8 Feb 2005
Making Waves(HKTDC Electronics, Vol 01,2005)
Co-Tech Industrial (Holdings) Ltd
Over the last two years, the company has developed a range of new electrical and electronic products - including a steam cleaner and kitchen appliances such as espresso and regular coffee machines, a cotton candy machine, a chocolate maker and an ice-cream maker.
However, marketing manager Karen Sin is keen to reassure existing clients that 13-year-old Co-Tech will continue to focus on its traditional specialty.
"The new products have been very well-received and we believe there is potential for diversification in the future, but business is steady in our established market and we intend to concentrate for the near future on LCD clock radios," explains Sin.
The company produces a phenomenal number of variations on this well-established theme, mostly on a one-stop-shop OEM/ODM basis. "We've stayed mostly with OEM work, because we're highly experienced in that area of customer service," says Sin. "Original and sophisticated design work is at the core of our business, and gives us a competitive edge."
She notes that Co-Tech has "around four" designers, all based in Hong Kong, who supply the creative input to its factory in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland.
The Co-Tech Electronic (Dongguan) Ltd factory is a sizeable hi-tech operation, geared to efficiency through the strategic deployment of the latest production technology.
"It's about offering a comprehensive service," states Sin, noting that the R&D team of more than 50 engineers works with the latest CAD software. "With our own tooling, moulding, plastic injection and silk-screen printing departments, we can offer complete solutions for OEM projects."
The factory, which is ISO 9001-certified and meets UKAS quality management standards, uses raw materials from Japan, the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan on its 16 production lines.
"We have 1,800 workers, including 40-50 quality control staff," Sin explains. "They produce around 600,000 electrical and electronic units every month, which are available in minimum orders of 2,000 units."
One reason for Co-Tech's success is the high level of imaginative input that has gone into finding new applications and design ideas to present and re-present the company's core radio technology.
"One example of this is our use of water-resistant casings to create splash-proof radios, allowing their owners to listen to the morning news in the shower," Sin notes.
"We have also created various electronic products for outdoor use, including radios built into flashlights or designed to be mounted on bicycle frames for music on the move."
Many products have been developed for the gifts and premiums business, as reflected by the wide choice of different designs Co-Tech can offer for pocket, portable and sports radios.
"Our major market is Europe, and we also do business with the US, South America, Australia and Asia," Sin adds. "Essentially it's a worldwide business."
The company has also begun manufacturing radios with CD players, which are ergonomically designed to occupy minimal space while generating the superior sound made possible by today's small-speaker technology.
Other units travel with their owners, including popular multifunction products such as Co-Tech's Databank, which offers data storage via a USB connection.
It also allows the business traveller to while away time in transit with games, or to make practical use of the calculator or currency converter while also being able to check the time in up to 40 major cities worldwide.
"We have both the engineering capability and the design creativity to produce exactly what our customers want to the most exacting standards, at a competitive price," says Sin. "The only limit is our imagination."
WRITTEN BY ROBERT PIERCE
Co-Tech Industrial (Holdings) Ltd