Dr. Willis Cheng is the founder of Arbor Acres Taiwan and was present from the very start, leading the building of the poultry houses and construction of different parts of the facility along with the establishment of the company's business plans for entry into the local market. Now he has been honored by Aviagen with the presentation of a plaque in recognition of over 40 years' service to Arbor Acres.
Arbor Acres had an 8 percent market share, which was well below the market leader at that time in the early seventies. Six months later, Arbor Acres' market penetration had grown to reach a fivefold increase before assuming the major portion of the market, totally changing the market in Taiwan at that time.
"Customers trusted us. We focused our energy on product quality, keeping the product free from disease and it helped to have the best female of the day developed by Henry Saglio," commented Cheng.
Cheng went on to describe the importance and value of technical service which grew in the market as they visited the customers more often and had more knowledge of the local environment through their experience with grandparents and awareness of the management capability that existed in customer operations. Inside Arbor Acres Taiwan, they had set up a database of their own production which gave excellent insight and experience of what was happening in the field. The team knew what the customer might need ahead of time and offered him a combination of some market analysis, effective technical service advice and above all good egg numbers.
"From that position we set out to be the 'more complete supplier' and commenced a series of technical seminars after the first year in the market. The customer changed his mind about the benefits and advantages of imported stock as we continued with 100 percent bio-security procedures and highlighted the advantages of Taiwanese production," explained Cheng.
All the attention on customer support and bird performance led to a healthy increase in the Arbor Acres business. Arbor Acres Taiwan made a huge effort to educate their people about the importance of bio-security, particularly in a high density farming environment with the strict implementation of shower-in and boot change policy for everyone on the farm. Separated farms, increased use of automation, a reduction in floor eggs and extra effort to successfully manage the seasons all worked in producing a bird that the customers wanted.
Cheng has recently returned to Arbor Acres Taiwan to once again become more directly involved in the company he foundered so many years ago.