Development of a taxonomy for toys manufacturing in Hong Kong

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Development of a taxonomy for toys manufacturing in Hong Kong


Author: Luk, Wan Fat
Title: Development of a taxonomy for toys manufacturing in Hong Kong
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2015
Subject: Toy industry -- China -- Hong Kong
Manufactures -- Classification.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Pages: xv, 215 leaves : illustrations ; 30 cm
Language: English
Abstract: The toy industry used to be one of Hong Kong key industries in the past decades, but now is facing great challenges, ranging from global economic crises, rising wages, increased material costs, to the imposition of new toy safety regulations. Furthermore, the reforms in the taxation system and labor laws in Mainland China have led to the Hong Kong Toy Industry losing its attractiveness for investment in toy manufacturing. To resolve these challenges, enterprises have adapted different strategies, for instance deploying advanced manufacturing technologies such as CAD / CAM systems and management systems, including MRP II system, CRM system, and Lean manufacturing and so forth. Meanwhile, some have moved their production away from Mainland China to Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam and Indonesia. In addition, the toy industry has also been facing the loss of knowledgeable and skilled workers, which has been caused by factory shutdowns and retirements. Especially, the toy industry is a skill-intensive industry, and understanding how to retain and inherit respective skills and experience in tacit knowledge are crucial and essential to sustain the Hong Kong Toy Industry. Knowledge Management is a discipline in managing tacit knowledge, therefore, apart from the above-mentioned perspectives in diminishing the current impacts on the toy industry, the Knowledge Management discipline provides an alternative for the retaining of tacit knowledge, skills, and knowhow that can diminish the negative impacts in the toy industry.
Although plastic is the main material used to manufacture toy, electronic and electrical technology, clothing, plush, metal wares and wood industries are also important in the production of toys. Thus, toy production involves more complex and intricate process flows to handle material transactions and information flow between different stakeholders. Therefore, it is necessary to classify each manufacturing activity and process clearly before embarking on the knowledge management journey. This study investigates the ways and techniques that are used to cluster and classify manufacturing activities in the toy industry by deploying the taxonomy technique, a method to group or arrange data or information. It is a scientific way to classify and identify particular data and information, as well as building up common terminology by creating controlled vocabularies and thesauri. The objectives of this research are to establish a toys manufacturing taxonomy for classifying the manufacturing processes and components, that is broadly applicable to the whole industry, not narrowly designed for a particular company. Eventually, it aims to enhance the efficiency of routine work and decrease ambiguous communication by reducing confusion in communication in the industry by way of offering meaningful and efficient ways to discuss a component, providing a clear status of the component, as well as improving the searching and retrieval efficiency and creating metadata content for the industry.

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