4 Jan 2005
Service Is Top Priority(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 01,2005)
John Mfg Ltd
Established in 1965, John Mfg offers a diverse range of lighting and electronic products that usually feature unique designs and functions.
Production takes place at two, ISO 9001- and ISO 9002-certified, wholly-owned factories in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland, covering a total of 900,000 square feet and employing a workforce of 3,000.
Major lines include cold cathode fluorescent lanterns; coolers and warmers; rechargeable lanterns; security lights; multifunction lanterns; weatherproof lanterns; specialty lights; radio lanterns; vacuum cleaners; ultraviolet security lights and money detectors; elegant clock-radio table lamps; personal security alarms; lanterns for cars; environmentally- friendly products; tool kit lanterns, and cordless pencil sharpeners, gift and premium items and even coffee mugs.
More recently, LED spotlights have proved popular, while John Mfg has also started the innovative production of lamps suitable for disciplined services and emergency search uses.
Major export markets for John Mfg include the US (40%), Europe (35%) and South America (10%), with the remainder going to countries in the Middle East and East Asia.
Typically, each product/design goes with its own patent and copyright protection depending on the destination - especially when products go to the US, the UK and elsewhere in Europe and Asia.
"It is necessary to counter the possibility of people copying our designs," says Mak. "However, we find the best way to stay ahead of the competition is to develop 15-18 new and different designs each year."
In addition, the company successfully developed the Johnlite brand for its range of lighting products. "Once established and recognised, a brand name helps to sell products because buyers and users know they are getting quality," says Mak. "Our Johnlite brand is now known and respected in international markets."
John Mfg is vertically integrated and all models are designed and completed in-house. "We handle everything from the plastic casing and housing to electronic circuitry," says Mak, adding that computer numerical controlled (CNC) machines are used for metalwork while 120 plastic injection-moulding machines enable the company to develop the largest products.
"We have an in-house design team and excellent mould-making facilities," says Mak, "and whatever we make, you are sure to find some points of difference. Being different, offering added value, maintains our position in the market. For example, our coolers come with internal lights."
In addition to developing new and innovative products, John Mfg also continues to upgrade existing models, even quite old items.
"For example, we still offer a traditional torch that is very simple, battery-operated and in a plastic case. This traditional torch continues to sell well, and we have given it a modern appearance," adds Mak.
In the US and Europe, where John Mfg attends various trade shows, a monthly marketing plan is employed. "We take raw ideas and prototypes to our customers' offices to obtain their views first hand," says Mak.
This simple strategy offers a powerful message that emphasises the John Mfg mission statement: service followed by quality and price.
"We enjoy talking with clients and they appreciate our interest. Rather than looking for orders, we want valuable feedback to consider and possibly incorporate into the final products. We not only let the customer feel comfortable with, but also demonstrate how much we respect them," says Mak.
Numerous products have won awards from business and institutional bodies. In 1998 and 1997, John Mfg was nominated for the 10th Golden America Award for Quality and the XI International Europe Award for Quality, respectively.
The company was a winner in the Hong Kong Trade Development Council's 1999, 2002, 2003 and 2004 Hong Kong Awards for Industry: Export Marketing category.
It was also a finalist in the 2001 and 2004 Hong Kong Electronic Industries Association awards for outstanding innovation and technology in the consumer electronics category for its solar-powered micro light and thermal mug with temperature control.
WRITTEN BY TONY HENDERSON
John Mfg Ltd