More confident during the second lockdown
“The past half-year showcased yet again that a strong and focused team leads to better results. We prioritised expanding in our global markets and turned on the highest gear in an effort to adapt to the ever-changing pandemic situation. In early 2020, markets and clients were fully paralysed by the first lockdown, but it is clearer and easier this year. While people remain at home, they were more confident in shopping online, and this led to increased demand and interest in products in our main markets,” says Kauno Baldai CEO Tomas Mauricas.
He adds that with the lockdown restrictions lifted earlier this year, people flooded physical stores, making it far easier to make a purchasing decision. As a result, in Q2 2021, sales reached 7.2 million euros, compared to the same period in 2020 when the indicator barely reached 3.8 million euros due to the protracted halt in trading.
During this period, the company faced the very same challenges as the rest of the market, with commodity price instability and supply chain disruptions encouraging everyone to seek alternative solutions. Currently, no signs are visible among suppliers that the situation might stabilise.
“Through this period, we have learnt our lessons, which helped and will continue to help avoid future process disruptions. For example, we are making sure that we have more materials in reserve, and if interruptions occur in the supply chain, we promptly reorganise our production. This strategy not only helped us maintain our manufacturing volumes but also to avoid staff downtime,” says the company head.
Lockdown opportunities to lead to future results
The market will remain active in the second half of this year. The team at Kauno Baldai is already preparing for exhibitions in Germany, Austria and other countries – this will be an opportunity to showcase to potential clients the fruits of lockdown. Furthermore, the team focused its resources on developing and creating new products and are prepared to use all opportunities to introduce its products to the market, which is expected to positively affect results in the second half of the year.
Despite the challenges of the pandemic this year, Kauno Baldai has entered a stage of active expansion with the conversion project and investment into a new factory already gaining momentum, demanding a great deal of attention and effort in the second half of the year. The company plans to allocate almost 20 million euros to the new manufacturing facilities and set them up as they emerge in Kaunas’ Žemieji Šančiai instead of its old premises. It is expected that the factory will begin operating at full capacity in 2023.
Rapid expansion is inseparable from having a solid and motivated team. The company is already preparing to start manufacturing in the new factory and for intensive expansion, which has led to a significant focus on seeking new workforce talent. According to Mauricas, the new factory will offer some of the best conditions on the market to its staff.
Kauno Baldai exports 100 per cent of its production to Scandinavia, the Benelux countries and Germany.Besides Kauno Baldai, the SBA furniture manufacturing sector includes SBA Home, which manages the furniture manufacturing companies Klaipėdos Baldai, Šilutės Baldai, Germanika, Visagino Linija, Mebelain, and Laminn. The SBA Group also operates in the real estate and textile sector, and employ around 5,000 staff members.
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