Mr. Wen-Chi Chang - R&D: The Lifeblood of Industrial Machinery

Salida Industrial Co., Ltd. is among the top Taiwanese professional sanding machine manufacturers. Machines include Profile sanders, Drum sanders, Brush sanding machines for small work pieces, 3-sided moulding brush sanders, 4-sided moulding brush sanders, rotation brush sanders and other products. Around the world Salida possesses multi-national patents. Mr. Chang, the chairman of the company, manages Salida with a combination of his vast experience and practical industry awareness. Production, sales and business management come together as follows: According to Chairman. Chang, "A business is like a vessel at sea, with the captain at the helm. He has got to possess experience and wisdom in order to navigate his vessel safely in the right direction. An experienced helmsman relies not only on wisdom, but his intuition to sense impending danger. Without adequate intelligence, and the capacity to deliver a timely and effective response, experience and wisdom mean little; for crisis management forgives no oversight of the ill-conceived." Mr. Chang said that his career in woodworking machinery consists of three decades of experience. Throughout the development of the industry, he has gained a deep understanding of the trends of the future. For a better future, it is this experience which can provide a great advantage, and coupled with wisdom and the right judgment calls, the success of his machines are maintaining a relatively high rate. Chairman Chang said that no one can guarantee 100% success at the point of decision-making, but with care one can reduce the probability of failure, while effectively increasing chances of success. ************************************ "R & D is the lifeblood of industrial machinery" ************************************ Referring to the current economic situation as a "financial tsunami", Mr. Chang does not hesitate to admit a reduction in the number of orders. Many foreign distributors' environments are suffering as a result of this recession. Inventory has not yet been absorbed into the market, and requests to purchase new machinery has decreased accordingly. Although caught in financial turmoil, product development is ongoing with Mr. Chang and his company. He said: " For an industry comprised of machinery manufacturers, research and development is the key to success." He also said that two or three decades ago it was a relatively closed market. Information was not very developed, and manufacturers could produce at their own pace according to the rate traders sold machinery. However, with the current advancement of the existing information network, rapid exchange of information between markets is instantaneous. As long as there is a plentitude of hot new products, there won't be many competitors pumping out the same sorts of things like mushrooms in a field. Hence, R&D. Mr. Chang also indicated that he learned this lesson the hard way. It was his own "bloody" personal experience which he will never forget, but he acquired a good defensive tactic through it all. He said the words with humor and compared an arrow shot in defense against an offensive million. Battles must be fought with the sword against shield; the shield being R & D capability, and the sword being the patent. Mr. Chang somewhat reluctantly pointed out that patent application in many countries can be tedious. Many are still very protective of their industries against foreign firms. In particular are the United States and Japan which have rigorously high standards, so it requires a long processing time. Applicants who spend a lot of time and spirit do not necessarily obtain a good outcome. Mr. Chang is of the view that if an enterprise intends to succeed, both patents and R&D are key. Product upgrade is the most fundamental priority. "Running at the front of the pack can be tough going, but it is the way of survival on a developing road." Despite what seems to be a financial Ice Age, Mr. Chang budgets large sums towards R & D. he said: "This should be an era of progress. With the right business strategy, we will not be submerged by such a big wave."
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