When Hi-tech Meets Low-tech

Recently, I’m working on a project to help a Chinese tissue culture company to break into U.S. market. Something totally different from my past supply chain experience,  but it’s quite an exciting experience for me to visit trade shows across the country to learn a new market and its customers.

I’m first of all surprised to see that nursery industry is a little bit “low-tech”  comparing to all those industries I have been worked with. I would think that U.S. has far more advanced in bio tech than China, but I was constantly told in the trade show that “tissue culture is too high tech to us.” Then I realized that many of the target customers, the growers, don’t provide emails in their business cards. I know emailing is my bad habit, but it surprised me that many are quite resistant to new way of communication when I live in the era of smartphone, Twitter and Facebook. Perhaps nursery industry is quite different from others so I need to adjust, or I should not consider those, who resist e-communication or social media, as the target customer because the tissue culture will be too high tech for them. Oh well.I might be too new for this industry to make comment, but I feel the frustration of when hi-tech meets low-tech.

One more thing blows out my mind is when Sales of some companies told me that: I’m Sales, not procurement (so, don’t talk to me). OK, then it’s not right, not only because of their impolite attitude. So, Sales don’t communicate to Procurement regarding using new product or adapting new technology? So, Sales never discusses with Procurement regarding what they’re looking for to be competitive in the market? So, Procurement will make their purchasing decision and Sales will try to sell whatever the Procurement develop? It seems that lacking of communication among “supply” and “demand” can be a huge potential issue for those companies, which indicates that they won’t be an ideal business partner as well.

Technology and communication are two essential components for a business to stay competitive; otherwise, newbies will soon catch up and get the lagged one out of the market.

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