by Dean Tseng, Fastener World
IFI & Morgan Ltd. started the baby step of exporting fasteners out of China in as early as 1986, being the absolute pioneer of Taiwanese fasteners businessmen exploring opportunities in Mainland China. It benefited tremendously when standard fasteners were moved from Taiwan manufacturing to China manufacturing in early 2000. To cope with the significant business expansion, RMB Fasteners Ltd. was established to take up new customers developed since 2006. In view of the strong demand for B7 and related products booming then as a result of high oil demand, IFI & Morgan Ltd. invested in Morgan Brother Technology Co., Ltd. as its largest investment in Mainland China.
IFI & Morgan provides a comprehensive range of fasteners including various bolts, studs, nuts, washers and screws, for standard items as well as the growing non-standard items. It mainly serves USA & Canada markets, for various general industries and specialty fasteners like oil refineries & petro-chemical plants, trucks & trailers, waterworks, and pole lines.
The Trader Doubling as a Manufacturer
For many fastener traders, creating a foothold in the manufacturing territory from scratch almost undoubtedly ushers in a whole new realm of challenges as to the stereotypes that customers may already have towards the traders. The period of transition of roles may be longer or shorter depending on how a trader rebrands or reshapes itself to cope with the manufacturing demand while maintaining its trading business. More often than not this may be a very challenging task, but IFI & Morgan managed to succeed it. Fastener World Magazine interviewed Barbara Yeung, V.P. Sales, about the challenges and benefits throughout IFI & Morgan’s transition.
“Through being involved in manufacturing, we have come to understand the many challenges of manufacturing in China: limitations from steel supply or quality tooling, stability of workers after LNY, output reduction in summer months, etc. Such understanding has helped our trading section do better in quoting with more accurate lead time, and to better communicate with customers about order execution update. On the other hand, the trading section is connected with our manufacturing section more tightly to customers by relaying customers’needs instantly. It was the belief of such effective interaction that prompted us to get involved in manufacturing, and our experience has proved our belief. By having the backup of manufacturing, trading can be steadier with available production capacity, better lead time projection, and better follow-up on orders to provide better services to customers.”
IFI & Morgan’s transition would also mean a change in its business structure to cope with both trading and manufacturing businesses. How did the company proportionate both the businesses? Barbara explained:
“The sale from products in our invested factories represent about half of our total sales, and we still appreciate our many sub-makers for their support in forming our comprehensive offering of products. We see a good compliment between trading and manufacturing.”
IFI & Morgan is proud of its IFI Team with profound fasteners knowledge to serve customers with expertise and resources. Its team reviews inquiries carefully, with its technicians on manufacturing site to identify any potential issues upfront (especially from the understanding of the possible limitations of steel, tooling and surface treatment in Mainland China); after an order is received, its team again reviews full details before handing to its factories for production planning; its ground support team in different areas in China provides labels of all sorts of formats to satisfy customers’ requirements; its logistics team works on consolidation of various goods from different manufacturing sites. In particular, it takes pride in its triple-line inspection: “manufacturing in-house inspection” + “IFI QC Team inspection on in-process products & finished products” + “random inspection of parts selected by its Director of Quality to be tested at the independent lab Morgan & Rhine Lab”.
“There have been many challenges in China fasteners manufacturing and export as we have experienced for over 30 year ,and we still see many challenges ahead, especially from the cost increase in manufacturing, the often-adverse steel market, the Renminbi currency uncertainty and the looming trade war in general,” said Barbara. IFI Team will continue to strive for excellence in providing committed services to the industry and in growing together with fasteners industry in Mainland China.
IFI & Morgan’s contact: V.P. Sales Ms. Barbara Yeung