1. Establishing a Happy Corporation
It is our instinct to pursue happiness. Adhered to the philosophy of people-oriented and of establishing a happy corporation, Sellers Union shares the development achievements with all employees and assist them to pursue happiness.
Along to establish a happy corporation, remuneration is of overriding importance. Insisted in the theory of “efforts must be rewarded”, Sellers Union always provides employees with above-average remuneration among the same industry and maintains salary growing simultaneously with company profits. The average annual-salary of our staff grows by 10% recently.
Meanwhile, we provide better welfare and benefits. In 2002, all staff had been firstly included into national social security system. We organized all to travel abroad in 2006, like Austria, Europe, Maldives and so on, which became a big news in foreign trade industry in Ningbo. At present, our group allocated 2000RMB as annual tour for people. In addition, annual physical examination, a high standard of holiday benefits and collective birthday parties contribute to make employees happier.
Happiness is a comprehensive experience, more than remuneration. Group support the staff to set up associations and fund them to organize various club activities, such as "The voice of Seller Union”, funny sports meeting, basketball and badminton competitions, all of which light up and amaze our life.
As it well known to us, helping employees to develop is the essence of happy corporation. Group attaches great importance to staff training. Apart from existing outsourcing training, we opened “Sellers Union Class” in 2011, not only launching orientation for new-comers, but also organizing multiple classes to improve their vocational skills and comprehensive quality. It is estimated that 57 classes were hold by Sellers Union Class, which trained a total of 2904 stuff in the year of 2014.Moreover, each subsidiary arrange a veteranto teach new-comers with the purpose to promote development.
To make every staff happy and enjoy their life is what a happy corporation aims at.
2. Constructing An International Trade Ecosystem
Specialized in self-export trade and supply-chain services, Sellers Union always focus on establishing mutual and win-win cooperation with sub-partners and constructing a symbiotic business ecosystem in the international trade industry.
In this ecological chain, the biggest target is to ensure every partner can benefit and develop, not solely on any company. Everyone spare no effort to co-construct win-win and vibrant business environment, where they have access to high quality business resources and establish a solid and friendly cooperation to achieve further and long term development. Over the years, many factories make a firm and close cooperation with our company, among which successfully obtain annual output of several billion, originating from several million at the very beginning of cooperation. The most striking case is that Union Vision, one subsidiary company of Sellers Union, service one supermarket which has expanded to more than 1600 branches from 7 branches. Both are extremely satisfied with this long-term cooperation.
Groupnever aims at intervening any part of this ecosystem and infringing anyone’s interests. Every member does what they specialize at. Manufactures stay focused into reducing the production cost and improving the quality of product, while overseas client concentrate on marketing and market needs. For trading company like us, we strive to improve the overall business service to better entertain manufactures and clients.
At the request of manufacturers and clients, we have gradually expanded to product design, financing, customs clearance, international forwarding, and logistics with a purpose to making up for business blank in the chain and make it more perfect and effective.
Everyone will benefit from this business ecosystem.
3. Be Thrifty To Manage Company In a Long-Term
Group has maintained a strong profitability and sustaining economic growth since foundation. However, being thrifty and making every penny cost is always our fine tradition. For example, our work area is simply and practically decorated, without any luxurious decoration; we strive to cost-effective daily office expenses, by purchasing office furniture, daily benefits, birthday gifts, annual prizes and sound equipment through our cooperated manufacturer below market price; we entertain our clients at an ordinary restaurant, instead of luxury style, which is highly recognized by our clients.
The reason why we manage our company in a thrifty way is that we cherish money earned by every staff and we make every penny cost, with a respect to their arduous effort. Our management must insist the principle of thrifty when approving expense plans. Only by making utmost use of money can our group grow steadily and further.
The key point to manage company thriftily is to regard company as our own home. Managers compare every quotation to find the most suitable and cheapest ones, considering using their own money, when launching programs, purchasing goods and negotiating contracts. If each payment is accurately used, the cost of manage a company is cut by half.
