Visit to France and Switzerland
From 7 to 10 November 2016, we made another visit to France and Switzerland to see our partners and customers (both the old and new ones) in order to boost our business relations and decide on our schedules and product range in the upcoming season of 2017. Our trip was arranged by our exclusive dealer in Europe – Status Bohemia (Prague, Czech Republic) represented by the company owner Matvey Gladkikh, Commercial Director Sergey Schneider and our representative in France Darya Dyakova.
Thiswasourfourthvisittoourpartners. ThepreviousonetookplaceinJune 2016 (Austria, Switzerland). One should note that we established our first contacts with our French customers back in 2014, which allowed us to ship the first experimental lot of oldtongue and groove boards. Over a year has passed since that moment, and this was the starting point of our partnership and regular shipments to Europe.
Over the last year, closely collaborating with our customers, we did a lot to modernize and improve our production in Russia and expand our product range, which would be impossible if we had not been trusted, or better say believed in by our first-in-history customer – the largest trade company in Europe – the French company LalliardBoisEtDerives, SAS, whose subsidiary and wholesale warehouseare situated in Albertville. Our first contacts with them were established back in 2014.
During our trip, we had an opportunity to see the warehouses and old wood workshops, showrooms, to touch the products and appreciate our European partners’ high culture, professionalism and vast experience in the area and see that they are interested in our long-term and close collaboration. In their turn, our customers, after having worked with us for a year, have appreciated the quality of our products and noted our great achievements and eagerness for continuous improvement both in production and interaction with the end user.
We are sincerely grateful to our partners for such a kind reception, open and candid dialog and negotiations with dedicated experts on technical standards and requirements for new products which we are going to master in 2017 – wood bars, beams, 3D wood panels.
In 2016, which is about to end, we focused on manufacturing our main product – tongue and groove boards, which we were rather successful in and, as the last year results show, this is the right and efficient marketing strategy which let us conquer the trust of our French, Swiss, and Austrian customers. In the upcoming year, we are going to expand our product range, and this trip was crucial in this regard.
From 7 to 10 November we visited 6 companies in different regions of France and Switzerland, having made a 3,000-km tour from Prague to the Alps in 5 days. The members of our delegation met the managers of manufacturing and trade companies which work with old woodand purchase (or are planning to purchase) our old wooden boards, discussed the quality of our products and prospective shipments, exchanged our experience including the new types of products which we are going to start manufacturing in 2017.
Since weare truly customer-oriented, welisten to our partners’ remarks and requirements very carefully and reflect them in our production, constantly improving the quality.
The trip also included meeting new potential customers. Starting to work with a new supplier is always a serious business decision, especially in such a unique area as reclaimed wood which has its own long-lasting customs, traditions, and special requirements both for products and partners’ business characteristics.
And it is not that easy to gain such trust since building close relations takes years, and without meeting those people, discussing every technical detail, presenting our product samples and our production capabilities in Russia, it would be impossible for us to start a meaningful dialogue with a serious customer. And this is the exact reason why we decided to visit our dear customers, show them our product samples and discuss the specific terms and conditions for our cooperation in 2017.
Visiting our customers is not just a way to convince our customers of the reliability of our partnership. This is, first of all, respect for our partners’ long-lasting traditions and an opportunity to get to know our current and potential customers better. Some of them have been around for over 100 years (!) since most of the current European companies working with old wood are family businesses which have been passing their skills and technology from generation to generation! Only through such visits and personal meetings can one establish trustworthy relations, which are essential for running a business in a unique area such as old wood production and sales.
Being a manufacturer, we can surely say that such trips help us understand the principles of the European market and our partners and retro board user’s needs well and truly.
We are sure that the upcoming year of 2017 will be even more dynamic and interesting for our business consisting of two divisions closely collaborating with each other: the manufacturing division (Yekaterinburg-Kirov, Russia) and the sales and marketing division (Prague, Czech Republic).