The importance of ESG has increased in the post-pandemic era. While many huge businesses start to plan out their ESG structure, Eternal Prowess Vietnam Co., Ltd. (EPLA), a Vietnamese Taiwanese company, is ready and has everything in place. EPLA is at the forefront of the digital transition thanks to the second generation’s fresh perspectives and the chairman’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions and energy use. Force Tech, their automated feeding facility, is the first of its kind in Vietnam and gathers data to improve productivity and lower costs. Because of their dedication to heritage, transformation, and sustainability, EPLA & Force Tech are able to react to trends rapidly and turn crises into opportunities.
Many older companies rely on their brand and word-of-mouth as selling points, but younger generations often outpace them due to outdated tools and technologies that cannot meet modern market demands. Taiwanese enterprises face even greater challenges in developing in the south due to pressure from labour shortages and price-cutting competition for raw materials.
In 1996, EPLA established a Vietnam branch to produce rubber outsoles. After nearly 30 years in operation, EPLA remains rooted in the market and has become a designated supplier of transparent rubber soles for international sneaker brands. Some people believe that new blood can motivate an enterprise, but in fact, the key to success lies in the understanding and cooperation of two generations.
President Yuan Jifan planned for digital transformation a few years ago to support the parent company’s order needs by establishing Force Tech – Vietnam’s first modern and fully automatic feeding plant. Additionally, with the concept of “turning waste into treasure,” the founder is aware of the importance of recycling raw materials. With the elders’ trust, Yuan Shaoting, chairman of Force Tech and a chemical R&D major, demonstrates a customer-oriented spirit through his knowledge.
Inheriting a Business:
Balancing Growth and Stability
In short, inheritance, transformation, and sustainability were conceived by the first generation and implemented by the second generation. The power of both generations is indispensable. Mr. Yuan Shaoting shared his father’s words: “What you believe is right, stick to it, and have confidence in your decisions.” The core of President Yuan Jifan’s succession planning is to develop his son’s soft and hard skills. Firstly, he had his son work on weighing materials and inspecting parts to identify areas for improvement. Secondly, Mr. Yuan Jifan affirms and recognizes Yuan Shaoting’s ideas because change is the first step to avoiding elimination.
It is not easy to digitize old machines in a short time, as it requires expanding space and investing in new machines, which takes a long time. To quickly improve efficiency and increase production capacity, Chairman Yuan Shaoting believes that they can start with ERP and address existing shortcomings and defects. They can use a database to monitor equipment utilization rate, production status, and prepare for upgrades.
↑ Source: No.1334 Business Today, cover theme “Vietnam is turning over: Digitalization in Vietnam”
Building, Not Just Reforming
In 2015, Force Tech built a new fully automated feeding factory, which operates with an ERP system and other OT solutions such as mechanical weighing and AGV intelligent storage and transportation. Chairman Yuan Shaoting believes that this implementation is more cost-effective than investing in machines, as it has doubled the tons of materials processed while freeing up manpower for other tasks. President Yuan Jifan adds that the footwear industry is changing rapidly, with new shapes and colors and high mold changeover. By recording all recipes in the system and automatically feeding materials to machines, technology, and quality can be more effectively managed.
As the next director of the company, Chairman Yuan Shaoting has ambitious plans to digitize the entire factory. He has assembled a new team with fresh ideas, and the most challenging part of the implementation is to integrate everyone’s suggestions.
“Listening to their opinions and understanding their processes is a form of learning,” says Yuan Shaoting. He keeps an open mind and experiences each process to optimize all production sections effectively. At the same time, he also considers the standpoint of employees and aims to create a good working atmosphere and attract talent to the business.
Starting Small with ESG:
Energy Saving, Environmental Protection, and Traceability
Due to the earth’s limited energy supplies, energy saving and carbon reduction have become significant business challenges, and survival is the primary prerequisite for sustainable companies. Many global brands are beginning to concentrate on ESG implementation as front-end users become aware of how important it is to apply ESG controls.
Along with being reliable raw material and outsourced OEM suppliers, EPLA and Force Tech are also leaders in advancing Vietnam’s ESG approach. The Force Tech facility is enveloped in lush vegetation, and the office has an inverter air conditioner that can automatically modify its temperature based on the surrounding environment.
According to President Yuan Jifan, protecting the environment shouldn’t only be a catchphrase. He has previously discovered strategies to effectively utilize trash before ESG gained popularity. Early on, they mostly employed conventional techniques like cutting and grinding. They hoped to later achieve advancements in ecologically friendly materials through collaboration with Nike. The freezing and nitrogen processes were first improved by Force Tech. The most recent Nike product with the lowest carbon footprint is called “This is Trash,” which highlights the modern aesthetic using recycled polyester fibers.
ESG is implemented by EPLA and Force Tech using digital tools. The automated mechanism and MES system help businesses in material tracing, guaranteeing that all producers adhere to the specifications. Also, they gather information on energy use and regularly work to reduce the production line’s energy use. Chairman Yuan Shaoting implements ISO14067 to achieve carbon neutrality in production by using product inventories,
EPLA and Force Tech’s Vision for the Future:
Embracing Change to Achieve Success
How does a 30-year-old business dominate the global market? From their success story, a winning recipe can be inferred:
“Trust in the second-generation succession + Early digital transformation + ESG sustainability”
Even though every industry faces unique difficulties, it’s important to plan for emerging trends. The epidemic’s impacts have altered the entire environment, making it difficult to combat it just through human labour. To take advantage of opportunities, manufacturing must be “smart.”
Mr. Yuan Jifan, president of the Council of Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce in Vietnam, said that many factories are closing down because of outdated machinery and a lack of interest from the second generation to take over. He exhorts Taiwanese businesses to create innovative services and technologies.
The digital system is effective at streamlining company processes and enhancing the soft power needed for people, equipment, and materials. The COVID-19 incident is a sobering reminder that “black swan” events could happen, and that an enterprise can only grow by establishing a solid foundation and making the necessary preparations. E
LPA and Force Tech implement ESG and recognize its significance. They make sure that all manufacturers adhere to standards by using digital technologies like MES systems and automation mechanisms. The business can trace the materials due to these technologies. They can also gather information about electricity consumption and regularly enhance energy utilization on the production line. Chairman Yuan Shaoting implements ISO14067 to achieve carbon-neutral production through product inventories.
Starting an enterprise is challenging, but sustaining it in constant change is even more difficult. To confront various crises in the new era, some old enterprises choose to “defend”, while EPLA and Force Tech choose to “let go”. With two generations dedicated to pursuing second-generation succession, digital transformation, and ESG plans, they believe embracing change will lead to more outstanding achievements. The story of EPLA and Force Tech’s transformation cannot be fully conveyed in words alone. Watch this video to witness their journey toward success.