The International Competitive Ability of the Taiwanese Woodworking Machinery Industry


2006-11-16
With rapid economic development, Taiwan has become a major economic entity in international society. In 1967, the Taiwanese Furniture Industry initiated mechanized mass production, and the Taiwanese Woodworking Industry had started as well. After 40 years of development, technologies and product quality have both developed vigorously from traditional woodworking machinery to advanced, high-tech CNC machinery as well as complete factory planning and consultation, etc. The Taiwanese Woodworking Machinery has matured over the years - no matter in the field of design, manufacturing, assembly, technology management or marketing. *************************************** Mr. Pi-yu, Chang Honorary Chairman of the TWMA: "The history of the Taiwanese Woodworking Machinery Industry has reached more than 30 years and is at present placed No. 3 in the world for exports. The Taiwanese Woodworking Machinery Industry comprises of small- and medium-sized enterprises or family-owned businesses rather than large-scaled operations. The Industry has moved with the times, unexpected changes in world trends and will continue to promote itself to greater heights in the future. " *************************************** Mr. C. L., Tu Vice Chairman of the TWMA: "The characteristics of the the Woodworking Machinery Industry comprises of a limited number of operations and products. Even if other Taiwanese industries take risks to branch out, the Woodworking Machinery industry remains stable. Owing to Woodworking Machinery's nature of extremely high customization, and specially-made products that cannot be mass produced has created a superior environment for the survival of the industry in Taiwan. The Taiwanese Woodworking Machine Industry has an clustered character of industrial problem solving to fulfill any requirements in a short time and that is why it possesses the superiority to continue its continued blossoming." The Taiwanese Woodworking Machinery is excellent - regardless of mass produced products or customized orders and is eminent for its short-term production, prompt delivery, competitive prices and reliable products. Its outstanding quality is now even beyond that of products from advanced countries, winning great reputation, and widely receiving affirmations from around the world in the fields of the wood, bamboo, rattan and other related processing industries. The Taiwanese Woodworking Machinery Manufacturers were working with the Taiwanese Furniture Manufacturers between 1976 and 1990 to make Taiwan rank the No. 1 global furniture exporter to USA, and the No. 3 world exporter of furniture. After 1994, the Taiwanese Furniture Industry was restricted by its shortage of raw materials, exchange rate changes, higher labor costs, land shortages and labor problems. Many Manufacturers moved to South-east Asia and China. The Taiwanese Woodworking Machinery followed in their steps to export large amounts of machinery equipment to help those manufacturers. According to statistics from the Taiwanese Furniture Manufacturers' Association (TFMA), the total value of wooden furniture made by Taiwanese Factories located in China, Taiwan and overseas in 2005 was up to US$ 10 billion. The Taiwanese Woodworking Machinery Industry has accumulated valuable experience from both local and international woodworking and furniture industries. Starting in the 1970's, exports gradually increased and now the total export value of Taiwanese Woodworking Machinery has reached more than US$700 million to rank as No.3 world exporter, next only to Germany and Italy. In 2005, the main export areas include North America (48.58%), China (18.88%), Asia (excluding China) (18.90%), Europe (7.89%) and the rest of the world (5.75%). *************************************** Mr. Chih-peng Huang Director General of Bureau of Foreign Trade "The Taiwanese woodworking machinery industry maintains solid capabilities in research and development, manufacturing and management. From OEM, ODM to JDM (Joint Development and Manufacture), Taiwanese woodworking machinery boasts solid international approval. But, faced with low-cost competition from China, it is on the "front burner" to keep advancing the competitiveness of Taiwanese woodworking machinery in the international market-place. In how to advance the competitiveness of Taiwanese woodworking machinery, I suggest to strive toward the directions below: Firstly: Positioning Taiwanese Woodworking Machinery products should be developed towards innovative design and high quality, as well as strictly demands on product quality to provide with excellent processing equipment and services. Secondly: Emphasize Pre-sale and After-sale Services The Taiwanese Woodworking Machinery Industry should provide its buyers around the world with rapid and satisfactory pre-sale and after-sale services through all kinds of channels and methods. In this way, Taiwanese Woodworking Machinery will operate smoothly around the world, raise customers' productivity, create high profits and accomplish a Double-Win situation. Thirdly: Develop Brands Big, international factories are unceasingly looking for cheap suppliers. At the moment, emerging global nations' aim is to catch up urgently by developing international brands and thereby overtrumping them has become our identical goal. Only when we develop our own brands will be able to produce “must-buy” products for consumers and possess an important place in international markets." At present, Taiwanese Woodworking Machinery Manufacturers number nearly 300, which mostly comprise of small- and medium-sized operations. 