No good deed is too small and we keep thrifty through trifles. For example, our stuff turn off lights after leaving when there is no people there; we recycle the printed paper and avoid to take lift between two or three floors so as to safe electricity.
4. Internal Promotion Provides Bright Future
The prime minister starts from the state department, while a valiant general suffers from a plain solider. Since its foundation, Sellers Group sticks to the internal promotion and form a high-level employment mechanism. According to statistics, a total of 31 directors and vice directors are gradually promoted from grassroots and group’s higher managers work from an ordinary salesman.
Our core concept of Human Resources aims at internal employees to ensure that everyone display their talent and fulfill their value. There are two promotions in the middle and end of year when well-performed and highly-recognized stuff can get a promotion chance by stating their career achievement. Many outstanding performed employees have improved year after year, developed rapidly and realized the transition from an ordinary staff to a leader in the international market. In the internal promotion process, Group has always adhered to personal ability and actual performance, in regardless of Guanxi, education qualifications and seniority. Performance is the main guidance in our group. No matter whether you are new staff, where you come from, whether you have back up in the managers and whether you graduate from higher colleges, you can get promoted as long as you work hard in your own post and perform well enough.-¬¬¬ Meanwhile, once promoted to higher post, we value business skills and leadership ability as well as individual morals. Only being loyal to our company with higher responsibility can be a higher manager in the long-term.
It is sure that a long period of self-enclosed state is not conducive to the healthy development in the future, so that we bring in high-end talents which fit our corporate culture and make up of human resources. Group will remain compatible and cautious attitude to bring in external talents for our own benefits.
5. Fulfill Entrepreneurial Dreams
Sellers Group is committed to creating a platform for all staff to contribute to group’s development, and Patrick Xu doesn’t regard as group as his own property and he is always generous and open-minded to establish sub-platform for every internal excellent employees to achieve personal ambitions
Group encourages internal entrepreneurship, being the first one to launch subsidiaries isolating from headquarter and offer excellent employees equity incentives to share the profits. Market Union, as the first subsidiary, was set up in the year of 2003, which opened the prelude of entrepreneurship within the group, and then successively went to Global Union, Union Source and Union Chance. This method not only lights up general manager’s desire to run a company but also realizes win-win situation of enterprises and individual, like Yihu Tang, Charley Chen and Vinson Qian. What’s more, Market Union isolated from headquarter and run as an independent company in 2010 and it had become an influential trading company in Ningbo. Union Source and Union Chance have their own subsidiaries, Union Vision and Union Deal respectively, indicating that intra-group enters into the 3.0 era.
In the course of the implementation of the subsidiary mode, our group respects shareholders' equity and adheres to the equity of different shareholders. When subsidiaries modify the structure of equity and implement equity incentives, group will not damage the interests of minority shareholders by using the controlling position, and group will definitely protect minority interests so that employees share entrepreneurial achievements at ease.
6. Value Frontline Post From Grass-Root
Market is a battlefield, while the grass-root is the frontline, determining the situation of one enterprise. If the frontline is not strong enough to implement develop strategies and tactics, no matter how brilliant they are, it is certain that results are not satisfactory. Sellers Union always attaches great importance on the grass-root post and spares no effort on creating favorable working and developing environment for them.
Our group puts great value on training the new grass-root employees, who will be accompanied by an instructor to get familiar with work environment and job specification, with a purpose to helping them adapt to the new post as soon as possible. Taking Union Source and Union Vision as examples, they emphasize the relation between an instructor and a new stuff as teacher and student by organizing “Spring Silkworms Action” and apprentice ceremonies, and the practiced and experienced older employees assume teachers’ responsibilities of imparting purchasing, sale skills and business process and assisting the new to develop rapidly. As we know, an exhibition is an important channel to contact with foreign customers and obtain export orders, and it requires participants with a wealth of product knowledge and superb business negotiation skills to achieve successful turnover. Many corporations only assign experienced sales to attend exhibitions in consideration of generally higher exhibition fees, and by contrast, even new employees in our group can be given opportunities to participate into exhibition at home and abroad annually. In addition, we value the achievement gained by the outstanding new employees who become our stuff officially over six months, by the means of setting up “Rising Star Award” to them in the year of 2014.
