Russian Furniture Industry Summit: fresh ideas, new format!
On June 23-24 the Russian Furniture Industry Summit took place in St.Petersburg. Over 100 representatives of the Russian furniture enterprises, trade companies, mass media participated in the Summit, representing Moscow and Moscow region, St.Petersburg, Samara, Rostov-on-Don, Volgodonsk, Togliatti, Rodniki, Syktyvkar. Among the participants were such companies as Avangard, Allegro-Stil, Almaz, Ametist, Anna Potapova. Mebel, Askona TH,š Baltic Association of Furniture Experts, Evrokhim-1, Mekran, Plaza Real, Pervaya mebelnaya fabrika (The First Furniture Factory), Russky Laminat, SP-Mebel, Syktyvkar plywood plant, Faeton and others.
The organisers prepared an interesting and up-to-day programme. Special attention was paid to the problems of furniture industry development in a climate of reinforcement of the Customs Union, EurAsEC (the Eurasian Economic Community) and the supposed integration of Russia into WTO.
On behalf of the organisers the summit participants were welcomed by A.N. Shestakov, the Vice-President of the Association of Enterprises of Russian Woodworking and Furniture Industry and the President of the Union of Enterprises and Workers of the North-Western Furniture and Woodworking Industry, and I.P. Kirsanov, Director General of RESTEC Exhibition Company.
The summit programme was divided into three sessions. P. Davulkouglu, President of Association of Turkish Furniture Manufacturers MOSDER, opened the first session on export activity and international cooperation and introduced the Turkish furniture industry accounting to 60 thousand companies to the audience,
A.Osvald, coordinator for international links of the German Association of Furniture and Woodworking Industries - HDH and VDMA, F. Hampel, president of trade cooperation Garant Moebel Gmbh and E. Rempel, director of Raumconcept actively participated in the discussion on German furniture and trade.
E. Tsereteli, chairman of the Public Council on small-scale business development under the patronage of the Governor of St. Petersburg, mentioned the issue of lobbying the interests of small business in the state authorities and shared information about the results of St.Petersburg International Economic Forum concerning small and medium business.
These and other reports provoked a lively discussion.
The second session 'Furniture products quality management' was held in the format of interactive discussion. The objective and the main issue of the second session was the question of how to obtain maximal profit from furniture business by improving efficiency through reduction of losses, the so called lean manufacturing, introduction of enterprise improvement management system, obtainig economic effect from introduction of international systems of quality management. The session was moderated by S.Pomogaev, Director General of Right consulting company.
The third session was devoted to sales and promotion issues in the furniture industry. E. Philippova, Head of Syndicated Research Department of Comcon research company, now part of Synovate, opened the session with a bright report on the research of consumer preferences in the Russian furniture market.
On the summit second day the participants took an active part in the seminars held by Joe Milevsky, president of JRM Sales and Management Inc. and Denis Ryabov, partner of Moscow office at Center Prioritet. The participants also visited furniture centers and firm furniture salons of the city.
Following the Summit results the participants adopted a draft resolution that will be submitted to the regional furniture associations and state authorities and directorates after corrections and proposals should be added. The resolution is aimed at coordinating efforts of all parties in development of competitiveness of the Russian furniture enterprises and improvement of domestic furniture quality.
Informal communication of the participants continued at the evening buffet during a moto vessel cruise along the Neva river where everybody could discuss the opportunities of mutual cooperation to the strains of saxophone, admiring the magic of St.Petersburg white nights.
Certainly, the organising committee planned the following summit to be of even larger scale and more significant. Foreign furniture associations have already confirmed their participation in 2012 due to the effective format and high quality content of the event.
The Business programme of Moscow international Furniture Industry Congress - MIFIC to be held on November 21-23 in Moscow, at Expocenter Fairgrounds during Mebel and ZOW exhibitions will be the first step to preparation of the Summit-2012 to be held in June in St.Petersburg.