- Ryder Industries Ltd.: a brief history
- Ryder Industries goes all the way back to 1979, when it was founded by Hong Kong Swiss entrepreneur Eric Winkler (who remains chairman) as SciSys-W Ltd., to develop and engineer chess computers.
- SciSys later diversified into other intelligent games and personal electronics, and in 1987, extension into marketing and distribution services triggered a change of name to the more market-friendly Saitek.
- Saitek engineers accomplished a series of technological innovations, including the first multiprocessor system and permanent memory (in the Chess Champion Mark III), the first instantly stoppable game (Micro Chess) and the first multi-player bridge computer. In 1985, the company won an Innovation in Electronics award from the US Consumer Electronics Show, a global benchmark. During the early 1990s, Saitek established operations in France and Germany, and launched the manufacture and production of PC peripherals and game controls.
- Saitek's product division grew to world leadership in electronic strategy games and personal computer gaming devices, making inventions in LCD logic, remote sensing for chess-boards, solar detectors and performance testing. They sustained a top-three market share in PC Game Controllers alongside Microsoft and Logitech.
- Crucial to the brand's success was not only innovativeness but product quality, in which the establishment of its own manufacturing facility had been instrumental. In the 1980s, China entered a period of rapid opening up, and Saitek made the decision in 1990 to establish a wholly-owned PRC company and construct a manufacturing facility there. Land rights were purchased in the pioneering industrial zone of Shenzhen's Bao An district, and two buildings erected in strict conformity with international standards.
- The Shenzhen facility developed rapidly grew in size and sophistication. It gained the ISO-9001 certification on its first attempt in 1996, and achieved the same success with the ISO-14001 in 2004. The ISO/TS-16949 certification followed in 2007, providing a formal structure for continuous improvement. Resolute dedication to quality as a core management principle cemented the high reputation enjoyed by Saitek products.
- The Shenzhen factory saw rising demand for its contract manufacturing services. A second factory was established in 2002, also within the Bao An industrial zone. At this point, the company strengthened its commitment to SMT, and started building Chip-on-Board assemblies.
- Throughout its history, the Shenzhen factory has been recognised by the local government for its ethics, citizenship and high industrial standards, but a particular landmark was the award of the highest Customs classification, permitting Ryder to import and export goods without physical inspection, saving as much as a day each way in cross-border shipping. This status has been a valuable asset to the company and its customers.
- In 2007, the Saitek branded products division was sold complete with its Saitek, Cyborg, Eclipse and Kasparov brands. Ryder Industries became the new name of the manufacturing division, ushering in a new era of specialisation in contract manufacturing and custom design manufacturing (CDM) services. China's increased openness towards enterprise has provided Ryder the opportunity to set up a third manufacturing facility further inland, in Jiangxi province. The new site benefits from a substantial reduction in unit costs and access to a wide labour pool, while at the same time being within the Pearl River Delta supply network, close to the new high-speed rail link to Beijing. It will provide manufacturing muscle to complement the two higher-tech and engineering-intensive teams in the existing sites. Ryder looks forward to being able to provide outstanding high quality service as a valuable partner with its own distinctive personality.
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