丝路员工成长记③ | 南非海外仓花甲销售阿米莉亚·丹尼斯·博思玛 & 电瓷小将披荆斩棘者张冰来源：中材国际南非、中材电瓷 特约运维员 李若彤 发布时间：2023-10-18
近5年来，南非公司的业绩连续实现爆发式增长，从几百万、上千万、一个亿到超过10个亿，南非海外仓完美地诠释了什么是“从无到有，从有到优，从优到精”。而阿米莉亚的2022 年个人销售业绩也达到 2.49 亿兰特（约为 0.9 亿元人民币），为公司超额完成业绩目标做出了重要贡献。
A Sales Manager in Her 60s
Amelia Denise Bothma
Joined CNBM in 2019
Sales Manager of China National Building Materials International South Africa Company
In order to implement President Xi Jinping's high-quality development plan on promoting the joint construction of the "Belt and Road", and center on the international strategic layout of CNBM,the Group began to explore the development of overseas warehouse models in South Africa in 2018 and the overseas warehouse in Johannesburg, South Africa was officially opened In January 2019.
In the initial stage of the development of the South African Company, both the funds and personnel were very tight. Problems such as channels for product procurement and sales had not been opened, the shortage of customers, the lack of market experience, the instability of social security,and the unsuitable living environment and other difficulties followed one after another. The Company urgently needed a local employee who was familiar with the local market and had comprehensive business capabilities to kick start projects. And this was when Amelia Denise Bothma joined the team.
Amelia, who was born in 1961, was nearly 60 years old when she joined the company. In China, this is the age of retirement, but Amelia is full of passion every day and devotes herself to her work.
At the beginning of the South African Company's start-up, the manpower was very tight, and each person took on several roles in sales and procurement, not only in front-end customs clearance but also in product storage. She is meticulous and responsible in her work, and the company entrusted her with the management of sales documents. She processed, archived and managed hundreds of pages of sales documents every day with zero mistakes. To effectively carry out warehouse inventory, after getting off work every day, Amelia took a few young people to work overtime to sort out the goods, update the inventory ledger, and clear the account book every day. Amelia is the head of the company, and her high sense of responsibility also affects other local employees. Under her training, the warehouse team is becoming stronger and stronger, overcoming difficulties and seizing the big market in South Africa.
The epidemic that began in 2020 was both an opportunity and a challenge. It is precisely because of the epidemic that many local competitors in South Africa could not work, and domestic competitive factories could not visit customers in South Africa.At this time, the South African team took advantage of the strong supply chain resources to prepare a complete range of products and successively introduced off-grid inverters, lead-acid batteries,and other products to ensure sufficient supply,successfully developing many high-quality and stable customers, and continuously increased market influence as well as the Company’s market share.
Over the past five years, the performance of South African Company has continuously achieved explosive growth, from a few million, tens of millions,and 100 million to more than 1 billion. It has been a journey from excellent to outstanding! And Amelia's personal sales performance in 2022 also reached 249 million rands (approximately 90 million yuan),which had made an important contribution to the Company's exceeding performance goals.
At present, the overseas warehouse in South Africa has established a "1+3" market layout covering 30 thousand square meters, with Johannesburg as the headquarters and Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth as the sub-warehouses. The new energy production chain provides distribution and service,and provides customers with localized after-sales service, forming a development pattern centered on South Africa and radiating to neighboring countries such as Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, and Namibia.
In the process of operating an overseas company,the development of local employees is verymimportant. The local employees are usually more familiar with the local working methods, and there is no cultural barrier, so many problems can be easily solved. Therefore, the Company has continuously increased its efforts in the construction of local talent teams, attracting and cultivating local high-quality talents.
In the initial stage of the South African Company,due to the shortage of localized employees, Amelia recommended her daughter, Shannon Leigh Kate,to the company. After a rigorous assessment,Shannon officially joined the South African team in February 2020 as an administrator. After entering the Company, Shannon also inherited her mother's serious, responsible, dedicated, and loyal character.She never complains or shirks at work. She is also down-to-earth, and always finds ways to solve difficulties, which is fully recognized by everyone.
The team has continued to grow with the continuous expansion of the Company's evergrowing scale.At present, the South African team has a total of 145 employees, including 127 local employees,accounting for 87% of the total personnel.
Nowadays, the "Belt and Road" Initiative has reached a critical stage of deep cultivation and meticulous craftsmanship. Overseas warehouses have gradually become a new station for Chinese manufacturing to go global, and a bridge of friendship that connects different economies and cultures. Under the localization strategy, Amelia relies on a dedicated spirit and always prioritizes the Company's interests. Through continuous efforts and practice, she enhances her own advantages,tightens the connection with the company, and integrates into the tide of economic globalization,walking out a mutually beneficial and win-win path.
