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Fit For A Queen(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 03,2006)

Climax Paper Converters Ltd

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Climax Paper Converters Ltd is a highly respected manufacturer of paper products destined for international markets
Climax Paper Converters Ltd demonstrates that excellent quality and service really can win the royal seal of approval. For example, occupying an inconspicuous niche in the firm's showroom are an address book, a memo pad, a photo album and a picture frame that at first glance, might be overlooked. However, the subdued elegance of the pale gold silk fabric covering each item invites closer inspection - which reveals, discreetly embossed in small gold letters on either set, the words Buckingham Palace and Windsor Palace.

"Yes, we are fortunate to have customers in some of the highest places," smiles senior vice-president for OEM sales Frankie Wong, noting that the items are just a fraction of the many high quality, luxury market, paper-based products that Climax Paper specialises in.

"We set the standard in experience, expertise and excellence - our competitors try to match us, but few can ever approach our superb design and craftsmanship," asserts Wong.

"We treasure our long-term customers and nurture relations with them, treating them more or less as partners. We keep faith with them by never deviating from our policy of producing only the very best quality items, and they remain our loyal customers - despite attempts by competitors to woo them away with products that are admittedly cheaper, but of quite inferior quality," he claims.

As an example, Wong refers to a highly attractive cardboard pull-out box designed to keep mementos and odds and ends. It is the sort of container that a child might keep through the teen years and after marriage.

"This coloured box is decorated with a glorious pink rose that has been tested and re-tested to ensure that it retains every hue of its present colour, even if constantly exposed to sunlight, ultraviolet rays and other colour-sapping elements," Wong says.

Another item is a child's notebook decorated with a Snoopy cover. "This is non-toxic and completely safe even if the child puts it into the mouth," says Wong. "We take extra care in designing our products and put them through all sorts of tests to ensure they are all harmless as well as long-lasting."

Climax Paper has three factories on the Chinese mainland, one in neighbouring Shenzhen and two in Dongguan - including one that opened at the end of 2005.

"The new factory uses the very latest equipment for automated production, and demonstrates our ongoing drive to use smart machines rather than manual labour," says Wong.

"Also, we have upgraded the conditions covering all aspects of the workers' day-to-day lives - everything from providing comfortable and hygienic dormitories to better working conditions, with emphasis on safety in the workplace."

Some of Climax Paper's biggest customers, like Wal-Mart and Disney, are very particular about these points. "They send inspectors to confirm that conditions are satisfactory, but we are more than happy to take proper care of our workforce. On the other hand, there is no doubting that automation is the way of the future."

Besides automating production, Climax Paper also employs SAP, a highly efficient electronic Enterprise Resources Planning system. "I believe we are one of the first really large manufacturers in the paper products industry to use this super-efficient time-saver," says Wong.

"At the click of a mouse, we can check any aspect of a particular job from the moment we receive the order, everything from the delivery of the raw materials to what stage of production the order has reached."

Wong says that SAP extends to every department, such as sales, finance, production and operations, so that all information is available on a need-to-know basis.

"Security is an important factor, and so mid-level staff can access only that information relevant to their roles in their specific departments. Senior staff, on the other hand, can access everything and obtain a full picture," Wong explains.

The company began in 1955, mostly printing letterheads and other office stationery. It started to diversify into photo albums in the 1970s, followed by home, office and school stationery in the 1980s. Today, Climax Paper is a pacesetter and highly respected manufacturer of paper products destined for international markets.

"Our biggest market is North America (about 50%), followed by the UK and Europe (20%-30%), with the balance going across the rest of the world," says Wong. "We have an annual sales turnover in excess of HK$300m."

Climax Paper Converters is clearly destined to continue its right royal progress for many years to come.

WRITTEN BY GEOFFREY SOMERS

Climax Paper Converters Ltd

26/F, Metropole Square,
2 On Yiu St, Siu Lek Yuen,
Sha Tin, New Territories, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2210-0100
Fax: 852-2664-3057
Email:
info@climaxpaper.com
Web: www.climaxpaper.com