On the Rise: Yi Feng
Fleet Service Solution Manager | Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. | Age: 37
What was your first job in the industry?
Tire compounder (material engineer) in Goodyear’s Innovation Center Luxembourg.
What attracted you to the industry?
There are two things that attracted me to the industry. First, with my semiconductor academic background, I found it meaningful to combine sensor technology with tire products to enable future mobility solutions. Second, it's exciting to work in Goodyear's global network. It's an environment that inspires creativity and a diversity mindset.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career?
My biggest challenge was implementing RFID as a solution within the Asia Pacific market. This was a great challenge as it allowed me to quickly learn how to lead a full product implementation, from stakeholder management and procurement process establishment all the way to manufacturing and market release. As a result, we successfully implemented RFID within the shortest time. This project taught me that the biggest challenges bring me the greatest opportunity to learn and grow.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
My first project team influenced me the most with a great team spirit, strong collaboration, agility and mutuality.
What is your biggest accomplishment in the industry?
I am glad to have the opportunity to implement sensor technology, i.e., RFID and TPMS, into commercial tire products in China, and to establish a digitalized service solution to enable future mobility like autonomous transportation. I was recently promoted to a strategic collaboration between Goodyear and Plus, a global provider of self-driving truck technology. The collaboration is to explore how integrating Goodyear's intelligent tires with autonomous semi trucks can transform the logistics industry.
Tell us about your current job and responsibilities. How do you spend your work day?
I am currently working as the manager of Goodyear China’s commercial fleet tire solution. My responsibility is to design and execute a total solution strategy, i.e., PPK model or tire IoT, to meet customer needs and create a new service-based revenue channel for Goodyear.
My work day usually starts with visiting customers, followed by internal communication as well as new processes or new business model creation.
What’s one thing you wish someone would have told you before you took your current job?
“Reciprocity is the firmest foundation”. This job’s success is heavily dependent on people over whom I have no direct authority, so I need to understand the structure of the organization and learn to navigate it. Who has influence? Whose support is critical and why? Armed with these insights, I can then focus on how I will secure their backing, which usually involves understanding what others are trying to accomplish and how I can help them. Reciprocity is the firmest foundation on which to build allies.
Tell us about your family.
My husband is from Mauritius and is working in the same company as me. We met in Goodyear Luxembourg and then relocated to Goodyear China. We both like traveling and cycling. Now we have a lovely 3-year-old daughter who learns Chinese from me and English from my husband.
What did you learn about yourself in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic?
I learned that worrying is not constructive. One should not do nothing but worry, instead I ensured all my friends and my family were safe and kept doing sport at home via running machine, to divert attention from the pandemic and keep healthy both mentally and physically.
Name a talent you wish you had.
I wish I was talented at picking up languages.
How do you recover from a bad or stressful day?
I like to write down everything in my mind, in this way, it would be easier to identify what exactly made me stressed and what went wrong. By this reflection work, I can find out the source of the emotion then find a solution or at least next steps towards improvement or relaxation.
What’s the best book you’ve read lately?
Rich Dad Poor Dad. I wish I had read this book ten years ago.
What’s your favorite, can’t-miss podcast?
I like a podcast called “Global Technology Trend.” (It’s in Chinese though.) But it’s great for learning about the latest technology progress and their impact on daily life.
If you won an Olympic gold medal, how would you have earned it? (You can make up a sport.)
I’d love to win a gold medal for figure skating and for me there is only one path to success: commitment, grit and hard work. People often believe that gold medals are won by talent alone. While talent is important I believe that it's hard work and commitment which is the true differentiator and wins medals.
What’s the biggest issue facing the industry today?
How to create real value for customers. The customers’ need is consistent: keep their vehicle moving and safe. In the past, we could not provide the total service solution, instead we could only sell a tire product, leaving all the management and maintenance to end users. Now, through tire sensors and intelligent platform integration with mileage sales models, we can streamline the tire usage eco-system and free customers from tire management work, making their life easier and reducing their costs.
What advice would you give to tire dealers who are desperate to find good employees?
Search for the candidate who shows the right attitude, drive and grit. People can learn new skills and will gain experience over time but success cannot be achieved without the right attitude, drive and grit.
What do you expect to be doing 20 years from now?
Be a writer to share with and influence on people.