Angela Lyu joined Atlas Furniture Asia on 2017-07-25 and has been one of our most dedicated and hard-working members of staff. She is an Account Manager for our BD – Business Development Department (a post that is currently open to new staff to work alongside her!)
Today, she recounts the years and shares with us what it has meant to her to be a part of this young, dynamic team.
Thank you for giving me the chance to share my feelings about life at Atlas with you. Work plays such an important role in my life, so it means a lot for me to share with you something I’m so passionate about!
A Wonderful Life
The first day I worked for Atlas, I can still remember very clearly. I start working at 10:00 and at that time we had 8 other staff in our Company. I knew I was here because Vivi (your Executive PA) was pregnant at that time, so our company needed a person to continue her job. I think I’m lucky when I was here, to follow the boss and his PA.
You all treated me well and had lots of patience for me. When I was just here, I feel good and enriched.
This top-level introduction to the Company meant that I was able to experience different areas of the business and I quickly learned a lot.
As I now know if the norm at Atlas, we all went out very often socially, together as well. It’s you who took me to experience new things that I never experienced before – it makes me feel happy and relaxed and appreciative of you and the rest of your staff.
In the second month I won an opportunity because you created an exciting competition. I went to the Shanghai International Furniture Show with you, Mrs Brobyn and Mark. That is my first time to go to an International Show and I really enjoyed that trip.
I like the atmosphere working with you when I just arrived. The way of working with foreignerers is totally different to that of a Chinese company. I enjoy this environment deeply. We are open and honest with everyone.
On the flip-side, it helped me realise that maybe I wouldn’t last too well in Cinese Company because my temper can sometimes be a little firey. Thankfully you all know me well enough to know that this temper goes as quickly as it comes and is always from a place of good intent heehee!
At Atlas, we can share whatever we want to share. When we at work, we are workmates When we finish our work, we are truly friends. Our boss always comes into the office with a lovely smile and sometimes gives us all a big hug – it instantly makes us feel warm and loved. It always sets us up for a happy and positive day.
I like the atmosphere when Christmas coming – you and Mrs Brobyn prepare a lot presents to us. I remember I received a card, cookies, mask, cup and even a bottle of wine! We went out for a lovely Chinese Christmas dinner and then went to KTV. It was my first time to celebrate Christmas and to do so with foreigners made it extra special! I enjoyed this atmosphere not only because we can receive presents, but also we can experience a real Christmas.
All of this was a new experience for me. Working with you let me have more opportunities to learn more experiences than and book or class could give me.
I also really treasure our out-of-work life at Atlas – we go out together, we go shopping together, we cook together, we laugh and joke together. Like family members, like friends.
A Busy Work Life
When start working for Atlas, my job responsibilities were to follow customer’s basic emails, help with Vivi’s work, do some basic document processing, communicate with factories, create shipping marks, arrange QC work and shipments. Everyday was enriched with new expereiences and I was grateful to have Mr Brobyn and Vivi to help me learn quickly.
Finding My Feet
When Ms Deng (Vivi) left on maternity leave, I was really tested to my limits.
Our boss Peter spent most of his time on travel because he needed to go to factories or see customers.
Our QCs spent most of their time in factory and another office colleague left our Company, which left me on my own in the office to deal with all customers, factories and shipping agents.
More and more orders came in, and I worked late every day.
Sometimes I feel heartbreak when there was only me to deal with such a lot work, but I know I had to continue because I had no choice.
Time passed day by day, I can still remember clearly for these tough days, but even at the time, I knew they would make me stronger.
Back to Business
When Vivi returned I felt really happy and knew we could all work well from then on. We prepared for the Vietnam Show and we concentrated on customer orders and factory production and shipping.
Later, we went to the Vietnam show, it was my first time to go aboard and it is my first time to take part in an exhibition (as we were only visitors to Shanghai). I felt so excited! It’s my first time to talk about business with foreigners face to face, but I felt like we prepared well for the show. I learned a lot and started to meet, make and maintain my own customers from that time. One week later, we attended the Guangzhou Show.
Before the shows, 99% of our customers were from the United Kingdom. When we back to Shenzhen office, we have more business than before and we have customer from many countries! It was then that I felt I had upgraded from just an order follower to a fully fledged sales person.
I started to work on new possible customers, as well as keep on my daily work.
At the shows, we launched many new products and – as we predicted – some of these models would need upgrading and further development once they reached the market (it’s only when the product is in its final location of use, being used properly, every day, that it gets it full and final test!)
This was a true test for me and for Atlas on the whole. We grew rapidly, we opened a new office (and we have since moved to an even bigger and better office!), our new showroom, we launched many new models and developed many new customers. There were difficult days for all of us and I would say that 2018 was the biggest challenge of my short but enjoyable career, so far.
It was interesting for me to learn the lifecycle of a customer, to understand how most new customers need around 2 – 3 months to place their first order. In this time we need to deeply understand their requirements, assure them of our quality of product and service, as well as demonstrate how we won’t be beat on price!
The role of Account Manager is very much a bridge between my colleagues at Atlas, our manufacturing partners and our customers, as well as all the other suppliers involved in the chain, including government, shipping, logistics, testing houses etc.
A Juggling Act
Often I find myself juggling multiple calls, multiple documents and multiple tasks. A single task may not be completed for 2 or 3 days, as it involves so many people snd many moving parts. For this, task management and strict time planning are vital, in order to meet the highest standards.
I’m thankful to my leaders and to each of my colleagues for the opportunity to work with them every day.
I’m grateful to our customers for their trust in us, for their patience when we get the chance to improve something and their continued support of our Company.
I really respect our suppliers and partners for all the patience they show us and how willingly they share their skills and energy with us, to produce some of the very best products in the furniture industry.
I look forward to many more happy years working at Atlas, I invite anyone who wants to work with me to apply today!
If any customers are considering using Atlas for their purchasing will be assigned to me as a client so I can get to know more International friends!