Interview with Xiaofeng Zhang

Face2Face
Xiaofeng Zhang
Xiaofeng Zhang
Director
SBS Zipper
SBS Zipper

How did SBS Zipper become the behemoth that it is today?

In China, no matter what industry you are in, there's bound to be strict competition. SBS Zipper managed to beat its competitors in its over thirty years of existence by placing a high premium on certain aspects of its business that can give it a competitive edge over other companies. Here are some of factors that made SBS Zipper the behemoth that it is today.

1. Strong emphasis on research & development: SBS Zipper has been committed to the application of technology in transforming and streamlining the manufacturing process. Zipper-making used to be done through traditional, yet laborious means, but SBS Zipper relied on its own R&D to ensure that product manufacturing can be done as swiftly and efficiently as possible. In fact, the company has made considerable contributions to the industry of zipper-manufacturing; in three decades, SBS Zipper managed to obtain 380 patents-221 of those are utility model patents, 116 are invention patents, and the remaining 44, design patents. The company's R&D team is also particularly productive, usually applying an average of 100 patents every year.

Some of the core technologies that SBS Zipper utilises include:
  • Mechanised manufacturing: greatly enhances production efficiency and drastically reduces the cost and energy consumption of the production process.
  • Mould processing technology: allows moulds to be developed in-house, without relying on foreign companies. Also results into the production of more diversified zipper products.
  • Intelligent design: shortens the product development cycle and also minimises resource consumption.

2. Production capacity on an international scale: SBS Zipper's meteoric rise as a manufacturing behemoth is unprecedented. Despite being almost 40 years younger than its closest international competitor YKK (the Japanese company was founded in 1945), SBS Zipper is already second in the world when it comes to annual production of zippers. With 4000+ staff working round-the-clock on five large manufacturing bases located in China's major provinces, SBS Zipper is able to produce a production output worth over $230 million annually. The main manufacturing base in Fujian alone can produce 558 million pieces of nylon zippers, 51 million plastic zippers, 67.5 million metal zippers, and nearly one thousand tons of zipper accessories each month.

3. Being able to combine function and fashion: SBS Zipper is always in a state of innovation. It is consistently on top of fashion trends and fads, and amazingly, has also started trends of its own. It is to be noted that SBS Zipper held the world's first zipper-themed fashion show in 2008, and has continued to do so ever since. This is a drastic yet creative break from tradition, wherein zippers were usually thought of as mere functional accessories that are necessary to keep clothes and bags together. Now, zippers are in the spotlight, front and centre. The company is able to provide trendy and fashionable zippers in a wide variety of styles and colours; there are electroplated sliders and pullers/ custom-made zippers, and other such accessories with various customisations.

4. Placing a huge premium on quality control: As a global brand, SBS Zipper carries its production operations in strict compliance with international quality certifications of ISO14000, SA8000, and ISO9000. The company also has its own internal product standards that it rigorously implements in its facilities. Since, everything used in the production process is made and produced in-house, everything undergoes strict monitoring and inspection. The factories also employ high tech, cutting edge examination devices that checks mould precision, metal content, chemical composition, colour fastness, and other such properties of the finished products.

5. Investing in green technologies: SBS Zipper recognises the importance of green technologies, and how these can be used to improve manufacturing processes and promote sustainable development at the same time. One of the company's major investments is a wastewater treatment centre. Worth over $5 million, this facility allows a significant amount of wastewater (nearly 60 per cent) produced by the electroplating process, to be effectively recycled and reused. In addition to this, SBS Zipper is also dedicating research into supercritical carbon dioxide technology, which aims to simplify the dyeing process and minimise waste.

What do people say about SBS Zipper?

To be clear, SBS Zipper does not offer retail service. The company sells wholesale, often directly to clothing or bag manufacturers both at home and abroad. But still, one can see the quality of the company's zippers through reviews made by people who have encountered the said zippers in other products that used them.

What does the future hold for SBS Zipper?

SBS Zipper is a shining example of how a company can rise up the ranks and become a global manufacturing giant through sheer hard work and openness to new technologies and trends. With its knowledge of how the fashion industry and market works, as well as the keenness and sincerity with which it approaches business, SBS Zipper might well be the world's best and foremost zipper manufacturer in the very near future. To know more visit sbs-zipper.com

Published on: 21/10/2016

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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