In the grass-root post, purchasers and sales are more than important among the frontline. Our group adheres to business first, and all the other departments, like human resources, financing, administration, warehouse logistics and other logistic dept, constantly improve logistical work and advance logistics service quality to serve for business.
7. Integrity, Justice, Rightness
Sellers Union attaches great importance on self-discipline of being rightness people and doing the right
In a perspective of business, our group connects with several thousands of clients at abroad and ten thousands of suppliers at home. Our purchasers and sales cooperate with them every day and conclude a large amount of transactions. Integrity is the core rule for them. In the course of contacting with clients, sales should count on our outstanding service to obtain their trust and long term relationship, and forbidden to bride clients’ representatives or any other ways to maintain business relations, and reject representatives’ unfair claim in a polite way, because we believe improper cooperation will not last long, and we value our cooperation relationship on the basis of normal commercial. When negotiating with suppliers, purchasers have a right to choose a supplier so that they are regarded as “God of Wealth” by suppliers, which makes it necessary for purchasers to stick to professional ethics and resist from bribery. In terms of interior department, the logistics staff are bribing targets for many suppliers and partners, like banks, advertising companies, express companies, hotels, car rental companies and so on, and related personnel should be rightness on purchasing without injustice and bias, turning down any forms of bribery and always putting our company profits in the first place.
Definitely, integrity is not only reflected in foreign relations, but also in colleague relationship. We stick to maintain the simple and pure relationship without any grade and intrigue, in a harmonious and relaxing work environment.
8. Concentrate On International Trade And Develop On a Stable Way
Since its establishment, our group has concentrated on international trade, consistently strengthens our core competitiveness and wholeheartedly provides worldwide customers with outstanding trading services.
Concentration is a constant force. A few years ago, real estate market and stock market became extremely hot that many enterprises couldn’t withstand the temptation of casting away their previous business and involving into, and some were especially into new business field for business transformation and investment diversification. In the contrast, we kept calm and wholeheartedly concentrated on trading business as usual, regardless of current trend to plunge into unfamiliar business. However, many enterprises suffered from periodical modification in real estate and ups and downs in stock market and they struggled to operate, while our group had maintained a stable and health development in those years. Stability is to control our own development pace which is judged by internal enterprise efficiency and long-term profitability, not by surface data and scale. Due to the export downturn in China, local governments have introduced policies to encourage foreign trade enterprises to expand and many companies make full use of this opportunity to forge export data, but we develop in accordance with the fixed plan and move forward step by step. In the recent years, our group’s export growth is likely to lag behind some peers, but foreign trade efficiency and core competitiveness are superior to others.
Certainly, concentration doesn’t mean singleness, while stability conservation. Recently, our group has regarded exporting as core business, and gradually extended the service chain, like cross-border E-commerce, international logistics, trading comprehensive service platform, Sellers Online, trading loan transaction, tourism, customs clearing and translation service, which all contributes to build trading ecosystem and promote development and long-term value. We will continue to focus on trading not only in exports but also in imports, extend foreign trade service chain, constantly improve the ecosystem of foreign trade, and strive to build the world's leading and professional multinational trade group.
9. Collective Decision-Making
Sellers Group is a completely private-operated enterprise. When it comes to this kind of enterprise, it is easy to think of the family management and boss-despotism. However, our group always sticks to promote the collective decision-making mechanism, consider the views and demands of all parties pursue normative, scientific and operative decisions and also form many effective ways.
