14 Jan 2004
Small Toys, Big Business(HKTDC Toys & Games , Vol 01,2004)
On the Right Track
Small Toys, Big Business
Wing Mau Products Development Ltd
Wing Mau Products Development Ltd manufactures a wide variety of small plastic toys, premiums and bouncing balls
When people speak of cutting costs it frequently means the downsizing of a company's structure and facilities. However, in the case of Wing Mau Products Development Ltd, the cost-cutting exercise manifested itself in a need to purchase a piece of land and build an industrial estate spanning 110,000 square metres in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland.
"Ever-increasing market competition continues to put growing pressure on prices," says sales and marketing manager Iris Ling. "However, there are two ways to tackle the price issue. One way is to lower product prices and another way is to try to cut costs while maintaining quality. Rather than get into a price war, we took the second approach."
The company decided to build its own industrial estate about two years ago. "Today, our new production plant, on Wing Chit Industrial Estate, allows us to group all our previously scattered mainland production lines together. This clearly reduces costs and increases production efficiency," she says.
"Another good side to this move is that now we can conduct centralised purchasing processes for raw materials and operate a centralised management system," she adds. "All these factors also help lower costs."
The first phase of the new production base, which accounts for nearly 40% of total space, enhanced the production of plastic toys and premiums and promotional items.
"The second and third phases are reserved for orders from our major clients and negotiations are under way for the lease of space," she continues. "Each reserved area produces only for a particular client, thus offering that buyer exclusive outsourcing production facilities."
Meanwhile, Wing Mau's industrial estate has already employed more than 2,000 staff and will accommodate up to 6,000 employees upon completion.
"One of the most remarkable facilities in the first-phase production base is the dust-free room that serves as an excellent environment for the production of premium items and promotional toys for the food-related industry - like fast food chains and cereals manufacturers," says Ling.
"As the food-related industry requires very clean and high standard production facilities, and their orders are always in bulk, we realised that we needed to upgrade ourselves to qualify for their orders."
Another key ingredient of Wing Mau's success is the human resources factor. "Our overseas clients are becoming more and more environmentally conscious. Accordingly, we have to pay more attention to the living environment of our workers, including the staff quarters and canteen. All have to be of high standard and good quality," she says.
"To this end, we are not just aiming to meet the requirements of our clients but also increasing our employees' sense of belonging. In return, we can achieve a better result in management and quality control."
Wing Mau's business covers three main categories: OEM, premiums and promotional items, and licensed products.
"Premiums and promotional products, which account for 50% of sales, have evolved into an area of growth and high potential," says Ling. "In future, our development strategy will tend to focus on this sector."
Orders for premium toys in recent months grew strongly. "Most of these orders come from the EU, and the order quantity ranges from a few million to 10 million pieces," she states.
The company has also acquired licences for a few famous brands like the Astro Boy, Smiley World and Disney characters.
"Our highly competent in-house product design team, graphic design team, and engineering team are able to handle different types of projects and help to solve all the technical problems of our clients," she says.
WRITTEN BY VANAPA ONGVISES
Wing Mau Products Development Ltd
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