5 Oct 2007
Sound Service(HKTDC Electronic Components & Parts, Vol 04,2007)
Speakers / Buzzers
|Union Team Ltd has found worldwide demand for its range of loudspeakers, buzzers, buzzer plates and transducers|
Staying in touch with, and learning how to use, new and developing technology frequently leads to added-value production. This is what 1987-established Union Team Ltd has found with its range of sound-related components, including Mylar speakers, buzzers, buzzer plates, transducers, receivers and condenser microphones.
"We debuted with loudspeakers and they remain our main line," says Project Manager Chris Cheung. "We offer various sizes and models to meet the needs of different markets."
Loudspeakers from Union Team come with a profusion of specifications, ranging from the 11mm-diameter Mylar speaker used mainly for toys, to the 27-66mm medium-size speakers commonly found in computer monitors, and the 78-450mm large models used in TV and LCD monitor applications. There are also 8-12 inch speakers for subwoofer use.
"We offer products for the low- to high-end of the market," says Mr Cheung, adding that unit prices range from US$0.30-50.00 FOB China/Hong Kong.
"Over the years, we have tended to focus more on Mylar speakers in the medium-size range," he states. "The ordering quantity for small to medium sizes is usually much larger, perhaps a few hundred thousand pieces per shipment, and so the production costs and processes are more efficient."
There are also design differences to take into consideration. "Medium-size Mylar speakers are usually hidden inside the end-product, and so there is little requirement by way of design," he points out. "The design of larger, more apparent speakers tends to change every few years, which requires further development and testing before a new prototype can go into production."
Nevertheless, Union Team does not shy away from R&D and new products. "In fact," insists Mr Cheung, "this is our core strength, and something we emphasise as part of our all-round approach to customer service."
With 20 years' experience under its belt, the firm feels well-qualified to work with clients. "Surely we are keen to produce exactly what the buyer wants," he says. "Yet, while we know exactly what type of speaker is required for various product categories, we can also offer professional advice."
That said, he admits that most buyers provide all the relevant information including size, sound pressure requirements in db, and the function of the end-product. "We speedily develop a sample for testing and follow up, as and when required, before going into production," assures Mr Cheung.
"In fact, our product development team tends to work closely with regular buyers all year round. They meet frequently to discuss the development of new speakers for up-and-coming products."
It is a Union Team strategy to try to develop long-term business relations with its customers, and Mr Cheung takes pride in revealing that more than 90% of first-time buyers tend to re-order. "Many of them go on to become loyal clients."
Much stress is placed on the firm's ability to provide consistent quality. "We monitor the quality of all products right through the production stage and then carry out a 100% inspection measured against approved samples. Only then do we commence packaging and shipment," Mr Cheung says.
"Delivery time is also important," he adds. "Although the usual turnaround time is 30 days, we can rush for a 15-20 day delivery if the buyer needs the products urgently. We look upon this, too, as part of our commitment and service."
Demand is very market-driven, and business performance depends greatly on the sales of various end-products. "For example," says Mr Cheung, "when pen recorder first appeared in the market, we shipped a single order for five million speakers."
Accordingly, the digital age has brought a new swathe of orders. "With the advent of mobile digital products, our earphone speakers, LCD speakers, and speakers for iPods, notebook computers and portable DVDs are now well-received," he adds.
Despite this flow, Union Team continues to make consistent efforts to expand its market presence by placing advertisements in trade magazines and participating in trade fairs.
"Coming up is a trip to Moscow with a delegation led by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council," Mr Cheung reveals. "With demand from the US and Europe now more mature, it is time to explore new opportunities in developing markets, and I believe that Russia will prove a promising destination for us."
Union Team clearly has a successful niche and is just as clearly intent on expanding into new lines and markets.
TEXT BY WINNIE HUI
Union Team Ltd