COMMAX Chairman & CEO Byun Bong-duk is one of the witnesses of the development of the Korean electronics industry, which has come a long way to make Korea one of the world’s IT powerhouses.
In 1968, Chairman Byun established COMMAX, which will celebrate the 50th anniversary next year. The company has focused on technology development, unlike most ordinary SMEs that depend on subcontracts of large-sized firms.
COMMAX is a home IoT company that has led the advanced telecommunications device market for half a decade. The company produced “interphones,” door phones and industrial telecommunications systems for the first time in Korea and dominated the markets enough to have most high-end houses filled with COMMAX products in the 70s and 80s. Entering the 1980s, COMMAX led the video communications system markets by developing and commercializing black/white and color videophones. It caused a sensation in the home telecommunications system market by releasing home automation systems for preventing disasters and thefts in the 90s.
COMMAX has continued to be a trendsetter by developing home network products employing internet technologies in the 2000s. A look at the development of COMMAX gives you a glimpse into how the Korean electronics has been evolving at a fast pace.
Chairman Byun recalled that former professor Kim Wan-hee of Columbia University gave up his long-term teaching job at the electronics department and returned home at the request of ex-President Park Chung Hee. He had been credited with drawing up a roadmap for the development of the Korean electronics industry.
COMMAX’s secret of successfully exporting despite an unfavorable environment in the 70s is owed to their offering of “trust” to foreign buyers. He also stresses a challenging spirit, creativity, and manpower development. Chairman Byun was honored with the Order of Industrial Service, Gold Tower in an awards ceremony among people who made meritorious contributions of the electronics and IT industries on the occasion of the 12th Electronics & IT Day.
COMMAX DPV-4HP Video Door Phone. / COMMAX 32-inch Smart Mirror.
COMMAX Smart Pad CDP-1020A.
COMMAX has been selected as the first company to make it onto the list of time-horned businesses by the predecessor of the Ministry of SMEs and Startups.
He predicted that the future outlook of the electronics industry is rosy because of convergence on the horizon with industries such as self-driving and bio industry. COMMAX is striving to build a new ecosystem in aggressive collaboration with several companies. For instance, COMMAX established Venturus.
The company is making preparations to release new IoT products employing voice recognition, AI platform and future technologies of the 4th Industrial Revolution by conducting innovation activities to shore up our own technology competitiveness and business foundation.
The following are excerpts of an interview between NewsWorld and Chairman Byun in which he spoke of his company’s management tenets, strategies and future plans.
Question: How did you feel after winning the Order of Industrial Service, Gold Tower in an awards ceremony of people who made meritorious contributions of the electronics and IT industries on the occasion of the 12th Electronics & IT Day anniversary. Would you tell our readers about your company’s management strategies?
Answer: I’ve been devoting myself to realizing my determination to make customers’ lives convenient for 49 years. It is a great honor for me to receive the coveted order for my contribution to the development of the nation. I wish to extend words of appreciation to customers who love our COMMAX and our all staff. Many hardships and difficulties COMMAX underwent during the long period notwithstanding, we have been demonstrating a challenging spirit and creativity. We’ll strive to carry on with a challenging spirit and creativity to become a company contributing to the development of the nation down the road.
With the emerging of new technologies, our products have been diversified and functions multiplied.
More competitors have been entering the market than before, and days come when boundaries are giving way. COMMAX will become a company pursuing sustained innovation with the goal of creating customer values through innovation as we did previously. This is the core management tenet.
Q: Congratulations on COMMAX Senior Executive Vice President Byun Woo-suk’s winning the presidential award in the Korean National Quality Awards ceremony and COMMAX’s making it onto the list of “2017 Excellent Quality Competitiveness Enterprises” in the electric/electronics category for 13 years in a row. Will you introduce your company’s quality management initiatives?
A: Good quality can gain trust from customers. Companies trusted by customers have less burden in releasing new products. Likewise, recognizing the fact that quality makes an integral part to earn trust from customers, COMMAX has manufactured products since an initial stage after its establishment. I think that default rates need to be minimized by producing faithfully products the way the items sold are taken care of to the end and trust must be given to customers through after-sales services.
COMMAX’s secret of successfully exporting them abroad despite an unfavorable environment in the 70s is owed to our offering trust on quality to foreign buyers.
Our company’s exports to more than 120 countries is possible thanks to the quality of our products.
A group of foreign buyers look at COMMAX products on display at the lobby of COMMAX headquarters in Seongnam, south of Seoul.
Q: COMMAX, celebrating the 50th anniversary next year, has been selected as the first time-horned business by the predecessor of the Ministry of SMEs and Startups. Would you touch on the current status and future of COMMAX?
A: COMMAX, established in 1968, is a home IoT company that has led the advanced telecommunications device market for half a century.
