The Famous Millionaire Chapter 50: Chapter 50
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The factory site of Aurum was not that large, but thanks to good use of spare s.p.a.ce in the site, it was able to house a beautiful garden. As the new yellow clay sauna house was just completed, the employees felt the flavor of the garden even more. Though they felt somewhat disturbed by the construction of a new dormitory with a senior center nearby, Aurum would be a more stylish factory when it is completed.
The employees used to take a break under the shade of the trees during lunch time, enjoying the scenic atmosphere of the factory site.
Hyunwoo was no exception. He sometimes took a walk around the factory or sometimes took a nap on a mat he spread on the ground.
In mid-September, it was still warm, and it was perfect for a nap under the tree shade.
As usual, Hyunwoo lay under a tree's shade for a nap. And at that moment, he got a call. It was an international call from president Na Sungji in Vietnam.
Pleasantly surprised, Hyunwoo sprang to his feet and picked up the phone.
"h.e.l.lo? Is this president Na?"
"a.s.sistant manager Jang. We finally have new products! Very good. I'd like to send the samples to you as soon as possible. What should I do?"
Hyunwoo'e eyes opened wide because he had been waiting for that good news every day. If N&C's new products pa.s.sed the caster quality standard, and it signed the formal supply contract, Na would be able to get the fear of bankruptcy off his chest.
"Really? Got it. Let me report to my manager so that we can immediately get the samples."
As soon as lunch time was over, he had Yonggu report to manager Park about the castor samples. Park reported it to the president, who then authorized it.
"Tell them to send the samples to us," said Park.
"Yes, sir," replied Hyunwoo strongly. He called Na in Vietnam about it.
Na's voice was more vigorous than ever.
"Thanks. I've already received the certificates of origin from the Commerce Department of Vietnam. Let me send the samples immediately."
It was three days after Na's call that the castor samples Na had sent were delivered at the warehouse of Aurum. To save the transit time as much as possible, the samples were s.h.i.+pped by air.
Park pressed on the speedy test of the new samples as much as possible, for the purchasing team could get the credit of the cost savings if the samples pa.s.sed the quality test. Also, the castor price was the highest among the import parts. The imports from Taiwan amounted to $800,000. The new samples, if pa.s.sed, could bring about $140,000 in cost savings.
Because of the size of the savings, the president was also greatly interested in the samples. The test was done in three days with a successful outcome.
"This new sample is much better than the existing Taiwanese products in quality. Are you sure this is the same product that the same company sent us three months ago? How did they improve the quality of the castor in such a short time?" said the research team, praising them with the thumbs up.
Park Youngsu, the manager, expressed great joy, too.
"Great! Draft a contract to purchase the new products immediately."
The contract was processed quickly. The president signed it that day, and a formal supply contract with the new order was sent to Mr. Na in Vietnam.
Fifteen days later, the container s.h.i.+p carrying the new castors from Vietnam arrived at the port of Pusan.
The award money ceremony was held because the purchasing team cut $80,000 in the unit price and $65,000 in customs duties by changing the purchase of castors from Taiwan to Vietnam.
The total cost savings was more than $140,000 per year.
But the management could not promote Hyunwoo to deputy manager again in only two months after he got promoted to a.s.sistant manager, so he was given a 4-step increase in grade with an additional 45 million won as award money.
Hyunwoo felt as if he had suddenly gotten freed from the car sitting heavily on him for many years.
In fact, he had agonized and worried over this.
What if N&C fails the quality standard test?
What if the factory goes bankrupt?
Did I invest 300 million won in vain?
That kind of nervousness heavily weighed on him.
But Mr. Na's successful samples made him free from it.
As N&C got the successful contract from Aurum, it was certain to revive, and Hyunwoo's investment would see big returns from now on.
As N&C has come this far, I wish it could grow into a large company.
If N&C could grow big, Aurum would have to buy its products much more than now.
This required Aurum to grow big first.
What was strange was that the PR team of Aurum did not advertise the new product at all. More advertising meant a better image of the company and more product sales, but the PR team sat idle, doing nothing about it.
Hummm...let me take the initiative then, Hyunwoo thought.
He made a press release immediately and submitted it to manager Park as soon as he reported to work. Park had a dubious look on his face and asked, "What is this?"
"It's a press release draft about the new product. The gist is we improved the quality while cutting the unit price by joining hands with a promising middle-sized company in Vietnam. If this gets printed in dailies or weeklies, I guess it will positively affect the stock price of Aurum."
"Don't you think this is the PR team's job?"
"You're right, but if we draft it and give it to the PR team, it will be recognized as our performance. Don't you think this will give due credit to your work, too?"
Park satisfactorily smiled. Hyunwoo's idea was definitely saving face for him, and the manager of the PR team had no reason to feel bad about it. As a matter of fact, Minhye, the president's daughter, was the manager of the PR team.
"By the way, do you think dailies or TV networks will pick up our press release?"
"I think that's your speciality. Why don't you win over the reporters with your unusual sociability?"