Before the year of 2015, our group implemented the Board decision-making system, which was consisted of a group of executives and deputy or general directors from subsidiary companies to makes discussion, decisions and deploy through quarterly-hold meetings. So as to collect further brainstorming, our group established a decision-making committee instead of the Board, which includes more subsidiaries, directors and other business executives so that the group decision-making is more authentic, more representative, and more reasonable. The decision-making committee organizes meetings monthly on a regular basis to study the Group's operating priorities, and make decisions. Apart from the meeting, everyone from committee is ready to discuss important business issues and implement the consensus through the Wechat and QQ group.
Collective decision-making varies in subsidiaries (sectors) level. Subsidiaries have set up the board and held meetings every six months to discuss urgent issues and make decision, and every sector discuss and make the consensus through monthly or weekly meetings. Social networking, like Wechat and QQ is the important channel for everyone to express their views and participate in decision-making.
10. Be An Open And Transparent Public Enterprise
Our group is a relatively open-minded enterprise which surpasses ordinary listed enterprises on the level of information disclosure in many respects.
We have contributed a lot to constructing information dissemination channels to the public and have composed of a channel system with a monthly newspaper (Chinese and English versions), quarterly publication, micro-channel public number, and website among which is the headquarter to public our group and can make the viewers be our friends without visiting, owing to its clear structure, comprehensive information and timely update; Chinese monthly newspaper is for suppliers, while English version "MONTHLY EXPRESS" for foreign clients, monthly releasing hot-seller products, successful collaboration cases, our important events and development situation; quarterly "Sellers Group Magazine” concludes and shares our develop experiences in the higher and superior level; Wechat issues valuable information every day. All these multi-channels smooth our communication further. In addition, we are willing to communicate and share with peers face to face and visit other companies to overcome our own shortcomings by learning from other advantages.
The transparency of information goes deep in the internal structure. As a member of our company, our employees deserve more dynamic and comprehensive news. Apart from the abovementioned magazines, they can keep records of the current performance and efficiency in a mall department from one subsidiary via per monthly and quarterly meeting, and learn from the excellent colleagues in the aspects of serving the previous clients, developing new clients and new products from cross-department intercommunications. Acquaintance results in trust. The more transparency of our group and information, the better our staff will understand our group, customers and suppliers and the better our peers can acknowledge us.
11. Green Enterprise
Green Enterprise refers to company who takes sustainable development as its own responsibility and absorbs social responsibility and environmental protection into the process of management. Since our establishment, we always aim at being a green enterprise, and take sustainable development as our main strategy to contribute to the whole society.
We have been enthusiastically participated into all kinds of social charities. From 2004 to 2014, we have held scholarship-granted activities for more than ten times to assist the poor students to complete the study. “Sellers Charity Benevolent Fund” was set up with 6 million in 2011, and 1.5 million has been donated up to now in building school in Guizhou Province and subsidizing cataract patients to regain their sight. We have organized “Clothes Plus Clothes” donation activities in four successive years, from 2011 to 2014; The first charity fund caring for families who lost their only kid was set up as “Seller Qingfeng Fund” in the beginning of 2015, and we cooperated with the family planning association in Jiangdong District to assist these families. In September 2015, one million was donated to Education Fund in Beijing Foreign Studies University exclusively for establishing research institute for Ningbo Silk road. It is calculated that more than 10million was donated in the form of money and material totally. Influenced by our charity concept, more and more employees donate blood and money to the earthquake-stricken area, comfort ordinary sanitation workers in the hot summer, and visit the nursing home for the elder.
As a green enterprise, while returning to the society and being a warm enterprise, we grasp every chance to become a good partner with the nature. September 2014, our group initiated “Warm Breeze” activity which gathered our staff and other partners to pick up trash at weekend and kept the field clean, with a aim at promoting the concept of environmental health. This activity had been widely praised and more than 20 enterprises (communities) calculated about 300 people participated in “Warm Breeze”.
