Motorized chariot

Motorized chariot, originally uploaded by Azchael.

One of the very first of its kind. As displayed in the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. Mercedes-Benz or Daimler as the company is called in the Swabian region has one of its largest factories in Sindelfingen, my home town. Be it the constant vibe of trying to create something new or the good old Swabian mentality to build your own house (and a perfect one it better be), I admire the spirit of discoverers and inventors as displayed in this simplistic yet revolutionary model that changed the world.

The idea to eliminate the horse as a factor in transportation was at that time a revolutionary one. And in its rise similar to ideas that are currently promoted and experienced. Think of solar energy which was a luxury thing to have for house owners twenty years back. Nowadays there are mini power plant solutions available costing less than 500 euros. Think of 3D printers who are being marketed for the everyday geek and which might eliminate a whole industry of small scale miniatures manufacturers. Think of so many projects being set up as a one-time endeavor, yet rise to become global enterprises (anyone say Google?).

Visit my other photos taken in the Mercedes-Benz Museum to get a feeling of German engineering, technology created and imagine the struggles such an idea must have undergone before it not only could be accepted by society, but also breakthrough on an international playing field.


The Basics of setting up your business in Asia

Expansion is a necessary step in business survival before the competition is getting ahead of you. Setting up your business in Asia is a step undertaken by many a business world-wide over every day. Business consultancies and agents have discovered this expansion strategy as their own business opportunity and are provided a range of services to those in need (and with enough money to pay it).

Just like in the picture above, a business requires foundations and the basic groundwork for small- and medium-sized enterprises have to be laid out precisely to avoid everything crumbling to dust after the polishing. As such the following checklist should serve as a first reminder on the complexity of the task and what should be the minimum effort involved. For the country of China some further detailing links are included for your reference.

Stepping in the plane …

-> Understand the visa needs (business / work visa), see the visa guideline for China
-> Understand the taxation
-> Know where to go (city / country)
-> Plan the trip

Buying that first patch of land

-> Understand where you put the shovel down
–> Accessibility to airports / seaports
–> Closeness to manpower / universities
–> Logistics and transportation
-> Get an office (rental vs. purchase), see this example eGuide on renting office space in Beijing
-> Get bank support (overseas / local)

Filling the rooms with laughter and life

-> Secretarial services and translation, e.g. as provided by The Executive Center in Beijing.
-> Registration, licensing and permits (A more detailed list tailored to the registration process of setting up a business in China is available with more details.)
-> Understanding the job market (Check out this white paper about finding the right talents in China)
-> Recruiting, recruiting, recruiting
–> Utilize professional job hunters for executive stuff, delegate them or make use of one of the many HR job databases in China.
-> Training! Either overseas or locally
–> Understand the need for training, what is available, what is required. Get MS Office known to your staff.

Bring out the drawing board

-> Structure the first ten weeks
–> What do you need? What is your aim? What do you need to fulfill it?
–> Whom do you need to contact?
-> Where? What? Who?

Irrespective of whether each task is being completed by yourself or entrusted agents, it is always of advantage to have people on ground in the country being able to help you. Want to know more? Contact me at MLVONSCHAPER AT YAHOO DOT DE.

Mobile Wine Processing Machines

A mobile wine bottleling machine working in Victoria, Australia, for the Bass Phillips wineyard. The actual machines are integrate in the back of the truck and deliver a mobile solution for smaller wineyards to efficiently process wines and bottle them. As per website the following services are being offered:

Wine filtration

A wide range of  economical options are available from minimal through to sterile.

Filling & bottle closing

‘State of the art’ equipment is used to offer gentle bottle filling, vacuum corking and/or screw-capping (ROPP).


PVC & metallic capsules are automatically applied and perfectly finished by our capsuling equipment.

Self adhesive labelling

Our labelling machines can apply varying combinations of front & back labels from one, two or three webs to suit most shapes and sizes of bottles.

The actual benefit for the wineyard is the availability of a machine that otherwise would cost too much to own and instead of bringing the wine to the bottles, the bottles come to the wine. I really like the idea of this mobile solution, as it suits the needs of smaller wineyards and economically benefits them.

Utilizing such a machine is a small project in its own as it requires:

  • Scheduling (availability of machine and required man-power)
  • Timing and logistics of material (empty bottles / pre-processed wine)
  • Space and order of materials (arrange barrels & bottles, as well as after-processing, i.e. boxing)