LH Plus Sdn Bhd started in 1947 as a small family-owned enterprise producing metal parts for bicycle stands. Over the years, they have successfully transformed and corporatised their business operation into a plastic injection moulding company. Their business philosophy is reflected in its core values i.e. doing the right thing, embracing discipline and consistency, pursuing growth and learning, thinking outside of the box, and being passionate and determined. Most of their employees have remained with the company for over ten years, with the longest being forty-three years to-date. Today, LH Plus offers a diversified range of premium homewares and medical devices for various domestic and global conglomerates. The company plans to continue its global expansion to world-leading conglomerates while growing its domestic business. Being a responsible corporate citizen, LH Plus also maintains an active CSR programme, contributing to various communities for different needs.
Resetting from Crises
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused severe challenges to the socio-economic environment worldwide. People and businesses are seriously impacted.
The company is not spared from the pandemic, mainly due to disruption of the global supply chains. Having experienced the Asian financial crisis in 1997 and the global financial crisis in 2007, LH Plus has strengthened its business resilience over the years. This has enabled the company to execute its business continuity plans effectively during the pandemic. Like most long-established companies, LH Plus learned and rebounded from past crises.
Besides external crises, the company also faced challenges that affected its internal business operations. In October 2000, the business was destroyed by a massive fire that turned their factory into ashes overnight. Without a factory, production could not continue, which led to a backlog of orders. On top of that, their factory was underinsured. The insured sum could only cover a fraction of the replacement costs of the factory repairs and machinery. This served as a costly lesson for LH Plus – insurance is indeed an integral part of the risk management process and must not be taken lightly.
Despite the operational setback, the company leaders did not give up their dreams to excel. LH Plus restrategised their business plans. The setback turned out to be an opportunity for the company to build a new larger factory equipped with more advanced machinery with the help of bankers, suppliers, customers and team members.
In line with changes in the business environment, business models were realigned to leverage the opportunities in expanding its business operations.
In 1990, LH Plus made a bold transformational decision to grow its business beyond borders. For the first time, its homewares were exported to Australia. Besides additional revenues, much was learned from this maiden experience. The procedures of performing cross-border business are different and require more detailed information. Thereafter, the company continued to expand its global knowledge and business network by participating in international conferences and exhibitions under the support and guidance of the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE).
In recent years, LH Plus commenced extensive collaborations in product development with its global customers. The company has also secured ISO standard certifications, health and safety certification and supplier quality certification. This reaffirmed the company’s standing and reputation as a tier-one supplier to multinational conglomerates worldwide.
While expanding the market is one notable achievement, sustaining the sales in global markets is the actual test. The competition is intense in the international market. One of the critical success factors in the worldwide market is continually producing high-standard and high-quality products at competitive prices. This brought about the next transformational initiative in enhancing production efficiency. LH Plus invests adequately in technology and smart automation to intensify the speed, accuracy and quality of its products. With the assistance offered by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) under the Domestic Investment Strategic Fund (DISF), Accelerated Capital Allowance (ACA), Smart Automation Grant (SAG) and Industy4WRD schemes, the company has successfully embarked on automation that reduces its workforce by 80% while increasing the production output by 300%. This enhancement translates into massive savings in the long term. The next transformational goal is to bring their company public. By doing so, it will lift LH Plus to the next level and become a significant Malaysian company.
Recharge for Growth
As commonly stated, organisational changes must start from the top. Looking back, the company has transformed considerably over the last 74 years. The significant success factor lies with the transformational leadership that provides clear business direction and motivation to the employees, driving the entire company to charge forward confidently.
“We always value our employees. We firmly believe in the people-before-profit philosophy, and this will remain our fundamental management principle. In addition, we have also invested significantly in technology and automation to enhance the company’s overall production efficiency and performance. Investing in fit-for use technology may not necessarily equates to procuring the best technology but it is essential in the production optimisation process. By investing in the right equipment, we manage to expand our production capacity and flexibility for a broader range of products. Consequently, we are prepared to grow our business further in the new normal,” said Mr. Callum Chen, CEO of LH Plus.
“Cash flow management is of the utmost importance amid the pandemic. In light of this, we worked closely with our bankers to realign the financing structure with our latest requirements. We negotiated for improved terms and conditions while maintaining established rapport with them – cash flow is certainly of utmost importance to overcome the impact of the pandemic,” he added.
Here are critical strategic measures that companies can adopt in accelerating business recovery and achieving sustainable business growth in the long term:
For more information and collaboration opportunities, please contact:
Callum Chen, Chief Executive Officer
Source: MIDA e-Newsletter August 2021