14 Oct 2004
Charging Ahead(HKTDC Electronics, Vol 05,2004)
Vol 5, 2004
Techworld Industries Ltd
Power Port battery chargers from Techworld Industries Ltd feature a unique carrying case that takes four batteries and turns the carrying case into a torch
The widespread popularity of digital cameras, coupled with ever-increasing concern for the environment, has breathed new life into the battery charger business.
Techworld Industries Ltd successfully foresaw this profitable trend and accordingly transformed itself from a 20-year-old adaptor manufacturer to a world-leading producer of battery chargers.
For example, Techworld's own Power Port brand battery chargers feature a unique carrying case that takes four batteries and turns the carrying case into a torch, and also charges items like mobile phones, book fans and USB lights.
Once the batteries are charged, the whole case can be unplugged and carried in a pocket, solving the problem of losing odd batteries. "We only developed the carrying case two years ago, but it's so popular that we have already sold more than a million pieces," claims sales manager Jody Chau. "This innovation has also helped bring the company into the consumer market."
The secret behind this kind of design excellence is a constant commitment to customers' needs, best exemplified by Techworld's revolutionary cordless charger that can adapt to four, five or six cell batteries and has virtually reinvented the remote control, toy car battery charger.
"This greatly reduces the cost as there is no need to make three different charger models," Chau explains. "It saves our clients' inventory costs as well."
This also enables Techworld's clients to offer battery-operated toy cars at a much more competitive price. "The flip-out design holds the batteries in place, and because it's cordless the end-user loves it too," Chau claims.
In just two years, the combination of the innovative carrying case and the flipper charger has turned Techworld from an ordinary battery charger manufacturer into the largest supplier in both the universal charger and toy charger markets.
Not surprisingly, Techworld has patented all its designs, which are supported by QS 9000 and ISO 9002 certification and a TUV-certified laboratory that can provide prompt, efficient testing for CE and GS approval for clients.
As a result, Techworld provides a one-stop service from order placement and design through in-house MCU programming to packaging and delivery via a fully computerised "value chain".
The company's products are exported to Europe, the US, Japan and Australia, where they are sold by its partners. "Our marketing strategy is to rely on our business partners, who are big distributors themselves," Chau reveals.
The resulting savings in sales and advertising costs are reinvested in enhancing production capability at Techworld's 250,000-square-foot, 2,000-worker factory in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland.
The factory is capable of producing three million units per month, including another innovative Techworld product, namely a lightweight, switching-type, car battery charger.
Like most of Techworld's products, the car battery charger is an example of what Chau likes to call "the next level of innovation". "To compete, we have to be innovative and use our value chain," he observes. "All we do is use the same old adaptor technology, but add useful features to it."
Techworld is set to launch another "next level of innovation": a patented design, three-cell direct charger that is once again a product of careful consideration of customers' habits.
"We developed this product because people might have an MP3 player, which uses one battery and a digital camera that uses two," Chau explains, noting that the charger is also good for walkie-talkies, which normally use three batteries. "Conventional four-battery chargers are no good for charging one or two batteries."
Quoting a survey that predicts real growth for secondary batteries in the next 10 years, Chau says Techworld will remain innovative. "Only by constantly coming up with new functions and products that meet customer needs will we be able to ensure that our Power Port brand is more than a 'simple' charger," he concludes.
WRITTEN BY CAM CHEUNG
Techworld Industries Ltd