Porcelain Pioneer and His Journey Overseas
Joined CNBM in 2018
Salesman in the International Trade Department of SINOMA Electric Porcelain
Overseas markets such as North America,South America, and Europe are major markets for SINOMA Insulator and Electricity Co., Ltd (referred to as "SINOMA Insulator" hereafter). Its leading product, extra-high voltage porcelain post insulators, accounts for over 30% of the company's market share. Since 2018, Zhang Bing,as a member of SINOMA Insulator's International Business Department, has been dedicated to the development of the overseas market for extra-high voltage insulators in Canada. He has been working to establish a positive image for the company and the country.
M Company is located in Sherbrooke , a predominantly French-speaking town in the province of Quebec, Canada. It is the largest company in the industrial area. The procurement manager of the company is the person Zhang Bing has been trying to connect with after several attempts. He is an elderly Vietnamese immigrant who settled in the town early on. Zhang Bing has made multiple requests to meet and establish contact with him,but he always found various excuses to avoid it.However, Zhang Bing did not feel discouraged and never gave up on this potential customer.
Zhang Bing came up with an apparently unrelated but convenient way to approach him. There was a Vietnamese noodle shop in town, the only Vietnamese restaurant in the small town. He speculated that "homeland cuisine" would be the best embodiment of homesickness for every foreigner. So Zhang Bing started his "waiting" plan.After waiting for a whole month, he finally spotted the procurement manager at the noodle shop. In that moment, Zhang Bing couldn't describe the excitement and thrill with words. He knew that the opportunity had come.
When the procurement manager was waiting for his food, Zhang Bing took the initiative to greet him. At first, he seemed somewhat wary, but Zhang Bing did not retreat. Instead, he maintained a friendly and approachable attitude, engaging in casual conversations and gradually shifting the topic towards work. He inquired about the procurement manager's views on Chinese suppliers. However,during the course of their conversation, Zhang Bing noticed his clear biases and prejudices against Chinese manufacturing. Zhang Bing decided to change his strategy and refrained from discussing SINOMA Insulator's products.Instead, he introduced the current state of Chinese manufacturing, highlighting the tremendous achievements China has made in the manufacturing industry in recent years and the government's high-quality development strategy.
In the following days, Zhang Bing started receiving calls from the procurement manager, inquiring about the details of SINOMA Insulator's products and requesting samples. Each time, Zhang Bing patiently answered his questions and explained the advantages and features of SINOMA Insulator's products. The more conversations were made,the more evident that the procurement manager's confidence in Chinese manufacturers was growing. After several months of effort, Zhang Bing successfully secured the first order from him. Today,SINOMA Insulator has become a major supplier for M Company.
“The most profound realization over the years has been that, in addition to SINOMA Insulator and Electricity Co., Ltd.'s product updates and iterations to improve competitiveness, adopting localized sales strategies and challenging Western perceptions of China are the key to achieving success in overseas markets.”, Zhang Bing says.
On one hand, innovative thinking and methods in sales are crucial for expanding into foreign markets. It is important not only to understand and familiarize oneself with the consumer demands and habits of the target market, but also to actively seek and create opportunities while establishing and maintaining good customer relationships. On the other hand, despite the remarkable achievements of China's manufacturing industry in the past few decades, some overseas countries still hold outdated perceptions of Chinese manufacturing,which not only limit the development of China's manufacturing industry in overseas markets but also affect the image of Chinese brands. Zhang Bing deeply feels the need to proactively tell the story of China’s economic development and the Chinese people's struggle to achieve their dreams, presenting the true strength of China's manufacturing industry which is the premise and foundation for establishing good communication.
Since 2016, SINOMA Insulator has experienced rapid development, with total revenue increasing by 120% by the end of 2022. The proportion of direct and indirect exports has increased from 24% to 48%. The revenue target for 2023 has increased by 200% compared to 2016 and has already achieved over half of the target by mid-year. These impressive achievements would not have been possible without the efforts of every SINOMA Insulator employee.
Zhang Bing said that "Only through practical
innovation can we achieve long-term success, and only through diligent efforts can we create a better future. I will continue to 'tell the story of China' and share the story of SINOMA Insulator's products and services. I will strive to bring tangible value and impact to the global power industry and contribute to the overseas development of China Building Materials Group."