CIO TODAY 2023 AWARDS: HWA HSIA GLASS GROUP
An adept personality, Richard Liao is presently serving as the CEO of his family business Hwa-Hsia Glass. With his ability and performance, Richard has taken the company to new heights of success. After co- working with his family members, including his parents and his younger sibling, Winston, he diligently analysed the loopholes and found key solutions to streamline the new business processes. His talent and stewardship continue to yield profitable outcomes and have substantially guarded the company's long-standing name in the glass manufacturing industry.
Hwa-Hsia Glass is the only glass manufacturing facility specializing in 'small quantities with a vast variety' strategy in Asia-Pacific. The organization annually produces nearly 200K tonnes of glass containers, including food, milk, alcoholic beverage, medical-use, light bulb, and cosmetic containers.
Richard's Initial Journey
Born in Springfield, Illinois., Richard Liao moved back to Hsinchu, Taiwan, at the tender age of two and again returned to the U.S. in 1999. During his second stint in the country, Richard completed his high school in C.A. and finished his college degree from Cornell University with a B.A. in ORIE and a Master of Engineering in Financial Engineering. Soon after completing his education, Richard landed a job at JP Morgan, a corporate & Investment bank on Wall Street. He worked for the investment bank for three years, but due to the subprime mortgage financial crisis, times were not good, so Richard left the organization to complete his MBA from NYU Stern.
Soon after completing his MBA in 2012, Richard got a call from his dad, as he needed some help with the family business. So, Richard returned to Taiwan and relearned his philosophy on work and what to do with the business. After identifying several critical areas of improvement, Richard could transform the company from a gross margin of 7%, doubling to 14% by 2021 while reducing the total headcount from 1200 to 550.
A Timeline of Hwa-Hsia Glass
Founded in 1925, the founder Mr. Liao Qimin founded in Hsinchu city in the southeast street, called a synthetic glass company, mining crucible furnaces with artificial blowing mode blowing, producing kerosene lamps, glass, electric meter covers, etc. And in the 1950s the second Chairman Mr. Liao Fudi's introduction, two processing technology in Japan glass, printing factories, production of decorated glass. In the 1970-the 80s, the plant was expanded and moved to its current location with a new name, Lian Chen glass Corp. and Furnacel, with 25 tons daily capacity, was set up at that time with automated machines introduced to substitute manual manufacture.
In 1977, a new name, Hwa-Hsia glass Corp. was registered with an expanded capacity, of 60 tons, and replaced all the machines with I.S. machines.
From 1980-2000, the second crude-oil crisis led to the separation of the Liao 2nd generation brothers, it has increased its capacity to furnaces 1 and 5 with a total capacity of 400 tons/day. In 1991, Hwazhong Glass (China subsidiaries) was developed, and export in North America in the late 90's started with a strategic focus on Food & Beverage, and cosmetics in Eastern Europe.
In 2008, the world-financial crisis has caused a huge impact on businesses with a shortage of orders. Meanwhile, expansion including Jianmen, changing, and fengyang plants in China, the group combined annual revenue exceeding 200MM USD.
In 2013, Hwa-Hsia Glass establishes the first-ever "Aquasoul" brand, the first B2C brand in the greater China region. In 2017, SAP ERP was introduced to increase working capital efficiency; in 2019 introduced UR robotic arms and in 2020 Alibaba, and Amazon export /digital sales capacity were launched.
In 2021, R&D in AIOT, Machine learning was introduced on the furnace simulation model, launching projects in IOT & Cloud structure of digital integration. In 2022-2023, Taiwan's headcount is adjusted to 550, the whole group (including China) at 750 headcounts, down from a peak of 3000 headcounts to account for minimal-kids trending.
An Overview of Hwa-Hsia Glass's Five Pillar Strategies
Hwa-Hsia Glass's foundation is built on five pillar strategies summarized as follows:
Customization - Given the advent of the era of small batches and diversified customization, Hwa-Hsia Glass flexibly adjusts the supply of orders, and at the same time provides professional consulting services such as bottle shape design, mold opening, post-processing, packaging materials, and shipping methods And so on, assist customers to create suitable containers and various problems.
Digital - Digital AI+IOT Improving operational efficiency is the top priority. The company is accelerating toward the direction of "digitization, paperless" and "information aiding decision-making". Facts have proved that with the rapid development of science and technology, our small-scale and diversified production mode has reached another level- with intelligent equipment and the wisdom of master craftsmen, Hwa-Hsia Glass Group's transformation into a smart factory is an important goal in 2023 mark
Branding - Using century-old resources, starting with the brand - expecting to re- innovate value for glass - in the process of building a glass brand - own brand [Aquasoul] crystal spirit independent research and development combined with a decanter, wine glass, and storage [Soulone] three-in-one decanter The device won the Golden Pin