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Survey: Operational Excellence in China

Posted by Elena Luk'yanenko
Elena Luk'yanenko
Elena has more than five years of experience in international marketing providing services for the foreign com...
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on Wednesday, 16 May 2012
in Business in China

We launched "Operational Excellence in China" survey in cooperation with Dezan Shira Associates. This survey is intended for senior management executives of international companies operating in China. The main objective of the survey is to gather information about key factors affecting operational excellence of companies in China. Questions cover HR, Finance, Logistics, Operations, Legal and Tax issues.

To follow up this survey we will hold "Operational Excellence in China" seminars in Shanghai on June 7 and in Beijing on June 14 where we will analyze survey findings and provide practical solutions for better management and internal controls. If you would like to attend this event, email to Lily Li at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Operational Audits: Lessons for Internal Control in China

Posted by Zvi Shalgo
Zvi Shalgo
Zvi Shalgo is the CEO and owner of PTL Group. He is also a Chairman of the Israeli Chamber of Commerce in Shan...
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on Tuesday, 24 April 2012
in Business in China

In the past three decades, the technological gap between foreign and local goods provided enough of a competitive advantage to cover a serious lack of operational management and infrastructure in China-based foreign-invested enterprises, but this is no longer the case. 

China is undergoing an “operational revival” of sorts, and excellence in operational management and infrastructure has become a top priority. Today, as China’s market is the business focus for many established players and new entrants.

One of the primary drivers for operational audits in China is that language and cultural barriers prevent China-based GMs from reporting accurate and comprehensive information about on-the-ground operations to a company’s headquarters. In fact, much of the information reported is not based on multiple sources, but rather a translation of the opinions of one local manager or partner.

Furthermore, developing internal “self improvement cycles” requires an openness to constructive criticism and multidisciplinary intervention that is uncommon among traditional Chinese managers.

An operational audit can help to fill the informational void and bridge cultural barriers in China to establish checks and balances and strengthen internal control. Pure financial or legal audits to assess internal control systems are insufficient, as these audits rely on data willingly submitted by the audited company. An operational audit is a key to the accuracy of such data in the first place. 

Operational audits can uncover a variety of behaviors that can dramatically affect a company and will likely not be otherwise uncovered, including:

  • Employees who signed perfectly legal labor contracts but are not fulfilling their job description (or, even worse, labor contracts for employees who simply do not exist)
  • Production losses visible in the factory but not recorded in the books
  • Company resource usage recorded in the books that does not happen in real life

Additionally, improved interdepartmental communications and improved management confidence are all by-products of an effective operational audit.

In this article, we highlight five lessons (all gained from operational audits) for establishing effective internal controls:

  1. Ensure an Active and Accountable Knowledge Transfer
  2. Invest in Recruitment Screening
  3. Systematize Internal Processes
  4. Keep an Eye on Distribution Channels
  5. Prioritize Loss Prevention
Posted by Zvi Shalgo
Zvi Shalgo
Zvi Shalgo is the CEO and owner of PTL Group. He is also a Chairman of the Israeli Chamber of Commerce in Shan...
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on Monday, 23 April 2012
in Business in China

While China is on an accelerated path to become a consumer oriented market international companies face ever growing managerial challenges trying to keep up. Over two decades of attracting massive foreign investment and the creation of fast technology transfer mechanisms made China the world’s main manufacturing base. 2011 and the new 12th five year plan shifted the focus of the Chinese policy makers to the strengthening of China’s dynamic new homegrown companies both home and abroad. Domestic Private Enterprises (DPE) as they are called here contributed over 60% of the Chinese GDP in 2010. This is in striking contrast to 38% they contributed back in 2005. Adding to this the fact that the Chinese GDP is expected to quadruple itself (2007-2025) helps to draw a general perspective of the business threats and challenges facing Western companies in China as well as in home markets in the next few years.

The financial crisis since 2008 from one side, and the fast growing Chinese consumer market as well as the abundant wealth available for investment in China today, amplify even more the growing need to penetrate and operate in Chinese markets.

Turnaround & Transformation Triggers

China is well known for being a challenging management environment for foreign companies. There are many cultural and structural market reasons that create those unique difficulties. As the new year of the dragon begins it will be interesting to focus on two recent trends affecting manufacturing small and medium sized enterprises (SME). These are both good reasons for many European based companies to reconsider their approach towards opening a new operation in China; globalisation of supply chains and the increased threat of competition by Chinese DPE in China and within a few short years in Europe’s own backyard.

Zvi Shalgo speaks on setting up production in China at seminar for Dutch manufacturers

Posted by Hulya Kaya
Hulya Kaya
Hulya Kaya has not set their biography yet
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on Thursday, 27 October 2011
in Business in China

OCTOBER 25, Zoetermeer, Netherlands – PTL Group held a seminar in co-operation with FME and EVD. The aim of this seminar was to inform Dutch companies about setting up production facilities in China. The event was attended by approximately 60 Dutch business owners and senior executives. Key note speakers consisted of  Jan Hak, president of GMV-FME, Maarten Roos, R&P China lawyers and Zvi Shalgo, CEO of PTL Group. Facilitator Harry Starren, CEO of De Baak, was in attendance as the moderator of the seminar.

To further support the seminar, a report was published on the specific topic of "Equipment Manufacturing and Machinery in China". The report focuses on the opportunities for equipment manufacturing in China and the importance of the Chinese market for the Dutch manufacturing and technological industries. The report provides tips and guidelines for setting up production in China, ranging from business structure and employment to the sensitive issues which companies must consider when operating in China.

After Harry Starren gave a brief introduction, Marije Hulshof, Director of NL EVD International, gave an update about the opportunities for Dutch SMEs in Chinese markets. PTL Group's CEO, Zvi Shalgo, discussed the history of doing business in China, emphasising that earlier foreign companies used only to source from China. These days, they don't just source or manufacture in China but also sell in the local market. Zvi Shalgo also presented current trends, such as critical timing issues and incubation support models, as well as opportunities to benefit from Chinese government funds. He suggested that Dutch SMEs should consider incubation as their first step when setting up in China, and discussed the stages of establishing a factory in China. He also presented incubation concepts and critical considerations for choosing one. Maarten Roos followed by talking about intellectual property and concerns of foreign companies.

Following the presentations, there was a panel discussion in which key note speakers, answered numerous questions from the audience. The subjects discussed ranged from HR to finance, and other issues related to setting up production facilities in China. Once the panel discussions finished, there was the opportunity for companies to engage in networking, which provided a platform for all attendees to share and discuss their ideas about business in China.