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Manufacturing companies in resin and fiberglass industry in the Philippines are often owned and managed by foreign nationals (Dutch, German, Spanish, British, French, etc. who ventured into the Philippines not only because of very competitive labour costs, but more specifically for the skilled craftsmanship of the local labour force, an essential element in the resin reproduction and decoration industry. The Philippines has also embraced the Western culture much more than any other country in Asia and English is widely spoken.
At present, only a few of these, including Yab Design, have been able to survive in what is now a very competitive global market. The reason for Yab Design is ability to survive in this competitive market is because Yab Design has a special niche in the industry – excellent designs and craftsmanship, concentration on relatively larger product types, flexibility of continued generation of new products and designs and a wide variety of products.
The Company was established when the resin and fiberglass reproduction and decoration industry was bustling in the early 90’s. This was under the ownership of Daniel van der Hulst, the elder brother of the now existing owner of Yab Design, Mr. Jakob van der Hulst. Jakob acquired the company in 1998 when sales were at $2 million and in a span of 6 years, sales doubled to over $4 million.
Yab Design is owned and managed by the owner himself, together with a team of Dutch and Filipino nationals. Together they paved the way for establishing a strong position for Yab Design in the global market.
After Laguna, the new management decided to transfer to Angono, Rizal where it rents an area of 11 hectares for its production site. Four (4) hectares are covered warehouses which include administrative offices. The main reason for moving to Angono was that Angono is a city famous for well skilled artists. By transferring to here, it is easier to find factory workers with the required level of expertise.
Yab Design is a manufacturer of handcrafted (polyester) resin and fiberglass items and statues, mainly used for decoration and advertising purposes.
Life-size human figures (i.e. Halloween, pirates, Indians, medieval, butlers, waiters, bakers, sports figures, famous artists, singers, actors, politicians, etc.).
- Life-size animal figures.
- Garden products.
- Advertising items.
- Christmas products.
- Furniture, and other related products.
Besides the own products of Yab Design, which are available for all customers, Yab Design also performs special projects and develops of custom-made items. These items will be developed based on the specific requirements of a certain customer. For example, Yab Design produced custom-made products (usually for advertising purposes) for Coca Cola, Levi’s, several computer game developers, ING Bank, Philippine government, Cruzcampo Beer, Motorola, Samsung and Gillette.
Ownership is composed of five (5) major stockholders. Please find an overview of the owners/officers below:
- President: Jakob Van der Hulst
- Corporate Treasurer: Analita E. Berba
- Corporate Secretary: Michael G. Oña
- Director: Kimberly Van der Hulst
- Director: Marcial S. Carrasco
The company has complied and complies with all government regulatory business permits and licenses. It is operating under Philippine laws and regulations. It also contributes a considerable amount of income to the municipality of Angono and generates dollar earnings for the country.
From a low of 209 containers in 1997, shipments peaked at 474 containers in 2004. The average sales for the last decennium stand at 300 to 350 containers yearly. Considering the interest of new customers and new product lines we expect to see an increase in sales volume to around 400 containers in 2014.
Close to 100% of the value of the company’s output is exported, with less than 1% of its output sold to the domestic market. Since the company caters only to bulk buyers, most of its customers are wholesalers from all over the world, with the United States, Europe and Australia as the biggest markets. Roughly 40% of sales go to the United States, 40% goes to Europe, and 10% Australia, with the remaining 10% going to the rest of the world and the local/domestic markets.
Each year, the company participate in major Trade Fair Shows in Asia This market exposure serves as the major promotional tool, together with catalogues and a full colour CD-ROM of products provided to clients. Many customers from United States and Europe establish their own company Trade Shows and Exhibits where they carry the product collections of Yab Design. Occasionally, walk-in customers come from referrals. A visit/tour to the factory and its showroom gives one a better idea of the capabilities of Yab Design.
Production and Finishing
The company’s production is focused mainly on a captured market of handmade decorations, statues and furniture moulded out of polyester resin and fiberglass and reinforced with steel, specializing in life-sized figurine variations. All products pass through twenty-five (25) or so quality controllers from start to finish, to ensure the best and most durable quality of product lines. Safety and hazard measures are also installed within the company’s premises to ensure healthy working conditions for the workers.
