31 July 2006
Premium Service(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 08,2006)
MGM Industries & Co
|Demand for promotional and premium items has kept MGM Industries & Co in business for more than 20 years|
No matter their face value, all kinds of products usually manage to find a welcome market - and demand for promotional and premium items has kept MGM Industries & Co in business for more than 20 years.
"MGM started out in the premiums line," says executive secretary Lily Lau. "We first made key chains, and our range of these items remains very extensive to this day. Shortly after we began exporting key chains we started to receive requests for other types of premiums, and that is how our business developed."
From the outset, MGM set up administrative offices in Hong Kong and a manufacturing facility in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland. "The production of premiums has been straightforward, without any major shifts," says Lau. "Almost all the business is OEM, and so we simply make whatever our clients require."
However, the range is highly diversified, and includes bottle openers; bottle coolers/holders; porcelain cups; cup holders; stand magnifiers; napkin dispensers; ashtrays; dice throwers and dice; wallets; liquid-filled items; Clipsal key chains; 3D, bottle-shaped solid acrylic key chains; 3D acrylic, bottle-shaped bottle opener/key chains; shoe horn/bottle opener key chains; and shoe horn/key chains.
"Our most recent items include a flashlight/key chain series; acrylic tube key tags with long or short bean chains; an ice bucket; and plastic pill cutter/holders. Typical unit prices start at about US$1 FOB Hong Kong," says Lau.
"Other interesting lines are mobile phone-shaped fridge magnets, computer monitor clips, mobile phone-shaped key chains and skateboard-shaped bottle openers with key chains. A clock shaped like a bottle cap is quite fun, too," she adds.
"Apart from small items such as key chains, we also produce larger products such as plastic buckets that hold 20kgs of pet food."
Lau says that a major factor in the firm's success is its ability to quickly produce new items for its clients. "We work extensively with our clients on their ideas or according to their needs," she adds. "Recently, for example, a customer in the US wanted to develop a memo clip in an unusual shape rather than the regular square. They gave us the idea, we made the working prototype and everyone was delighted."
Almost everything is manufactured in-house, and only rarely does the firm need to subcontract any of the work. "There are two main reasons for this," says Lau. "First, the premiums business is rather traditional in terms of materials and uses for end products and, second, it is important to offer consistent quality."
She says that MGM is also highly flexible and able to press metal for items of kitchenware, as well as switch from PU to PE or ABS depending on the product, the requirements and the target price.
"While we tend to do a lot of repeat-order business, we also handle orders for watches and USB memory sticks and there is also demand from the medical sector. The latest product is a plastic pill box with new features that meet EU requirements," says Lau.
"We can also embed various items into acrylic," she adds. "For example, we have an interesting line of paper weights in the form of the valves used in old Western Electric radios. The valves are real, as are the beer bottles ensconced in acrylic that serve as solid pieces of advertising for bars."
Production takes place at a 300-worker, 3,000-square-metre factory on the mainland. There is a full complement of machines, including various plastic-injection moulding machines and one that handles two-colour runs for special orders.
"We also provide QC services on the mainland for clients who have had goods manufactured by other factories," says Lau. "We offer them 12 hours on-station in the other plant, and we check everything from commencement to packaging to assure both the quality and on-time delivery."
Claiming an international clientele, Lau says Europe and the US are MGM's main market. "Depending on the item, we can usually produce in smaller quantities of 3,000-5,000 units per order," she adds.
To facilitate business, MGM has staff to handle English-, French-, Spanish- and German-speaking clients in addition to Putonghua and several dialects used on the Chinese mainland.
As its name suggests, MGM offers a spectacular range of useful and fun premiums designed to attract attention and win friends.
WRITTEN BY TONY HENDERSON
MGM Industries & Co