;Since the reform and opening up of Mainland China, it has accumulated economic power through years of effort and is now developing rapidly. Taking advantage of its abundant natural resources, low labor cost, vast consumer market, and support from the government-sponsored infrastructure, it has attracted companies from around the world to invest in manufacturing. The comprehensive advantage and development potential have enabled it to be a “world factory” thus promoting the booming of China’s electro-mechanical industry. Mainland China has also implemented a policy of encouraging energy-saving and environmental protection, aiming to lower by 20% the energy consumption in GDP over five years. This will offer more opportunities to accelerate the electro-mechanical market. China’s markets will be further opened following its entry into the WTO. All companies of the industrial automation in the world’s top 500 have entered their businesses in the market of Mainland China to gain a share of the largest electro-mechanical market in the world. In an age of fierce competition, companies are facing more challenges than ever before. The critical factor for the success of an electro-mechanical company is how to gain more market share in the shortest time.
However, 60% of the products in China's electro-mechanical market are sold to end users through agents directly or indirectly. Under the condition that he who has more agents has more market shares, suppliers have in succession attempted to gain assistance from agents so as to increase the visibility of their products and gain larger market shares and richer profits. Unfortunately, they have encountered difficulties in organizing and managing their agents. It is thus critical for the companies to effectively plan, set up, and integrate agent management systems in order to promote the cooperation and good partnership with local agents, thus creating shared competitive edges and profits for the two parties. This is a topic discussed in the study in an in-depth way, i.e., the effective management system of agents, including the setup of contents of the system, operation mode, and the relevance between systems.
The study makes a case study on Company A of a Taiwan businessman with an operation in Mainland China. It tries to introduce and analyze the impact of agents in the industry and the significance of a quality agent management system on the market shares by starting with the development of the Marco economy in the Mainland China, the situation of its electro-mechanical industry, developmental trend, and other environmental links. It then makes an in-depth analysis and conclusion of Company A’s history, mission, vision, operation strategy, and features; as well as its planning of agents, operation of its agent management system, and general operation management.
The case study indicates that the agent management system of the company consists of: the selection of agents, operation and management of agents, information management system of agents, performance evaluation, and incentive and remuneration system for agents. Its advantages mainly lie in: firstly, the core customer-oriented principle, secondly, a network-based design concept, and thirdly, a dynamic-setup-based management. It can be concluded that Company A has a well-defined macro-strategy on agents and a finely-divided feasible agent management system. Just as Lao Tzu, an ancient philosopher in China, said “Take hard jobs in hand, while they are easy; and great affairs too, while they are small,” an advantageous agent management system has greatly contributed to the success of the company in the case study. It can be used as a reference for companies attempting to enter the markets of Mainland China and their management of agents.