Shanghai: Day Six

March 26, 2015

Today we had our last business meetings and our last long day of uncomfortable business attire (YAY). After another visit to the hotel breakfast buffet we headed out on a two hour bus ride to Suzhou. Once in Suzhou we went to the industrial park to meet with and tour the Benchmark electronics facilities. At the beginning of the meeting we were asked how flexible our timing was, to which we replied it was flexible, and they really took us seriously on that because our two hour visit turned into a 4+ hour visit. Luckily, it was really interesting. We had four different presenters talk about supply chains, Chinese culture, and Benchmark electronics. They utilize lean six sigma practices here, which was interesting to see because I am enrolled in a lean six sigma green belt course next quarter and had no idea what it would be about. Lean six sigma is about making the supply chain as efficient as possible.

After our meetings we had an arranged lunch provided by Benchmark (more Chinese food) and then we toured the facilities. They have 13 production lines and they rotate products on each line 4-5 times a day, so basically they’re pumping out a lot of product really fast!

We left Benchmark and then headed to Old Suzhou. Here we toured the gardens of Suzhou. Another old upper class Chinese residence filled with intricate mahogany carvings and a beautiful outdoor garden courtyard with a large pond. (Suzhou is also the home of our tour guide, Thomas.) After touring the garden we did a little bit of shopping and some more haggling. Haggling for goods is much more fun and I wish we did this in the united states. It is crazy how inexpensive nice items are here.

After shopping we went on another two hour bus ride back to the hotel. On the ride back it started to rain quite a bit. Once back a group of us went to dinner at a German Brauhaus down the street – a 10 minute walk in the rain. We had some delicious burgers and pasta as a nice break from all of the Chinese food we have been eating. You can only eat so much Chinese food and the food is much greasier here.

We then had a little break to relax before heading to the club Muse for hip hop night. It turns out it’s hard to get taxis in the rain! But we made it there and back alright.

I rolled my ankle a couple of days ago and today my hole foot swelled up and there is a lot of fluid sitting in the top of my foot now. It doesn’t hurt, but it is quite stiff and the fluid is really uncomfortable and gross feeling. I don’t know what caused this, but Benchmark was nice enough to give me a pair of the required worker shoes (trust me they’re super fly and they also happen to not conduct electricity which is an added bonus) and some ice.

Keep following along with my trip here and I will post pictures later!

xoxo J