Definitely, Green enterprise is not confined to assume responsibility for society, but to the enterprise itself. In addition to surpass the industry in employee compensation and benefits, we strongly advocate the concept of solidarity. We set up mutual fund within our company named “Charity Fund” in 2014, donated from every staff, 10yuan per month, especially for assisting poor employees under major accidents. Several employees have received our immediate assistance since now, calculated about 100,000 Yuan.
12. Innovation Leads Development
Innovation is our motivation to establish a competitive advantage and continuous development, which is our main key to develop from a small one to a large group and to achieve a leading position in the fierce competition in the international market.
Employee turnover and small-run business is a common problem in foreign trade in Ningbo, and a number of foreign companies joke themselves as “Huangpu Military Academy” due to the frequent employee turnover. Our group was bold to abandon the prevailing business unit and branch operating mode and initiate to set up subsidiary and execute stock incentive, which was a win-win method for not only offering a great platform to achieve personal values, but also retaining personnel, which laid a solid foundation for rapid development and made a new breakthrough in the development of foreign trade enterprises in Ningbo. Accordingly, we introduce a new-branded operational mechanism that our group doesn’t intervene in daily business affairs in subsidiaries with an aim at inspiring to expand. As a result, Union Vision and Union Chance respectively stem from Union Source and Global Union. Business model and mechanism innovation make a small business to quickly come to the forefront in Zhejiang Foreign Trade.
It is acknowledged that innovation is not equal to success and there still exists some uncertain situation. The more opportunity, the more risk we will have. We believe that innovation leads development and hold an optimistic attitude to face the risks and not take any adventure. Recently, to meet the trade development needs, our group have invested in foreign trade service platform, cross-border e-commerce, international logistics, tourism and other new formats, we also plan to explore the cross-border e-commerce， customs brokers, trade supply chain finance, Angel investment and so on. Every new business layout is settled down after basic pilots, trials and errors and keeping small steps to promote innovation strategy, strive to grasp every foreign trade development opportunities, but also to avoid a risk from new project and steadily forward.
Meanwhile, we also encourage all subsidiaries, departments and staff in their business areas and jobs eclectic to think from the fixed, optimize work process, improve performance and achieve and make breakthrough. We collect “golden ideas” from all staff with a purpose to create a good atmosphere full of innovation and part of "Golden Ideas" have been adopted and received good results.
13. Be Low-Key And Pragmatic
“Be low-key and pragmatic” is a traditional label of businessmen, and it embodies from Sellers Union Group who evolutes from the local business. As a fully market-oriented foreign trade enterprise, we believe in the interval strength to win in the fierce competition in the international market, rather than valueless social reputation. Especially in the severe situation, we should put their energy on strengthening market development and internal management, rather than the pursuit of meaningless rankings and fame. Therefore, we keep a low key to all these kinds of rankings and awards which many enterprises are keen on, especially not scientific and authoritative assessment. Indeed, it is much more valuable to put more energy to the more important matter than meaningless ranking.
At the same time, low-key and pragmatic attitude also reflect in the foreign exchanges, maintaining humility to learn from other enterprises, although we rank in the first place in the international business. We still hold a very open-minded attitude to discover, to learn, to digest new markets, good idea and new practical management to light up our future.
Definitely, low key attitude does not mean closure. We lay a great emphasis on information disclosure of companies, for that we are equipped with professionals to create their own websites and publish news in website, our own magazine, and wechat timely and accurately sending out business operation developments and maintaining an active and effective information interaction with the outside. However, we really pay less attention to communicate with other public media like newspapers, magazines and websites. Although the public media spread widely and firstly with effective influence, their news often exaggerate and distort the facts in particular phenomenon, and therefore we generally does not take the initiative to seek newspaper publicity, and often refuse the interviews from the mainstream media.
14. Asset Light Strategy
We always adhere to asset light strategy model. We rent two offices for more than 500 people each in Ningbo and Yiwu, and tens of thousands of square meters of the warehouse is rented for logistics although our annual exports is nearly $ 600 million. This strategy save much investment in office, factories and machinery and give much flexibility for enterprise operation.
