1 May 2003
In The Bag (HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 05,2003)
A Formula For Longevity
In The Bag
Bags for all occasions form the core of Bonaka Ltd's substantial export business
Bonaka Ltd started life manufacturing hotel amenities, airline kits and raincoats more than 15 years ago. Today, its success is reflected in the broad array of products it offers. The current product range includes foldable chairs and tables, canopies, different kinds of textiles and PVC bags, bath and beauty accessories, raincoats, CD cases, portfolios and bags in a profusion of shapes and styles.
Recalling Bonaka's gradual product diversification since its beginning in 1986, chief sales and marketing manager Agnes Chan notes: "We were focusing on plastic items for hotel toiletries and travel accessories until customers began requesting them in kits. That's when we first ventured into bags."
The bags business continued to expand and in 1990 Bonaka began to offer its own collection with items such as cooler, sports and cosmetic bags. The cooler bag has emerged as one of the company's specialties.
"Our OEM clients soon started to request other metal-related products like fishing chairs, trolley bags, and backpacks with frames. From there, we diversified into the outdoor range," Chan explains.
Bonaka now specialises in three major categories: plastic items, fabric bags and outdoor products. The entire range is produced at a 400,000-square-foot, 3,000-worker factory in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland, which supports a monthly production capacity of 2.5 million bags, 386,000 outdoor items and 220 million plastic items.
Chan believes Bonaka's success is very much attributable to its all-encompassing manufacturing facilities, effective management structure and close working relationships with suppliers and customers.
"We consistently upgrade our factory with advanced machinery in order to improve the capability and quality. What's more, all our products are manufactured in-house and we implement stringent quality control at all stages, from the inspection of incoming material to the delivery of the final product," assures Chan.
"Furthermore, the management continues to emphasise good communication channels between our highly-integrated departments to ensure that we achieve our goal as a committed and well-knit team," she adds.
A long-term partnership with its suppliers from Taiwan and the mainland also gives Bonaka an added advantage in the form of a steady supply of good quality material at reasonable prices. "This means we are able to produce good quality products at competitive prices," says Chan.
Along with taking care of its supply lines, the company has also kept a close eye on market developments. "It's always important to work closely with customers to keep track of market trends, know precisely what they want and strive to meet their demands," she says.
All these factors have won Bonaka a long list of loyal clients, which includes leading airlines, major hotels across the world and well-known cosmetics companies.
"We also manufacture products embossed with various characters of the Sanrio group. Moreover, our merchandise ends up on the shelves of major retailers like Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target and Costco," says Chan.
At present, the US and Canada together account for 35% of Bonaka's market, followed by Japan (25%), Europe (20%) and other countries and regions.
Together with manufacturing its range of premium items and consumer products according to customers' specifications, Bonaka's in-house design team also provides its customers with a variety of new products each spring/summer and fall/winter season.
"We develop at least 30 new styles for each season, which are featured in our seasonal catalogues. Buyers can then place their orders, with a minimum value of US$1,000 per shipment," says Chan.
With an average annual sales turnover of US$40m in the last two years, Bonaka is set to take another major step by launching its own brand name collection, now pending patent approvals.
"The brand name collection will cover all our existing product categories and we plan a worldwide marketing campaign," Chan says.
WRITTEN BY WINNIE HUI
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