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  • Why FW made in Thailand and not Indonesia?

    FW often get flack for making there boards in (Asia)Thailand from those that just want to dis FW its an easy angle.

    Seeing Indonesia is home to the possibly the best waves in the world and has many local surfers/surfing lifestyle etc, why aren't FW made in Indo instead???

    From and ideal aspect it makes sense and labour and overheads are extremely cheap, surely couldn't be much cheaper in Thailand?

    Im assuming the answer is its easier for western companies to do business in Thailand than Indo as I beleive this is true less red tape and possible hidden cost.(but im only assuming)

    Personally i dont care to much where my boards is made, i care more about durabilty as sick of boards falling apart, but also want a board that goes good, FW boards tick both boxes.

    But id still love to hear the answer out of curiosity..cheers

  • #2
    Id rather them make it in Australia and USA like before.


    Originally posted by indodreaming View Post
    FW often get flack for making there boards in (Asia)Thailand from those that just want to dis FW its an easy angle.

    Seeing Indonesia is home to the possibly the best waves in the world and has many local surfers/surfing lifestyle etc, why aren't FW made in Indo instead???

    From and ideal aspect it makes sense and labour and overheads are extremely cheap, surely couldn't be much cheaper in Thailand?

    Im assuming the answer is its easier for western companies to do business in Thailand than Indo as I beleive this is true less red tape and possible hidden cost.(but im only assuming)

    Personally i dont care to much where my boards is made, i care more about durabilty as sick of boards falling apart, but also want a board that goes good, FW boards tick both boxes.

    But id still love to hear the answer out of curiosity..cheers

    Comment


    • #3
      IMHO Thailand for a start is more politically stable, so that makes investment in manufacturing facilities a lot more viable. The other thing of course is that there is already expertise in Thailand as they make Tuflite and the Global Surf Industries boards too. I'm certainly no expert on Indonesia but not much is manufactured there, about the only thing I see made in Indonesia here occasionally are rubber bicycle innertubes though most are made in China.

      China's manufacturing is expanding and their quality is improving all the time, to be honest I just don't think Indonesia could compete with Thailand or China. One place that beats them all hands down is Taiwan but they are expensive and even they have moved a lot of their plants to China and made investments there. Nevertheless the majority of the better carbon fibre bicycle frames are still fabricated in Taiwan. The other problem with China is that they will rip off the big brand's that they manufacture under consignment make their own and flog them cheaply...Italian premium bike brand Pinarello are finding this out now as the market is being flooded with Chinarellos (they've copied the molds and made unauthorised copies using lower grade CF). Colnago by comparison kept their manufacturing in Taiwan and suffers none of this nonsense as the country being a democracy understands the concept of intellectual property and notions of contractual obligation. They also understand you don't bite the hand that feeds you. China doesn't and thinks they will eventually take over the market and compete with these premium brands by selling pirated rip off copies.

      Thailand as well, being a democracy, understands these notions which all protect the investment and so it does indeed make them easier to deal with. While Indonesia is a new democracy they really aren't a mature one and I daresay similar problems as those in China would surface, they already make copies of all the FCS fins and anyone who's been there no doubt has seen the pirate copies of CDs and DVDs everywhere. They just don't have much manufacturing or technological expertise anyway. Thailand being cheaper than Taiwan are probably the best choice.
      Last edited by Slowman; 03-14-2012, 04:02 PM.

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      • #4
        give bob carr the boot and install "senator slow" as foreign minister...!!... for non aussies, bob carr is our latest dodgy last minute choice in a dodgy government playing musical chairs..!!

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        • #5
          Politics... politics

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          • #6
            Please do not start me on Bob Carr

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            • #7
              banana republic out here iggy....

              goanna's chosen subject is Bob Carr....your time starts..NOW..

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              • #8
                My opinon. I dont see the waves or surf lifestlye in Indonesia as being any sort of reason to manufacture there. Quite the opposite! While you are surfing, you're not building quality boards. Nev has mentioned in his Youtube videos that our manufacturing process is very different and the need to have a "surfer" finish a board is unnecessary. Firewire has an extensive R and D and testing program through a variety of options such as team/test riders who travel the globe and put the boards in all sorts of different waves (including Indo), also inhouse R and D around things like strength via break testing etc. Believe me, having the factory near quality surf would do nothing to help me keep Nev focused when he comes over to visit our factory!

                I also dont think that the expertise of other surfboard manufacturers such as GSI being located in Thailand has any sort of large impact as to why Firewire's are manufactured in Thailand. They are a totally seperate company and Firewire does'nt utilize the skill sets of GSI to help out in the manufacturing of our boards. Again, I think the opposite as I know both companies have responsibilites to investors to protect their IP. Definitely being in the same country as some very large manufacturers has an impact as to availability of raw materials from suppliers etc but not really any sort of cross over of expertise being shared between companies. Again, quite the opposite.

                It has been mentioned many times by Mark and co that the amount of labor involved in the manufacturing process of building a FW board made it impossible to survive if the manufacturing stayed in Aus or the US. This and Nev having contacts with Thai partners at the time was the reason behind the decision to set up our own factory in Thailand that is run and managed by western managers, along with a team of very talented thai staff.

                As a guy who has seen and heard every "thailand quality is shit" story out there, I have to say that people are so wrong when they jump on the bash Thailand band wagon, particularly when they more than likely have never set foot inside our factory here. I've seen manufacturing of boards in both regions and am not about to kick off an us and them debate but do want to say that the attention to detail, ability to focus more eyes on quality and the willingness to adapt to change by the team here is a large reason for the success of Firewire. Globally, Firewire has an incredibly talented group of staff and the chemistry and dedication that this group puts into work every day is something that I think a lot of other companies would be extremely envious of.

                Saying all of this, I do agree that more staff surf trips to Indonesia would be a great thing!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by core personal training View Post
                  banana republic out here iggy....

                  goanna's chosen subject is Bob Carr....your time starts..NOW..
                  not on a Friday Core....it will ruin my weekend

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by core personal training View Post
                    banana republic out here iggy....

                    goanna's chosen subject is Bob Carr....your time starts..NOW..
                    I wonder what John Clarke and Brian Dawe have to say about it!! No doubt it will get some coverage. To be fair Carr did do NSW a favour and paid off all the government's loans and balanced the books (debts which accumulated throughout the Wran years and in part inherited from Willis) though it was at the expense of infrastructure. We'll have to see if he doesn't end up with Gillard's job!

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                    • #11
                      wonder how clarke "channels" big red??

                      your right slow...but ssshhhh....you will ruin goanna's weekend..!!..lets all have a beer instead...i'm off to grab a pilsner urquell...what about the rest of you??
                      Last edited by core personal training; 03-16-2012, 01:55 AM. Reason: kant spel good

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                      • #12
                        Off to grab my new board ... Pics later :D

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                        • #13
                          agghhhh...phill beat me....but stoked for ya mate...

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                          • #14
                            we're all winners here Dave. except you on scrabble.
                            i think i clocked up a little more waiting time than you anyway so don't worry. stoked though!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by core personal training View Post
                              wonder how clarke "channels" big red??

                              your right slow...but ssshhhh....you will ruin goanna's weekend..!!..lets all have a beer instead...i'm off to grab a pilsner urquell...what about the rest of you??
                              Ice has melted finally!!!!.Off to surf!!

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