Business must always be ready for a crisis! Interview with Maxim Rogozhin, co-owner of AGT Plus

Companies that have entered quarantine restrictions with the so-called reserve fund, which was accumulated in the best of times, as they say, just in case, feel most confident in crisis conditions. And such a case of hardship, unforeseen circumstances, unfortunately, did not linger. Among such prudent companies is AGT plus, co-owner Maksym Rohozhyn told us about it.

 Exactly none of the furniture colleagues will boast that in a quarantine crisis, his company is going uphill: increased production, sales, profits. So is ours. However, although production volumes and the number of orders have decreased, the company has worked, is working and feels quite confident due to the fact that it was prepared in advance for all sorts of possible force majeure and other unpleasant surprises that occur periodically.

– Did the entrepreneurial sense of leadership and managerial foresight work?

– Elementary logic worked, I would say so. Understanding that business must always be ready for a possible crisis. The efforts we have made, especially in the last two years, to implement kaizen, lean processes, other methods and techniques of lean production, management improvement and fine-tuned financial planning have worked. The philosophy of economical, efficient, constantly improving production, which has taken root and prevails in the company, allows you to quickly analyze the situation and respond adequately to change. Due to this, the costs were halved and gave the company the opportunity to create a reserve fund, which it maintains during the crisis. It allows you to fulfil at the usual high level of customer orders, and financially support employees, and develop models of post-crisis development. Accumulated funds will also be needed if the demand for our products (furniture facades, doors, floors and wall panels) increases after the quarantine crisis – the company will be able to meet it.

– Those entrepreneurs who do not “sigh” during this difficult period for business, cursing the virus, which he, on the contrary, mobilized, they find new opportunities for a breakthrough in the post-crisis period, which prompted the crisis. Or they use quarantine “vacations” to implement long-planned, which previously did not reach. And how did you take advantage of the quarantine slowdown in the company’s production activities?

Quarantine took away some opportunities, and some – nevertheless provided. So, we decided to use the provided ones to strengthen our business and often friendly relations with our clients and partners, to build more effective communications with them. And not in order to benefit from it unilaterally by increasing sales, increasing orders, but rather, at least morally, with knowledge and experience to support those who feel less confident in the crisis than we do. “Act like us,” we urge colleagues and clients, ” don’t give up in the face of difficulties, generate ideas, take more responsibility, and don’t expect someone to do something for you .” For example, everyone in our company already works like this: on the principle of “I am a person!”. That is, each employee takes responsibility for everything within its competence, makes decisions, finds opportunities, reserves, solutions, and does not wait for instructions. In short, it does not feel like a cog.

If earlier the main channel of contact with clients was telephone communication, now we start sending video materials, we practice conducting online seminars.

– Maxim, perhaps, those “LEAN breakfasts” that you and like-minded colleagues have come up with and spend regularly on the Internet, and is your quarantine (or maybe anti-quarantine?) Creative, which is designed to help UAFM members, the furniture industry in general. to overcome with the least loss those disagreements and trials caused by the coronavirus? After all, “LEAN Breakfasts” is essentially a quarantine online version of the “Kaizen Club”, which you personally take care of in the Furniture Association.

The idea of ​​”LEANbreakfasts” seems to have originated by Ola Yalovenko (the company ” Your Style Plus “).  Svetlana Haydaychuk (company ” Vavylon “), which form the first sparks light up a whole new supported fine idea indeed it regularly sells via the Internet. From the name of this event, it is clear that at the heart of his idea is really the same lean that dominates the theme of the ” Kaizen Club “. Lean is not so much in theory as in the personal experience of those who have achieved significant results in this matter. My colleagues and I are implementing this social project, of course, on a voluntary, proactive basis. Together we build the topics of issues, we find authoritative speakers, often from among our successful, authoritative colleagues in the Association. I am pleased to state that despite the not the best mood in people due to the problems that have arisen today in every company, there are almost no failures, manifestations of indifference in those to whom we turn. And in general, once again I am convinced that difficulties unite furniture makers, suppliers, financiers, associates, teach to quickly mutually beneficially agree, find compromises, care about trust in partners. At the same time, crises very quickly remove masks from tricksters, tricksters, hypocrites, and unscrupulous competitors. 

It is also gratifying that we do not say in vain that our daily issues of “LEANbreakfasts” are really something that is interesting and useful for furniturers. Each time we gather a solid online audience (up to one hundred and twenty people) and post-broadcast views reach three thousand.

– Will the approaching crisis, which seems to be approaching, require more effective and diverse marketing?

– We understand this and purposefully make efforts to launch an effective marketing and advertising techniques, use their capabilities and potential. We want to be more active, more eloquent and more convincing in social networks. At the time of creating a franchise and its own brand.

Together we create the best furniture environment in Ukraine!


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