The leading manufacturing companies of Canada employ cutting-edge technologies to deliver the best products to their clients. They leave no stone unturned to ensure that the clients’ requirements are fulfilled. Work ethics and excellent quality are the hallmarks of these companies. They efficiently utilize the resources and deliver products of the highest quality.
One such prominent manufacturing company achieving excellence in its niche market is Kingstec Technologies Inc. With more than 38 years’ expertise in business and over 5000 projects completed to date, it is a leading engineering, manufacturing, and logistics business partner serving companies of all sizes in North America and Europe.
Established in 1983, Kingstec is headquartered in Mississauga, Canada, and partners with ISO-certified manufacturing facilities throughout Asia. Working with start-ups and established brands alike, Kingstec employs a team of highly specialized engineers, logistics professionals, and experienced project managers to shepherd projects from ideation straight through to market.
Kingstec connects customers in a broad range of niches with world-class and engineering services in North America, and with cost-efficient, highly adaptable contract manufacturers in Asia. Solving even the most complex engineering challenges, the company has earned customers’ trust by maintaining the strictest quality standards while helping to get their products quickly and reliably into the marketplace.
Kingstec has nearly forty years of experience in engineering, manufacturing, and project managing electronics for non-implantable medical devices, performance automotive aftermarket, agricultural technology, telecommunications, and industrial controls.
With its in-house team of experienced electrical and mechanical engineers, the company possesses the ability to support the projects of its clients at any stage. The company’s areas of expertise include:
- Custom cable assemblies and wire harnesses
- PCBs and PCB assemblies
- Plastic injection molded parts
- Box-build turnkey assemblies
- Stamped metal components
- Precision machined parts
Because it’s been in the industry for a several decades, Kingstec has worked closely with clients in diverse industries and sectors. The staff has honed its knowledge and skills in meeting a wide array of design, engineering, manufacturing, and logistical challenges.
Beyond that, Kingstec’s close relationships with its partners in Asia give it a tremendous advantage. “We don’t just speak the languages, we understand business culture and the nuances by which terms are agreed and promises kept,” says Wilson Chiu, president of the company.
The team knows how to spot potential risks or pitfalls and deal with them before they turn into problems. Thanks to its constant presence in Asia and working alongside its partners to keep various manufacturing jobs on track, the company helps clients circumvent trips to Asia and avoid off-hour meetings, saving them precious time. Kingstec takes on all the responsibilities of selecting and managing the right Asian partners for its customers’ projects so they can focus on their core business needs.
The Visionary Leader
Wilson Chiu, President of Kingstec, has been with the organization for over 20 years. Through his role, Mr. Wilson works to ensure that every dimension of the company is focused on helping meet customers’ offshore manufacturing needs quickly, smoothly, and cost-efficiently. While creating guiding strategy, innovation initiatives, and customer relations, he oversees a highly experienced team of engineers, logistics specialists, and project managers.
Before joining Kingstec, Mr. Wilson worked for a large Tier 1 automotive supplier, holding positions in product design and engineering. A licensed Professional Engineer, he holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Ryerson University and is fluent in Cantonese.
Braving the Pandemic
Like any other company, Kingstec also had to face several challenges stemming from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The additional length in lead time has had the biggest impact. “We’ve seen longer lead times for all raw materials, along with price increases for these materials,” states Mr. Wilson.
Shipping challenges have also been substantial. Limited shipping capacity and the resulting rise in prices have been difficult. Mr. Wilson further adds, “Between a mysterious shortage in shipping containers, reduced travel, reduced port staff – and then the curveball of the blocked Suez Canal, it’s hard to predict what will happen next.” The company had to take careful steps and had to remain extremely transparent in its conversations about lead time and pricing.
The Kingstec team realized that adopting a ‘mix & match’ strategy has been effective. It has been buying many components locally in North America. The company handles the kitting in its Canadian facility, then ships everything back to China for assembly. It adds a small sum to the overall cost, but the company can get what it needs relatively quickly – sometimes shaving 20 weeks off the lead time. Ultimately this strategy keeps lead times within a range that is acceptable for customers. “We’re fortunate to have a strong and experienced supply chain management team, because logistics and component sourcing have played a much more prominent role over the last 18 months,” asserts Mr. Wilson.
Keeping up with Technological Advancements
Kingstec believes that it is necessary to have the latest and greatest CAD software to ensure they are ahead in their capabilities and that everyone can share files easily. The company opines that it is also important that everyone in the company has all the necessary hardware and software in the office and equipment in the engineering lab so that they can work quickly and efficiently with up-to-date software, and to reduce the inevitable downtime that comes with older equipment.
Mr. Wilson believes that from an engineering standpoint, as electronics evolve, individual skillsets also must be enhanced. “We work with a lot of start-ups, and we want their products to be able to do all of the things consumers today expect – like using the latest chipsets and mobile modules, so products can respond to voice controls, or mobile apps.”
Words of Encouragement
In his advice to the up-and-coming entrepreneurs aspiring to venture into the manufacturing space, Mr. Wilson states, “Build your networking skills! Particularly in engineering, this is a very undervalued skill, but it so important. You need to make connections early on if you want to win jobs, secure funding for your venture, or attract new clients. And you need to start early, or you’ll leave university with a blank resume and an uphill battle to fight. If you’re still in school, start now: join associations, attend meetings, go to department events.”
Road Towards the Future
Kingstec believes in taking a traditional approach to sustaining its business. It aims to always focus on relationships. “We’ll always put a high priority on face-to-face meetings with clients and partners,” states Mr. Wilson.
Before the pandemic, the company used to plan visits as often as possible; not just for factory tours and meetings, but also to have some social time, like a lunch or dinner together. The management feels it is important to get to know clients beyond Zoom meetings, to have a personal touch. It is very easy to downplay the importance of those relationships, but they really are important.
Kingstec plans to stay focused on serving its niche. The majority of its clients are in the medical space. Clients also tend to be smaller businesses rather than giant OEMs. These are clients who might get lost with a bigger partner, but Kingstec knows that it can deliver the excellent service, quality, and pricing these businesses deserve. Mr. Wilson firmly believes that there is a strength in understanding one’s core competency and knowing one’s strengths.
The company plans to grow over the next five years. It also intends to do more with its existing clients, as well as adding new ones. “We’ve invested more in marketing this year to achieve that,” states Mr. Wilson. Kingstec also aims to expand its supplier base; accordingly, it is looking at partners with new technologies so that it can serve clients better and expand its capabilities.