Mutual trust boosts long-term cooperation between Sands China and SME

Ag. Com. Chan Heng Ovos has been established for more than 70 years. It provides eggs from home and abroad, with its customers including large integrated resorts, restaurants, supermarkets, schools, and so on. In 2009, Ag. Com. Chan Heng Ovos became one of the sole suppliers of eggs to Sands China, and the cooperation has been sustained ever since. 

Originating from a booth at a wet market near San Ma Lo, this SME is growing through two generations of leadership. Executive Director Vong Kam Iun is succeeding his father’s chairmanship, his business expanding from egg retailing to wholesale, and the business continues to optimize and upgrade procedures, services, and facilities to meet customers’ requirements. 

The egg is an essential daily ingredient but also has a short preservation period. Sands China has been prioritizing food quality and safety when selecting components. Therefore, during the early stage of cooperation, the SME realized that it would be necessary to upgrade its cold chain transportation and distribution facilities. Vong immediately purchased refrigerator trucks. 

About 15,000 eggs are needed every day for Sands China’s restaurants, which includes their staff canteens, according to Sands China’s procurement and supply chain senior manager, Rachel Zheng, and senior officer, Sardonna Lei. 

The management commented that an advantage of Ag. Com. Chan Heng Ovos is a diverse source of products. “They are able to provide eggs from the U.S., Malaysia, the mainland, and other places, and even a kind of ‘golden preserved quail egg’ from the mfainland, according to our special request.”

Vong recalled challenges they have encountered over the decades: “We’ve faced various challenges and been through several significant issues, such as the melamine scandal in 2008. The fact is that Macau food is dependent on imports. If there is any problem with the source, it’ll easily affect the whole city. Therefore, we realized that when selecting ingredients we cannot rely on a single place of origin.”

Vong, the far-sighted entrepreneur, decided to focus on food safety and improving management. The SME took the initiative to obtain ISO and IEC standard certifications. All employees are also required to take relevant courses to improve their knowledge about food safety.

These certifications also give confidence to its client.“We are happy to know that the SME is proactive in obtaining certifications that are related to food safety. As far as we know, few companies would take these exams, as it’s time-consuming and requires a certain amount of money,”said the procurement and supply chain team from Sands. “Sands China conducts regular reviews of our suppliers. If a supplier has obtained certification, it means that they are relatively familiar with the content and requirements of the standard, which can increase our confidence in their hygiene monitoring and process management.”

During the Covid-19 pandemic period, the prices of overseas goods fluctuated and transportation costs rose sharply. However, since the contract was signed six months ago, the SME stuck to the original price agreed in the contract and bore the extra costs. Sands China spoke highly of Ag. Com. Chan Heng Ovos’s act of abiding by the contract. “We understand logistics and transportation are seriously delayed due to the epidemic. The supplier actively solved the problem.”

In the meantime, the SME director Vong also expressed the hope that the Macau government roll out policies regarding logistics and customs among Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macau as soon as possible “so that Macau can make good use of importing advantages of the mainland when importing goods from overseas. And thus Macau would be less dependent on Hong Kong,” he said.

The cooperative relationship with Sands China has boosted the local SME Ag. Com. Chan Heng Ovos and caused it to thrive and grow. Vong appreciates that its client keeps offering advice to the SME. He is encouraged to explore and introduce new sources of goods in the future.

Given the changing market amid the fluctuating pandemic period, Sands China suggests SME suppliers update or report their changes or challenges to clients accordingly. Good problem-solving ability, as well as good communication, helps to build a closer relationship with mutual trust between both business parties.

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