FlashFAM Q&A: For Bob, Quality Control is a Global Effort

The Terminator never sleeps and sometimes it seems like neither does Bob Yin, Flash Global’s  Senior Manager of Quality Control in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. Based in Sydney, Australia, the hard-working Yin starts his day while most others in the Flash family are ending theirs. Even after a full day of work, he may even take late-night conference calls to make sure the other side of the Flash world is still on point.

As part of our ongoing FlashFAM profile series, we recently sat down with Bob to learn more about him and his role in providing remarkable customer experiences.

Where are you from?

“I was born and raised in Beijing, China, and moved to Sydney, Australia, in 2006.”

Tell us about your educational background.

“I have a master’s degree in Logistics Management from the University of Sydney.”

When did you start working for Flash?

“I joined Flash Global in mid-2013. Before that, I was a warehouse manager for Flash’s agent in Australia for three years.”

What’s a typical day like for a Senior Manager Quality Control? 

“A typical day for me starts with catching up on emails that I received overnight from the U.S. team. (I am 14 hours ahead of EST, so many emails can come in while I sleep.) I normally go to the Sydney warehouse twice a week – Tuesday and Friday – to see and understand what is happening in the warehouse while providing feedback from a KPI/operations perspective to the warehouse management team. My morning is still late afternoon in California, so I sometimes join conference calls with Flash teams or customers located on the West Coast. Around my lunchtime, our partners in the APAC region gradually start their day so I spend a typical afternoon working with agents in those countries, on warehouse operations, compliance-related matters as well as business implementation or improvements. Occasionally, I’ll join conference calls with colleagues in U.S. East Coast around 10-11 p.m. my time – that’s when the U.S. team starts working.”

From a work standpoint, what does “success” look like for you?

“Commercially maintaining and expanding business in the region, operationally meeting and exceeding KPIs and, from a compliance perspective, ensuring our network partners meet all compliance requirements while developing user-friendly solutions for our customers.”

What’s the best part of working at Flash?

“My manager and the entire organization allow us to think outside the box and be creative to develop customized solutions. For example, in big countries like Australia, China, India, and Japan, we have dual-DCs in each country to cater to different customers’ install bases, so the most number of end-users could get a cost-effective solution while maintaining good coverage.”

Who is your hero/inspiration?

“Jim Roberts, who is a 65-year-old, ordinary Sydney man who has run the iconic City2Surf (a 14-kilometer run held every August in Sydney) for 48 years in a row. Back in 2008, I worked as a part-time delivery man for a furniture shop, went to Jim’s house to deliver his tea table and saw a full wall in his house displaying his City2Surf finisher medals. At that moment an idea just struck me: ‘One day I will be like him.’ So I started running since then. This year I finished my 12th City2Surf.”

Tell us a phrase you live by.

“No fate but what we make” – from Terminator 2. “I have it laser-engraved on the back of my iPod.”

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

“Speak their language, not yours. When I started my logistics career in a graduate program in an Australia service logistics company, I was tasked with working in the warehouse and see if there’s anything that can be improved. So I went there and started talking about ‘strategies’ and concepts like ‘Vendor Management Inventory’ with the pickers and forklift drivers – bad idea, because I wasn’t speaking their language. Pickers are not interested in these, they just want a way to help them complete their tasks faster and more accurate, and ‘speak their language, not yours’ was a piece of advice that I had from my then-manager. It worked, I changed my language and received what I was looking for, and it benefits me till today.”

What’s one place in the world you’d love to travel to, and why?

“Boston, and I hope one day I could qualify for the Boston Marathon.”

What do you like to do when you’re not at work?

“I’m a big fan of craft beer, so a nice IPA and a steak cooked medium-rare will do for me!”

If you won the lottery and could splurge on anything just for you, what would it be?

“I would use the lottery money to make some good investment so the money will grow by itself.”

Favorite sports to follow?

“I watch (English soccer club) Arsenal’s games and follow Formula One. Kimi Raikkonen is my driver.”

Do you speak any other languages?

“Chinese Mandarin.”

If you could have dinner with any three people, living or dead, whom would you choose and why?

“Kitty Flanagan, my favorite Australia comedian, who will surely make the dinner easygoing. Bob Hawke, the ex-Australian Prime Minister, who played a fundamental role in the Australia-China relationship and also a beer lover. And my father, who still lives in Beijing. We haven’t had a good dinner for a while now.

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