Environmental Analysis of Top Glove (V2)
Contains a summary of SWOT analysis, Value Chain analysis, Overall strategies, 5 forces analysis and recommendations...
OVERVIEW TOP GLOVE
A rubber glove manufacturer Company owns and operates 23 factories with a total of 437 production lines located in Malaysia, Thailand, China. World's largest rubber glove manufacturer Aims to become a one-stop shop for gloves Exports to more than 750 customers in about 185 countries Able to manufacture 27 billion pieces of gloves a year. Capturing about 26% of the world market share Chairman & Founder: Tan Sri Dato Sri Lim Wee Chai
SWOT ANALYSIS Strengths:
Largest market share in glove industry Established the Top Glove foundation to empower, employees based on merit, the needy and the less fortunate Goods and service design are Top Glove's gloves are protecting to lives and the price of it is low compare to other glove brands. Geographic advantage in being located close to rubber plantations and market share edge Offers the full range of services Labour intensive with skilled workforce high profitability and revenue experienced business units possesses barriers of market entry due to economies of scale high growth rate wide existing distribution and sales networks
Does not have many long-term contracts in the business Invest heavily in modern machinery and need to hire more experienced personnel for modern machinery in their production process Facility layout could be more efficient Small business units Future profitability High loan rates are possible Competitive market Tax structure Productivity Future debt rating
Access to global markets Target of venture capitalists Continuous development of new products and services by own R&D or newly discovered contagious diseases. Global demand for rubber gloves have remained steady
Competitors- Hartalega Holdings Bhd., has good performance Changing government regulations such as: o minimum wage policy will increase cost of labour o raising retirement age could mean less opportunites of promotion for younger staff leading to a more demoralised workforce o removal of subsidies from natural gas (Make up 8% in the production) o restriction on foreign labour could result in manpower shortages thus interrupting production and delivery. cash flow increasing costs financial capacity technological problems price changes tax changes external business risks rising cost of raw materials
VALUE CHAIN ANALYSIS Value is added both to the manufacturer (Top Glove) through the following: PRIMARY ACTIVITIES Inbound Logistics
Bargaining Power of Suppliers favours Top Glove as the customer as they are the market leader and thus order in bulk and as such possesses economies of scale. Top glove is assured of quality raw materials as they are the customer of choice from the suppliers’ perspective. Many of the production plants are either near source of raw materials or near their target markets or are in regions with low labour costs. This in turn adds value by lowering production costs and such savings are passed to customers in the form of very competitive prices. Weakness: Should consider backward integration strategy to ensure quality products and just-in-time management to minimise any disruption to the production process.
Although the majority of the workforce is low skilled but highly and easily trained as the nature of the business is semi-automated. The manufacturing process is based on a cost-leadership strategy. Weakness: Should consider investing more in computerisation, ICT & automation to better integrate and manage global operations and to avoid being overdependent on cheap low skilled (albeit highly trained) workers.
Well established target market customers Well established distribution network Weakness: Should consider forward integration to increase quality of on-time delivery
Sales, Marketing & Service
Currently positioning themselves as a one-stop rubber products shop. There is sales, marketing & service presence in countries where Top Glove has their manufacturing plants. Weakness: Service could be increased with more on-site visits to major customers to engage with them more and to procure feedback to avoid complaints
SECONDARY ACTIVITIES Procurement
Currently Top Glove is in control as they are the market leader and hence the supplier’s choice of being their top customer Weakness: Delegate some authority to major suppliers by practicing Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) strategy where the suppliers will manage a portion of Top Glove’s inventory management to free up Top Glove’s resources so that they can use focus strategy to pay more attention on expansion and efficiency, effectiveness and competitiveness.
Human Resource Management
Currently Top Gove being the market leader is an employer of choice in the industry A satisfactory training and development programme is in place to motivate the workforce with career development plans. Weakness: Should hire more highly skilled & trained staff to manage a more computerised and automated manufacturing process.
Organisation structure is leaning towards being too centralised. Weakness: Should consider greater empowerment of managers by using a combination of functional and geographical or matrix organisation structure which is project based. This should be complemented with a performance based reward incentive scheme to motivate workers and to better manage distant locations of its plants and marketing offices across the world.
Some use of ICT in R&D Weakness: Greater use of ICT in manufacturing and communication would help better integrate global operations and cut cost without being over dependent on cheap labour or labour shortage issues.
STRATEGIES USED BY TOP GLOVE
Classic organic growth strategy for expansion of production plants that are nearer to major markets. Basic Strategies used to respond to uncertainty is a defender strategy, usually by cutting costs to fight based on price. This has backfired as inventory of gloves are hit hard as competitors are also fighting based on price.