China's manufacturing industry is generally facing rising costs, labor shortages, fund shortage, lack of innovation and transformation in recent years. Many factories have difficulties to operate and some have gone bankrupt. We refuse to set up factory and we stick to concentrate energy and money on integrated service in foreign trade. Although we don’t have own factory, we share a stable and huge network of cooperative factories, more than 3,000 core suppliers, which are our readily available supply base. What’s more, China's property market is on the downturn, especially in the commercial real estate, and office rental costs are far less than the cost of ownership. The money we save from the ownership can be the cash flow to back up the business operation.
In fact, from the physical form of view, we really are a fully-fledged asset-light business, but another perspective, we actually also a very significant asset-heavy companies, talent is our most important asset. Group has more than nearly a thousand college educated white-collar workers, with a strong expertise in export, procurement, design, human resources, accounting, logistics and other fields, the Group invested a lot of money each year for staff training in job skills and overall quality, business mostly backbone enterprise culture and grow up, personnel strong cohesion, which is a professional and leading, comprehensive quality, competitive team very prominent, but also the core assets of the Group.
15. Harmonious Business
Harmony to make wealth is the essence of Chinese traditional business culture, and is also a culture source of Sellers Union Group business. We believe that only in harmony with the opponent can we maintain a healthy market.
We treat suppliers and clients as long-term partners rather than spot trading partners, and everyone trust each other and promote mutual benefits and development. Taking suppliers as an example, we adhere to the contract, keep promises, and pay on time. Regular supplier communication and product promotion are opened. We invite them collectively to visit our company and have a face-face communication with purchasers to solve problems and promote product to help them better integrate into our foreign trade supply chain. As a return, the supplier’s competitive sourcing and efficient cooperation lay a solid foundation for us to expand the international market.
Market is a multi-win situation. We have partners, as well as competitors. Therefore, we always compete in a normal and healthy method, never using particularly low price to disturb the market, and we focus on upgrading price, quality and service to enhance the comprehensive competitiveness. Better fame will attract many clients from all over the world.
Of course, competition among enterprises is not only in the products and services, but also in talented staff. We value training talented staff by our scientific method, like” Sellers Class”, not relying on introducing from other companies. We implement “Teacher and student assist group” and promote a culture of learning to aid them to grow faster and better. Moreover, we take a biannual promotion mechanism, and implement stock incentive system, all contributing to provide wider and longer outstanding business platform. We believe that only enterprise and staff companies in harmony with people can our enterprise achieve sustainable development.
16. Market Oriented
Foreign trade enterprises face to the international market, which requires companies to follow the international market rules and act according to market economy rules. Thus, during the transition process of all the industries from a planned economy to a market economy, foreign trade is the first and completed market-oriented industry. As a foreign trade company, in the beginning Sellers Union Group was fully market-oriented, regarded foreign customers’ demand as the goal, and started export business in accordance with internationally accepted rules. That means, our group is established for the market, live for the market and staring at the market. That is because market is what we rely on for a living.
China's foreign trade market has gone from a state monopoly to full liberalization process. Many foreign trade companies are restructured from state-owned enterprises. Thus, some companies still have state-owned shares and most of them are decoupled from the state capital, but more or less they remain previous foreign trade resources before the restructuring, such as import and export quotas and Canton Fair booths, etc. As a native private enterprise with no state-owned background or any available innate resources, our group was forced to look for resources from the market. Finally we found out a way on our own and a development path depends on the market. We have been very fortunate. Though our group is a private company without any resources, highly market-oriented foreign trade environment development provided a sustainable business platform to us who did our own efforts to reach success.
Pure market-oriented lineage also decides that we have no natural connection with government, which can maintain an appropriate distance from the so-called politics. We respect the government, but we believe the power of market more firmly. We have carefully run our own business, but we are not good at run relationship, but also not good at disdain for special policies and resources via illegal means such as bribery and benefit transportation. These are neither long-term operation plan for company nor development way for company survival. We have been accustomed to solve the problem and promote enterprise development through the market approach. We always believe that market-oriented companies are the healthiest companies.
