23 Oct 2006
Quality Houseware(HKTDC Houseware, Vol 01,2007)
Technical (HK) Mfg Ltd
|Technical (HK) Mfg Ltd is a kitchenware specialist that constantly develops its product line|
Technical (HK) Mfg Ltd is a kitchenware specialist with more than 16 years' experience supplying a broad range of barware, kitchenware and tableware and associated items. Most items are intended for the mid- to high-end segments of the market.
The company takes pride in having retained an impressive list of clients throughout its history. "Our philosophy is to do everything we can to keep our customers happy," explains director Flores Ng. "To do that, we highlight workmanship, quality and after-sales service."
According to Ng, it is important to bond with clients and to ensure both sides are happy. "We are not greedy and we do not seek huge profits," he asserts. "What we do want is to keep our business running and to continue to build our reputation as an honest and trustworthy supplier."
The approach clearly works as Technical has a database of more than 100 active customers. "Of course," says Ng, "many are small firms. However, we also deal with very big buyers like Wal-Mart and Target of the US, where the volume OEM and ODM buyers are located."
Every customer, large or small, is treated with importance. "We want to grow with them and build relationships full of confidence," Ng says. "We want clients to be comfortable working with us and, if ever they do have problems, to come and discuss matters with us."
When Technical first started, it found a mid-market niche between US and Japanese suppliers at the top-end and local Hong Kong firms generally supplying the low-end. In 1996, the company expanded its range to include kitchen tools and gadgets.
"Another major development around that time was a new line of wine and bar accessories covering everything from bottle-openers to stoppers and pourers," says Ng. "We even have a magnificent singing cake server."
This trowel-like cake slicer/server has a detachable blade, and the handle houses the electronics that allow the user to download melodies from the Internet. "Preset tunes are available for weddings, birthdays and reunions, such as the international favourite, Auld Lang Syne," he adds.
Ng says this product is in line with the firm's belief that while quality rules there is always room for novelty rather than plain functionality. "Fun is a selling-point," she insists. "We put fun into things, and have seen our business triple."
Besides novelty the company also takes special care about quality. "At the end of the day, your reputation is only as good as the quality of your products," says Ng candidly. "So, while our prices may be a bit higher than some others, we are at the top-end of the market."
Technical has recently started to pay more attention to its own branding. "Our brand is ezPull (pronounced easy-pull), and it is registered worldwide," Ng reveals. "We also run two production streams, one for our OEM/ODM stream and one for our brand, which we are taking to market now. We are putting a lot of effort into promoting the new image."
Despite this move, OEM and ODM business remain top priorities for Technical, which manufactures in four locations on the Chinese mainland. "We do not wholly-own these plants," says Ng, "but we do have shares in them."
Each plant specialises in a particular product or range. "Corkscrews and accessories, for example, are made at the Shenzhen facility, while cutlery and small gadgets come off the lines in Yangjiang in west Guangdong," explains Ng. "Electric home appliances are made at the Panyu factory, while small electronic items come from a plant in Dongguan."
In addition Technical maintains administrative headquarters in Hong Kong, where it employs 30 people plus another 11 engineers in the R&D department.
To continue its growth, Technical's marketing team seeks out new ideas during overseas visits. "We want to know what people are buying for their kitchens and bars this year, and try to forecast what items will be popular in 12 months time," says Ng."Long term, we are looking at ways to expand the range into other areas of the home," he adds.
"For example, we are now in the kitchen and the bar, but we are looking at people's needs for their living rooms and gardens. We intend, eventually, to develop products for the whole house. We will be emphasising lifestyle in 2007."
Clearly keen on pleasing with variety and quality, Technical appears to have plenty of style on its side.
WRITTEN BY TONY HENDERSON
Technical (HK) Mfg Ltd