IT / Telecom

Raising the bar

by Maggie Tang

Nelson Tse, sales and marketing director
MillionTECH Development Limited
Photo: Johnson Poon

Universal automated services a competitive advantage

Technological development has improved business processes tremendously. Most companies now incorporate advanced technology to their competitive advantage. One such example is the application of auto-ID (automatic identification) solutions, which is a forefront solution linked to machine-readable symbols facilitating their decoding and printing.

MillionTECH Development Limited (MTD) is a leading player in the auto-ID market in Hong Kong. The company specialises in designing, building, implementing and maintaining integral information solutions for a wide range of purposes, including mobile computing, logistics and warehouse management, industrial automation, office automation, barcode labelling and printing, RFID (radio frequency identification) and shop floor management.

Nelson Tse, sales and marketing director of MTD and chairman of Hong Kong Retail Technology Industry Association Limited, further explains the company's strengths: "MTD was set up in 1987 and we remain one of the pioneers in the local auto-ID market, with extensive experience in design, implementation and servicing."

Market momentum

MTD has a team of specialists responsible for developing industry- and customer-specific auto-ID systems based on data transmission technologies such as barcode and RFID. "Auto-ID will continue to gain momentum due to its broad applicability. Logistics management is one sector benefiting most from auto-ID. The technology is adopted in inventory control, warehouse management, delivery and distribution. MTD is a one-stop solution provider helping clients shorten and simplify the supply chain," explains Mr Tse. The retail industry, airlines, property management and the medical sector are also major drivers.

In supplying solutions, MTD offers its clients a vast array of different brands and products from reputable manufacturers, for instance, handheld terminals, palm-sized computers, as wll as barcode printers and readers. "State-of-the-art hardware is vital in any auto-ID solution. We only use equipment from renowned manufacturers so customer satisfaction is guaranteed," says Mr Tse.

As the auto-ID industry expands, unlimited opportunities have emerged for IT and engineering professionals. In particular, people with knowledge and experience in project management are the most sought after. Mr Tse adds, "Although we have our own research and development department for both hardware and software development, system integration is our major business driver so we recruit competent people for project management and account servicing."

Mr Tse believes that Hong Kong should continue to capitalise on its strength as a service economy so project management, which requires not only technical knowledge but also leadership and communication skills, is a niche that will stay in demand.

On the other hand, Mr Tse notes that Hong Kong is in a less favourable position in the domain of hardware and software development. He points out that India and China are the preferred offshore outsourcing service providers for this due to the wider and cheaper talent pool available. "The skill set of Hong Kong people is more suited to the upper stream of the value chain," Mr Tse remarks.

Nevertheless, MTD allocates considerable resources to software development. Currently, programming and sales positions are available at the company. For the former, a degree in computer science or related discipline is the minimum requirement. A similar degree is also necessary to enter the sales team. As a member of the sales team at MTD, a technical background is necessary, though not as strong as that required of a programmer. This is because sales professionals must thoroughly understand the mechanics of specific equipment and software in order to work with the client to arrive at an optimal solution.

Informed selling

MTD's sales professionals perform tasks which extend far beyond closing deals. They must demonstrate superior product knowledge and be au fait with the latest market developments since their clients rely on them for valuable information. "Technology sales professionals need all-round knowledge to help customers solve a complex range of problems. Before beginning a project, we analyse each customer's status quo, operational needs and the related business environment thoroughly," Mr Tse points out.

Regarding training, Mr Tse says the company provides considerable support for its sales team. Besides coaching by senior level staff, pre-sales support meetings and training sessions are available to facilitate the transfer of presentation and commerce skills to sales staff.

As in sales positions in other industries, it takes commitment and determination to build a successful career at MTD. Mr Tse adds that people usually require two to three years to discover whether a career in technology sales is suitable because the industry is so multifaceted. In addition, it normally takes five to seven years before staff can lead a sales team effectively.

MTD offers attractive remuneration packages as well as a progressive career path. "A high-performing sales force is fundamentally important to our business so we do our utmost to improve employee satisfaction. MTD is a platform where competent people will excel," Mr Tse concludes.


Taken from Career Times 25 January 2008
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