In the manufacturing industry, especially in China, there seems to be a lot of ambiguity and misunderstanding. To shed some light on the matter, let’s delve into the intriguing history of Chervon Manufacturing. Chervon, a global electric tool manufacturer headquartered in China, has made a name for itself with its international reach. With manufacturing plants in Nanjing, China, and Stuttgart, Germany, and sales offices in the US, Europe, Australia, and China, Chervon has established itself as a prominent player in the industry.
A few years ago, I had the opportunity to visit their impressive manufacturing facility in Nanjing, China. During my visit, I not only witnessed their exceptional capabilities but also gained valuable insights into Chervon’s distinctive approach to international business. In this article, we will explore the remarkable journey of Chervon Manufacturing and uncover what sets them apart.
What’s in a Name?
As Shakespeare famously pondered, “What’s in a name?” In the case of Chervon, their name holds deep significance. “Quanfeng,” their Chinese name, translates to “spring” and “mountain.” The architectural design of their Research and Development (R&D) building reflects their attention to Feng Shui principles. It was intelligently crafted by renowned architect Ralph Johnson, who captured the essence of company president Peter Pan’s vision and passion for starting the company.
The Chervon R&D Building: An Environmental Marvel
The Chervon R&D building not only exemplifies architectural brilliance but also showcases a strong commitment to the environment. The building features stunning green roof structures, open skylight areas, teak walkways, and serene water fixtures. It’s a sight to behold and rivals the beauty of modern colleges and universities.
The building’s recreational areas, including a fully green roof, a central pyramid spire culminating in a waterfall and indoor fountain, and a basketball court and running track, are open to all employees. Chervon ensures that every member of their team has access to these remarkable facilities, fostering a positive work environment.
The Birth and Evolution of Chervon Manufacturing
Chervon’s journey parallels the rapid growth experienced by China itself. In 1978, as China embraced a more capitalist approach, the doors of opportunity opened for its citizens. Peter Pan, Chervon’s president, began his career with a state-owned trading company. Over time, he realized that the existing system limited the company’s potential in terms of quality and results. Driven by the desire to create something exceptional, Peter, along with Stephanie and Joy, left the state-owned company and embarked on their own venture.
Starting with a dream, limited funds, and two hotel rooms, Chervon’s humble beginning paved the way for remarkable achievements. The company steadily transitioned from being a trading business to focusing on their own manufacturing prowess. Chervon’s dedication to excellence led them to establish their own quality control processes—an unprecedented move in the industry.
From OEM to ODM: Chervon’s Manufacturing Prowess
Chervon’s trajectory from sourcing components to problem-solving propelled them to venture into manufacturing in 1997. Many criticized the idea, claiming that companies specializing in component sourcing couldn’t successfully manufacture their own products. However, Chervon defied the odds and not only maintained existing business relationships but also created their own high-end product lines.
At a time when Chinese products were often perceived as “cheap” and lacking in quality, Chervon persevered. By the year 2000, they had become one of the top ten power tool manufacturers globally. Their products are now sold in over 30,000 stores across 65 countries. In addition to manufacturing for renowned brands, Chervon has successfully built its own labels: EGO and Devon—a testament to their unwavering commitment to excellence.
Chervon’s Reach in the OEM and ODM Manufacturing Landscape
Throughout their history, Chervon has excelled in producing a substantial volume of OEM products while also playing a significant role in ODM manufacturing. They have manufactured products for well-known brands, including Lowe’s, The Home Depot, and Menards. Simultaneously, Chervon focuses on nurturing its own brand and aims to cater to the Chinese market, opening up new opportunities.
OEM vs. ODM Manufacturing: Understanding the Difference
To comprehend the distinction between OEM and ODM manufacturing, it’s essential to grasp who dictates the design. OEMs bring finished designs to the table, collaborating on engineering processes and determining product specifications. They then purchase the products from OEM manufacturers and market them under their own brand name. On the other hand, ODM manufacturers produce products based on another company or brand’s design specifications. They are the driving force behind transforming product ideas into reality for other companies. Being an OEM and ODM manufacturing partner demands meticulous attention to detail and a unique skill set that can make or break a company’s success.
Chervon’s Foray into the OPE Market with the EGO Brand
Chervon’s manufacturing capabilities rival those of renowned players like Bosch, Makita, and Milwaukee. In fact, they have served as an OEM manufacturer for some of these companies. In China, the toolmaking industry is valued at $1.2 billion, with the European and American markets dominating the outdoor power equipment (OPE) sector.
Over the past few years, Chervon has taken significant strides to compete in the OPE market. Initially focusing on the business-to-business segment, they have expanded their reach to cater to consumers. This expansion has been further bolstered by Chervon’s acquisition of Flex, a German power tool company, and the launch of their EGO 56V line of cordless OPE tools in 2014.
From ODM to OPE: Revolutionizing Outdoor Power Equipment
The EGO brand represents a significant shift for Chervon, focusing on OPE products powered by motors and integrated with applications for lawn mowers and handheld power tools. Recognizing the untapped potential and advantages of cordless power tools in the OPE market, Chervon spotted an immense opportunity. As the largest ODM manufacturer in the power tool industry, they saw a chance to leverage their expertise and bring environmental benefits to the world through cordless OPE technology.
The EGO brand has propelled Chervon’s own line of power tool kits to new heights. Other companies have expressed interest in transitioning from traditional corded tools to cordless alternatives. Chervon’s President, Peter Pan, firmly believes that lithium-ion technology has the potential to eventually replace gasoline engines. Tools that were previously reliant on fuel are now embracing battery-powered solutions, as demonstrated by the exceptional performance of the EGO Powerload 15-inch Mower and the EGO Select Cut Mower.
Chervon and Environmental Stewardship
Witnessing China’s transformation from poverty to prosperity, Peter Pan observed the consequential rise in pollution. Determined to make a positive difference, Chervon’s Research and Development Building stands as a marvel of environmental consciousness.
While the benefits of their efforts may not be immediately visible, Chervon remains committed to long-term environmental sustainability. From the hidden beauty of their green roof to the meticulous selection of plants sourced from Germany, Chervon prioritizes energy savings and oxygen production. These environmental initiatives not only contribute to a greener future but also underscore Chervon’s dedication to the well-being of our planet.
In conclusion, Chervon Manufacturing has navigated a remarkable path of growth, innovation, and commitment to quality. As they continue to make strides in the power tool industry, Chervon stands as a shining example of Chinese manufacturing prowess. Their dedication to excellence, environmental stewardship, and global expansion make them a force to be reckoned with. With their iconic slogan, “Better Tools. A Better World.,” Chervon is well on its way to transforming the industry and shaping a brighter future.