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|Song Hong Garment keeps solid footing in crisis-illustration photo|
In mid-July, the market was sent staggering by news of RTW Retailwinds Inc., the owner of New York & Company women’s fashion chain and one of Song Hong Garment’s largest partners, had filed for bankruptcy. The company’s investors and shareholders were bombarded with questions like how the company’s operations would be affected, how this will trickle down to the company’s employees, or if any other major customer will go belly up in the future.
Recent talks with Song Hong Garment workers showed their unshaken trust in the company’s Board of Directors (BoD) as well as its future prospects. Albeit difficulties are apparent, the BoD has been communicating the clear message that the plant will keep operating, and that the welfare of workers and their families are the top priority.
Song Hong Garment has also applied flexible sales strategies during COVID-19 times. Prior to the pandemic, the company was strict in selecting partners and refused those with low profit margins. Now, it is more flexible at the negotiating table, with more loose conditions.
Despite the pandemic, the company’s workers still have stable job and pay. Other allowances such as daily bonuses or benefits for pregnant women or breast-feeding mothers have also been kept.
The average salary of Song Hong Garment’s workers in Nam Dinh city is VND7.3 million ($317.40).
Partial salary cuts were only applied to the management and office staff as the only compromise for the hardships of the pandemic.
Sharing the concerns of the company leaders, employees support and trust the BoD to captain the ship smartly, steering the company through the hardships to write new chapters for Song Hong Garment’s success story as one of the most profitable apparel makers of Vietnam.
A moment with Bui Viet Quang, CEO of Song Hong Garment JSC
Now that the third quarter of 2020 has passed, how do you evaluate the company’s business performance compared to the growth scenarios drawn up for the year?
We can set our mind at ease as the 2020 development plans have come out as projected, without us having to resort to drastic measures.
What are the growth prospects for 2020’s last quarter, the year-end peak purchasing season?
Orders for the fourth quarter have resumed quickly from the previous quarters due to the quick rebound of the US market.
How has Song Hong Garment managed consolidating its customer base while expanding to new customers’ segments?
Our company is maintaining good and sustainable relations with our customers. At the same time, we have managed to reach out to new ones to lay the groundwork for resuming the growth pace in 2021 to reach pre-pandemic levels.
What measures will be applied to optimise the company’s operations?
The company continues focusing on the training of young workforce while gradually perfecting the enterprise resource planning systems.
Song Hong Garment has been known for taking care of its more than 11,000 labourers and paying due regard to sustainability. How will the current pandemic affect the company’s policy towards its employees?
Our projections show that we will be able to give our workers nearly the same payment and bonuses that we could give them in 2019.