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A Formula For Longevity(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 05,2003)

Vol 5, 2003



 

Company Profiles

A Formula For Longevity
Au's The Long Life Plastic & Metal Mfg Ltd

In The Bag
Bonaka Ltd

 

A Formula For Longevity

Au's The Long Life Plastic & Metal Mfg Ltd

Combs, mirrors and brushes are an important part of business at Au's The Long Life Plastic & Metal Mfg Ltd

Fu King Kwong, the supervisor of Au's The Long Life Plastic & Metal Mfg Ltd, says, "I am not exaggerating when I call it miraculous for our company to start off with just HK$10 in 1968 and turn that investment into a thriving enterprise with annual sales in excess of US$7.7m."

In the ensuing years of growth, the company's product range has changed from plastic garment accessories to mirrors, combs, photo frames, flowerpots and clips for Christmas tree lights.

Yet the entrepreneurial spirit of the company still reigns: "Our founder is a typical Hong Kong industrialist of the 1960s. From the outset, he has strived continually to stimulate market demand with new products. We respond quickly to customers' needs and this winning strategy has taken us to where we are today," says Fu.

The design team at Au's The Long Life maintains a steady stream of innovative items to attract new customers at trade fairs in Hong Kong, Italy, the US, Japan and the Chinese mainland.

Taking part in trade fairs remains a major tool for expanding the business, and Fu still recalls the high time in 1997 when the company received on-the-spot orders for 40 TEUs during the four-day Hong Kong Gift & Houseware Fair.

"Placing advertisements in different trade magazines and running our own website are other alternatives for publicity and marketing," he says.

Besides manufacturing OEM orders, the company also exports its own creations under the flagship brand names, Favourite and Gamma.

Shipments go to Europe, the US, South America, the Middle East and Russia. Mirrors are the major product line, accounting for half of all sales, followed by brushes and combs.

Among the company's clients are many buyers of premium items. "We are a mass producer rather than a high-fashion supplier and so a single order for a promotional brush may be as large as 1.3 million pieces," advises Fu.

The capacity to absorb orders of this magnitude makes it essential to maintain prompt delivery of the merchandise, which usually takes place just two months after order confirmation. "We cope very well thanks to our efficient integrated manufacturing facilities in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland, comprising a 40,000-square-foot factory and a 110,000-square-foot warehouse," says Fu.

"We have 56 injection moulding machines, of which 26 are capable of two-colour processing. In fact, we feel our marble-colour designs are among the best in Hong Kong," he adds.

The dual colour plastic often used in mirror and comb sets, in a brownish tone resembling tortoiseshell or in a timeless royal blue shade, are among the company's best-selling items.

"But items such as clips for Christmas tree lights are also very important to us, although it is a very competitive market," Fu advises.

"Orders for clips for Christmas tree lights are usually very large and may occupy one-third of our production lines for five months at a time. In peak season, we export as many as 10 FEUs a week," says Fu.

Recently Au's The Long Life took a new turn by exploring the higher-price market, providing hair accessories to Revlon and Vidal Sassoon and children's grooming sets for Barbie dolls.

"We are selling to the buying office of Revlon and Vidal Sassoon, which distributes our products to US retail chains such as Wal-Mart and Kmart, while the Barbie doll sets are exported to France and Spain," says Fu.

"We'll be spending more effort on market research to develop more targeted items as we think it is important to offer innovative products that really make an impact when they are launched."

WRITTEN BY WINNIE HUI

Au's The Long Life Plastic & Metal Mfg Ltd

3/F, Eastern Industrial Bldg,
42-50 Kwai Ting Rd, Kwai Chung,
New Territories, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2423-8825
Fax: 852-2489-8948
Email: admin@auslonglife.com.hk

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