17. Front-Line Staff To Make Decisions
There are ten thousands of export companies in Ningbo. The most of them are small and medium foreign companies. Each company are with not so many customers and the bosses grew from salesman. After their entrepreneurship, they played the role as both the boss and salesmen. They directly control over contacting customers, orders, procurement, shipment and other key aspects. Every department acts according to instructions from bosses. Bosses provide service for the customers and departments provide service for bosses. In Sellers Union Group, the bosses do not directly control the salesmen and the company is just a platform. On the platform, each department is independent. Relying on enterprise resource, they are responsible for each customer and provide customers the whole process foreign trade services.
These independent business departments are units which are deployed on the front line of the market. They no longer act after reporting to leaders, but directly face to customers.
In compliance with the overall strategy and after full consideration of market competition situation, the customers’ requirement and product cost and other factors, each department makes its own program of work and adopts flexible pricing and service strategies.
We believe that the market is like a battlefield. Let people in front line make decisions and give front-line business team initiative. That can be closer to the market reality, make the best choice, and provide better service to customers.
These independent business departments are not only front-line decision-making centers but also relatively independent profit center. Each decision is closely related to internal interests. Of course, their each decision should be responsible for the results. Those departments with high level of service, strong market competitiveness and large-scale business can be upgraded to a subsidiary with independent accounting and greater decision-making power. On the platform of these subsidiaries, new business departments will grow up. These departments will continue become bigger and stronger and upgrade into new subsidiaries. So far from establishment of the group, Union Source was independent from Sellers Union and Union Vision was independent from Union Source. That is our best example.
18. Internal Competition And Common Prosperity
Other people are curious that as all the subsidiaries from Sellers Union Group are daily merchandises export oriented companies, facing the same market, is there intense business conflict with each other and how is the group to coordinate the conflict that may exist between subsidiaries. This is indeed a problem, but fortunately we found the way market-oriented rather than administrative problem-solving. That is competing and common prosperity.
Facing the same market, competition is inevitable. Competition can stimulate viability and rejecting competition is suicide. Of course, we will not use the "visible hand" to coordinate the competition or even weaken competition, because it will decline our group's overall competitiveness. At the meanwhile, under the control of same group, there will be no disorderly competition between the subsidiaries. Therefore, the difference is the main theme to coordinate the competition between subsidiaries. In the self exporting aspect, although all the subsidiaries’ main products are daily merchandise, but each subsidiary’s products are different. Each subsidiary develops competitive products according to their judgment of the market rather than the group unified plan. For example, Union Chance is committed to develop storage products, Global Union is actively developing outdoor products and Sellers Union is taking their efforts in develop clothing accessories and sporting products. When these professional products are combined, it also greatly enhances our group’s overall products advantages. In customer choice, Union Source implemented tactical of big customer while Sellers Union developed all types of customers. Both of them achieved great results. In integrated foreign trade, some subsidiary focused on export agency for mining suppliers and some focused on export agency for factories who didn’t cooperate before. Competitive differentiation created a ecological and healthy development pattern for the group.
Of course, the subsidiaries are brother companies, so competition is not the only theme. Each subsidiaries pay attention to cooperation better than competition.
We built a product display center and shared over 20 categories including more than 100,000 series and tens of thousands of best selling products. And the newly established “Sellers Union Online” internet platform will gather 10,000 suppliers 500,000 kinds of products and will open to all the subsidiaries. We built a warehouse and logistics center and shared 20,000 m2 logistics resources. We share integrated service platform including design, customs, logistics and rebates and financing to explore trade supply chain together. The group discussed with banks for subsidiaries to get more credit as while as negotiated with CITIC to reach agreement of cooperation. We attended in the Canton Fair together, fully demonstrated daily merchandise export leader image. Practice has approved that cooperation enhances overall competitiveness of the whole group.
