6 Jan 2005
Writing Instruments(HKTDC Gifts, Premium & Stationery, Vol 01,2005)
Scribbling In Style
Aser Promotions Ltd director Milos Pintrava says fashions change fast in this business. "A trend can appear and disappear during the course of a few months," he says. "To stay ahead, we conduct ongoing research to grasp the latest directions while developing new prototypes."
In addition to running 20-30 ongoing popular designs, Aser Promotions also whets the appetite of global buyers with about 200 additional styles kept up-to-date by an industrious design team.
Among the firm's latest sleek and modern offerings are a frosted transparent plastic ballpoint pen with silver parts and a plastic ballpoint pen with a metallic finish.
Other interesting items are a frosted plastic ballpoint pen with a cone-shaped stand, and a matt silver ballpoint pen with a plastic upper barrel and a coloured neck string. "We can also develop unique designs for our customers, who are mostly from Europe, the US, Canada, Australia and Japan," says Pintrava.
Incorporated in 1998, Aser Promotions is supported by a strong network of manufacturers in Zhejiang Province, on the Chinese mainland.
The firm, which produces up to two million items a month in peak season, requires a minimum quantity of 20,000 pieces per colour per style or a minimum order value of US$2,500. Delivery is 30-35 days after order confirmation.
Supplying a profusion of metal and plastic ballpoint pens to importers and premium companies in 50 countries, TTI Industrial Ltd is equally proud of its design capability.
"Our innovative approach keeps us thriving," says manager Amy Li. She mentions a new model, the Mix-and-Match Pen series (TPC 034K), to illustrate the firm's creativity. "There is an empty barrel section that customers can fill with various objects for an additional promotional effect," she explains. "It could, for example, be filled with coffee beans to promote a brand of coffee, and this model has won enthusiastic market feedback."
According to Li, creativity is matched by competent product development that has enabled the firm to accomplish many complicated OEM projects in the 13 years since the company's inception.
"We employ more than 100 skilled workers at our 10,000-square-metre factory in Zhejiang Province. Many of our workers have been with us for more than five years and have lots of experience in the industry," adds Li.
TTI has a monthly production capacity of three million units, and requires a minimum order of 10,000 pieces for delivery 30 days after confirmation.
Focusing on premium pens since its establishment in 1996, Premium Collection Industries Ltd achieved annual sales turnovers in excess of US$2m in recent years, selling mainly to the US and Europe.
"With more premiums houses choosing designs from their suppliers instead of placing OEM orders, we have built up our strength by creating our own collection. This has also led us to be a niche supplier of items that set us apart from competitors who compete only price," says manager Andy Wong.
According to Wong, the application of LED technology will be a major drive in new product development. "Already incorporating this technology is our latest 4-in-1 laser pointer pen, which combines the functions of an LED torch, a stylus, a ballpoint pen and a laser pointer in one object. The series, in chunky modern shapes and bright colours, has already received very positive responses from buyers," he enthuses.
With a 25,000-square-foot factory in Dongguan on the mainland, Premium Collections can produce 400,000 items monthly. The minimum order required is 5,000 items for delivery 30 days after order confirmation.
Echoing the importance of innovation is New San Ban Stationery Ltd, which manufactures 500,000-600,000 liquid-filled, LED, metal and plastic pens monthly at its 4,300-square-metre factory in Guangdong Province on the mainland.
"Although founded in 2003, we are not newcomers to the gifts and premiums industry," explains marketing manager Jennifer Chui. "Our history traces back to 1989, when we were known as Hong Kong Fancy Pen Enterprise Ltd. That firm merged with San Ban Int'l Ltd in 1996, and in 2003 we branched out as an independent company using our present name."
Chui notes that efforts made to consistently upgrade product designs have taken the company to various milestones in recent times. "After becoming a market leader offering mid- to up-market metal pens some years ago, we have developed our expertise in liquid-filled models," she explains. "I believe our newly-patented LED logo projector torch pen will spearhead our business in yet another direction."
Chui says that this latest model incorporates the function of an LED projector and ballpoint pen in one, with the projector able to display a clear, full-colour logo image within 6-8 metres on a suitable surface.
"Its functional performance surpasses the traditional laser pointer in various ways, and it is also much cheaper, costing about US$1.00-1.50 each FOB Hong Kong," Chui says.
New San Ban requires a minimum order quantity of 1,000-5,000 units, depending on style and materials, for delivery four weeks after confirmation.
With Hong Kong premium pens suppliers so devoted to creating writing instruments with varying functions in the newest styles, global scribblers are definitely the ultimate winners.
WRITTEN BY WINNIE HUI
Arico Pen Industrial Ltd
Premium Collection Industries Ltd