Ailen Li

Meet the team series

Going against the grain: Ailen Li

"I've always been someone who relishes going against the grain. I don't like doing things just because they have always been done that way"

December 10 2020

She is new in a market that is constantly evolving. During the pandemic, she took the plunge, whilst figuring out different ways to work and to build her team. This scenario might be scary to some people, but Ailen Li thrives on taking on such a challenge. 

I've always been someone who relishes going against the grain. I don't like doing things just because they have always been done that way

Ailen Li

Position in North America

Ailen started as Director of the iD Cloud team in the US in late January. Together with her team, her mission is to expand Nedap’s leading position by further developing the organization and being the most reliable RFID partner for brands and retailers in the market. These firm ambitions match her drive and determination. Ailen thinks in terms of opportunities and solutions. That is why people come to her for advice, both on a personal and on a business level. She likes to show them a different way of thinking by challenging them with questions like "Why do you do what you do?" and “Is this the best way or is there a better way?”.

Believe in what you are offering

She gained her near-decade experience in various business development positions: starting from cold prospecting to building teams. Her drive to help others characterizes her style, just like her passion for work. “To be successful, sometimes you need to have thick skin but most importantly believe that what you are offering is the best solution based on your customers’ needs”, says Ailen. "If you don't believe in what you’re putting forward, they will see through it."

You vote with your money

In North America, one can say that “you vote with your money”: brand loyalty is at an all-time high. But expectations are also rising and a disappointed customer is not likely to return. In the current market, retailers have to think more out-of-the-box. The focus has shifted to matching online and offline into one seamless shopping experience and to the immediate availability of products. Ailen thoroughly investigates how retailers can meet such a high standard through a real-time RFID-driven inventory management solution such as iD Cloud. As a partner, she works to remove any obstacles or concerns that may exist and thoroughly enjoys the positive impact her work has on their businesses.

Short visit to the Dutch headquarters

Despite working remotely due to COVID-19, there is a strong company culture. The international aspect can especially be experienced when visiting another head office. When she was invited to the Dutch headquarters in Groenlo last February, her initial thought was to book a ticket to Amsterdam. She ended up flying via Düsseldorf, Germany: this way, she could also visit the ”world’s no.1 retail trade fair”: EuroShop 2020. Visiting a trade show feels almost feels like ages ago now in this Zoom-era! 

However, the fact that personal appointments can't take place for a while doesn't mean that Ailen and her team are going to sit down and wait. Breaking a standard pattern to get and stay in touch also brings a lot of creativity and energy. The common team goal remains to make retailers as successful as possible. Especially in times when the challenge is at its greatest. Driven by this common purpose, Ailen and her team are more connected than ever. 

Ailen Li
Head of Business Development - North America
Ailen Li