Instead of going to class today, we decided to take a trip to the mall and visit two companies. Our first site visit was to VSIP, Vietnam Singapore Industrial Park. VSIP is a “people centered, environment friendly township developer where people can live, work, learn, and play.” They develop large areas of land to create space for companies to build factories while providing residential and commercial areas to create a convenient living environment for all the incoming factory workers. The Vietnamese company Becamex and Singaporean company Sembcorp are working together to support industrialization and are fully backed by both of their governments. Singapore has little land to industrialize within their own country but they have the wealth to do so and since Vietnam has the land but not the money necessary, they have created a partnership which resulted in VSIP. Vietnam is working towards fully developing so any kinds of partnerships or relationships to help the process, the Vietnamese are likely to consider making.
Between site visits, we visited one of the malls located in VSIP I to walk around and have lunch. The mall is just like any mall you would find, in Vietnam or the U.S. There were lots of stores and coffee shops to fill 3 floors. This mall happened to have a more decorative aspect to it such as places to take photos or colorful art. The picture with the rainbow umbrellas was taken on the first floor of the mall. After lunch, we drove a very short distance to our next site tour.
Our second site tour was in VSIP I in Binh Duong. There are currently 9 VSIP locations located in northern, central, and southern Vietnam. This site tour was to II-VI, a company that produces thermoelectric products, precision optics, high-precision ceramic and metal-matrix composite components. To produce such specific materials, the company trains the employees on a very specific task which takes much less time, from 2 weeks to 2 years, than trying to train people to have a wider scope of responsibilities. From touring the company, it was clear that each minor job played a major role in producing the final product. Even though our guide explained what many machines and stations do, I am still impressed with the workers ability to work with such small or specific objects for a long period of time. The product the company works to produce is defined by what the customer wants; overall the design is mostly the same, there are just small alterations to the design which makes it possible for the products for one customer to be produced from the same machines that were used for a previous project. Walking through the factory was fascinating because I was able to see each workers station and what exactly they were doing, even if I didn’t understand what it was.