85% of them are located in Fengyuan, Shengang, Houli, Tanzu, etc. in Central Taiwan and the others are scattered in the Northern and Southern parts of Taiwan. Taiwanese Woodworking Machinery production includes a complete satellite system, headstream and downstream, peripheral components and accessory processing, high precision and prompt supplies, which are all adequately developed to reduce costs. Additionally, highly flexible production is featured, along with the ability to satisfy global buyer and user requirements - all of which creates a competitive superiority of Taiwanese Woodworking Machinery products. The TWMA is an Organization for Woodworking Machinery Manufacturers and presently it has 275 members with 28 Directors and Supervisors members supported by a Secretariat Department, a Market Promotion Section, a Public Relations Section, a General Affairs Section and a Disciplined Section to promote Organization Affairs. The TWMA periodically convenes meetings, seminars, club member activities, educational promotions, charities, overseas visits and market promotions. On International Exchanges, the TWMA plays an important role and the present TWMA Chairman, Mr. Bill Hung, is now the Chairman of WOOD TECHNOLOGY CLUB (WTC) that has Members in 19 countries and is the largest Woodworking Machinery Professional Organization in the world. *************************************** Mr. Bill Hung Chairman of the TWMA & WTC "For the everlasting development of the future of the Taiwanese Woodworking Machinery, the TWMA will lead member manufacturers to rise abruptly against the international competitive situation during turbulent times. The current enterprise environment, which has been exposed to strict requests by the environmental protection laws, thereby again increasing manufacturing costs, combined with international competition, have caused industries to face two big challenges of meager profit and the environmental protection. Taiwan is part of an industrial time of meager profit. If there is insufficient innovation and differentiation, competition will become more and more furious. This is a difficulty which the present Taiwanese and the international industries are faced with. Aimed at the above questions, my suggestions for Taiwanese Woodworking Machinery Industries are: To exercise integrated marketing to extend antennae broadly to capture market requirements. To adhere to international operational concepts into production systems to enhance efficiency and reduce costs. Thus, through expansion of production and marketing, etc.to create a Taiwan Woodworking Machinery Industrial 'niche'." In January 1983, the Woodworking & Furniture Digest and the National Chung Hsing University co-organized its first Woodworking Machinery & Furniture Supplies Show in Taiwan and it was a great success. In the same year in November, the TMWA held its exhibition: the "Taipei International Woodworking Machinery and Furniture Supplies Show". The exhibitors and both domestic and overseas visitors together created an unexampled record and a brilliant result. In consequence, the show has continued to be held every three years since then. The exhibition, INTERWOOD TAIPEI, would be co-organized by TWMA, TAITRA, and TAMI. On broadening the international markets and acquiring related information in all countries, the Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT), the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) and other government organizations provide us with sufficient support and assistance to make the broad range of exporters more expansive. *************************************** Mr. Yuen-chuan Chao Secretary-General of TAITRA " Woodworking machinery industry is very important industry in Taiwan. This industry, along with machine tools, plastics and rubber machinery, textile machinery are the four biggest machinery industries in Taiwan. In the past, Taiwan was a most important furniture manufacturing country in the world. The main reason why furniture exports achieved such a good record was because of the strong, domestic woodworking machinery industry. Later, because of limits to materials supply, Taiwan's furniture industry moved to other countries. However, this didn't cause the Taiwanese woodworking machinery industry to decrease. What are the advantages of Taiwanese woodworking machines? We think that there are some points which other countries cannot compete with. 1. There is an extremely long history in the Taiwanese woodworking machinery industry and it grew up with the furniture industry. Therefore, knowledge and technology is very strong. All client requirements can be met flexibly to build machines to meet any needs. 