By maintaining footprints in China and the U.S., a rapidly expanding moldmaker is gaining new customers with the promise of faster, cheaper Chinese production plus American engineering oversight. Jade Group International LLC (Iola, WI) has a staff of 10 in the U.S., including six account managers, three tooling engineers, and Tony Stewart, VP of sales and marketing. There are around 75 in China working from a recently expanded production site in Zhongshan City, Guangdong Province.
Jointly owned and operated by Li De Kuan, a Chinese national, and Patrick Smith, an American who has lived in China for 7 years and is fluent in Mandarin. In July 2012, Jade's China business moved into a brand new facility that is a little over double the size of its former site. "We wanted to make sure we have a bigger, better, new place to facilitate a lot of the growth," Stewart said. Stewart said the company enjoyed "steady growth" from 2006 to 2011, with a "significant uptick" starting in 2012 that is projected to continue.