Taiwan’s Largest Agent of OMRON Industrial Automation, Cheong Teh, Upgrades Management Process
Zhang Xiu-Hao Cheong Teh Ltd. General Manager

Through Vis-a-Vis, our sales and managers can all immediately know how many new cases they have on their hands, which cases are in progress, and which cases require a response from the original manufacturer or approval of a discount. Members of our sales team can better understand their goal and clarify the needs of customers while drafting their reports. The cloud capabilities also allow them to search for the status of any previous cases for items such as: customer order quantity, price, special requests and etc.

- Zhang Xiu-Hao Cheong Teh Ltd. General Manager

Through Vis-a-Vis, our sales and managers can all immediately know how many new cases they have on their hands, which cases are in progress, and which cases require a response from the original manufacturer or approval of a discount. Members of our sales team can better understand their goal and clarify the needs of customers while drafting their reports. The cloud capabilities also allow them to search for the status of any previous cases for items such as: customer order quantity, price, special requests and etc.

- Zhang Xiu-Hao Cheong Teh Ltd. General Manager

昌德貿易Situated in an unremarkable old apartment building on Chengde Street, there hangs a slightly yellowed sign that says Cheong Teh on it. With a team of only 40, Cheong Teh is surprisingly OMRON Industrial Automation's largest distributor in Taiwan, and has operated for over 40 years and pulls in more than 600 million NTD in revenue annually.

"We hope to increase both the number of cases that come our way and the number of cases that we close through upgrades to our management process," said the 30 year old Zhang Xiu-Hao who belongs to the third generation of the Cheong Teh founding family heartily. "Nearly every single employee of the company, watched me grow up, and while growing up I looked at them as aunties and uncles. They are all at least 10~20 years older than me and are like family. They are also the most valuable assets of Cheong Teh." Thus forming a two-edged dilemna for Zhang. How should he manage a group of employees that he views as elders and family members?

Zhang has the outer appearance of an artist. Yet, while dressed in a stylish manner, his quickly assumes a serious demeanor once the topic of Cheong Teh comes up, stating that, "I am responsible for over 30 families." He bluntly admits that the company's previous management model of rewarding employees regardless of contribution is unsustainable in an increasingly competitive environment, "Just like I said earlier, every one of our employees has over 20 years of sales experience and product know-how, they know so much more than me!" Still, Zhang Xiu-Hao who received his MBA in the UK, has developed a good mind for management, and also has a clear understanding of the way people think. According to Zhang, "Going head to head can only end in a disaster for both sides. Nudging in the right direction along with monetary incentives were used to promote the implementation of Vis-a-Vis as part of their tasks management model."

昌德tips "Since the internet, not only has a price war for distribution rights been waged intensely, more and more emphasis has also become placed on provision of professional services as agents and distributors seek to stand out." Faced with the challenge of profit margins dropping into the single digits, Zhang believes that since it's impossible to change the environment, the company must instead learn to adapt. "I spent a total of three years trying to use Excel to organize and consolidate our business reports. The formatting, fonts, report titles were all highly inconsistent. I wanted to quit several times because it seemed like such a waste of time. Of course time must be put into my work, but it still shouldn't be wasted on these forms!" said Zhang Xiu-Hao. "Cheong Teh currently has 2,000 different clients with a total of over 18,000 different products. Using Vis-a-Vis to manage these has made everything so much simpler. Vis-a-Vis allows you to assign your own sorting categories, respond immediately to ongoing discussion, search on the go, and to quickly know the background story of a client," Zhang emphasized. "If Excel were still used to track the progress of our cases, we would never be able to get anywhere in improving our management of the company. We would just continue to waste our time on superficial matters."

GSS's Vis-a-Vis Report Management Service allows users to flexibly modify and restrict access by levels of authorization. In addition, the system is extremely user-friendly and easy to use. Almost all of Cheong Teh's employees found themselves being able to get a good grasp on how to use it within half a day. "Through Vis-a-Vis, our sales and managers can all immediately know how many new cases they have on their hands, which cases are in progress, and which cases require a response from the original manufacturer or approval of a discount. Members of our sales team can better understand their goal and clarify the needs of customers while drafting their reports. The cloud capabilities also allow them to search for the status of any previous cases for items such as: customer order quantity, price, special requests and etc."

"Our company's two top performing members of the sales team are very good at using Vis-a-Vis," said Zhang cheerfully. "One of them imported all of our data on our clients including every single price quote, every purchase, the key contents of every visitation and etc. into Vis-a-Vis. It is as if he has turned Vis-a-Vis into his personal pocket secretary. And thus far, it has done wonders for him professionally and increased the confidence of our clients in us."

For our managers, checking for the week's new cases used to mean calling every single person on the team to ask them for updates, or look for the information in one of our Excel files. "Now, when I want to view our new clients, all I have to do using Vis-a-Vis is click on the 'new customers' tab. The time cases were opened can be defined so that we can clearly view the number of new cases received within a specific period. We can even use different importance levels to search for specific cases. It is very very helpful!" Zhang continues to stress that through using Vis-a-Vis for quantitative management of data collected from reports, "The company has been able to easily calculate the number of projects in development and new customers secured. Employees with the best performance can then be rewarded accordingly, providing internal incentive to make good use of Vis-a-Vis."

Having used the service for two months, Cheong Teh has already started using Vis-a-Vis for all of their weekly meetings, "Consolidation is no longer necessary, just log-in to Vis-a-Vis and click 'ongoing cases.' Everyone else can then follow along as everything is already in one place and the necessary information is usually just one or two clicks away. Any to-do items or supplementary information can be directly keyed in then and there so that nothing is forgotten later. Vis-a-Vis has proven itself to be both effective and easy to use." Zhang Xio-Hao believes that Vis-a-Vis is an excellent tool for both managers and sales employees. Vis-a-Vis has also helped bring the company onto the same page as OMRON, as they had been hoping for their Taiwanese agents to develop better management policies to help further increase their Taiwan market share and number of clients.

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