Down on China? Not so fast

1.3 billion people. Or at least that’s the most widely believed figure representing the population of China. There are many who believe the number is actually 1.5 billion and growing. China’s GDP is back to 10% and thanks to the 2009 stimulus package there are tens of thousands of infrastructure jobs in progress. So why aren’t more decision makers including China in their plans? One Tampa company did just that.!

Dais Analytic got its start producing high-tech filter membranes to improve air quality and cut energy costs in homes and businesses. It has expanded to develop products for desalination, wastewater treatment and energy storage, among other things. Although it currently has only 18 employees plans have been inked to add 1,000 jobs over the next five years, thanks to a $200 million trade agreement with China. Born about 10 years ago from an idea for developing fuel cells at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., Dais Analytic opened in Pasco County in 1998, lured by tax breaks and assistance. The company specializes in nanotechnology: crafting materials that work with matter on the atomic and molecular level.

Its first commercial product, called ConsERV, is used with heating, air-conditioning and ventilation systems. It uses a membrane with microscopic channels that allow molecules of water to pass through the filter.

Incoming and outgoing air pass through the membrane in separate channels, with the outgoing air helping to cool the incoming warm air. The humidity in the air is condensed to molecules, so it becomes vapor with no condensation. Using the membrane to bring fresh, filtered air into the home or business can save energy costs and reduce pollution, the company says.

BaySource Global assists companies in their offshore manufacturing strategies as well as working with U.S. companies who are looking to commercialize their lines within China.

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Running out of time

I had a dear friend, Dr. Dick Bowers who played and coached basketball for the University of Tennessee Volunteers. He ultimately became athletic director at the University of South Florida and personally led the charge to bring the first football program to the school which in a meteoric fashion became members of the Big East and even jumped briefly to the #2 football team in the country—all within the first ten years of the program’s inception.

 “We advance our customers goals in a fraction of the time compared to attempting to navigate China on their own.”

When Dick passed away, dignitaries, business leaders, even the Mayor of Tampa were present at his service. He was the kind of man you loved and looked up to and made everyone feel important. Of all his sports accomplishments Dick used to say that he was most proud of the fact that while he was with the Tennessee basketball program they never lost a game. “We may have run out of time,” he would chuckle… and would continue, “but we never lost a game.”

Like so many things in life, our business success is measured within the framework of time broken down in eras, years, quarters, months, weeks and days and often tight one-hour deadlines. We look at financial results and measure our success by what we accomplish within the context of time. We can grow, stagnate or lose ground to the proverbial hourglass.  For nearly a decade as we have continued to refine our message, the notion of what we best do has become clear. We don’t sell anything. We save our clients valuable time.

Your company is no different than a basketball team. You recruit and assemble the best players you can find, constantly plan and strategize and you play the game. Your financial results tell the story of whether you’ve won or lost and are determined by whether you’ve scored more points (profits) than what it costs to run your operation within a fiscal year.

In the new, flat global landscape low cost manufacturing hubs are found where labor is abundant in supply. China has continued to be forefront as factory to the world for products that require a high degree of labor. Productivity gains, improved quality processes, advances in distribution and know-how have kept China at the forefront of all low cost manufacturing countries. But with hundreds of thousands of factories, selecting the right manufacturer and executing on plans can be a daunting if not problematic and time consuming ordeal.

We have invested significantly in building a competent team of strategic thinkers, capable managers and dedicated partners who serve our clients in the areas of factory identification, manufacturing expertise and project management. We advance our customers’ goals in a fraction of the time compared to attempting to navigate China on their own. We do this all while meeting cost targets, providing on-time, accurate deliveries of products made to specification, of the correct materials, and of superior quality. Contract manufacturing is complex and challenging even when hiring third party factories in the U.S. let alone China. Without a prepared team that is coached and experienced, the game of doing business in China can be perilous.

We all have the same 24 hours a day to succeed. How we best allocate and use that time is our choice. Even if you play a little basketball yourself, would you be able compete with a well coached NCAA team?