16 Jan 2006
Super Service(HKTDC Fashion - Leather Goods & Bags, Vol 01,2006)
Yiu Sing Bags Industrial Co
Yiu Sing Bags Industrial Co's bright and colourful Baby Q and Laconic labels are popular in the European market
"We offer our customers computerised design, sample development, product manufacturing, quality checking, competitive price, prompt delivery and product sourcing," explains Mui.
The company has more than two decades of experience of the fashionably fickle world of bags and knows better than most how to read a market.
Yiu Sing's production facilities at Shantou in Guangdong Province cover 240,000 square feet and employ 350-400 workers depending on demand. "Another 20-30 workers are responsible for quality control," Mui adds, "while a further 30-40 work on R&D."
She says the company has worked with big buyers like Wal-Mart and Walt Disney, and knows and conforms to their ethical requirements. "We plan to obtain ISO certification in the next couple of years," says Mui.
Yiu Sing makes sports, fashion, kids', cosmetic and promotional bags, including school bags, backpacks, trolley bags, travel bags, briefcases, handbags, cooler bags, shopping bags, waist bags, diaper bags and computer bags, as well as wallets and purses. "Materials include genuine and synthetic leather, PU, PVC, nylon, polyester, canvas and denim," Mui explains.
The company began selling licensed products to Singapore and Malaysia before branching out into North America and the Middle East. "Europe is now our chief focus, but we also have American lines for promotion and sports items," she says.
OEM and ODM work is the foundation of the company's business, with more than 80% of Yiu Sing's products carrying customer logos or labels.
"We have a minimum requirement of 1,200 pieces per item for OEM orders, but if you are using our brand you are helping promote the product so we will accept a lower minimum," Mui explains.
Baby Q was Yiu Sing's first brand, Laconic was introduced two years ago, and "88" has been successful in France. "Laconic is more colourful, with an active, young image, while Baby Q is different in terms of colour but related in terms of style," Mui maintains, adding that both are aimed at teens and adults who like a young image. "We sell Baby Q and Laconic in the European market, and we've been quite successful with fairs and exposure in magazines."
The company has also been developing its promotional bags business. "Demand for promotional items has increased over the last two years and we are now in touch with promotion companies rather than wholesalers," Mui explains. "We are looking at designing special items to create a better profit margin for promotional products, which are largely low-cost items."
Yiu Sing's FOB Hong Kong prices start at around US$1 and go up to US$12-15 for more complex items such as golf or computer bags.
More expensive materials increase prices, but according to Mui they seldom go over US$20 per unit item. "Customers sometimes request higher quality materials, particularly the Japanese, so we occasionally import from Taiwan and Korea," she adds "Other materials are sourced mostly on the mainland."
Customers are also looking for rapid delivery. "We usually work on a 35-day delivery after order confirmation, but we can deliver in 25 days if speed is a priority," Mui states, adding that faster delivery depends on quantities and styles.
She says Yiu Sing is equally proficient at supplying samples, with standard products taking from 5-10 days and special products 10-20 days, and adds that quotations are also provided with the samples.
The company can produce to client designs, but also works with its own designers in Hong Kong and the mainland, and with freelance contractors.
"We work with customers to develop lines," Mui claims. "Nowadays they come and ask us what designs we have, so it's not simply manufacturing."
This year is shaping up to be particularly busy for Yiu Sing, which plans to participate in five trade shows between April and October, including the Hong Kong Gifts and Premium Fair.
The company also has aggressive plans to both expand its business and streamline its processes. "We want to improve some of our internal systems, further computerise production and also increase mechanization," Mui concludes. "We also want to develop our brand overseas and in the local market as our long-term plans call for us to build a branded business."
WRITTEN BY ROBERT PIERCE
Yiu Sing Bags Industrial Co