13 Feb 2004
Charging Up(HKTDC Electronics, Vol 01,2004)
Vol 1, 2004
Tai Yip Electrical Co Ltd
|Tai Yip Electrical Co Ltd began business as an electrical goods trader but currently manufactures more than 180 different types of essential electrical products|
The hi-tech sector may have seen its fair share of ups and downs over the past few years, but business at Tai Yip Electrical Co Ltd remains steady according to managing director Peter Yip.
He started the firm in 1983 as a local electrical goods trader, but has since built the company into a US$22m per year business, mainly selling OEM products.
"The electrical goods market has advanced considerably over the past two decades," he observes. "We started out assembling communications accessories but now also produce many other types of products, including audiovisual (AV) and computer equipment."
The firm's current product range includes electrical cables, wiring materials, telecoms equipment components, mobile phone and battery charging cables, and AC power supply cords, plus audio, visual, DC and optical fibre cables and accessories.
Tai Yip rolls out more than 180 different types of items overall, including 60 video cables and accessories, more than 40 Scart cables and accessories and over 60 computer cables and accessories. These products are sold to importers and wholesalers in 16 countries around the world.
"This is a fairly stable industry, and fortunately we were not significantly affected by events such as the hi-tech crash of a few years ago, because we produce basic products that are always in demand," Yip notes.
Many of Tai Yip's clients have come since the company decided five years after its founding to participate in trade exhibitions such as the Hong Kong Trade Development Council's Hong Kong Electronics Fair, where it keeps in touch with existing clients and canvasses for new business.
Tai Yip mainly exports to Europe, which accounts for 60% of sales, while the US and Canada takes about 15% and a further 15% goes to the Asia-Pacific region.
"Europe is an important market for us because margins are quite reasonable, while there are many individual countries within Europe that we can market to," explains Yip.
"By contrast, US orders tend to be large but there are currently fewer of them, and the prices are not quite as good. Nonetheless, we accept all good orders, but will always work within our bottom line."
Yip expects the industry to become increasingly competitive on all levels in the coming years, yet despite tough market conditions he feels there are plenty of opportunities for electronic equipment manufacturers.
"Every area has prospects for expansion - for example Cat-5e and Cat-6 products, and ADSL micro-filters have become very popular and we expect demand to continue," he predicts.
"Big ticket telecoms and AV products also require increasingly high performance cables to maximise their potential, while improvements in computer technology have increased demand for more advanced products such as high-speed USB cables."
Production is carried out at Tai Yip's 200,000-square-foot factory in Bao'an, near Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland, which rolls out more than four million components per month.
The 17-year-old, 1,200-employee Bao'an location is convenient due to its close proximity to Hong Kong, but Tai Yip has plans to further step up production and recently acquired a manufacturing site in Dongguan, Guangdong Province.
Yip adds that his company's competitive edge is due to the design skills and quality moulding techniques honed by the in-house team of electrical engineers.
"As the Chinese mainland opens up, operating there is also becoming more competitive," he comments. "To keep a step ahead of the market we've had to concentrate on keeping costs down and are overseeing as much of the production process as possible."
Another element to Tai Yip's competitive edge is its exacting quality control standards: the firm has been ISO 9002-certified since 1996, and followed that with ISO 9001 in 2003. Tai Yip's Cat-5e products meet EIA/TIA TS68A and ISO/IEC DIS 11801 category 5 standards.
Tai Yip's telephone cables, accessories and wiring material have received UL/CSA approval and its Australian telephone cables and accessories satisfy ACA requirements, while all products meet the CE standard.
Tai Yip Electrical Co Ltd
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