4 April 2007
Cutting Edge(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 04,2007)
Yangjiang Yongqin Industries Ltd
Yongqin Industries started its manufacturing operations in 1985, aiming to produce high-quality knives and accessories suitable for fishing, hunting and camping. In 1986, the factory began to produce scissors for use in the office, school and home. Then in 1995, its operations expanded to include craft scissors on the Chinese mainland.
"We have the machinery, techniques and manufacturing capability," Zhong says, adding: "Also, to ensure our continued growth, other diversified products such as multi-tools, kitchen tools and manicure sets have been added."
A former state-owned factory, the firm was launched as a private enterprise in 1996. Just three years later, Yongqin Industries was among the first group of such enterprises to be authorised to commence overseas exports. "We entered into a new era," says Zhong, "and today we address a worldwide market." Sales turnover amounts to some US$5m annually.
However, the bulk manufacturing of tools and appliances is a highly-competitive business that necessitates Yongqin Industries remaining aggressive in marketing its products. This is why the firm added new lines of stationery items.
"The stationery sector is a comparatively new element for us," Zhong states. "Now that we see the full growth potential, however, we are encouraged to put more effort into marketing and to emphasise our strengths and broaden our range and designs."
Stationery products include scissors, hole-punches and stationery holders. There is also a handy paper screw that embosses patterns on plain paper, and a pair of colourful scissors catering for school children. "We have received positive feedback from customers and we are confident of our ability to develop our stationery lines," Zhong says.
"Our current sales network includes the US, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and France," Zhong adds, indicating that the US is a major market, accounting for 65% of total sales. "Our manicure sets are notably accepted by buyers from France, while we see very good potential in South America - for instance, Brazil."
Yongqin Industries operates a 12,000-square-metre, ISO 9001-certified, 250-worker factory in Yangjiang on the mainland in addition to a sales office in Guangzhou. There are five senior engineers and six professional staff in the R&D division, and strict in-house quality control is used at each stage of production.
Most business is OEM, and the plant has a monthly capacity of about two million units. Gross sales in 2006 amounted to US$7m, a figure expected to grow to about US$9m in 2007. Minimum order is 3,000 pieces for delivery 30-35 days after confirmation. Prices are based on the size and complexity of individual orders.
According to Zhong, the firm attends a number of trade fairs, including those organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, to help promote its products and to garner market intelligence and ideas for new products.
"Also, we are delighted to meet so many frequently valuable new contacts. We meet buyers from all over the world, and many are looking for fresh or alternative sources of supply so the fair is a good opportunity for everyone to get to know each other," Zhong says.
However, this only marks the beginning of the trade cycle. "After attending a fair, we have a lot of follow-up work to do to actively contact potential buyers and to stay in touch with them by email or discuss their requirements in greater detail," says Zhong.
"We believe that product quality is the hallmark of our effort. At each stage of production, our highly-skilled QC team makes sure that all our products undergo a series of intensive tests. Finally, comprehensive testing of all our products takes place during the packaging process," Zhong says. "Before delivery, we inform our customers that every effort has been made to ensure their orders are nothing less than perfect."
It seems clear that Yongqin Industries is on a forward roll, and intent on selling a growing range of quality goods to an increasingly aware market.
TEXT BY SHIRLEY LOK
Yangjiang Yongqin Industries Ltd