Adaptation, Solution, Growth
“Seeking growth - this is our DNA.” We speak to GE-Shen Corporation about the Southeast Asian manufacturing sector and the company’s provision of contract manufacturing to customers worldwide
Writer: Marcus Kääpä | Project Manager: Matthew Taylor
Our vision is to be a globally recognised engineering and manufacturing solutions provider.”
The words of Louis Lau, Executive Director at GE-Shen Corporation, affirms the organisation’s promising attitude within a market full of opportunity.
GE-Shen is a contract manufacturing group with core capabilities in the fields of injection moulding, metal fabrication and assembly services. The company helps its customers in the making of their products, with such customers spanning various sectors, from consumer electronics, home and lifestyle brands, medical and life sciences, and beauty products to industrial sector clients.
At the centre of industry
GE-Shen has a substantial advantage of being based in Malaysia; a multilingual country with strong trade terms and a location that places it between East Asia, India to the west, and the Australasian markets to the south.
“It is an exciting time in the sector,” Lau elaborates. “Malaysia has favourable trade terms to most major economies in the world. On top of this, the Malaysian government has always been supportive of the manufacturing sector, which contributes approximately 25 percent of the Malaysian GDP, and a huge majority of Malaysian exports are in in manufactured goods, with a huge portion of it coming from contract manufacturing.”
In light of this, it is plain to see why GE-Shen is looking to the future with optimism.
“The growth of the sector has been phenomenal,” Lau informs us. “Alternative locations for the sourcing of solutions due to the COVID-19 pandemic has fuelled this growth in the region. On top of the traditional sectors such as medical manufacturing and consumer products, and with the emergence of 5G, more and more devices will be invented and require manufacturing, hence we will continue to grow.”
One of GE-Shen’s four primary factories is located in Penang (Malaysia), with two based in Johor (Malaysia), and another abroad in Hanoi (Vietnam), and between the sites the company employs an impressive 1,500 people. While the Penag facility was founded in 1988, GE-Shen itself was established in 1995; having recently celebrated its 25th anniversary last year.
“Even prior to GE-Shen, from our facility in Penang, we have been serving our customers as contract manufacturers since 1988 and we continue to integrate modern technology and manufacturing capabilities in injection moulding, metal fabrication and assembly services to meet our clients’ needs,” Lau explains.
And at present GE-Shen strives to achieve total customer satisfaction through manufacturing its products on-time, constantly improving business processes through both maintaining and developing a strong company mindset, and meeting standards of high quality.
Adaptation in the field
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic having fuelled technological usage and demand across the globe, GE-Shen was initially impacted negatively; the company was forced to close down operations for over 45 days by the Malaysian Government. Following this however, and with the dedicated support and enthusiasm of customers as well as the GE-Shen team, the company managed to pick up once more.
“We made a very strong comeback both operationally and financially,” Lau tells us proudly. “Seizing on the opportunity for the increased demand in the medical, food and household sectors, we made the financial commitment to invest a large sum of money to upgrade our facilities by installing a new certified 100K clean room and a new control room for injection moulding.
“With these new facilities, it has given us the ability service more customers in these sectors, and this commitment has truly brought us to new heights. These investments demonstrate not only the confidence our customers have in us but also GE-Shen’s ability to innovate and adapt quickly to market demand.”
Promise and investment
GE-Shen’s strategic location in Southeast Asia makes it an exceptional platform for its customers to scale up manufacturing capabilities outside of China – the manufacturing giant of Asia. At the same time, GE-Shen’s customers are saved from having to sacrifice costs that are associated with alternative regions such as the US and Europe. Lau elaborates on the topic with an example of the company’s advantage provision.
“GE-Shen helped a US-based customer by being their China Plus One manufacturing partner,” he continues. “They helped us at the initial stage of mass production which helped us come up to speed to their many years of product experience.
“We provided manufacturing capacities and expertise in Malaysia, and this helped de-bottleneck their existing manufacturing constraints and gain a wider option of component suppliers, thereby diversifying their supply chain. They gained access to much bigger manufacturing capacity which allowed them to focus on sales and marketing, consequently allowing them to scale much quicker.”
Through this investment partnership, both GE-Shen and its US customers greatly benefitted from the collaboration. Following suit, GE-Shen is looking further for more such projects which is part of the company’s aims for expansion.
“We are still on the lookout for more opportunities. I believe that we need to be relentless in seeking growth - this is our DNA as a small company, we must continue investing in ourselves for the future,” Lau states.
The elements of success
The contract manufacturing that GE-Shen provides its customers is supported by multiple key business partnerships that ensure the overall success of the company. These relationships are vital to GE-Shen’s operation, as Lau explains.
“I have always believed that nobody survives on their own,” he tells us. “On the same note, a business does not thrive on its own.
“We view our suppliers as one of the key factors to our success. There’s a saying in our business; even the smallest and least valuable item, for example the humble sticky tape, can impact our entire shipment and therefore company sales, because without it our goods cannot be shipped out.
“On a greater scale, all our stakeholders, including suppliers, are important and we must treat all as partners in the business. GE-Shen relies on technology partners such as machine suppliers to provide the best solutions that are beneficial to our customers. Over the years, they have provided us not only with technology-driven machinery, but also many ideas on how to improve and face tomorrow challenges in manufacturing.”
Into the future of contract manufacturing, GE-Shen’s priority is two pronged: the focus of delivering company promises to its customers, and the longer-term value of looking to the next growth source. Lau ends with a comment on the future of GE-Shen.
“Being a small player in a global field, we have much more to grow,” he tells us. “With availability of empty land adjoining our current factories, we think that GE-Shen can continue growing with its existing or new potential customers.
“On another note, we are an ambitious company looking to continue expanding, and in our next phase of growth we are looking to form strategic partnerships with manufacturers or product owners from around the world. I believe the shareholders and board of GE-Shen would welcome any form of partnerships that helps in the expansion and growth of the company.”