Operating Strategies: A Passion for Industry GrowthFebruary 16, 2012 No Comments
Behind the bright and inviting family entertainment centers and innovative redemption and video games, kiddie rides and prize-dispensing machines from Universal Space (UNIS®) is an underlying passion for the industry, according to Steven Tan.
“We have a lot of passion for this industry. The industry has become truly global the past few years, where we have seen new markets driving the sales. China is one of the key markets right now, aside from growth in India, Eastern Europe, Asia and South America,” said Tan. “While North American expansion has slowed or declined, other countries have seen growth. UNIS believes innovation of products starts from North America and it is still a very critical platform to launch new product lines.”
FEC operator and games developer and manufacturer UNIS has a leading factory in China in Zhongshan city, which is in the Guangzhou province. The company currently employs over 1,100 workers in its factory and offices, as well as at over 50 UNISLAND family entertainment center locations. The firm’s international offices are based in Canada and Hong Kong, and the efforts of the Toronto office have paved the way for the company’s North American expansion.
Tan has been involved with UNIS’ global plans since 2000, around the same time the Toronto office opened. “We use this facility to attract game designers that can help us utilize North American talent when it comes to game designs,” he said. “It has proven extremely helpful for our sales to North America, as well as global markets. Aside from game designs, our Toronto office has also recruited talent to help in customer service, marketing and other critical departments that can assist our factory in our global effort.”
Beginning earlier in its history and continuing today, UNIS has manufactured machines for United States concerns such as Bromley, Family Fun, Bob’s Space Racers and others, Tan said. Products are taken on a project basis and the company customizes based on clients’ requests. “We continue to do that today. Our factory is also investing heavily into our own research and development division,” he said. The company is additionally focusing on producing new products for redemption games, kiddie rides, prize machines and more for North America. Sometimes the product lines are licensed to the company’s affiliated manufacturing partners, but not all of them.
Recently, UNIS started marketing some of its own lines that are not licensed to United States distributors, such as Ducky Splash and others. “We are using our Canada base to support on stock, shipments, parts and service,” Tan said. The company made an expansive showing at the 2011 IAAPA Attractions Expo last November, and will attend Amusement Expo in Las Vegas, Nev., March 14-16, 2012.