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Ukrainian furniture production began to recover the lost pace. Interview with Dmytro Patis, co-owner of Eskada-M

Ukrainian furniture production began to recover the lost pace

We heard such an optimistic statement from the head of the Export Platform of the Ukrainian Association of Furniture Manufacturers Dmytro Patis, in which he was assured by the state of affairs in the company Eskada-M and regular communication with members of the Association. 

– Speaking specifically about our company, the quarantine situation is not much different from the situation in most UAFM member companies: remote office work, production forces and capacities are halved, so the volume of orders has fallen. We mainly serve furniture and construction and repair enterprises, supplying them with board materials or ready-made furniture parts. Here is a direct relationship: as much as their production activity has decreased, so has ours.

If we talk about the organization of remote work, then here we were from the beginning, perhaps in a slightly better situation than most colleagues. And this is because we did not have to organize remote workplaces from scratch, and employees had to adapt to unusual circumstances. Our production is quite far from the office, so in fact we work remotely for a long time, debugging all the nuances of the effectiveness of such work, so we did not have to, like others, with the beginning of quarantine to reorganize in this sense, and continued to work as we worked – long ago usual for office workers and company management mode.

And this is the difference between Eskad-M and furniture companies: our production cycle is longer, so the period of production decline has stretched for longer. That is, the execution of pre-quarantine orders in our country was longer in time than in the furniture. In fact, this extension lasted until the time when new orders began to arrive in quarantine. To be more specific, we recorded a new wave of orders in Escada-M somewhere in the first days of May. Of course, the volume of quarantine orders is smaller, but there is already a feeling that the Ukrainian furniture industry has begun to “straighten its shoulders”, without waiting for the final completion of quarantine restrictions. And those productions which have export deliveries have considerably intensified. When the number of orders from domestic customers decreased significantly, foreign countries began to quarantine, so orders began to arrive from there. Thus, the domestic furniture industry managed to avoid production stops altogether.

From communication with colleagues in the Association, I know that some companies, fulfilling contracts with foreign clients, worked in a warehouse, although foreign freight was allowed. The reason is simple: in European countries with strict quarantine, even physically, no one would be able to unload trucks from Ukraine. Now that Europe has begun to quarantine, Ukrainian furniture makers will begin to vacate their warehouses.

– Quarantine circumstances forced most of the furniture makers to see a lot in their household, opened their eyes, so to speak, to things that under normal conditions were not paid attention. In other words, quarantine, paradoxically, has certain advantages: it has revealed weaknesses in the activities of companies, in the organization of the furniture business and gave time to prepare for the necessary reforms, improvements and changes. What did he tell Escada-M?

– Well, at least the fact that given the growing number of small and urgent orders, there is clearly a need to have their own transport to quickly deliver products to customers. At one time we abandoned this: to supply products in large quantities and in batches, it was more profitable to hire transport, and now other circumstances, and hence the needs and necessities.

 

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