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UAFM in faces. Interview with Dmitry Tymoshenko, founder and CEO of LTL Group.

“The success of our company in the success of our customers” –

Dmytro Tymoshenko, the founder and current head of LTL Group, answered the traditional question of our column “UAFM in faces” with such a simple formula. It can be added that the company has lost the status of a regular supplier of finishing, adhesive and grinding materials. But in this loss is her greatest asset. What is the essence of such a paradox, which to a large extent also became the key to the company’s success, will be discussed in Dmytro’s story.

– We have been taking care of 1,500 of our clients for 13 years. And we consider the success of our clients with whom we have close partnerships to be our achievement. That is why we consider each client to be a real partner.         

And yet, we stopped selling paints, equipment, abrasives or glue as a commodity. Because our product is optimized production.

Sometimes I compare the specialists of our team with doctors. And it’s not just because they wear white coats (laughs – ed.). Our professionals come to the production of a partner and, collecting all the symptoms, find that it “hurts”, clarify the diagnosis and offer effective “treatment”.

By the way, it happens that the management of the partner company does not even know what exactly “hurts” at work. Because, due to the operative “blindness” of the gaze, they see only the symptoms, and not the real root cause of the “disease”.

And most often the company is all right – there is an order, the production is loaded enough. But it could have been better… And the owner thinks, as I do in some questions: “Let it work – and the Greek with him!”. But money loves numbers and is always better when costs are reduced, production is optimized, resources are used wisely, the staff is qualified, and the owner, who has stuck abroad for several months due to quarantine, is calm about his production. After all, he knows that the “scheduled examination” and “disease prevention” by the LTL team was done on time.

        How and why did the LFM supplier become a comprehensive partner for the furniture maker?

– The quality of finishing by 80% determines the success of the furniture. But it depends not only on the LFM, surface preparation technologies or material application…         

For example, it is important to choose the optimal substrate (lumber – ed.), Which will be used as expediently as possible – we are already comprehensively dealing with the supply.

The skills of a painter must also meet the requirements of production. It is good when there is formed staff. And if there is staff turnover? Here we already touch the HR block. After all, it is not always advisable to hire “star” specialists. Sometimes it is better to grow your own, loyal to the company, specialists. Manufacturers understand this. Therefore, our School of Painters is in significant demand for the third year in a row.

As leaders, we have influenced the development of hundreds of furniture industries in the country. But not only our partners grew and studied, but also ourselves. Therefore, over the years of intensive relationships, the LTL team has gained enough comprehensive experience to become a comprehensive partner for the woodworking business.

That’s right, from a supplier of consumables (LFM, glue and the like – ed.), We have become a constant helper in production, financial, personnel and sales issues and more.

        You, Dmytro, have very global and ambitious plans. Does the LTL Group have like-minded assistants?

“Of course!” The highlight of the rapid growth was the accession of our company to the ranks of UAFM. Because the LTL and UAFM missions resonate. Therefore, side by side, together, we help furniture makers to grow, promote their cooperation (I think this is the most accurate word here) and establish mutually beneficial relations between them.         

This year, together with the UAFM export platform, we are actively working to expand the sales market for furniture makers. The association organizes trade missions and an exhibition, attracts buyers from all over the world. We are in charge of technical support: we help productions to cover complex orders (if there is not enough capacity of one enterprise), we develop and implement new technologies necessary for the production of the order. And, if necessary, we act as guarantors of quality for the end consumer.

By doing so, we have actually approached the status of a consulting company. We have not become one hundred percent of it yet, but we are moving towards being an assistant to colleagues from the Association in everything related to the production of furniture and the development of the furniture industry of Ukraine.

“Together to victory!” can we already say? (laughs – ed.)

        It is already known – at least within the Association – your School of Painters, too, apparently fits into the concept of consulting?

– Moreover, it is one of the steps on the way to consulting. We can say the result of such a movement.         

Training is a replenishment, and in the domestic furniture industry, staff shortages have long been a chronic problem, exacerbated by the intensity of labour from the country migrating abroad.

Providing partners with staff through their training at our School of Painters is another area of ​​our care for clients, about which much has already been saying. We contribute to this in two ways – we improve the skills of current painters and teach from scratch to a professional painter.

We released the first stream of those who mastered the profession of a painter from scratch last week. We are very proud of our graduates. They almost cried during the graduation ceremony. We put all our souls and knowledge into the boys, and they responded with sincerity and a desire to learn.

As for the training of working painters, we have been doing this for a long time. About 150 specialists have already graduated.

        In the current context, the issue of viral-quarantine-restrictive should not be overlooked. What damage did the quarantine cause to your company and why did it teach?

– LTL Group is probably one of the few companies in the Association that has not suffered from quarantine measures. On the contrary, quarantine further mobilized and united the team.         

And he helped as well as others: he showed our weaknesses and encouraged them to be strengthened – either by reforming or streamlining or optimizing.

I am grateful to the crisis that it has shown us our “thin” places because now there are precise instructions for strengthening them.

Interestingly, we found pain, which is 80% of cases we see in the production of partners. Namely, we thought that we needed to attract more people to process orders. But, we had time to optimize the process of working with orders and we came to the conclusion that after work we do not have an urgent need to hire new employees.

        Good luck to you, and, hopefully, our next story about “LTL Group” will be as a completely consulting company.

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