Chopsticks helper- Plastic Injection Molding Production
Plastic injection molding
Company is primarily producing one of a kind chopsticks helpers. These products are sold worldwide. Everything is fully set up with machinery, production methods, key stakeholders and fully ready to produce. Perfect opportunity to get into business of manufacturing.
With existing equipment it is possible to start producing other plastic products and offer injection molding services.
It will be a great start for a person who is willing to manufacture unique product and would like to have a possibility for future growth with existing equipment.
Currently company own two products.
These are chopsticks helpers. If a person is struggling using chopsticks (typically kids), eating Asian Cuisine, then he can easily use chopsticks like a native Asian with the help of our products.
One of the products is a versatile and multi functional tool and is a one of a kind product currently on a market- made in a theme for sushi, so will fit any sushi environment (restaurant, bar).
All products are made using food contact approved materials of high grade.
Beyond that- it is of course possible to produce any other product with the existing plastic injection molding machines- design own products or produce parts and products for other companies.
Marketing requires more inputs.
Currently all generated sales were done by contacting potential customers directly by e-mail.
At this point we are working on a new website design, complete overhaul in design of marketing materials to have one design through everything- website, logo, packaging, marketing boxes, etc.
Requires more marketing to be done and advertising.
Primary customer target group is sushi restaurants and sushi bars, as well as Asian cuisine restaurants generally.
Beside sushi restaurants, big potential customers are sushi restaurant suppliers, just to get easier to sushi restaurants and potentially bigger orders.
Website is currently selling to end customers, but we are moving away from that concept to focus more on quantity than selling in very low quantities to end customers. However with a proper marketing strategy and website advertising- sales to end customers can be dramatically increased.
Currently products are sold to end customers and in bulk to sushi restaurants.
On one product the margin to end customers is approx. 1800% (yes, that much) and sales in bulk to sushi restaurants margin is 300%.
On the other product the margin to end customers is approx. 1500% and sales in bulk to sushi restaurants margin varies, depending on quantities it can be 170-350%.
Company was started with private capital and a private bank loan. First year and a half was pretty much set-up year with trial and error and a lot of product design changes. During 2017 company paid back the loan and returned the investment.
If that has anything to say- all Dinero "Nøgletal" is in "Fantastisk".
Company is located in Otterup, where a small area of a production building is rented.
Rent is very low- 1.000 kr. per month.
In case of no production periods, there are no extra costs- only rent. Of course this is not looking at equipment amortisation, etc.
Among assets there is a full production park of machinery:
- 1 piece Arburg 320M plastic injection molding machine
- 1 piece Arburg 221 injection molding machine
- 1 piece HDL Pack flow packing machine
- 1 auxiliary equipment- drying hopper (currently not used, but can be used in the future when manufacturing other products, requiring material pre-drying).
- 300 kg of TPE granules material for producing one product
- A lot of other plastic materials, ranging from 5 to 25 kg bags for testing.
- about 2 kg of masterbatches (color pigments) of 5 colors
Non material assets:
- 1 website .dk (currently is being re-designed with new fresh design) Generally we are currently re-designing everything- logos, website, marketing materials, packaging, marketing boxes, etc.
- Close relations with key stake holders- mold (tools) manufacturer in China and Denmark, material suppliers, machinery supplier.
- Ownership of product idea, design, manufacturing techniques
- Customer Base
I started working on the project back in 2012. At that time I just came to Denmark as a student to study Design Engineering. And as any foreign student- I had to find a part time job. I started working in a local sushi bar, making sushi.
One day, the owner of this sushi bar came to me and showed a chopsticks helper and asked if I could design something like that. And I designed my product, because I thought it would fit into the sushi theme. But the sushi bar owner didn't want to invest the money into manufacturing these.
I decided to invest all of my savings and invest into manufacturing these. Of course I didn't have the money to invest into the machinery, so initially I found a manufacturer in China and we started this project and made production molds.
And I slowly was getting more contacts and selling more and more of the product, but I always was dreaming about my own factory and manufacturing these myself.
So I started saving up some money and purchased first injection molding machine- Arburg 221.
After some time I took a bank loan and started working more serious on this project, then I bought the second machine- Arburg 320M and injection molding tools for producing the products.
In 2015 I opened up a company and started experimenting with new machines, tools and materials. I figured a lot of design flaws that had to be changed in order to make the product work and I invested even more money and it was getting really tough and demotivating.
But I managed to make these changes and now the product was almost perfect- only thing I was missing is nice packaging. I couldn't afford investing more money and had to either take a bank loan or find a partner.
I partnered with a friend of mine and we purchased flow pack machine and packaging material.
