26 Sept 2006
Hardware, Gardening & DIY Products(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 10,2006)
|This Novitech-brand 28V cordless hammer drill with lithium-ion battery comes from Winsource Industries Ltd, which also produces lighting products and office machinery|
There can be no better place to source general hardware, gardening and DIY products than Hong Kong, with its highly-experienced metalware manufacturing base. Everything from door handles with electronic keys to cordless power drills and handy tool bags to locks is available, besides a multitude of essential parts and fittings.
For example, 1993-established Winsource Industries Ltd offers more than 40 different types of electric power tools. The range includes general-purpose drills for concrete, steel or wood, both in cordless and AC-powered formats, for industrial and professional use.
The company also offers jig saws, reciprocating saws, circular saws, sanders and cutters. "We are primarily an ODM firm with strong design, engineering and R&D skills, and we use our Novitech brand in most of the markets we service," says general manager Wilson Wong.
"Business is good now that we have shifted to the high-end of the market, and this is especially true of the US market where orders are particularly strong," he adds.
Production takes place at the firm's ISO 9001-certified, 90,000-square-metre factory in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland that employs 4,500 workers. Minimum order is 500 pieces for delivery within 45 days of order confirmation. Main markets are the US, the UK, Germany and Japan. Raw materials such as plastic, copper and steel come from Taiwan and Japan.
A company that has switched one hot-selling product from a very traditional material, wicker, to a very modern one, 600D nylon, has seen excellent results from that change.
Wicker Bonanza Ltd general manager Stephen Lau says that the 1991-established firm now offers a new bag made of nylon that comes complete with pockets to hold various gardening implements (supplied).
"There are several variations," says Lau. "Model WCA9454, for example, comes with a small trowel, two rakes - one large, one small - and an awl."
Lau says the firm does not see this as a DIY item, but rather as a tool set for gardeners. "Even so, this bag of tools is very well-received and a highly-popular seller in both Europe and in the US," he asserts.
"This is a new design," he continues. "We previously used wicker, which is an interesting and natural material, but there is no doubt that the modern gardener prefers nylon. We still produce the wicker model, however, and offer other models, too, with a variety of tools. We can also supply according to customer requirements."
Wicker Bonanza operates a 50,000-square-foot factory in Jiangmen on the Chinese mainland that employs about 200 workers on a daily basis. Main markets are Europe and the US, while minimum order size for the model quoted is 500 sets for delivery 30-45 days after order confirmation.
For traditional padlocks and cylinder locks, Hing Wah Lock Fty Ltd (established in 1996 by Kam Wah Metalware, which was itself established in 1989), continues to beat off much of the competition.
"We have typical brass padlocks in our wide range of locks that also includes combination padlocks, heavy-duty models, shoulder, laminated and chrome-plated padlocks and weatherproof models," says sales manager Rebecca Lee. "We also specialise in door cylinder locks and rectangular locks. They are designed for use in Europe, the UK and the US, as each area has its own preferences."
Also in the Hing Wah range are discus, round and aluminium padlocks, cam locks and special models for door security. In addition are hasps and hinges and miscellaneous items for windows and sliding doors, plus furniture hardware.
"This segment addresses a rather small market compared with the home and garden market in general, but it is still quite competitive," says Lee. "Factories on the Chinese mainland are improving their quality but still have a long way to go to match us."
Minimum order value at Hing Wah is US$5,000, for delivery 60 days after order confirmation. Production takes place at a 100,000-square-foot, 800-1,200 worker plant in Dongguan on the mainland.
"We export under many well-known names, including Yale and Master Lock, and our major markets are Europe and the US," says Lee. "Raw materials come from South Africa and Australia."
Meanwhile, Ching Wah Metal Ware Fty Ltd continues to benefit from experience garnered since start-up in 1970. The firm offers tool sets for home use, serving mainly as multipurpose or general-purpose DIY handyman kits.
Most sets come in handy plastic carrying cases. "We develop new designs each year and use new packaging as well to keep our product image fresh," says sales manager Gary Chan. "Coupled with the high level of service we give, our approach has seen us gain excellent contracts to supply tool kits to major department stores overseas."
Chan says the firm's long experience in metalware products keeps it buoyant as a major supplier despite tough competition from firms on the mainland. "We have the experience to work well with customers in developing the right kind of tools for a particular kit and/or a particular market," he advises.
Production takes place at Ching Wah's ISO 9001-certified factory in Shenzhen on the mainland, where a minimum order is 2,400 sets of tools for delivery 45 days after order confirmation. Major markets include Europe - especially the UK - and the US.
Hong Kong is clearly ready to provide a helping hand wherever quality and price are required.
WRITTEN BY TONY HENDERSON
Ching Wah Metal Ware Fty Ltd
Well Fung Ind Centre
58-76 Ta Chuen Ping St
Kwai Chung, New Territories
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