16 Sept 2005
Zipping Along(HKTDC Fashion - Fabrics & Accessories, Vol 01,2006)
Established in 1990, Nice Trims Industrial produces zippers and other items for the garment industry at its two plants in Zhongshan on the Chinese mainland: Jetwin Zipper Fty and Everlucky Weaving Mfy. Together, the two facilities cover an area of 10,000 square metres and employ up to 1,000 workers.
Coming off the busy lines are belts, brooches, laces and zippers, among a host of other accessories destined for manufacturers of garments. "We have imported advanced zipper-making machinery from Europe," says marketing manager C. Y. Kan.
According to Kan, Nice Trims Industrial is still very strong in zippers, the products it first started making 15 years ago. "While there are some very well-known manufacturers of zippers, we can compete on price and we can turn goods around in about two weeks. Also, dealing with one-off orders or a sudden change in production demand or specifications is probably easier for us than the larger suppliers," he claims.
"We have all sizes and types of zippers fashioned from nylon, Derlin, plastic and various metals, and there are many kinds of sliders and pullers with various fashionable designs," he adds.
Nice Trims Industrial recently registered its own logo for zippers. "We now use the Nice brand to show our confidence and give that extra guarantee to buyers," says Kan.
"As our name suggests," he continues, "a good variety of trimmings is produced. These include knitted tapes, elastic tapes, velvet tapes and laces, draw cords and jacquard ribbons. We also offer fabric buttons and buckles, and decorative and ornamental accessories like rhinestone brooches, crochet patches, beads and satin bows."
Company policy is to manufacture as much as possible in-house rather than outsource in order to retain full control over quality. "However, if another firm is particularly strong in a certain item or line, we may consider sub-contracting," Kan advises.
"Fabrics manufacturing and supplying assorted items has become highly technical today, given the wide variety of materials and their specialised production needs, so not everything can always be done in-house.
"Looking back, 2003 was a watershed year for us," Kan recalls. "That was when we moved production to the mainland, and subsequently doubled our production capacity and manpower. Later, we opened a dyeing plant and we are now looking to set up our own moulding factory for metal zippers."
In expansion mode, Nice Trims Industrial set up a branch office in Singapore, also in 2003. "The branch handles sales in Singapore and environs, especially Malaysia with its slew of textiles and garment factories in the south," says Kan.
"We later opened an office in New York, and so we may be considered aggressive in the marketplace as you do not see many Hong Kong companies setting up overseas branches. However, our approach is paying off," he claims.
A key philosophy at the company's offices in Hong Kong, Singapore and New York is customer service. "Our Hong Kong-based technical services staff field enquiries direct from clients and through our branch offices and quickly source any special materials and parts to create a sample of the new design," Kan says.
"Zips and other products are sold locally in Hong Kong and the mainland, and we export directly to major markets such as Europe, the US and Southeast Asia," says Kan. "However, we might not always ship goods directly to overseas clients. In the US for example, the end-user brand will probably have production facilities elsewhere."
According to Kan, Nice Trims Industrial takes a step-by-step approach. "Our management buys in to the idea that a manufacturer must retain control over every stage of the production, whether for time-frame or price-point gains or simply to guarantee quality. If you have control, that is a huge advantage - otherwise, making and keeping to a production schedule is difficult. We are moving in a direction that will enable us to be in full control," he predicts.
It certainly sounds as if Nice Trims Industrial is on the right path.
WRITTEN BY TONY HENDERSON
Nice Trims Industrial Co Ltd