20th July 2017

Trainees On the Road: China Supplier Traveling

My name is Jan Vlček and I am trainee with focus in area of SQA (supplier quality assurance). My job description is mostly learning from senior auditors and gaining experiences with process audits, problem analyses and other quality supplier tools.

I am used to travel a lot. My business trips are more than half of my total work hours and because there is system of regional responsibility for supplier quality (each VW brand is responsible for specified region) I often travel for business trips to Poland, Slovenia and even such destinations as Russia is nothing new in my department.

When I got the opportunity to travel to China as part of my trainee year abroad experience I was really curious and I had really huge expectations. Not only China is entirely different set of environmental, cultural and working conditions, but also business trip travelling is quite different. In Europe it is natural to visit the supplier in most of the case by car, but due to huge landscape of China main traffic option is flying. So I can add to my collection of experiences 8 flights during three weeks. Which in practice means lot of packing and unpacking, security checks, delayed flights due to bad weather conditions, rebooking flights at 1am, announcements on airport only in Chinese and one time even 2km sprint to gate to catch the flight. Overall it was amazing experience.

The activities in Chinese companies was also huge new thing for me. I was a little worried if Chinese standards can meet the strict VW norms and if suppliers can meet the European standard. But from my experience I have to say that the team of SQA Volkswagen group China, Beijing is perfect team of professionals and all the supplies that are shipped to any VW plant is going through same quality check as in Europe to ensure that every part will meet our standards.

My time in china was of course not only work. During the weekends I had some spare time to do my hobbies and travel a bit. At first I was a little worried that due to bad air condition I won´t be able to run in Beijing, but eventually it was proved as false. I was even lucky to catch the good weather and literally run to one part of Great wall, see the Shanghai Skyscrapers lit at night and taste the Chinese (one time even Mongolian) cousin.

Abroad rotation was definitely one of my best experience during my trainee year and I was able to get many new contacts, professional knowledge and work and personal experiences.

Jan, Trainee – Supplier Audit

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