Smith System Engineering is a company that bridges the world of advanced technology and big business. Marketing director Richard J.M. Sweet, in Hong Kong recently on a fact-finding mission, has a solid reputation in business, advanced technology and the rather important ability of combining the two into real problem-solving solutions. Most of Smith's Asia business is conducted in Japan, and Mr Sweet's visit was partly aimed at changing that. 'We tend to deal with the sharp end of technology,' Mr Sweet said. 'We are technical/management consultants specialising in communications, space transport, information systems and engineering.' Smith's clients include the British National Space Centre, the Civil Aviation Authority, BP Exploration, British Gas, British Rail and many other European Commission agencies, in addition to French and South African government projects. Mr Sweet said Smith often begins by asking a rather simple question: 'What is it you are really trying to achieve?' It is Smith's belief that understanding fully what a company wants to do will aid greatly in their efforts to combine the most advanced technology with a business plan to suit the company's clients. Mr Sweet also emphasised the fact that Smith is an independent organisation that is purely interested in solving problems. 'The fact that we are independent is important,' he said. Smith, he said, was not like other companies that have expertise in either the technology or the business angle. 'We differ from pure technology in that we see the whole picture.' In this day and age, it has become difficult for businesses to keep up with what is going on in the technology world while continuing to operate in an 'old' way. For those who wish to be on the cutting edge, it may well be necessary to use the services of a company such as Smith System.