4 Dec 2006
Adaptability Pays(HKTDC Electronics, Vol 04,2006)
Minwa Electronics Co Ltd
|Minwa Electronics Co Ltd manufactures various electronic products including small portable speakers|
Three decades of consistent success is a major milestone for any company - especially one that has managed to survive in the turbulent and highly fickle electronics field.
Established in 1977, Minwa Electronics Co Ltd has thrived and prospered thanks to its ability to adapt quickly and flexibly to changing business conditions and evolving customer needs.
Adaptation of one kind or another has been at the core of Minwa's business from its inception, according to assistant marketing manager Carol Chan.
"In the beginning we focused on simple linear adaptors, then extended our product line to produce switching adaptors, digital camera adaptors and other items," she recalls.
A strong emphasis on customer service allowed Minwa to build enduring relationships with several well-known companies, who encouraged their supplier to diversify further.
"Some of our customers asked if we were able to make battery chargers, so we expanded into that area and those two categories are still our best sellers," says Chan.
Shortly afterwards, Minwa began to work on other lines such as auto and travel voltage accessories and converters. "We have also developed a whole range of different speakers, and extended our product range to iPod accessories," Chan reveals. "We also produce cables - mainly for audio and video."
Minwa now has two factories in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland, which jointly occupy around 50,000 square metres and employ more than 3,000 staff who are kept busy year-round on 40 production lines.
The vertically-integrated company has its own tooling, plastic, metal, cable, carton, SMT assembly and packing departments, as well as a dust-free painting room.
Minwa's rigorous quality control has seen the company receive ISO 9001 certification and its laboratory become certified to ISO 17025 level, while it also conforms to the WEEE and RoHS directives.
Environmental responsibility and concern for the welfare of employees are equally important priorities for Minwa, which obtained a Green Product Management System (GPMS) certificate from the SGS certification agency in August.
One month earlier, it also received SA 8000 certification from Social Accountability International for the working conditions at its two factories.
Commitment such as this has seen Minwa build a strong presence in its core markets, the US, Canada and Europe. "In recent years we have also expanded into Southeast Asia, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and Japan," Chan adds.
Although the company has its own MW and Sovis brands, about 80% of its business is in the OEM/ODM area. "We've worked with many of our customers for 15-20 years, and they like to keep to their own brands," Chan explains.
"We're a one-stop solution for our customers, doing the R&D, moulding, production, assembly and even the packaging in-house."
She says that Minwa can manufacture around 200,000 battery chargers and some 300,000 adaptors per month. "We can also make about 150,000 portable speakers per month," Chan adds.
The company sources its parts mostly on the mainland and in Taiwan, and generally delivers competitively-priced products about 30 days after order confirmation.
"A very simple adaptor might start at US$0.90 or US$1 per piece, but a switching power supply with an IC might cost US$3-4," Chan explains.
Small portable speaker prices begin at about US$5, but the cost depends on the output power and the quality of the drivers. "We can produce different combinations to serve different needs," Chan avers. "Our larger 5.1 or 4.1 speaker systems cost US$36-40."
Plans for the anniversary year include the introduction of new products within the company's established areas of expertise, and building the Sovis brand in the audio accessories area.
"We will be working to develop more portable speakers because people are using MP3 players more, and will also develop more battery chargers and iPod accessories," Chan declares. "We think Sovis has a solid future in that market."
Client service remains the company's number-one priority, and Minwa expects to continue building on the platform it has spent 30 years securing.
"The advantage of vertically-integrated manufacturing practice is enhanced flexibility," Chan concludes. "We have better control of time and resources, which in turn helps us be more flexible and make changes to suit customer needs."
WRITTEN BY ROBERT PIERCE
Minwa Electronics Co Ltd