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Feature story : The Garment industry in Vietnam
Providing ideal working conditions with an emphasis on compliance
Increasing production volumes through mergers and acquisitions of cooperating companies
MAXPORT J.S.C, NGUEN TIEN PHUONG, General Manager
Nguyen Tien Phuong, General Manager: "We manufacture products for Nike, the North Face, Adidas, Patagonia, MARMOT, Reebok, FILA, etc".
Nguyen Tien Phuong, General Manager: "We manufacture products for Nike, the North Face, Adidas, Patagonia, MARMOT, Reebok, FILA, etc".

Maxport J.S.C. is a rapidly growing manufacturer of products for major American brands such as NIKE, Patagonia, and Reebok. In the twelve years since its founding in 1995, the company has grown into a major manufacturer with a workforce of just under 8,000. Maxport J.S.C. has won customer confidence through its practice of putting top priority on compliance.



Head office building on spacious grounds. The area reminds us of a resort. The layouts are also spacious indoors.
Head office building on spacious grounds. The area reminds us of a resort.
The layouts are also spacious indoors.

The plant interior is brightly illuminated. The plant complies with the world's strictest standards (the standards adopted by the American brands for which Maxport produces). The workplace environment is outstanding.
The plant interior is brightly illuminated. The plant complies with the world's strictest standards (the standards adopted by the American brands for which Maxport produces). The workplace environment is outstanding.

Blouson for outdoors  This is one of several mainstay items produced by the company.
Blouson for outdoors
This is one of several mainstay items produced by the company.

Blouson for outdoors  This is one of several mainstay items produced by the company.
Pattern-making is an extremely important job for Maxport. Look of the CAD room.

Sample-making line  This type of line is installed at several places in the plant.
Sample-making line
This type of line is installed at several places in the plant.

The newest sewing machines of several types are regularly introduced at the production site to upgrade product quality.
The newest sewing machines of several types are regularly introduced at the production site to upgrade product quality.

MO-6700D High-speed dry-head overlock machine
MO-6700D High-speed dry-head overlock machine

Union Special 35800
Union Special 35800

AMS-210D Computer-controlled cycle machine
AMS-210D Computer-controlled cycle machine

LH-3168 2-needle, lockstitch machine
LH-3168 2-needle, lockstitch machine
Service is the best. This attracts us to JUKI.

Nguyen Tien Phuong, General Manager of Maxport J.S.C, speaks highly of JUKI machines. "Their quality is outstanding," he says. "The most attractive benefit of JUKI for us its service. Whenever we encounter a problem, JUKI immediately sends out a service person to our factory. This rapid-response service is very satisfying. Every JUKI service person who arrives on the scene carefully explains the information and maintenance techniques we need to understand. So the durability of JUKI machines isn't the only advantage. With proper maintenance, JUKI machines never fail during regular use. The improvements in productivity are remarkable".

Phuong told us this when we visited his factory for this article. Probably he's exaggerating just a bit. Still, there's no doubt he has complete confidence in JUKI facilities and service.

Maxport Limited, the parent of Phuong's company, is a garment manufacturer based in Hong Kong. When the company started out in 1990, the Australian founder, Jeff Nicholas Stokes, took orders from customers in Hong Kong and subcontracted the work out to clothing plants. In 1995 he began to place orders with plants in Vietnam.

Phuong met Stokes and began working for him as a business assistant in Vietnam in 1997. In time, Phuong was actively working as a man Friday for Stokes. Together, the two men cultivated a market in Vietnam.

In 2004, Phuong rented out an old sewing plant in Hanoi. Established in 1956, the plant originally produced army uniforms. In 2005, Phuong bought the plant. His company, Maxport J.S.C., beings by producing samples in a plant on the premise of the head office and later produces the products commercially in its own plants, in subsidiary plants, and in cooperating plants.

