We Are Garden: Vietnam Sourcing Insights
Garden Products: Key Sectors and Strengths
ET2C’s Vietnam Sourcing Team has already identified opportunities within the Garden & Outdoor sector exclusively from Vietnam due to raw material availability as well as manufacturing capability already in situ. Combined with other political, social and economic factors, Vietnam presents an opportunity on the global stage.
Although the relationship between the United States and China appears to be thawing, Vietnam continues to attract business from US buyers due to the current tariffs imposed on Chinese products, which will mean costs rising by anything up to 25% later on this year (should the US and China not come to an agreement). Clearly, companies are also looking to de-risk and look to spread their supplier base across multiple jurisdictions. The Vietnamese manufacturing sector will be an important part of any such Asian sourcing strategy with many suppliers investing in additional manufacturing capability and R&D.
As your Asian sourcing expert, we highlighted some key sectors within this broad category. In particular, Pottery, netting, garden tools, garden gloves, plant supports, arches and obelisks, hanging baskets, coco-liners and furniture. To build on our ‘We Are Garden’ initiative, we recently spent some time with a couple of suppliers to provide some greater insight into their background, the industry and the possible opportunities. As part of our next in the series, we interviewed a Pottery supplier who exports to EU, US and Australia.
After a two-hour drive, we turned off the main road into a vast manufacturing site located in Binh Duong Province. Noticeably, the site was very busy with three containers being loaded with different ranges as we pulled in. The company CEO, Mrs T, was waiting for us outside of her office along with some of her key staff. As we were shown around their two showrooms, full of their different ranges and finishes, and their cavernous warehouse there was a clear sense that this factory was very well setup for export (they have TQM, BSCI, C-TPAT certification). Established in 1999, they are a manufacturer of ceramics, cement-based, poly(resin) housewares. Especially, their product portfolio includes but not limited to ceramics, Terrazzo, Terracotta, Pottery, High fired, Lite stone, Poly stone to name some key styles.
1. Which countries within the Asian Region do you see as your main competitors?
Within Asia, I see Malaysia and Thailand as our main competition. They do not have the labour cost advantage that Vietnam has and therefore mainly produce larger sizes by machine. They also do not have the range of colour options. China is always a competitor, due to its depth of manufacturing, but they are certainly volume geared.
2. What does ‘Sustainability’ mean to your business?
Sustainability means putting an emphasis on our staff and ensuring that they are treated in an ethical and fair way. Also, looking at focusing on the environment and our processes.
3. How do you continue to develop your export market and client base?
We have put a great focus on innovation and look to develop new and unique designs for our clients. Also, the service and quality we provide to our clients is key to grow our business with them as well as identify new clients at Global trade shows. We are also looking to engage more with social media.
4. What are your biggest challenges as a business?
From both an internal and external perspective, with increasing demand, we need to properly manage our staff base and production capability. One of the biggest challenges is the Government restrictions on pottery Kilns as we need to make sure we have space to fire our ceramics.
5. What is the future for the Vietnam manufacturing base in your product category?
The pottery industry in Vietnam is well established and has been exporting products for a long time now. There is innovation coming into the Homewares category and this is evident with the introduction of lightweight options. These are cement compositions (such as polyresin) and have shorter lead times, are lightweight and can be used to make lots of contemporary styles. We have our own unique features, that we have honed over our years of experience, such as unique glazes, water & frost resistance, and special surfaces.
The Vietnamese Pottery industry is underpinned by over a thousand years of artisan expertise and has developed to the mass market offering that it is today. Although labour is still an important part, there is increasing investment in machinery to make the process more efficient. Moreover, this will detemine more advantageous costs on a global stage. New alternative materials have also become more prevalent as different options for the consumer.
As a Vietnam Sourcing Company, and having been on the ground for over 10 years, we have identified the Garden Product and Outdoor sector as a growth manufacturing sector in Vietnam. Where necessary, we have developed manufacturing capability at factory level to produce high-quality products at competitive prices. There is now a unique opportunity to source a breadth of products all out of Vietnam.
For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will help your business positively blossom!