Media - Sonova News Room
Sonova expands production facility in Vietnam
Sonova has proudly inaugurated a new building at its operation center near Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, thereby expanding its production capacity and setting the stage for future growth. Thai Phuong Nguyen, Sonova’s Managing Director Vietnam, speaks about this next important step for the group in the Asia Pacific region.
Why has Sonova expanded its production facility in Vietnam?
The production facility near Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam is one of three hearing instrument manufacturing hubs, with the other two in Switzerland and in China, respectively. Our expanded operation center in Vietnam ensures ample capacity for further growth in the region as well as globally. Our belief in the importance of long-term investment in this part of the world is underpinned by our successful track record in Vietnam and other Asia Pacific countries.
What is the production capacity of the new building at the operation center?
The new production facility is a two-story building spread over 10,000 square meters and is built to accommodate a production team of 1,200 staff.
The facility is equipped to manufacture various types of hearing instruments – custom products, Audéo B-R Receiver-in-Canal (RIC) products, including the first-of-its-kind lithium-ion rechargeable hearing aid, as well as a new generation of external receivers.
What kind of functional requirements does the new building fulfill?
Because we manufacture and test very small and sensitive hearing technology, we had to address the vibration and noise effects of the building very carefully. The new production facility ensures overall noise levels remain below 45dB. But the operation center meets not only functional criteria, but also aesthetic ones inside and out, offering an energizing work environment.
Were environmental factors also taken into consideration during construction?
The operation center meets the highest environmental protection standards, and optimized lighting and air conditioning controlled by a state-of-the-art building management system help to minimize energy consumption.
Can you tell us a little more about the new building concept?
Our goal was to create a comfortable atmosphere in the building that would reinforce personal commitment and give staff a real sense of teamwork.
But a beautiful workplace and high-end equipment are not in themselves enough to motivate a team. I prefer a more personal approach. So whenever possible I take one employee per week aside for an informal chat. For me, the wider picture – the family, wellbeing, wishes and problems – is crucial. The team seems satisfied, yet I don’t want to rely on some off-the-shelf assessment system to tell me that. Here, it’s all about human beings.
I want the company to be “organic.” Individual and group needs should coincide – like in an orchestra, where everyone plays his or her own instrument, but harmonious interaction transforms individual notes into a concerto. The value of this approach is borne out in the statistics, both at the staff and the company level. Our annual employee turnover rate is much lower than the average for comparable companies in Vietnam.
How will this long-term investment impact Sonova’s position in the Asia Pacific region?
This is another important step for Sonova in the Asia Pacific region. We have substantially increased our production capacity, so the stage is now set for further growth. By insisting on high standards in our new production facility, both in terms of working conditions and environmental protection, Sonova has sent an important signal: in the long run, economic success and social/environmental sustainability can go hand-in-hand.
In terms of our vision, the opening of the operation center in Vietnam certainly takes us a step closer to our overarching goal – to help as many people as possible to live a life without limitations.