16 Nov 2004
Scaling New Heights(HKTDC Houseware, Vol 01,2005)
Kologn Industrial Co Ltd
When it comes to simple kitchen scales or postal scales that can accurately weigh featherweight letters, Kologn Industrial Co Ltd offers a wide range of products. "By putting strong emphasis on quality control, we have emerged as a leading scales manufacturer that places equal weight on coming up with new designs and maintaining accuracy," says assistant general manager Kent Lai.
He notes that this strategy has been successful, with business growth quite steady in recent years, supported by strong underlying demand. "Scales have seen stable demand as they are seen as a necessity in certain markets, especially in the US and Europe," Lai says.
"We come up with 3-4 new designs every year. Our strength is that we produce high quality products, yet sell at very competitive prices."
Established in 1978, Kologn provides ODM and OEM services for the manufacture of a wide range of digital and mechanical scales that can meet the diverse demands of kitchen and postal users. It has also developed its own Kologn brand of scales.
Kologn has been cooperating with a leading scales manufacturer in the UK for more than 20 years. This part of the business, including OEM and ODM orders, accounts for about 50% of Kologn's total sales.
The company's second largest market is the US, followed by Japan. Lai says the company's clients include manufacturers, chain stores and specialty stores.
"We also sell our own in-house designs. Our products are unfortunately being copied by others, but we feel the solution is to keep launching new designs and to apply for patents," he explains.
At present, stainless steel and electronic scales are among the group's best-selling items, especially in the European market. "These scales are durable, easy-to-read and highly accurate," Lai says. "This trend is expected to continue. So new products will continue to be mainly stainless steel and electronic scales."
Postal scales are also in demand in the US and Europe. These scales are mostly OEM items and clients are mainly specialty shops.
In the US market, for instance, the company uses plastics in its product range as it is a popular material that is also cheaper and practical.
Elsewhere, Kologn's new items include the KL3603 model, which is made of stainless steel and features an in-house design. Lai notes that a chain store in Germany bought 150,000 pieces last year and has begun negotiations on a new order.
Other best-selling items in 2004 included the KL981 model, an electronic postal scale, which can also be used in the kitchen. Another smaller-sized model, KL982, is a more sophisticated scale with the ability to measure an item as light as 0.02 grams - the maximum weight it can handle is 99 grams.
To keep pace with the steady growth in consumer demand, the group has scaled up its production facilities to manufacture various kinds of weighing machines.
"We own a 70,000-square-foot factory in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland. A couple of years ago we only had about 200 employees there, but the number has now increased to more than 350," Lai notes.
He adds that the company maintains very strict control on quality to ensure accuracy, durability and a superior finish for its products. Each item will only be packed for shipment when it has been thoroughly checked for quality.
"We assure our customers that we will replace any defective item, but we hardly encounter such problems," he enthuses.
"These factors, combined with on-time delivery and reliable service, has enabled us to measure up to the expectations of our customers," Lai adds.
WRITTEN BY VANAPA ONGVISES
Kologn Industrial Co Ltd