Date
25 July 2017
No Concept designs shoes with different patterns for each of the pair. The unique design costs more to make but the overall look appeals to customers, according to its founder. Photo: Facebook/No Concept
No Concept designs shoes with different patterns for each of the pair. The unique design costs more to make but the overall look appeals to customers, according to its founder. Photo: Facebook/No Concept

How quirky designs allow SMEs to take on the big boys

Amid rising pressure from wages and rental costs, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are finding it increasingly hard to compete with big firms.

But some SMEs are fighting back in a more level playing field quite successfully thanks to design.

At a function jointly organized by Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) and Xiaolan SMEs Service Center, Liang Daming, founder of No Concept Shoes, explained how he injected traditional Chinese elements into women’s shoes.

He also hit upon the idea of designing shoes with different patterns for the left and right shoe.

Although it costs more, the design change makes for a distinctive overall look, he said.

Apparently, the market likes the idea.

And HKPC thinks such out-of-the-box thinking is what the industry needs in order to come up with new products and open new markets.

Elderly shoes could be a lucrative area with lots of possibilities.

HKPC is using ergonomics to find the best shoe design to fit the bodily features and muscle condition of senior citizens.

It’s considering adding GPS tracking technology and and radio frequency identification to shoes to make the aging journey a little easier.

Overseas, GPS tracking technology has proven useful in monitoring elderly people who suffer from memory loss.

Setting a virtual boundary is also possible. When an elderly person leaves the boundary, an alert is sent to family members.

In addition to supporting local shoe makers with research, HKPC has developed 3D design tools and automation systems to shorten shoe production time and raise the quality of the finished product.

The council wants SMEs to incorporate 3D printing technology into their production process to improve flexibility and lower costs.

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RA

EJ Insight writer

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