2. Taiwanese woodworking machinery is of very high quality and yet the prices are quite cheap. This is another advantage. The Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) is Taiwan's main trade promotion organization and was established in 1970. TAITRA's most important work is to provide assistance with domestic industries to broaden the international markets. Regarding this important industry - woodworking machinery, we have many kinds of assistant methods to broaden its exporters; some are apt to traditional, and some are in accordance with the development of global science & technology, or for the sake of cooperating with the individual requirements of the manufacturer to adopt a new way. Additionally, we hope to attract the overseas customers to Taiwan and purchase. "The International Sourcing Center (ISC) project" was executed by TAITRA to promote foreign machinery agents to come to Taiwan and purchase - including various woodworking machinery equipment. Every three years in Taiwan we hold the Taipei International Woodworking Machinery and Supplies Show 'Interwood Taipei'. From July 1 ~ 4, 2005, there were more than 170 famous domestic and international suppliers that participated in the show. A total of 965 booths were used. In this show we found a pleasant phenomenon which was that the foreign buyers were not only from the Asian region as usual, but there were new buyers from emerging markets such as Eastern Europe, Russia, India, South America (i.e. 'BRIC' countries) showing that the uniqueness of Taiwanese woodworking machinery has been recognized by people all around the world. " Facing drastic global competitive markets, the Taiwanese Woodworking Machinery Industries continue to be enhanced in quality and technology as well as with marketing strategies, R & D and innovation and the establishment of brand images. With the integration of all these efforts and further international exchanges, we will all continue to boost and be dedicated to making the Taiwanese Woodworking Machinery Industries take charge of using and saving precious world resources toward internationalized management, and the goal of globalized products. Lastly, we hope that Taiwanese Woodworking Machinery Products will contribute to promote superior quality of everyday life around the world for mankind. *************************************** Mr. Chin-hsiang, Wei Director of the TWMA "The Taiwanese Woodworking Machinery Industries have abundant practical experience, dexterously combined with new, high-tech and sophisticated craftsman's artisan techniques, which can promptly provide customers with customized processing equipment." *************************************** Mr. Pedon Wang Director of the TWMA "In recent years, Taiwanese Woodworking Machinery has made great progress in quality and the development of the market and new products. To be noted are some machines that were not produced in the past but are now strongly being developed. For example, the production of CNC machinery as well as veneer splicers, panel saws and lamination machines are continually being improved." *************************************** Mr. Shyr-tsong, Bae Standing Director of the TWMA "Since the beginning of the 21st century, emerging countries have risen, accompanied by the approach of the 'Globalization Economic Time'. The Taiwanese Woodworking Machine Industries face unprecedented challenges. Building on the existing and strong sense of community, the industries will continue to move in the direction of united cooperations." *************************************** Mr. Pi-yu, Chang Honorary Chairman of the TWMA "Many Taiwanese Woodworking Machinery Companies have successfully handed over management to an outstanding second generation. Facing the future, the Taiwanese Woodworking Machine Industries will have to continue to make every effort on recruiting professional persons, promoting management and product quality and the strengthening international marketing, etc." *************************************** Mr. Michael Chang Director of the TWMA "To satisfy customers' requirements, positively let customers understand company's management policy, R & D development, improving each kind of equipment, market & develop the emerging markets, and to consolidate & deepen original markets, are the points that Taiwanese Woodworking Machinery Industry should be working on at the moment." *************************************** Mr. Yuen-chuan Chao Secretary-General of TAITRA "Taiwan's electronics industry also shares a very high respect and its technology is top in the world. Right now, the Taiwanese woodworking machinery industry has successfully joined with the electronics industry. Therefore, in the future Taiwanese woodworking machines will not only take advantage of flexible manufacturing and pricing, but also utilize the latest in outstanding electronic automation technologies. We hope that domestic and overseas buyers will make the best use of Taiwanese woodworking machines. They are the best tools for a better future and to increase profits. "
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