In last month’s It Starts With Me spotlight we focused on Aurelie Rob, Patrick Schraets and Sebastian Zak and their commitment to the Maer Achol charity.
This month we are highlighting Jeff Yung, one of our IT Managers sitting in Hong Kong. Jeff is deeply involved in our digitalisation strategies, working with our Product Life Cycle Management teams, as well as our infrastructure and support teams in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Dongguan, Dhaka, Istanbul and Hamburg.
Jeff embodies the spirit of It Starts With Me through his willingness to adapt and learn, his drive to constantly improve our service offering, and through his working attitude towards his fellow colleagues.
Jeff has been working in OI for over 12 years, having previously developed mobile apps in companies of only a few people each. Working here has been a constant learning experience for Jeff. “The transition was quite major, as the company was much bigger and had a very different working culture than those I worked at before.” Even then, his working current environment is totally different to the one that he joined. When he started here there were only two people in his team, both based in Hong Kong. Now the team is over ten people across Asia and it continues to expand with some vacancies looking to be filled.
Product Life cycle Management
Jeff is very involved with our Product Life Cycle Management Teams; they are responsible for a wide range of platforms and services that we offer to streamline the early stages of a product’s life. Jeff and the PLM teams are a key part of our customer-centric attitude. They are crucial facilitators, making sure that our platforms have the necessary flexibility to give the customer what they want.
While more and more of our business partners are embracing our 3D sampling services, Jeff says that we are still in a “transitional period: that’s why we need to make a system that works for both the digital and traditional processes.” This is but one example of the various differing requirements every one of our customers may have.
Such a need for adaptability is why we have developed our microservices approach and implemented our cloud migration, both of which Jeff contributed to. Even during the migration, the customer came first: “it had to be done within a specific time frame and we had to be very organised as we knew it would affect the customers” he mentions.
Development and Adaptability
While his background is in coding, over the years Jeff has worked on multiple different projects which have diversified his skillset, including upgrading our security infrastructure based on Otto Group guidelines. This project was a new challenge with new things for him to understand: “we set up the services ourselves, so we had to learn about and decide on the best set-up for us.” He also had to learn about working in this new technical environment.
This is vital for the job in Jeff’s opinion, as he explains that “for IT teams, learning is part of our life: technology is changing all the time. We always emphasise learning as a priority to remain competitive. It may make things harder for you, but it pushes you to grow together.
“New joiners, especially new graduates, are also an opportunity for us to learn because they bring new knowledge and ideas to the table. What we learned at university is outdated to them and what they learned can sometimes be completely new to us.”
Drive For Improvement
Jeff and his nominations make clear that he is consistently focused on improvement. This goes beyond himself and his team however, as he is always coming up with new ideas and concepts to implement within OI. “I am not sure if I can remember all of them because I have suggested a few things, but one idea I put forward recently was a 3D virtual wardrobe so consumers have a better idea of what they own, and brands may have an idea of what consumers want.
Jeff has also made suggestions relating to screening during the recruitment process, how we communicate our sustainability initiatives, strengthening our feedback culture, and, of course, our IT setup. It comes naturally to Jeff: “I think about my daily life and I think: ‘wouldn’t it be great to have something like this?’” In his spare time, he experiments with product ideas he has with the 3D printer he bought for himself, though he finds it quite difficult to use and slightly frustrating that it takes hours to print one object.
Respect for Others
Finally, and probably most importantly, Jeff will always find the time to help his teammates and colleagues whenever he can, and is deeply empathetic. Even though his PLM teammates are spread across the world he will try to make himself available. “I think we all want to help each other, not just because of the job we have to do: we want to do something good for each other. Bonding with your colleagues is important. It helps you to work with each other but also helps to work in a positive environment.
“Sometimes I get frustrated because not everyone agrees to my ideas but thinking about the position that others are in can help you to understand. Everyone has their own role and respecting that is an important factor in working well with others.
“I always try my best, that is something I really believe in.”
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