Tuesday, Pusan, Korea I had been on the road for four days now and my goal on this trip was to see how Shimano makes its snowboard boots. Although we’d spend some time talking about how the company makes them and learned a tremonduous amount about the company, it was all feeding me into a frenzy. I wanted, no needed, to see a boot being manufactured and was finally going to visit a boot factory.
After a short flight from Osaka to Pusan, Korea, Tuesday morning, Brian Dennis and I were met at the Airport and taken out to the Wooyun boot factory. The facility is not at all what I expected. Situated on the bottom of a large hill, the grounds are practilcally being overgrown by the green forest surrounding it. Across the valley, one can see the a group of large apartment buildings under construction. The small quiet town on the far outskirts of the city is about to become on more big subburb. Development is a problem in every country.
The complex is a series of medium size white buildings climbing up the hill with parking lots and walkways connecting them all. There are two large busses in front, used to bring in the employees from the city. There are also quite a few cars in the lot, a mixture of sedans and SUV’s.
It’s just after lunch time and the campus-like facility seems pretty relaxed with some people hanging outside in small groups talking and smoking. Some are still in the cafeteria finishing lunch.
We are taken into a meeting room and after the key staff members are introduced, New Technology Vice President D.J. Oh proceeds to give me a Powerpoint Pro presentation about the company. I’m having trouble writing everything down because of his accent and the speed that he’s going through the presentation. After about fifteen minutes, someone slides over the whole presentation printed out and I put my pen down relieved.
Factory Background Wooyun was founded almost ten years ago as a joint venture between some Korean businessmen and Shimano, which actually owns 49 percent of the company. This enables the factory to get regular production business,