So the product was completely ready and finished. Mid 2017 we started getting big orders from UK and repaid all the loans.
In 2017 we also successfully launched a KICKSTARTER campaign and completely fulfilled it!
And now we are in 2018 and I decided to go back to my home country, as I am getting married with my girlfriend and want to build up a family. And that is the reason I am selling the company.
There are similar products on the market. Similar in terms of chopsticks holding functionality, but they all are shaped like something weird- humans, animals, toy trains and really crazy shapes.
Our product is the only product that is shaped in a "Sushi" theme. What sets our product apart form other products is that is is made from 2K technology- hard soft overmolding.
Another advantage of the product is that we use food contact approved materials. It is amazing actually that most of the products are not made from food contact approved materials.
Moreover that, it is a multi functional product- it is not a one time use product and can accomplish other tasks.
We understood that we cannot only take the market with this one product alone. We needed something more "budget-friendly" to tackle the high volume market of chopstick helpers that is primarily coming from China. Then we though that our inner parts of the product actually holds chopsticks on their own. And that is how we launched our second product.
Currently it is hard to say and pretty much needless to say that the market is huge. This product is rather easy to sell in USA.
Our product can solve on of the biggest issues for sushi restaurant owners- waiting time. When families come with kids it is important to somehow keep kids busy, the product accomplishes that and business owners understand that, making their business benefit by generating extra sales and raising their customer satisfaction.
The biggest challenge that we faced until now- is that everybody loves our product with it's design and functionality. But sushi restaurant owners want to add something of their own to it- their logo, address, website or colors.
Making the product in different colors- is not a problem at all, just require special color additive, which is not an issue, just a delivery time issue.
But when talking about customization in terms of logo printing- that is the difficult part.
We use TPE materials for the products and it is very hard to print on this material, we briefly made a study and figured that it is hard to print on. Solution to this could be adding a special material additive to be able to at least laser engrave on the product.
But we also figured another solution- making a special kind of packaging in a neutral design, without our logo or website- just general product info and functionality and then make space for putting a sticker on top.
We are currently working on redesigning the website, logos, packages, marketing boxes designs and that is when we will be able to offer that service.
But maybe a new owner can figure a better solution.
The product itself is very unique and sets all competitors aside. There are no similar products in terms of design and functionality.
It is very beneficial that we are located in Denmark, making quality stand out.
Moreover that- our products are made from food contact approved materials, whereas others don't bother about that.
We try to work directly with sushi restaurant owners, without middle men- making us very competitive price wise.
Our brand stands for material safety and product functionality.
Being a manufacturer we are able to deliver products according to customer needs and cistomization.
These days we are trying to focus more on B2B market and redoing our website for that purpose. Reason to that is that we are able to produce in large quantities and would rather deal with big production runs instead of keeping a lot of stock and ship in small quantities to the end customer.
We are constantly thinking how to be more flexible in terms of customization for our B2B customers. And currently that is a weakness, as a lot of customers want to have their own logos on the packaging. But this is an "easy" fix.
Another weakness of the company is it's area- we are renting a very small area from another company and cannot keep a large stock of material, nor finished goods- but that was good enough until now.
Our biggest strong points is our product- it performs much better than competitors products and fits much better into the sushi theme.
Generally the company is not only about chopstick products. With existing machinery it is possible to expand the company and produce other products or produce parts for other companies and become a sub-supplier. So there are different growth directions available. Or even it can be all of them at the same time.
The vision is to become all in one stop for manufacturing of plastic products and metal products as well. Plan is to purchase also some metal machining machinery, like CNC milling machine for being able to make metal products and molds for plastic injection molding. In such a way there will be an opportunity to make products from metal or plastic and moulds made in house.
The new owner should be interested in having his own manufacturing. It is a perfect step into having a family business.
Knowing mechanics, plastics, production processes would be a big advantage, but otherwise it is possible to learn, just like I did.
Amount of work depends how bad you want your company to grow- because that directly reflects success.
The more time you will be willing to put into it- the more successful the company will become. In another hand at the times when there is no mood for working- it is very cheap for the company just to stand by, as the rent is extremely cheap.
You will be in charge of everything, like huge companies are, but rather in a small scale- product development, sales, manufacturing, customer relationship, marketing, etc. This company will keep you interested in working for it, as there are so many things of what is possible, that your interest will keep on burning.
I, of course, will guide and show all the processes, how everything works and will remain within reach if there will be coming any kind of questions by the phone or e-mail and in other cases will be able to come over and help out. To a reasonable extend will do that for free. I will make sure that a new owner is familiar with processes during the production.
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