Raw Materials Supply
Major raw materials are mainly bought from local importers/suppliers. However, Yab Design imports also materials abroad like wood, textile and electrical parts. At present, there is a sufficient supply of raw materials. However, the prices of resins have been increasing in recent years, in tandem with the tremendous increase in the prices of oil and other commodities. So far, the company has not encountered any problem as to the availability of raw materials supply. It is confident it can sustain future expansions without any significant strain on raw material supplies. Alternative resources have however been considered as pro-active measures.
Despite rising demand, the entry of Chinese manufacturers and suppliers at late 90’s has posed threats to the viability of traditional manufacturers. Though markets have diversified somewhat, opportunities still exist despite stiffer competition in terms of designs and strategies.
The above scenario, however, has little effect on the viability of the company since China caters to products that are mostly mass-produced by machines.
The output of Yab Design requires more detailed craftsmanship, bigger-sized products of higher value and quality while that of Chinese suppliers requires larger quantities of smaller products of less quality and craftsmanship. Another edge of Yab Design is that it produces licensed and patented products with exclusive manufacturing and distribution rights (e.g. life-size statues of famous cartoon characters such as Betty Boop, Disney figures and figures from video games like Sky Rim.
Additionally, the last years the Chinese manufacturers are faced with rising production and (especially) labour costs resulting in higher product prices. For this reason the Chinese manufactures are considered less competitive for Yab Design. Actually, Yab Deisgn is already noticing that old and new customers who before bought in China are (re)turning to the Philippines.
Suppliers from Poland who produce copies of products already existing in the market are also considered competitors. At the moment their prices are lower, but are of less quality and durability compared to products of Yab Design. However, due to the European legislation (which prescribes that prices of products in Europe should be of the same level) we already see that the Polish products are increasing.
Research and Development
The owner of Yab Design creates its own distinctive designs. In addition, the company welcomes prototyping of exclusive designs from their clients. With the infusion of continuous product research and development, the company is updated with new market trends and strategies, allowing it to cope with the rising demand for quality and unique products. The company maintains its competitive edge, even with the fast turnover of market trends, by creating and developing new sets of collections. However, old and traditional designs are often retained and produced for existing markets, where there are regular clients who continuously order said products.
To date, Yab Design has three thousand (3,000) different product samples in its display area. These include prototype figures and about one thousand five hundred (1,500) new moulds developed for new sets of product collections.
Additionally, Yab Design is looking for ways to make the production process as “green” as possible. Currently the Research department is in cooperation with one of our suppliers (Chemrez) performing several tests with “water-based resin”. If we succeed, then Yab Design will be one of the first resin manufactures using the less polluting “water-based resin”.
Labour and Workforce
The company currently utilizes a workforce of between two hundred and fifty (250) and three hundred (300) people. There are forty one (41) regular employees, and the rest are agency workers and piece-rate workers and extra helpers, partially as in-house subcontractors.
Yab Design believes that sound and enjoyable working conditions contribute to the enhancement of productivity as is reflected in the quality and creativity of its products. Well-disciplined and satisfied workers result in increased productivity in the company. Thus, every effort is taken to ensure that these conditions are effectively in place.
Labour resources (both skilled and non-skilled) are more than sufficient within the area of Angono and its neighbouring towns. The company pays the minimum or higher wages, including benefits based on labour standards. As such, during lean seasons, the workforce adheres to a rotation scheme among its rank and file for a period of time and reverts back during peak seasons when a full manning complement is needed.
The continuous growth of the company is an indication that the company has sufficient stability to compete in the global market.
The production site is completely equipped with tooling equipment and facilities that are fully utilized for production and finishing purposes. Existing moulds and inventories are also utilized for new concepts and creations.
Other Concerns of the Company
Furthermore, Yab Design is concerned with the following topics:
- Environmental impact program/projects
- Community impact
- Compliance of government mandatory regulations
- Implementation of government programs/policies