Consistency makes Supermax “the glove specialist”

Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver once said, “In baseball, my theory is to strive for consistency, not to worry about the numbers.

Th 0601prop6160043

by Kevin Henry, Editor

Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver once said, “In baseball, my theory is to strive for consistency, not to worry about the numbers. If you dwell on statistics, you get shortsighted. If you aim for consistency, the numbers will be there at the end.” The executives and staff of Supermax Inc., share that philosophy.

Consistency is the key to success for Supermax, a glove manufacturer based in Aurora, Ill., that currently holds 15.8 percent of the world’s glove market. Consistency is also what has helped Supermax spring into the world’s top five glove brands in the last four years.

Th 0601prop6160043
The new home for Supermax in Aurora, Ill.
Click here to enlarge image

“There are times when a glove is not always a glove,” said Stanley Thai, president and chief executive officer of Supermax. “With some companies, not every glove you buy from them will be the same. With our company, the customer knows he or she is getting the same glove order after order.”

Supermax can ensure that consistency by producing their gloves at their own manufacturing facilities in Malaysia and Vietnam.

“Our competitors do outsourcing and have multiple manufacturing sources for their gloves. Because of that, there will naturally be a variation in sizing,” Thai said. “It is natural that every manufacturing facility has a different process, but when that occurs, finger measurements and palm width may vary from one facility to the next. At Supermax, we manufacture from our own facilities. Our fit is always the same, box after box.”

The box is another selling point for Supermax. Rather than just produce another normal-looking box, Thai and his company decided to make it a piece of art.

“We looked around and saw that every other glove box looked clinical. We decided to make ours a work of art. Dentists like art in their offices, and we are bringing a small piece of art into the office with our boxes,” Thai said. “It’s another way that we stand out from the competition.”

Of course, Thai believes the gloves themselves stand out from the competition. Thanks to a specially formulated Honeycomb texture and fitted gloves, the Supermax product gives the dental professional an edge in the operatory.

Th 0601prop6160034
Proudly displaying some of the company's "works of art" (from left) Ieda Brunello, Stanley Thai, C.K. Tan, and Shelli Merril.
Click here to enlarge image

“While other gloves are smooth, our Honeycomb texture will provide the consumer with a better grip,” Thai explained. “We also know the dental team works long hours. Most gloves are ambidextrous and straight-fingered. When dental professionals wear these gloves for long periods of time, hand fatigue sets in. Ours are fitted for a specific hand and a specific size. We even have half-sizes available. Professionals who try our gloves can see the difference. It makes sense that a better fitting glove will provide better results.”

To help spread the word about their product, Supermax has nurtured a relationship with all of the major dealers and set forth an aggressive sampling program through the dealers and at trade shows. The sampling program is just part of the full marketing program in place for the dealer.

“We want to help create demand for the dealers,” said C.K. Tan, vice president of sales and marketing for Supermax. “We do not sell direct. We want to work closely with our distributor network to help them increase their sales.

“Our focus is to make a glove that will satisfy the customer. At the same time, we are providing a marketing program that will reach the end-customer and help the dealer. We want the sales rep to be able to walk into the office and close the deal because of the advance work we have done to inform the end-customer.”

Part of the message Supermax wants to spread to the dental professional is the success the company has seen. Supermax is the largest glove manufacturing group in the world, with three publicly traded (in Malaysia) companies under the Supermax umbrella. Supermax is expected to produce 23.5 billion gloves in 2006, with 6,500 employees working to ensure the quality of the product.

“We are the glove specialist,” Thai said. “We are in the market to serve our customers, both the dealer and the end-user.”

For more information, call (877) AURELIA, visit www.supermax-inc.com, or send an email to info@supermax-inc.com.

“Our focus is to make a glove that will satisfy the customer. At the same time, we are providing a marketing program that will reach the end-customer and help the dealer.” - C.K. Tan, vice president of sales and marketing

Supermax facts

Employees

6,500 around the world working for three companies that comprise the Supermax group. In the United States, there are 22 employees.

Facilities

Supermax has seven distribution centers around the world. It manufactures gloves in 11 factories in Malaysia and one in Vietnam. The American headquarters is located in a new facility in Aurora, Ill., a western suburb of Chicago. Currently, Supermax can store 1.152 million boxes of gloves in its Aurora warehouse.

Glove tidbits

The world annually consumes roughly 100 billion gloves, with the United States using 55 billion of those gloves. Supermax has 15.8 percent of the world’s glove market.

Dental is a very small part of the overall glove market, with food service comprising a growing majority of the market.

Professionals who try our gloves can see the difference. It makes sense that a better fitting glove will provide better results.” - Stanley Thai, president and chief executive officer

Supermax donates to hurricane relief

Supermax Inc., recently donated $80,000 worth of Aurelia gloves to the relief effort for the recent hurricanes that devastated the Gulf Coast. To ensure that their resources were utilized to the fullest, Supermax partnered with the Salvation Army.

A special message to dealers

Supermax Inc., realizes the importance of the dealer and is taking several steps to ensure that relationship is a win-win for both parties.

While Supermax has an aggressive sampling program in place, the company is also committed to marketing to the end-user through advertising and flyers. Supermax also has a spiff program and is able to forward qualified leads to dealers.

“We want the dealer to know we are ready to work with him or her,” C.K. Tan, vice president of sales and marketing for Supermax. “The dealer is a very important part of our company’s success, and we have programs in place to help the dealer succeed.

“We ask dealers to contact Supermax. Once we work together to determine what is the best way we can partner with the dealer, we’ll get the ball rolling.”

For more information, call (877) AURELIA, visit www.supermax-inc.com, or send an email to info@supermax-inc.com.

More in Career & Profession