Lingerie maker exceeds customer expectations

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 October, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 26 October, 2007, 12:00am

Quality control is in the spotlight following the recent massive toy recalls. And that puts the heat on Suki Ma Shui-hou who is divisional manager in charge of laboratory, colour and quality assurance (QA) at Clover Group International.

The women's underwear maker views quality control as being pivotal and strives to go beyond what its customers require.

Clover products are put through a series of stringent tests from making sure that the decorations and buttons on the garments are strong enough to withstand heavy movement, to checking that the exact colour has been used.

Even the hooks, hangers and clips must be double checked and the elasticity vigorously tested before shipment.

Ms Ma, who has been with the company for 4? years, said that customers are satisfied with the quality of the products.

Ms Ma has to ensure her team checks the quality of everything that goes into the manufacturing of the underwear - from suppliers to the finished product - ensuring that it is of the highest quality.

The Clover Group is one of the world's largest manufacturers of underwear and intimate wear.

'People may not understand how complicated bra manufacturing is because there are many components that go into them. We must use the highest quality materials and fabrics. The colour and the foam inside the bra must meet certain standards. I convey the department's overall direction to the team and develop the system for quality assurance, testing and colour requirements,' Ms Ma said.

'We also need to review the system standard for achieving continuous improvement in quality and to meet customers' needs all over the world,' she said.

Each country has its own quality control requirements, some stricter than others. The United States market is extremely concerned about a garment's flammability.

Ms Ma said that Clover Group 'always aims to achieve a higher requirement than necessary'.

'I started my career in a public-listed fabric manufacturer as a fabric merchandiser after I graduated from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

'After that, I worked for a large garment manufacturer responsible for supervising a whole fabric team on material control,' she said.

Ms Ma has 14 staff and four QA and quality control managers under her supervision.