After many years in business manufacturing motherboards for computers, and later netbooks, the founders of Taipei, Taiwan-based Micro-Star International decided to switch things up—dramatically. Today, the company is among the industry leaders in making computers and laptops specifically for the gaming community.
We interviewed MSI’s, Eric Kuo, vice president of global sales and marketing, to find out how the company created a line of products that its customers find irresistible, how its products continue to be so sought after, and how other business owners in other industries can make their own fascinating and alluring products.
Why is it important to MSI to create products that customers find irresistible?
We identify as a “True Gaming” brand, so it’s important for us to provide gaming products with solid specification, high performance and unique innovations; we aim to build the best gaming laptops aimed at optimizing the gamers’ experience. We produce our laptops with more than 1,900 tests over a seven-day period. Based on a similar design concept as high-end luxury brands like Porsche, we select the best materials and maximize the yield rate during production.
How does MSI accomplish this?
During the production process—from design, to engineering, to manufacturing, to production—MSI products are developed and manufactured in our own factories. Compared to other brands, which work with third-party OEMs, we can work on every small detail in the product design and production phases. We produce our product in-house because of the well-known limits that come with working with OEMs.
By having our own factories, we’re able to monitor the Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) rate to identify problems; react and improve immediately. In this case, we can lower the RMA rate and increase customer satisfaction.
What are some of the types of testing that goes on at this facility?
We perform more tests than others to ensure a high-level of product quality and also to deliver the best user experiences for our customers. We expect our customers to use our laptops for a long time and we believe they expect the same especially if they are spending thousands of dollars to buy a laptop. On the other hand, reliability is important to gamers, especially when they play in competitions. We test each system in strict conditions, from extremely high temperature, to extremely low temperature, to altitude variations, to varying moisture levels, to make sure MSI gaming laptops are able to perform well. MSI also simulates potential accidents to ensure the structure of laptops can withstand the damage. Tests we conduct include:
Golden Ear Modules: Sound is a main element when enjoying a game. We execute sound calibration in a professional lab by using an exclusive robot to detect the sound with special built-in module designed to simulate the real ear of a human. With this precise test, MSI redefines the high quality sound and delivers the best gaming audio experience.
True Color Panel Calibration: MSI True Color Technology guarantees that each panel in an MSI notebook comes with the finest precision of color by calibrating the panels one by one. After examination and an extensive factory calibration process using the MSI True Color Technology, the panel quality will be more accurate.
Keyboard Endurance Test: Stroke test of 150g force aims to ensure each key’s endurance and accuracy with balanced feedback. Each backlit LED is tested to make sure gamers can show their style with a particular color in each event.
Wouldn’t it be more cost effective to pay someone else to do this?
In general, OEM companies only test the items required by brands, which are far less than the 1,900 tests we perform and they normally don’t report problems the occur during the production phase back to brands. For OEMs, their profit comes from the design and production costs, so most of them try to cut down these costs to have higher profit.
There’s no doubt our process is much more expensive than working with an OEM partner, but this is the best way to have the best quality control and provide the most stable products.
For more information about MSI’s lineup of gaming products, visit us.msi.com.