Saturday, August 06, 2005

Visitors from Across the Pond

Well Nina, Mod and Harvey have all returned home after completing the dreaded PeopleSoft training on the order fulfillment system. So we here at HQ can catch our breath a moment. It was a nice treat to have a few of our team from Tianjin and Laem Chabang visit us in California rather than the other way around. We were excited to share with them some of the interesting sites and tastes of our company's "namesake state" including a San Francisco Giants baseball game at SBC Park and a visit to Turtle Bay in Redding where Nina and Mod saw their first real Incense-cedar tree. Though the highlight for me had to be Nina eating French fries. ;) Thanks to all the gang here for being such gracious hosts, it was great to return the favor of hospitality we so often receive during our visits to Asia.

Certainly one of the more challenging impacts to CalCedar's corporate culture has been the reduction in US based employees as the center of gravity has moved to our Asia based operations over the past few years. We also used to see lots of our customers from around the world visit us here in Stockton and we loved to have them when they could come. Now they go to China and Thailand where our action is.

The cultural mix of participants at our Annual Sales & Operations Meeting in Tianjin was a real eye opener to the progress we have made training and developing our middle management. As our Asia based teams continue to develop and we achieve our planned California based organization structure a continuing challenge will be to find good ways to draw the people in our organization together as a team despite our geographic and cultural diversity.

I occassionally wonder how good a fit the name California Cedar Products Company remains for our corporation given the transitions we have made. While it certainly fits the tradition, history and the core slat and pencil product range we offer our customers and the CalCedar name remains well known in the industry, it doesn't necessarily reflect the complete nature of current organization. I'd love to hear what opinions you have on this topic.

2 comments:

WoodChuck said...

Nina forwards the following from TCW in Tianjin:

"Thank you so very much for your taking such a great care of us when we were in California. I had a wonderful time. Your country is a dream country, you helped me to fulfill my dream. This is such a fruitful and memorable trip in my life. I felt extremely spoiled. This also changed my idea about you. In the past you were too far away to approach, now I found you were such an easy person with full sense of humor.

It will be my great pleasure if you can share the pictures I took in California, I will send them to you tomorrow.

Reading your message about the Timberlines, I am very interested in it. I will be the faithful reader of "WoodChuck" . It will be very exciting because this creates a bridge between our president and ordinary employee, it also shares the professional informative resource."

Thanks Nina and I'll be sure to post your photos when they come in tomorrow.

Nina said...

Further to your open topic.

Personally I believe Calcedar is the most valuable intangible asset of our company, we can never change it for any reason.

In China, companies are proud of their foreign names, almost all foreign owned companies keep their original names here. Chinese people look up on the foreign names, a good example is Motorola, its Chinese name is translated just simply from its English pronunciation - "mo tuo luo la". When people talk about California, it means something advanced, hi-tech, developed, even romantic.

I completely agree that the Calcedar name does not necessarily reflect the complete nature of current organization, it grows to more globalized, just the same as thousands of multinational companies, Calcedar represents the founder, the headwaters, the history and the forever best quality of our products.

Stay with Calcedar!