Nederman operates in many different countries. This interview with Bobo Gu, the factory manager at Nederman Manufacturing Suzhou, China, provides an insight into how Nederman’s operations and values have an international impact.
Tell us about your journey with Nederman
Since I started working at Nederman in 2008, I have been privileged to see many parts of the business operations. I worked in purchasing for 18 months. In 2009, I was appointed production manager at our plant in Shanghai which is focused primarily on manufacturing our standard product range. I was relocated to Suzhou in 2014 where I am now responsible for production, customer service and quality assurance. In total, I am responsible for 56 people in my organization. Each day has its challenges and I really appreciate the team work that allows us to solve the various problems we encounter.
What do you like most about working at Nederman?
Openness! At Nederman, everyone can talk openly with everyone else. That’s something I put great value on. Everyone can take part in discussions and contribute their views and knowledge. Another thing that is very important to me is that at Nederman we are making our contribution to both good working environments and a good environment in general.
What motivates you to work well in your job?
Two things: learning and team work, which are both equally important. By team I don’t only mean the organization in Suzhou but the entire chain from sales/marketing to service. Together, we build a profitable customer focus.
Is it important for you to work at a company that is growing and which is financially strong?
Yes, this is very important. Nederman need to grow continuously in order to build the resources so that we can continue to develop the Company.
Nederman is a global leader in eco-efficient products. How important is this for you?
This is not only important for me, it is important for the whole team in Suzhou and awareness of how our products help to make the world a better place is very high. In addition, this places considerable demands on us as a supplier, which is also good.
Nederman is imposing increasing demands on its own production in terms of energy efficiency and recycling. How does this affect you?
I think this is good because it means that we are constantly becoming more efficient in our own operations and how we choose the means of transport. Moreover, it reminds us that we work on fundamental sustainability principles.
Nederman is also becoming increasingly strict in its work with suppliers. How does this affect you in your role as factory manager?
We work with our suppliers to ensure that they operate in line with Nederman's Code of Conduct. This is not always so easy. Major international suppliers rarely entail problems, but it is more difficult with smaller, local manufacturers. We are planning therefore to focus on the larger suppliers.
What is most important for engaging and motivating your employees?
As for the workers, there is a clear difference in the younger generations. They are not exclusively focused on money, but also want to evolve and find a balance between their work and personal life. White-collar employees are very focused on being able to develop so that the Company also can develop.
What would you say is the most important for Nederman to be able to continue to contribute to a good sustainability performance over the next five years?
The most important is that we continue to be a global leader. A market leader always has an edge. At the same time it is important that we have the ability to really deliver what customers want. Ensuring that ability is something that we constantly need to work with. We also see how the legislation is being tightened in many countries. This is something we can use as leverage to become an even better company.