Though now being refurbished, the premises of the head-office plant covers 25,000 square meters. The facilities include an office building (2,500 square meters), a sample-making plant (1,500 square meters), a production-line plant (10,000 square meters), a finishing department building (4,000 square meters) and a warehouse (6,000 square meters).



From the sewing of samples to the production of products for major Western brands

Maxport manufactures high-end outerwear for major European and the U.S. brands such as Nike, Adidas, Reebok, V.F.C. (The North Face), Marmot, Spyder, Patagonia, ODLO, Fila, Cloudveil, Columbia, Mountain Hardware, and L.L. Bean.

Back when the clothing plant was still being established, Maxport didn't aim for mass-production. Mass production didn't begin until the second year, after a full year of sample-making. The plan of starting out as sample-maker seemed reckless for a new company, given the higher technical requirements for the pattern-making. But Maxport had already acquired high technical capabilities by buying out cooperating subcontractors through mergers and acquisitions before the inauguration of its plants. There were no technical problems with making samples, since Maxport had bought out subcontracting plants with outstanding technical skill and know-how.

"We started out making samples since we wanted to produce higher-quality products commercially," explains Phuong. "We introduced the latest facilities such as a CAD/CAM system, computer-controlled sewing machines, special-purpose machines, a seam-sealing facility, a laser cutting machine, an embroidering machine, and a high-frequency welding machine to prepare for commercial production of higher-quality products."

The first products mass produced by Maxport were jackets and blousons. Today the head office plant produces jackets, blousons, ski wear, T-shirts, polo shirts, and other garments. Maxport is known for its techniques for producing polyester outerwear with welded seams, such as football uniforms and knitwear.



Maxport ships 65% of its products to the USA and another 20% to Europe.

Products consist of menswear (55 %), ladies' wear (40 %) and children's wear (5 %). The product ratio between menswear and ladies' wear is almost fifty-fifty.

Maxport manufactures products under major Western sportswear brands and ships them to countries all over the world, including the U.S.A., Canada, Mexico, Chile, Australia, Japan, China, and Russia, and various countries of South America and Europe. It's hard to name a country to which Maxport doesn't ship.

The major destination for exports are the U.S.A. (65 %), Europe (20 %), and Canada (10 %).

Maxport manufactures products in a streamlined flow. After sketching the first designs, the designers and operators draw out the pattern, make the samples, inspect the samples for approval, and commence commercial production. Orders come from the headquarters of the brands, and finished products are shipped to distributors in various countries. In principle, the products are standardized in pattern and in size.



Annual production increases 40 to 50% year after year.
Maxport's technical capabilities are fully applied in sample production.


Maxport has remarkably many customers, and more and more sign up every year. As more customers place orders, Maxport devotes closer attention to its sample-making techniques. The delivery time from the receipt of the design data to the delivery of the finished products is as long as 120 to 150 days. The samples are made by 140 employees working at Maxport's plant. Maxport's plant and the seven plants run by cooperating producers engage some 7,450 operators to fill orders:


(1) Maxport Garment development: 1,000 (operators)
(2) Hanoi Garment No. 40 JSC: 350
(3) Viet Ha: 400
(4) Haprosimex: 1,000
(5) Viet Hong Garment Factory: 900
(6) Phu Zuan Garment Factory: 800
(7) Dam Dinh Garment joint stock: 2,200
(8) Thai Binh Garment joint stock: 800

Maxport's controlling shares of the cooperating plants are: 100% for (1), (2), (3) and (5), 80 % for (4), 50% for (6), 30% for (7), and 60 % for (8).

Maxport pays its operators by a straight salary system. The average monthly salary is about US$100. One production line consists of 56 workers on average. If a production line increases productivity by 5%, it receives a monetary reward. The standard operating time for a garment, the productivity benchmark, is the time required to make the sample.

Scientific management is another of Maxport's strengths. The young employees working there (26 years old on average) sense the company's bright prospects and are highly motivated. Maxport is a fresh company with high growth potential.


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