How do you evaluate last year and this year from the point of view of business?
Last year was really difficult for us. In the world and in our company, a situation arose that we had never experienced before and we were forced to adapt to it as best we could. Fortunately, last year was a successful result. We felt that our customers invest more in the interiors and comfort of a home in which they spend more time than ever before.
Did / did the coronavirus pandemic have any significant impact on production, sales or delivery? Or how specifically?
We were forced to close all 5 of our corporate stores, and the stores of our partners were also closed. In total, more than 7 months. On the other hand, the covid situation accelerated the implementation of postponed ideas and we began to focus our efforts on "contactless" services such as online consultations via the Whatsapp or Skype applications. On request, we also send customers catalogs, swatches of surface finishes or create 3D interior designs free of charge.
The closure of our showrooms also provided us with space to shoot virtual 3D tours of showrooms and new videos about products and the company. Thanks to this, we can present customers not only our showrooms online, but also our products.
The biggest project we have been working on for a long time and we have managed to successfully complete is the improvement of our website and the launch of a new e-shop. We have also strengthened online campaigns and communication on social networks.
Production and shipping took place and continue at all times in compliance with hygiene and safety measures. It is demanding, but thanks to this we have been able to maintain a relatively normal production cycle and deliver orders within a reasonable time.
David is the son of one of the owners of the company. He has been "moving" in the company since he was a child. From the beginning, he tried various jobs in the workshop, during his studies he helped with the company with marketing and business. Now, after graduating from university, he is fully engaged in working in the company.
"The biggest project we've been working on for a long time is improving our website."
"We also started making new videos about products and the company."
For example, did you have a problem with a loss of staff, a lack of material, or a problem with transportation abroad?
So far, we have had 18 employees who are positive for Covid-19, which is a relatively high number of the total number of 80 employees, but thanks to compliance with hygiene and safety rules, it was never a community transfer in the company. However, production outages also affected the absence of employees due to closed schools, when our colleagues had to look after their children at home.
For us, transport abroad means above all the export of goods to Slovakia. Drivers are always tested before each trip abroad and we are thus able to comply with the regulations of both the Czech and Slovak governments.
As far as materials are concerned, we are seeing a really significant increase in prices (eg wood, fittings, foams, fabrics, cartons, etc.). We often encounter delayed deliveries or a major shortage of a certain type of material.
Do you export furniture abroad or do you focus exclusively on the Czech market? Possibly for export - where is it possible to export furniture?
We export about a third of our production mainly to Central Europe. However, we also sent our products to the Cayman Islands or Australia, for example, so we can pack and send our products practically anywhere in the world as a carrier. We provide delivery and assembly with our technicians throughout the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and we have also assembled our furniture several times in neighboring Austria and Germany.
According to the Association of Czech Furniture Makers, the domestic market continues to strengthen its supplies of foreign furniture - both from Poland, China and Germany. How difficult is it to compete with imported furniture? Can it be matched by a price? What do Czech customers actually hear the most - is it the lowest possible price or do they suffer mainly from quality?
Our family company focuses on the production of quality solid wood furniture to order and orthopedic slatted mattresses also tailored to each user - these products are qualitatively and price different from ordinary laminate furniture, so I can not adequately assess what the average consumer hears, but our customers it tolerates quality, perfect customer service and an individual approach, including custom production.
Among other things, we perceive that our customers want to support a traditional family business from Wallachia. After all, my great-grandfather founded the company in 1897.
start of mattress production
years of family tradition