An exclusive interview with Roger Lin, Regional Sales Director of HS Footwear Co
Tell us about yourself?
My name is Roger Lin, and I work at HS Footwear Co. as the Regional Sales Director responsible for the North American market. My job revolves around expanding and maintaining relationships with our clients in this area.
What makes you different than other professionals in your field?
What makes HS Footwear Co. different from our competitors is our quality. We are proud of the quality of the shoes that we produce. We have long-term relationships with our clients because they trust us, and they trust our quality. That’s how we have been able to maintain relationships for such a long time. We own the facilities, and we do direct business with the client, which makes the product sales to manufacturing process transparent and cost-efficient.
What has been the most important part of your professional journey?
Although my primary role is sales, I follow up with the entire manufacturing process as well. For instance, when the client requests samples, I spend most of the time in the R&D office to be actively involved in the production of the samples. I stay in the facilities to make sure everything goes smoothly throughout the production process. So, although I’m in sales, I follow up on every order for my clients closely from the beginning to the end.
What are the projects you enjoy working on the most?
It’s fascinating to see how the shoes are made from scratch – from the fabric and other materials to assembly, and once they are pieced together, they become the shoes that we’re wearing day to day. There is a lot of labor involved, which makes me appreciate the footwear I’m wearing on a daily basis.
How would you measure success in your role?
Client satisfaction is the most significant measurement of our success. We’re not looking for a one-time transaction with our clients. We deliver high-quality products, and we maintain long-term relationships with clients because we believe that’s the formula to success.
What takes up too much of your time?
Since I work with clients in the U.S. and focus on relationship management, due to the time zone difference I have to work on different time zones to make sure everything is going fine throughout the manufacturing process on the other side of the world. I communicate from the client to the R&D office or to the facilities to make sure no gap in communication would result in a bad product. In order to make sure things are going smoothly, I have to put more time and effort into work.
What three pieces of advice would you give to college students?
Enjoy the work. Your first job is never going to be a dream job. Try to learn from the process and colleagues and grow until you cannot grow anymore. Then look for other opportunities that will get you closer to your dream job, but always try to find improvement and try to develop while you are in a career.
Who has impressed you most with what they’ve accomplished?
In the shoe manufacturing industry, Stella is being called the Louis Vuitton (LV) of the manufacturing industry. They are an IPO company in Hong Kong. They claim their shoes don’t need to be quality controlled by their clients – the shoes they manufacture can be delivered to the customer’s hands instead of going through the clients. This means that they are proud of their quality control. They produce the finest shoes on the market. They produce the shoes for Cole Haan, LV, Gucci – the top line women’s shoes, so that’s impressive.
When was the last time you totally lost yourself in doing something?
Since this job has long working hours, I get frustrated sometimes when things don’t run smoothly and when I communicate with the facilities although I already made sure I listed out every detail that should be taken into consideration. However, because shoe manufacturing is highly manual, there are errors sometimes. I get frustrated if the final product doesn’t look right.
What drives you to keep going when it’s really tough?
Working out. I go jogging or go to the gym. I put my headphones on and just concentrate on working out, go shower and come back to work. That’s how I recharge, and then I’m ready to take on the next challenge.
How people should connect with you?