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Weather Stations(HKTDC Watch & Clock, Vol 03,2004)

Vol 3, 2004

Product Features

Computer Accessories
Attractive Add-ons

Radio Alarms
Ringing Up Profits

Weather Stations
Forecasting The Climate

Weather Stations

Forecasting The Climate

This quartz wall clock that also displays humidity and temperature readings comes from M.G.B. Marketing Ltd
Whatever else is going on in the world, people always end up talking about the weather. That's why Hong Kong manufacturers of home weather stations are reporting an ever-increasing demand for their products, which are often combined with clocks and provide detailed information on a range of weather features, including temperature, humidity and rainfall.

Europe Supplies Ltd, for example, first produced weather stations in 1997 and the product is now its "core business," reveals marketing manager Icy Wong.

The 14-year-old firm makes full use of LCD, microprocessor and wireless technology to supply customers with comprehensive indoor display panels linked to sensors suitable for use indoors or outdoors. "Our models are not reporting the weather now, but predicting it for the next 24 hours," says Wong.

Although all casings are made from ABS, Europe Supplies has found that design preferences vary significantly from country to country and its team of in-house designers works hard to cater to clients' differing demands.

The company produces weather stations under its own La Crosse Technology brand name and on an OEM basis, with delivery 90 days after order confirmation. Prices vary according to order size and model type.

Europe Supplies is ISO 9002-certified. "Quality and customer retention are key issues for us - we just try to be flexible enough to meet customers' needs and wants," adds Wong.

Carrin Electronics Co Ltd also recognises the importance of customer feedback, identifying the demand for more information on display panels as one key trend. "Extra functions mean better value for our customers," insists sales and marketing manager Edmond Kam.

The company's main markets are Germany (where square-shaped designs are most popular), the US (where consumers prefer bigger models) and Japan. Weather stations are produced under the Carrin brand name and on an OEM basis.

Casings are mainly plastic, which makes products durable, says Kam. Materials are sourced from Japan, Korea, Taiwan and the mainland, where Carrin's factory and 1,000 workers are based.

Carrin is ISO 9000-certified and requires minimum orders of 2,000 items, which are delivered 30-45 days after order confirmation. Unit prices range from US$12-22 FOB Hong Kong.

Some Carrin weather stations even include information on the phases of the moon, as do those produced by Ansen Electronics Co. "New features on our weather stations include details of moon and sun rising and setting times," explains product development manager Henry Siu.

"We also feature information on air quality and a UV index," he says, adding, "we can take advantage of the low cost of components to add more features."

Ansen is ISO 9001-certified and works on an OEM basis for well-known brands including Wal-Mart and Target in the US, Seiko in Japan and Tchibo in Europe.

Minimum order size is 1,000 weather stations per shipment at prices ranging from US$15-39 per unit FOB Hong Kong, with delivery about 50 days after order confirmation. "We aim to produce classic and long-lasting designs," notes Siu. "Casings are mainly metallic - silver and titanium - or wooden".

Ansen's design team works closely with its marketing department to incorporate customer feedback in its new products. "The latest trend to emerge is see-through designs with translucent casings," Siu adds.

Bai Industries Ltd managing director Thomas Bai, meanwhile, says his company's new design ideas come mainly from trends in interior design and furniture. "At the moment, the style is more contemporary," he believes. "We were going retro, but now we're looking forward again."

He admits he would like to expand into Asian markets, especially Japan and the Chinese mainland, but for the moment most sales are in Europe and the US, where the company's design studio is based.

The firm also has a mainland factory, with 1,600 workers who produce minimum orders of 1,000 weather stations that are delivered 30-45 days after order confirmation. Prices per unit range from US$6-15 FOB Hong Kong.

"People already have clocks and watches, but the added features on a weather station lead to sales for us, because this is a product that people want," says Bai.

For example, he says, two of the most important features on his company's weather stations are the rubber rings fitted to the dial to make it waterproof and therefore suitable for use indoors or outdoors.

Confirming again that, with the help of Hong Kong manufacturers, it seems likely that checking the weather station will become as commonplace as checking a watch.

WRITTEN BY SUZANNE MOORE

Contact Details

Ansen Electronics Co
Rms 73-78, 2/F
Sino Industrial Plaza
9 Kai Cheung Rd
Kowloon Bay, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2795-9473
Fax: 852-2751-6577
Email: henry.siu@ansen.com.hk
Web: www.ansen.com.hk

Bai Industries Ltd
Rms 1209-10, 12/F
Cheung Fai Ind Bldg
133 Wai Yip St
Kwun Tong, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2174-6600
Fax: 852-2174-6186
Email: info@bai.com.hk
Web: www.bai.com.hk

Carrin Electronics Co Ltd
Unit 1308, Tower A
Regent Centre
63 Wo Yi Hop Rd
Kwai Chung, New Territories
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2418-2262
Fax: 852-2489-0703
Email: steve@carrin.com.hk
Web: www.carrin.com.hk

Europe Supplies Ltd
Rm A3, 12/F
Kailey Ind Centre
12 Fung Yip St
Chai Wan, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2557-8066
Fax: 852-2557-6795
Email: esladm@eslhk.com
Web: www.eslhk.de

Ewig Industries Co Ltd
13/F
Houtex Ind Bldg
16 Hung To Rd
Kwun Tong, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2342-2192
Fax: 852-2343-5799
Email: mkt@ewig-ind.com
Web: www.ewig-ind.com

M.G.B. Marketing Ltd
Rm 610
Tung Ying Bldg
100 Nathan Rd
Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2368-3019
Fax: 852-2368-3090
Email: yoshimgb@netvigator.com

World Excel Co Ltd
Rm B, 26/F
Capital Trade Centre
62 Tsun Yip St
Kwun Tong, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2304-0993
Fax: 852-2304-0881
Email: mktg@worldexcel.com
Web: www.worldexcel.com

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