Thailand’s ceramics export in 2nd quarter accounted for $158.79 million, decreased by 9.09% comparing to last year. The main markets for Thailand’s ceramics are Japan, USA, China, Australia, Germany, and other countries in ASEAN. Tableware held the most proportion in export; tiles, sanitary ware, gifts and electricity come after respectively. On the other hand, Thailand also imported ceramic ware from Vietnam, Indonesia. Most of imports are tiles, wall tiles. Thailand also imported ceramics for laboratory purpose from Malaysia and Japan.
Nevertheless, Thailand has faced intensive competition in ceramics market. Not only threats we mention earlier on the last chapter, the other threat is also the tough battle in market came from other competitors. China, Malaysia, and Vietnam bear lower cost of production than Thailand but they have better raw materials. Besides, the workers wedge is also lower Than Thailand’s. So, Thailand’s product looks expensive when compare to other competitors’. However Thailand is superior to other in worker’s talent which is required in table ware product.
Although Thailand’s product looks better when compared with other cheaper product, but when it compared with developed countries who export ceramic ware like Japan, Italy, and Germany, Thailand’s product is considered inferior even though it is cheaper than these countries’ product. Because these countries have high technology and skills that has been ascended for age to age (Italy has ceramic smith guild which gathering all ceramics industry and relevant industries together. Therefore the knowledge exchange is happened, resulting in co-development in all process.) With a unique design, the products take position hi-end market where customers consider buying the product from its style than its price. So Thailand’s product is between cost leader ship and differentiation competition. It is challenging for Thailand’s ceramic industry, which position in the market Thailand should place in order to gain market share from giant rivals like China and Japan.
Advice for facing competitors
To maintain the demand in Thailand’s ceramic and reduce the risk of world economic crisis, Thailand should consider 2 important things.
1 Organization management to find a suit strategy for each product for each consumer, Measurements like a competition in cost to attracts lower market and create luxury design to penetrate hi-end market will spread the risk in case of economic environmental change.
2 Continuous developments in all process (also called supply chain) ranging from quality raw materials screening, flexible production process, getting less loss, improving product’s durability, getting quick transportation, making unique style to prevent imitation, making a brand to be recognized, and doing R&D to improve products continuously.
These suggestions are just the guideline for interested entrepreneurs who want to improve their products and want to compete in foreign market. However Thai entrepreneurs should adapt advices from other source that suit to their own business and bring out the advantage to be strength for their product in order to penetrate foreign market stably.
Reference: Business research November 2009. The Office of Industrial Economics March 2010. The Office of Industrial Economics September 2011