Q. We noticed that HUFCOR have been making a series of investments in Asia
Pacific. What are the priorities for HUFCOR in 2013?
We have been making a series of investments over the past years to better position ourselves to capture a larger market share of the operable partitions market in Asia Pacific. These investments include a brand new 100,000 square feet manufacturing facility in Panyu, Guangzhou where state-of-the-art machineries and equipments have been setup to manufacture our latest 600 series galvanised steel frame operable partitions. This new product is designed and engineered by HUFCOR in our US headquarters with local product adaptation based on feedback and insight from our customers. Technology transfer from the US is complete and we have been producing this new innovative product for about a year now in China. Panel height can be as tall as up to 18 meters and it comes with industry leading acoustical performance.
On the new manufacturing facility itself, our production lines are set up according to lean manufacturing principles to ensure efficiency and optimization. Our target is to operate the best operable partitions manufacturing facility in Asia Pacific and the lean manufacturing deployment takes us a step closer towards that vision. In this new facility, we have also built a new research & development laboratory where we are equipped to conduct product research on the next generation of operable partitions.
On the customer front, we have greatly expanded our territory coverage everywhere from Singapore to China. In China, we currently have a direct presence in more than 15 major cities and these investments have allowed us to stay close to the unique requirements of each market and better serve our customers and their needs.
On marketing, we are investing in a series of advertising, publicity, direct mailing, trade show, product and technical seminar to create even greater brand awareness for the HUFCOR and differentiating us from competitors. We also had a website revamp in the third quarter of 2012 with the inclusion of many new exciting features that would further increase our connectivity with our customers.
Q: Can you tell us about some of the projects HUFCOR is currently involved with?
In Macau, we have completed installation for the current phase of the well known Sands Venetian project.
In China, we supplied to a list of prestigious five stars hotel and resorts including the Guangzhou’s Four Seasons, Lhasa’s Shangri-la, and the Zhuhai Chimelong theme resort.
In other parts of Asia, we have also secured both the Grand Hyatt projects in Singapore and Hong Kong.
In Doha, Qatar, we have completed the installation of the world’s tallest 18 meters operable partitions and there are a lot of excitements just by looking at the way the panels move seamlessly from one point to another.
Q: What do you think about the market trend in China?
We are seeing an increasing trend of customers who are asking for better products with higher specifications. While there continues to be many knock-offs in China competing on low price and lesser quality, HUFCOR remains committed to our mission of providing total solutions that prove to be the best value for money in the longer term when you take the total cost of ownership into consideration which include the setup, maintenance, replacement and operating costs.
Q: Can you tell us about how HUFCOR provides a one-stop solution for developers and architects around the world?
For more than a century, we pride us in our ability to maintain the highest standards of differentiated services in this business including our ability to provide one-stop total solutions which includes design, product customization, manufacturing, installation and maintenance that cater to the needs of a broad spectrum of sectors. Developers and architects around the world love to work with us for our ingenious design and innovative technology which are able to satisfy the diverse requirements of their unique design needs. Our extensive global network is also able to support their design work around the world.
Q: Can you tell us more about HUFCOR’s successes globally?
HUFCOR is a global operable partitions company where our products are manufactured in five continents around the world. No other operable wall manufacturer can match our global footprint and we are able to combine global expertise with local know-how to better meet our customers’ expectations. For more than 110 years, we are committed to and are well known for our quality and excellence in providing total solutions in the operable partitions business. In a flat and borderless world, you need to be both global and local if you want to win in your markets and that is the passion that drives HUFCOR and our people to achieve greater height year after year.
Q: What else is happening in HUFCOR?
Marking 22 years of operations in Asia Pacific, we have recently moved our regional headquarters to a new location in Hong Kong and our staff are very excited about the move to Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui which is an area bustling with people and activites all year round. With panoramic sea view of the Victoria Harbour, world class hotels and restaurants, this move to downtown city center also brings us closer to many of our customers.