Story of Yang Yijun, the Head of Jiangnan

Like many chiefs of factories and managers, Yang Yijun is smart, capable and honest. A few days ago, I had an interview with this 40-year-old head of factory on the occasion of his visit with customer in Beijing.

He is very talkative and talks about everything. Whatever we talk about, he will lead the topic to his favorite—-product and market.

I had already heard of him and his product before the interview. Yang Yijun combined all the advantages of domestic and foreign pharmaceutical packaging machinery, and invented “Jianghua” DGB-250 multi-functional roll plate automatic Blister Packing Machine after 5-year hard work, which combines roller and plate (its synchronizing mechanism won national patent), with the characteristics of indentation and “close-end” automatic intaglio foil printing. The function is better than the like products from foreign countries. The products have won popularity from many pharmaceutical enterprises and good reputation from the experts concerned so as to occupy the position in pharmaceutical machinery market.

Launched joint-stock system in the factory
I’ve also learned that a few years ago, Yang launched joint-stock system in the factory and push the company to the competition of commodity economy market. From 1990 to now, the company has show the sign that demand exceeds supply. The purchase contracts have been signed until next January. The achievement of the company that per capita output value reaches RMB 150 thousand has been made. The domestic counterparts think highly of their developing potential. However, when I traced back to his success and discovered his business expertise, I noticed that the secret of success is his different management competition strategy.

In the spring of 1985, Yang attended the National Pharmaceutical Machinery Order Fair in Wuhan. He noticed that the pharmaceutical enterprises in China faced the dilemma when they selected packaging machines: exported machines were expensive and didn’t accord with the reality of Chinese pharmaceutical enterprises. What’s worse, it is difficult to operate and repair them which were beyond the consideration of enterprises, especially medium-sized and small enterprises; while there were fewer packaging machinery manufacturers in China. The two types of machine, roller type and semi-automatic plate type on the market though had their own advantages but they were still in short of necessary function, that is to say that the products were not mature yet. Therefore, he continued to visit department concerned of State Medicine Administration, Shang Pharmaceutical Design Institute, Shanghai Chinese Medicine No.1 Factory and Shanghai Sine Pharmaceutical Factory. He learned that State Medicine Administration had decided to popularize pharmaceutical aluminum-plastic blister package. The aluminum-plastic blister packing industry in China was in the ascendant and boasted great prospect for development.

Yang seized opportunity and started to pursue his determined goal. Five years have gone by. In these five years, he has read much information and data, comprehensively analyzed many types of domestic and foreign machines, and designed and drew hundreds of blueprint. In October 1989, after countless experiments, the first prototype of DGB-250 multi-functional roller plate automatic Blister Packing Machine designed by him was released, with reference of imported Italian FA3 plate type machine and combination with roller type machine and printing machine. The product won big fame during National Autumn Pharmaceutical Machine Order Fair in Shanghai. The product was listed into Key Technological Development Project of Zhejiang Province in the next year.

In 1991, Yang made great achievement: the indentation function of the new Blister Packing Machine is able to cut medicinal board into several pieces, which is convenient for medical unit and patients; “close-end” intaglio printing equipment not only solve the pollution in the process of packaging, but also synchronously print with medicine package. This technology has made a breakthrough from the printing mode called “twinkle star” and is beyond the performance of foreign like products. They declared national patent; in July, this blister pack\ing machine passed provincial technical identification for new product, was listed into “Zhejiang Quality Goods” in autumn, and won the golden award of “3rd National New Products and Technologies Trade Fair” hosted by State hosted by State Scientific and Technological Commission.

However, anything unexpected may happen. When Yang was prepared to realize his great plan, he ran into a big problem. Five major employees said that they wanted to leave the company and started their own pharmaceutical machinery factories. After failed persuasion and urges, an idea struck him. It would be better for him to let them leave and foster some competitors rather than let them start infighting in the company.

“Foster competitors? Is it a joke?” I looked at him with confusion. Yang had his own insight view; “the market could not be monopolized. The development of new product does not mean the success of enterprise. Only should we keep improving and developing, we made the right choice.” He explained, “Competition definitely exists whether intentionally or not. There are at least two advantages for us to foster competitors: the first is that it is good to stimulate economy; the second is that we will be pushed to keep improving product quality and after-sale service. I offer them present drawing and technology. But we keep creating on the original basis to make the products perfect so that the competitors will always follow us. Is it a kind of counter-acting force?”

Unusual! Brave! Pioneering! Those are modern entrepreneur’s boldness and outlook of competition.

At the end of the interview, Mr. Yang introduced their blueprint for development: now they are enlarging their production scale and plan to move into the new factory. Moreover, a new type of Blister Packing Machine will be invented on the basis of imported machine. At that time, Jiangnan Packaging Machinery Factory will offer pharmaceutical enterprises more and better service.

(Excerpted from China Pharmaceutical News, October 25, 1992 Author: Tang Jun, reporter with China Pharmaceutical News)