7 Jan 2004
Hong Kong Gifts, Premiums and Stationery
Creations In Foam
PMP Industrial Ltd
PMP Industrial Ltd makes a wide range of stationery from pen stands to all kinds of desk acessories such as tape dispensers, tape holders and hole punches
Stationery seems to have a new lease of life due to a surge in demand from the home office phenomenon. With increasing numbers of people working from home, the trend is certainly good for PMP Industrial Ltd. Founded in 1987, the company began making manicure sets before expanding the lines to include stationery in 1990.
PMP continues to use traditional raw materials and has always produced its goods on the Chinese mainland. "We mostly employ plastic injection moulding techniques," says marketing manager Brian Yu, who joined the firm 12 years ago straight after graduation. "We produce everything for the office from pen stands to all kinds of desk accessories such as tape dispensers, tape holders, hole punches, staplers and cutters."
Yu recalls that there were not many companies producing stationery items in the 1990s, but that soon changed as consumer demand increased. "The market is more difficult today because the skills of light industrial firms on the mainland are improving and competition is severe," he says. "Our response is to aggressively create new designs and develop more channels for our goods."
Whereas PMP once sold exclusively through overseas importers, today it tends to sell direct to retailers. "Not only to stationery stores, but also to supermarkets," says Yu. "There is a big demand now and the popularity of the home office makes stationery a steady business."
He notes that there are often differences between regular office and home office items. "Stationery for a home office does not need to be heavy duty. For example, while a regular office stapler might handle 50 pages, one designed for the home office may look more trendy, be lighter and handle 10-20 pages."
He says that different types of plastic, usually imported from Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong, match different applications. "We use GPPS (a polystyrene) and ABS. While both are hard-wearing, ABS suits items with moving parts such as staplers and scissors."
Yu says PMP takes part in exhibitions and trade fairs around the world. "We particularly seek to increase personal interaction with customers to better understand their needs and introduce our quality. Of course, we also get to see what our competitors are doing and how the market is reacting."
Notably, Yu says buyers today want to hit a particular price point. "It seems that, because the goods come from the mainland, buyers expect very low prices. The market is also converging, with Europe and the US both looking for sharp prices, quality products and good service."
As for the future, Yu sees items such as mini desk sets becoming more popular, especially when the designs and colours are suitable for females.
"I think girls and women generally constitute a good market segment. Before, the market tended to divide according to different age groups. Now it is mixed. Even older people like fashionable items and bright colours and we try to work in that direction," he says.
PMP's major export market is Europe, with sales also in Japan and several other countries. The US, though, has not proved a good market. "US buyers tend to want everything made in a minute," says Yu.
Production takes place at the firm's 800-worker factory in Dongguan on the mainland, while the Hong Kong office handles sales.
The company stays in touch with technological advances and presently runs 40 injection-moulding machines. "Every two or three years, we determine which machines are getting old, and if their efficiency is not so good, we replace them," says Yu.
WRITTEN BY TONY HENDERSON
PMP Industrial Ltd
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