We’ve produced interphones, door phones and industrial telecommunications systems for the first time in Korea and dominated the markets enough to have almost high-end houses filled with COMMAX products for the 70s and 80s. Entering the 1980s, COMMAX led the video communications system markets by developing and commercializing black/white and color videophones.
We caused a sensation in the home telecommunications system market by releasing home automation systems to prevent disasters and theft in the 90s. COMMAX has continued to be a trendsetter by developing home network products employing Internet technologies in the 2000s.
COMMAX now supplies diverse advanced products in our daily lives like home networks, home automation, videophones and security on top of its mainstay home IoT products.
The company is flexing its muscle in such industrial telecommunications gadget markets, including broadcasting systems, intelligent hospital systems for inpatient rooms and operation rooms as well as smart buildings, civil engineering and plant markets.
We’ll strive to make our daily life a smart one by strengthening diverse content, multimedia, smart grids and security combined with advanced technologies, including cloud, AI and big data to correspond with the trends of the 4th Industrial Revolution with a focus on ramping up technology competitiveness through technology development and the signing of MOUs. COMMAX will devote itself to making all living space convenient and safe.
COMMAX, the first company which made it onto the list of time-honored businesses.
Q: Would you elaborate on the current status of COMMAX’s competitiveness, such as the selection of its products as Korean-produced global top-class items and strategies to ramp up its competitive edge?
A: COMMAX has gained enough recognition to have its videophone make it onto the list of Korean-produced global top-class items for the 24th consecutive year. Naming a few prizes, the item has been selected as the First Brand Grand Prix 12 years in a row, and COMMAX was chosen as the first time-horned business in February. The product was selected as the 2017 Brand Grand Prix by consumers for the third executive year.
Other awards include the “2017 Excellent Quality Competitiveness Enterprises Prize,” the KPC Grand Prize as well as global design awards like Red Dot, iF, IDEA and Good Design. COMMAX is recognized for the expertise and technology we’ve accumulated. COMMAX does not rest on its laurels, and I think that the strengthening of competitiveness is the best policy as we’ve grown through endless self innovation.
Q: Would you explain COMMAX’s mainstay items like smart home and its future outlook?
A: Our mainstay items are smart products like home IoT, network solutions and smart door locks. COMMAX’s home IoT products, to be released next year, will combine the conventional door entry items as well as IT technologies.
The new products, which will connect our daily living devices wirelessly can be controlled at any place at any time through COMMAX’s Wall Pad and family members’ smartphones.
“Iot Open Plaform,” based on an open-type cloud and intelligent IoT service through big data analysis, are also added to provide optimal convenience to family members and ensure safety and value to customers’ lives. We’ve been expanding our IoT business foundation through services supporting cloud platforms and global telecommunications technology standards with the goal of making these IoT solutions available around the world. Smart home and home IoT industries, combining a collection of current prominent technologies, are predicted to enjoy high growth.
As more and more competitors are entering the market, COMMAX will be armed with technologies and strategies to survive the competition and overcome the crisis.
COMMAX supplies diverse smart home systems.
Q: Would you specify COMMAX’s strategies to explore future growth engines like IoT and other technologies of the 4th Industrial Revolution?
A: As boundaries among industries are breaking down, we’re in a new crisis in which more and more would-be late-comer competitors are expected to enter such areas as smart home and home security. COMMAX is striving to build a new ecosystem in an aggressive collaboration with several companies. We’re making preparations to release new IoT products employing voice recognition, AI platform and future technologies of the 4th Industrial Revolution by conducting innovation activities to shore up our own technology competitiveness and business foundation.
In order to build the ecosystem for new industries, COMMAX has introduced the “Future Lap” to introduce and employ future technologies, and hired researchers while singing MOUs and implementing joint projects to solidify our position in the home IoT sector.
We’re collaborating with such global companies as Amazon, MS, IBM, such service platform companies as three Korean telecom service providers, KaKao, and Naver as well as home appliance companies like Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics.
Q: Would you comment on your management tenets?
A: COMMAX is focusing on manpower development. COMMAX, recognizing the importance of talent, has been investing big in education and manpower development. We’ve introduced the COMMAX Academy Education Program to boost staff education. Professors from prestigious universities have been invited to offer MBA classes while outside and internet education are supported.
We’ve set aside more than 200 million won annually to educate staff.
COMMAX has been lending an ear to views of staff all members. Staff members who propose good ideas are rewarded annually. Most CEOs who run COMMAX franchise outlets are former COMMAX staffers with which we have cozy relationships are owed to our management tenets focusing on talent.
COMMAX headquarters decorated with a banner celebrating COMMAX Chairman Byun Bong-duk’s winning the Order of Industrial Service, Gold Tower. (Photos:COMMAX,NewsWorld)