Hung Hing uses IT to bring its A-game

CIO Yee Yu, Hung Hing Printing GroupHung Hing Printing Group, established in 1950, is a company in transition. Like many traditional businesses, the Hong Kong-listed company is trying to secure its footing in the digital era.

For 67 years, it has parleyed its expertise in paper printing, corrugated box manufacturing, book and package printing and consumer product packaging into a business that generated more than HK$3 billion in total revenues in 2015.

With headquarters in Hong Kong and four manufacturing plants in China, Hung Hing Printing has approximately 11,000 employees, including sales representatives in Europe, the US, Canada and South America.

Printer in the digital era

Seven years ago, the company arrived at a crossroad, realizing that the printing industry has the same challenge facing the TV, film and music industries with the growing popularity of digital streaming. The printing industry too is migrating towards digital, and Hung Hing has to change to thrive and compete in a market that is now vastly different from the one it entered more than half a century ago.

“Hung Hing is evolving beyond a traditional printer and developing capabilities to provide customers with digital as well as print products. Technology lies at the very heart of this evolution,” said company CIO Yee Yu, who is this year’s Computerworld Hong Kong’s CIO Awards 2017 winner for the medium enterprise category.

Yu has been at the helm of this transformation for more than six years. He is the company’s first CIO whose mandate is to provide the vision and thought leadership that drive Hung Hing’s technology agenda.

“His planning, development and implementation of IT programs have served to push forward the group’s overall business goals and objectives,” said Matthew Yum, executive chairman, Hung Hing Printing Group. “His ability to lead his teams is strong and he has gone the extra miles to inspire the team to achieve positive results.”

Putting the house in order

Yu was brought into the company externally in 2010. At that time, he was the lead consultant at IBM’s Global Business Services tasked to do an IT review of the organization –not only evaluating its hardware and software setup, but also speaking with employees from various levels to understand the business and capabilities needed for the company to compete in the market.

“We looked at all those things and basically had a laundry list of things that they should do with a timetable and the investment they needed to put all that in place,” Yu recalled. “I came up with recommendations – this blueprint that they can take and just execute.”

He added: “I remember telling them what they really need is a change agent – someone who understands and appreciates technology – to bring that element into the organization to make it operate efficiently.”