19. Service Drives Enterprise Development
From exports millions of dollars in 1997 to nearly $ 600 million today, from pure self-export to the current foreign trade supply chain and overall service model, Sellers Union Group grew into a leading merchandise export enterprises from a small company. From its development, we can easily find out that customer’s demand and our pursuit to provide perfect service to customers drove our development.
Our business firstly started in export of shower curtains and other household items. We purchased from factories and sold to customers overseas. The trade process was simple and straightforward. When we found merchandise was popular in international market, we quickly expanded to all categories of consumer products. When customers felt it is too tired to visit the factories and the market as well as Canton Fair is only twice a year, we built large sample exhibition center. In the exhibition center, we selected thousands of best selling products and provided one-stop purchasing service to customers so that could avoid running around and burden of bargaining. It was welcomed by customers. When we found Yiwu market is the largest distribution center for consumer goods and a large number of customers purchased there, we immediately set up an office in Yiwu. The office created "through-train" mode from the market to customers’ doorstep including purchasing from the market, distribution declaration and international logistics service. It quickly earned us the reputation of the industry. Customers were attracted by our reputation. At the meanwhile, the business scale was expanded. Thus, a small office grew into a leading trade company in Yiwu soon. When our customers became more and more, especially emerging of big supermarkets customers, providing customers with packing, hangtags and cards which are suitable for foreign market sales became a new service standard. Union Vision even set up a industrial design team to specifically provide design service including function and appearance of new products. With the rapid growth of export amount, our group handled annual container traffic nearly 20,000 TEUs, thus Port to Port logistic company was established. It is committed to providing high-quality and efficient customs clearance and international logistics services for our customers.
In May 2015, as the first travel agency invested and set up by Ningbo foreign trade enterprises, UTour provides business travel, tourism and other service to customers. It is development direction and emphasis of Utour.
Customer demand-oriented, attention to service innovation, from product design, purchasing and ordering from market (factories) orders to distribution declaration, international logistics, tax services and even business trips, tourism and other services, we continue to extend the service chain, develop new areas of business and build an integrated services ecosystem with core competitive advantage of foreign trade. It is the secret driving the growth of Sellers Union Group.
20. Always Maintain a Strong Sense Of Crisis
One fades in peace , survives in sorrow. In the fierce market competition, complicated and dangerous situations may occur at any time. Only when continuous maintaining full sense of crisis and an orderly state can enterprises withstand wind and waves. So far from the establishment of our group, we have maintained a strong sense of crisis. A sense of crisis was deeply remembered in heart.
Although in recent years our group's business scale and operational efficiency maintain a rapid growth, we have not slowed down and left a moment to enjoy the joy of success. We still explore new business with highly enthusiasm. We still requirement all employees to do higher performance and stimulate a strong sense of competition. We do not have the slightest complacency and busy publicizing successful experiences. We never stop thinking about the future of the market risk, the huge impact of sharp fluctuations in domestic and international economic situation, suddenly changes of foreign trade environment and sudden appearance of new competitors. We have never stopped thinking about the dynamic competitiveness of enterprises, if there any needs to quickly make up for the short board competition or continue to strengthen and enhance the core competitive advantage in the rapidly changing of environment. We never stopped thinking if we have grasped the latest market trends and placed at the forefront of change in the business model and if we are leading enterprise in the trend of business.
The sense of crisis forces us to concentrate on import and export of consumer goods, focus on enhancing the core competitiveness of the main industry and strengthen its core competitive advantage. The sense of crisis forces us to reject confusion by several of investment projects. It also avoids us to be indecisive by rich mythology and blinded by cross-border investment and multi-operation. It forces us to extend investment projects which are helpful to the main industry, enhance supply chain and build a strong overall trade service ecosystem.
The development of enterprises is like this way, so do personal development. Without sense of crisis, enterprises will eventually be overwhelmed by ongoing times. Without sense of crisis, personal will eventually be eliminated by steadily forwarding enterprises.