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Thursday, September 20, 2001
 CEO Lin says Lite-On more than a component maker
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Message Text: If you used a keyboard to access this page, you probably used a product from the Taiwan-based company, Lite-On. Your CD-ROM drive, regardless of the name on the case, may have come from this Taiwanese company, and the power supply may also have come from this source. In these three fields and more, the Lite-On Group has a substantial presence.

As Lite-On's name suggests, the company started in optical technology (LEDs and other products) and it still shows considerable strength in this area. In his speech, entitled "Corporate Strategy in the post-PC Age," CEO David Lin said that Lite-On does more than merely make components. Lin noted that most American PC "makers" do not actually make PCs, which are manufactured by companies such as Lite-On. However, the outsourcing-partnership model, slowly adopted by Japanese makers, may be the only way for them to survive as global players, Lin said. He quoted a Chinese proverb to describe the behavior of "lifetime employers" now breaking their social contracts with their workers, which may be translated as "expediency over face."

Adopting what Lin calls a D2EMS strategy, where the two Ds stand for Design (Lite-On assists the client with the most cost-effective design for the new product), and Dedicated (to the business of serving its customers and meeting their requirements). He said Lite-On is ready to help with the design and production of products with overseas customers, including major Japanese companies. In order to make the design process cost-effective, the established areas of design are being transferred to China, away from Taiwan.

China also is home to three major Lite-On facilities. The largest, near Guangdong, dubbed the "Customer Park," integrates component design and manufacturing facilities in a centralized area, with 1.6 million sq. meters allocated for this one-company business park and a planned workforce (by 2005) of 45,000. A dedicated customs facility inside the facility can cut through the notorious Chinese red tape, expediting the shipment of products from this IT powerhouse. The total integration of design, manufacturing and logistics already makes Lite-On a favorite for many makers, and more Japanese companies are targeted in the months to come.
 
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