Though Hyunwoo didn't mention it directly, he was making the case for lobbying.
As far as lobbying was concerned, Park welcomed it because he could wine and dine with company money and play golf in the field.
Nodding his head, Park stood up and said,
"Okay, let me report your proposal to the president first."
A little later.
Park came back from the president's office.
Hyunwoo could immediately read it from his expression. Park didn't have the proposal in his hand.
"The president approved it. Sooner or later, the PR team will ask for our cooperation. Please help them well."
"Got it, manager."
When he was getting off work in the evening, the PR team contacted him.
"I had no time to review the proposal during the day because I was preparing for the students' visit to Aurum. Are you available now? Can you come over and help me prepare the press release?"
"Wait a minute Manager Park. The PR team wants me to go over to help them on the press release. If I come now, I think I have to leave the office now."
"Sure, just go ahead."
As if he was waiting for that, Park nodded his head.
The atmosphere of the PR team was much different from that of the purchasing team. Above all, there were more female workers, and the manager was also female. The manager was Park Minhye, the president's daughter.
When Hyunwoo entered the office, a female in her late 30s waved at him as if she had been waiting for him. She was deputy manager Do Youngsun, who had just called him.
"You're a.s.sistant manager Jang Hyunwoo, right? Please come this way."
"Yes, I am. How are you?"
As soon as he sat down, she asked for his opinion, showing the press release draft to him.
"Looking at your draft proposal, I get the impression that you give more publicity to the factories in Vietnam than Aurum. In particular, the company called N&C is given an overly colorful description. Any particular reason for that?"
"The gist of the press release is not the improvement in Aurum's technology. It's about a sharp increase in the quality and price compet.i.tiveness through Aurum's good match with its business partners. The more favorable publicity we give to our business partners, the more our products will be publicized."
"Oh, this reveals our intentions too much. If we compose the wording like this, it suggests that any company that uses N&C parts will see improvements in the quality and price of their products."
"The only company in Korea that deals with N&C is Aurum. At least at this point, no other company will get the publicity benefits because of this press release, and I think this kind of publicity is more effective."
Hyunwoo could not understand Do's logic. How could a publicity specialist like her miss his point?
In addition, she was trying to find fault with the proposal even the president had okayed.
Hyunwoo explained further without any hesitation.
"That's because of objectivity. If we publicize too much about Aurum, they will misunderstand it as our own publicity campaign, but if we talk about a company in a foreign country, their perception will be completely different."
Nonetheless, she didn't seem to have been persuaded because she felt more publicity was given to N&C than Aurum.
Do wasn't the only one looking at Hyunwoo.
Park Minhye, the PR team manager, had been keeping an eye on him since he had entered the office, and both of them were listening to him carefully.
In fact, Minhye had no interest in him at all. When she saw him at the interview session, she felt that he had looked like a wild horse, but it was far from a good feeling toward him.
Even if she did, it was meaningless to her because he was a high school graduate. There was no chance that his father would allow her to date such a man.
As time pa.s.sed by, however, her feelings toward him began to change gradually, for his name was often mentioned inside the company for his outstanding performance.
Though he is a high school graduate, he's quite capable.
That was her latest evaluation of Hyunwoo.
And what was more important was those she had in mind as her potential husband were more and more disappointing, particularly Oh Sangho.
She had met him while studying in the United States. Though she studied at a third-rate college in a provincial city, Oh was a graduate from Columbia University, an Ivy league college.
Naturally, she had high expectations of him. As soon as he got hired by Aurum, she expected him to be able to show his unrivalled performance like Jang Hyunwoo.
However, Oh didn't show anything. Rather, he made her knit her brows. He wouldn't admit that his performance was just average, and he kept whining that the performance evaluation method was wrong.
She felt Yonggu of the purchasing team or Ko Younghwan of the sales team was better than Oh. At least they showed their worth in their current positions, competing with each other on equal footing. If she had to choose between the two, her choice would be Yonggu. He had been performing excellently recently and looked more handsome than Ko.
Whenever she saw a man, she was naturally comparing him with Yonggu.
And Hyunwoo came into her eyes now. Though she saw him with her eyes, she conjured up Yonggug in her mind and compared them.
Hyunwoo is more handsome than Yonggu.
That was true. Though he wasn't the most handsome guy, he could be called 'handsome' by anybody. In addition, he was quite capable. He was the very person who had become the hottest topic among the company employees for his outstanding performance these days.
Also, he had a fine character. Though he got hired only recently, he made friends not only with many of those of the purchasing team but also members of the production team and sales team.
Naturally, there were few single female workers who didn't show interest in him.
Park Minhye was no exception. She just felt curious about him.
He seems to be very smart. Then, why didn't he go to college?
At that moment, Do, the deputy manager, raised her voice and said,
"No, I can't do it. It's the press release about our company, not a foreign company. Why are you trying to highlight that company?"
Minhye interrupted, saying, "Stop it. Please bring it to me."
The Famous Millionaire Chapter 50: Chapter 50
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The Famous Millionaire Chapter 50: Chapter 50 summary
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