|Mei Luen Metal Manufactory Ltd||Preview||Staging|
Unlike many of its competitors that pursue many different target markets, Mei Luen Metal Manufactory Ltd, an OEM/ODM manufacturer of kitchenware products including corkscrews and nutcrackers, stays focused on serving the needs of customers and end-users from Europe. Mr. Cooman Ng, the company's president, explained why such a strategy is critical for its sustainable market-share success.
Having a clear market focus has enabled Mei Luen Metal Manufactory Limited, a leading OEM and ODM maker of tableware products including corkscrews, bottle-openers and nutcrackers, to deliver truly effective product solutions.
"Catering exclusively to the European market, particularly Belgium and Germany, our products are made from the finest-quality zinc alloy material and designed to facilitate a better hand grip among the end-users. This means that, the general size of Caucasian hands and the exterior appeal of the products to customers from Europe must be factored in, in product design," said its president Mr. Cooman Ng. Incorporated in the 1970s by Mr. Ng's parents, the company produces over a hundred product models from its 10,000- feet factory in Dongguan, China, which employs about 200 workers. In the bottle-openers' category, its products include two-lever corkscrews, T-handle cockscrews, mechanical cockscrews and others. Its nutcrackers feature a similarly broad range.
While many of its Mainland Chinese competitors resort to plastics, wood and other cheaper material to control cost, "only the finest zinc alloy specially imported from Australia is used at Mei Luen as it offers unique benefits in product performance strength, durability, precision and excellent part finishes," he added.
Another product consideration is design. "Overly fanciful designs are not appropriate for the upper-end market we are producing for. On the contrary, what we aim for is a clean classic product look, with a little cyber-feel," he said, adding that "our corkscrews and nutcrackers, by themselves, look like works of art in the household kitchen, given their tasteful designs and the connotations of style from the use of solid metallic material."
Although manufacturing overheads are a genuine concern, what ultimately makes or breaks a product, amid marketplace competition, is quality. Our customers are assured of having top-quality products delivered to them. When they approach us directly, rather than going through agents, a cost savings of 6% to 7% is theirs to claim. Furthermore, since we import our material in bulk, our overheads are further reduced for economy-of-scale reasons and their benefits are shared by our major customers.
Mei Luen s decision to relocate its entire production line to southern China in 1986 has created long-term financial benefits. Not only has it resulted in overheads reduction due to lower manpower and overall operational cost there, the savings have been substantial given the complexity of manufacturing process involved, which would be very costly in a place like Hong Kong, he added.
Every production step is carried out inside our premises - including die-casting, machining, polishing, drum-polishing, galvanization and electroplating and utmost care is taken to achieve a top-quality finishing in the tableware products we carry. Overall production supervision by our elite engineers, originally from Hong Kong and now stationed in our China plant, makes it possible for our customers abstract product ideas to take concrete shape, through the use die-cast moulds made by our efficient factory workers, he added. Currently, the companys regular clients number several dozens. Given its cosmopolitan customer profile, the firm is now recruiting increasing more English-speaking staff to serve the needs of its European clients.
As Mr. Ng reckoned, the companys remarkable staying power in the industry, over the past decades, is due primarily to its emphasis on product quality as much as to its lucid business focus. He concluded: Careful analysis has been carried out to ascertain which market offers the longest-term potential. In this process, the attractiveness, the long-term viability and potential of the market is assessed and then overlaid against Mei Luen's core competencies, product vision and manufacturing techniques to arrive at a strategy to create a win-win situation, for both our customers and ourselves.