Quality is rarely recognized as an accident – this is because it’s the result of intention, sincere effort, careful planning and skillful execution. This saying is especially applicable to entrepreneurs, specifically Kenway Lam, Managing Director and Founder of Kizui Packaging Machinery (“Kizui”).
While Kizui’s journey to a thriving company has not been easy, its growth is a direct reflection of Kenway personality of never giving up and his consistent commitment to strive for quality.
Starting Their Own Adventure
Before starting Kizui, Kenway began his career by helping his family run their packaging machine trading business. However, after 5 years Kenway realized that his family business would always face quality control issues as long as they did not maintain their own production line.
“There was one instance where our supplier was not able to meet our agreed upon production deadline, causing a serious delay in our delivery,” Kenway recalled. Not only did their supplier require 9 months to complete the project as opposed to the previously agreed upon deadline of 1 month, but, “the outputs were not even able to meet the clients requirements or standards.”
Deciding that situations like this cannot happen again, Kenway decided to start Kizui. Through Kizui, Kenway can manage his own product line, guaranteeing him greater control over his deliverables and allowing him to uphold the commitments he made to his clients.
Setting Foundations with an Emphasis on Quality
At first, Kenway’s family wasn’t supportive of his entrepreneurial venture. They told him that his products won’t sell in foreign markets due to the low quality of his machines. Deciding not to be discouraged, Kenway established a small office in Hong Kong responsible for his company’s R&D and sales activities, and established a small factory in China to facilitate the production of his products.
“From day one, I knew the most important issue was ensuring quality in my products,” stated Kenway. All the early steps for setting the foundations of his company were to ensure that this could be achieved. Kenway decided to set-up his R&D office in Hong Kong so that he could personally have greater control over the quality of his work. Despite his suppliers being located in China, there was little way to control the quality of his work if his R&D office were to be in China.
However, physical infrastructure is not all he required, Kenway wanted his team to develop a work culture that embraced quality in all aspects. “It was important to me that I provide my team understanding that it [quality] is what our clients expect. Embracing this mindset will help them establish trust with our clients,” he said. Kenway soon purchased the best equipment and tools so his staff could familiarize themselves with the standards of quality their products must meet. In addition, he constantly encouraged his team to find faults in their products and to suggest improvements.
A Quality Accounting System
After a few years, Kenway proved his family members wrong. Kizui now has clients in over 46 countries with more than 10 distributors spread around the world. Originally a team of 5 people, Kizui now has over 40 staff in addition to having their production site that has expanded from 1,400 square feet to over 36,000 square feet. However, as his company grew, the complexity surrounding Kizui’s accounting transactions grew as well.
In the past, Kenway and his team did not have a centralized platform to keep track of Kizui’s invoices and expenses. As Kizui’s accounting aspects were managed manually, it soon became difficult to understand which invoices were outstanding and which payments have yet to be settled. Kizui’s consistent growth unfortunately meant that these manual errors were arising frequently. There were even multiple occasions where Kenway found himself paying the same invoice twice! It soon became apparent that Kizui’s quality of work would be compromised if they did not have a quality accounting system to solve these issues.
Searching for an accounting solution, Kenway stumbled across Xero. “I’ve heard of Xero before but didn’t know much about it. It was only after having a demonstration with FastLane did I realize the benefits it could bring to my firm.” said Kenway. “It only took the first demo for me to decide that Xero has all the features I wanted to use. Even my General Manager was shocked by how fast I made this decision!”
What attracted Kenway to Xero was its flexibility and simplicity. It was perfect for those who do not have an accounting background and most importantly, improved the efficiency and quality of Kizui’s work.
“After adopting Xero, we no longer have manual accounting errors,” Kenway said proudly. Kizui is now able to check on their invoices anytime, anywhere, so long as they are able to connect to Xero’s dashboard. “We’re now able to supplement our quality products with quality internal systems.” Because Xero auto-consolidates all aspects of their business, Kenway no longer needs to manually go through excel spreadsheets, or prepare statements of accounts for his clients based on email conversations. “This gives me more time to understand how my business is doing. I am making smarter business decisions because the information I’m accessing through Xero is of higher quality than what I previously had available.”
While many doubted Kizui’s prospects during its early days, Kenway has proved them wrong. Despite encountering various challenges during Kizui’s growth stage, the firm is doing well as a result of a commitment to quality. With a quality product and a quality accounting system, it’s no surprise that Kenway has experienced the success that he’s achieved!