cooperation instead of working solo
So the new head of operations is not a novice when it comes to Kopenhagen Fur, nor its goals, but she has visions for potential improvements.
- When people work together for so long, they get to know each other very well and that makes working together easier. Things simply run smoother and more efficiently, but there has been a tendency to work solo. My vision is that we can streamline the whole process - from customer service to branding - thus providing both our customers and partners with the best service possible, says Cui.
Project-oriented work is one of the ways to improve effectiveness meaning that everyone has their main field that they are responsible for. That might interfere with the idea of limiting the amount of working solo, but everyone is expected to seek assistance from colleagues and utilise their different fields of expertise.
- By doing this, you improve the cooperation among the employees and in the end you achieve a more complete result than you would singlehandedly, tells Cui.
But even though she knows the company very well and has been the boss' right hand for years, there is still one thing that Cui sees as a challenge.
- In my former position as manager of branding and marketing, I only had to keep focus on that particular field. Now I have to consider every aspect of what the company does when I make a decision, and I find that a challenge, but it is a challenge I am ready for.
Sales and Marketing Director at Kopenhagen Fur, Mr Kenneth Loberg, about picking the new manager.
- Chris Cui has been with the company for many years now, and through that period of time she has progressed a lot. She has handled everything we threw at her, and knows the company very well, but equally important, she knows the customers and they know her! We think that she is a good representative for the company, and this is our way of showing our gratitude towards her and her work.
Still the same goal
Besides assisting the Chinese customers with the planning of their trips to the fur auctions in Copenhagen, the Beijing office is also involved in many other projects like the modelling competition Miss Happiness and the EMBA-programme at the Tsing Hua University in Beijing, where the second class just graduated. According to Cui it is important to show the customers as well as other associates that Kopenhagen Fur is more than just an auction house.
- People need to know, that Kopenhagen Fur is not just a fur auction. It is also an important part of the future, especially when it is about the Chinese fur industry. With projects like Miss Happiness, the EMBA-programme and the assistance we are rendering young Chinese designers, we are showing everybody that we wish to help shape and develop the fur industry, states Cui.
But all this costs a lot of money, and Cui is well aware of that.
- We are the eyes, the ears and the face of Kopenhagen Fur in China. It is true that our work does not yield a profit, and it is true that the projects we are involved in cost money. But it is an effective way to show Kopenhagen Fur's commitments to the industry and its development. It is expensive, but necessary, Cui tells.
When talking to Cui, one cannot avoid noticing a distinct pride when she talks about her work. It is obvious that she has devoted herself to Kopenhagen Fur. For the last ten years she has been at Kopenhagen Fur and will probably stay for many years.
- As far as it is in my power I will make the most of my talents, she says.
And, bear in mind that this visionary but at the same time humble manager is just 34 years old.