INDUSTRY ANALYSIS TOP GLOVE – PORTER’S 5 FORCES Threat of New Entrants (Low) • High barrier of entry due to economies of scale by incumbents (those already in the industry • The barrier of entry for the rubber glove industry is considerably high though it doesn’t require high level of capital and technology. • We believe the key hurdle for new entrants is achieving economies of scales as the glove business is very much a volume and cost focus game. • The access to the cheap labour, natural gas and the key raw material, latex is the key success factor for any new entrants as these costs collectively account for approximately 75% of total production costs. • We believe the bigger players generally have advantage in securing cheap labour and natural gas access, as well as better procurement price for latex due to bulk purchase, making the barrier of entry high for the new entrants. • Furthermore, strong entrepreneurship of Malaysian glove players led to innovation in increasing production efficiency over time. This is in no small part also contributed by strong supports from the local SME engineering firms. The local engineering firms’ efforts on improving the production line design, the speed of production, products quality, and stability have created a strong competitive edge for the Malaysian glove producers over the foreign competitors, especially those competitors from the major rubber-producing countries such as Thailand and Indonesia which share the same or even better advantage on cheap labour and raw material access. Industry Rivalry (High)
Over the years, industry competition has intensified especially among the local manufacturers who add new capacity aggressively to achieve better economies of scales. • The industry competition is expected to persist if not worsen over the next 2-3 years as we expect threats arising not only from local players with larger capacity, but also from the neighbouring countries such as Thailand and Indonesia who have abundant domestic latex supply as well as relatively cheaper labour supply. • Malaysian glove makers are expected to experience escalation in competitive pressure once they start losing their cheaper fuel cost advantage when Petronas Gas’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification plant commences operation by Sept 2012. • As the new natural gas supply is imported at international market price, supply price to glove makers are likely to be raised as well. We understand international market price for natural gas is currently 20-30% higher than the subsidised price. • The local players who have strong in-house research and development (R&D) capabilities are likely to face moderate competition as compared to peers. Strong R&D would ensure the company to stay ahead of its competitors in developing new or improved glove products, and better production flow which can improve its production efficiency, thereby lowering cost. Among the local players, we believe Kossan and Hartalega are currently leading its peers in terms of R&D capabilities.
Bargaining Power of Buyers (High) • Majority of the glove manufacturers in the industry are predominantly original equipment
manufacturers (OEM) who mainly sell their products to multinational healthcare corporates (MNCs) such as Ansell, Kimberly Clark, Cardinal Health, Medline and Microflex. All these international brands have been gaining strong foothold in the global healthcare market and making the OEM players very difficult to build their own brands, especially in the established western countries. The high reliance on the MNCs directly increases the buyers’ bargaining power, especially during period when capacity surplus is rising as the brand owners can easily switch their orders from manufacturer to manufacturer and from country to country. Therefore, we expect the buyers’ bargaining power to remain high, if not higher as more and more capacity comes on stream over the next 2-3 years. One thing that is positive for the sector is the existence of cost pass through mechanism which could help to protect the glove manufacturers’ bargaining power when latex costs increase. Nevertheless, if any of the medium size glove makers emerged with higher capacity, consistent product quality and timely delivery schedule, the MNC buyers can still easily switch their orders from one manufacturer to another.
Bargaining Power of Suppliers (High) •
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The key supply dependencies for the rubber glove industry are natural rubber (NR) and synthetic rubber (SR). Both of these raw materials are mainly consumed by the automotive industry, particularly for the production of tyre, which consumes more than 60% of the global latex supply. NR plantation is very much a labour-intensive industry with smallholders supplying more than 80% of the industry volume. Asia is the main natural rubber producing region, with the top three producing countries, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia accounting for more than 65% of the global supply. China is the largest NR consuming country with 33.8% market share, followed by India, USA and Japan which have 8.8%, 8.4% and 6.9% market share in 2010. Malaysian rubber glove makers generally secured about 80% of their NR requirements locally and importing the balance from neighbouring countries. Latex suppliers have high bargaining power now but more NR suppliers are expected in the near future. This is simply because the governments of the rubber producing countries have been very supportive to the rubber planters in recent years by subsidising latex prices when it drops to certain floor level due to cyclical weak demand. Hence, NR supply could be well controlled by suppliers who are mainly small holders who take on rubber tapping job on a part-time basis only, to avoid a massive supply surplus which could dampen the commodity price.
Threat of Substitutes (Low) •
On the positive side, we believe the threat of substitute product is low for the rubber glove industry due to low rubber glove cost, making no incentives for any research house to find alternative products. However, among the various types of glove products, we foresee the threats of substitution on certain glove products to emerge over the long term as the industry moves up the value chain. In general, we classify the gloves products into four major type based on the raw material used such as latex/ natural rubber glove, synthetic rubber/ nitrile glove, PVC/ vinyl glove and polyethylene glove (PE glove). Prior to 2010, the nitrile glove has always been selling at a premium (20-30%) to NR glove given its allergy-free characteristic and higher nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) costs. However, the situation has changed when latex price appreciated and touched its record high of RM11.00/kg in Feb 2011, causing NR glove to lose its price advantage to nitrile glove. Since then, a strong migration wave from NR glove to nitrile glove has begun, especially in the western countries. Nonetheless, we expect the nitrile glove migration wave to slow down in 2012 as latex price fell from its record high of RM11.00/kg to about RM7.50/kg while NBR price remains high due to tight butadiene supply. We anticipate the NR glove price to restore its price advantage (