Magazine Furniture Technologies – No. 1 January-February 2017

Sergey Pokotilo:

“KROMAG products are high quality, affordable price and the best fit to the plates … and we do all this in Ukraine”

KROMAG Company (Kromag Ltd.) as the only Ukrainian manufacturer of furniture edges began a new 2017 year with a significant increase in production capacities and expanding the supply of edges in the new specification. All of this is the result of a powerful investment in JumboRoll technology, launched last year. Although there were a lot of skeptics on the market, the company confidently proves that the consistent implementation of the strategy allows it to take on the market position of the leader. One of the owners of the company “KROMAG” tells us about the activities of the domestic manufacturer of the region, as well as plans for the future.

Sergey Pokotilo.

– It’s been a while since our last meeting, and now about the company “KROMAG” is already known in almost every corner of Ukraine. The success of the company also confirms your good mood. What is the popularity of the national edge?

“My good mood is the result we have achieved by fulfilling a huge amount of work over the past three years. The growth of demand for our products indicates that our edge is a very popular and extremely necessary product. The main advantages are high quality, affordable price and, above all, the best on the market to match the plates. The current customer is very demanding, and please keep in mind that Korm is the only company on the market offering an edge designed specifically for Ukrainian slabs, which is not done by any other manufacturer. The decor items they offer are just an attempt to pick up with less or more success than what’s already in their standard collection.

– It is compelled to admit that the progress with which the company develops makes a huge impression. Your new investment is already widely known not only in Ukraine. Could you tell her about it?

– The new investment raises “Kromag” to a completely different level. If our production lines still allowed Kromag to be on average among the producers of PVC edges, then the new investment contributes to the fact that we are becoming the largest producer in this part of Europe.

– So, you must understand that for almost three years you have reached the level of the closest competitors, for example, from Poland, and now confidently ahead of them?

– Do not forget that those three years are a period of really very difficult work. But if we have already raised the issue of Polish competition, there are currently two Polish producers in Ukraine, and their share in our market is gradually decreasing in favor of Kromag. One of them offers both PVC and ABS, which can compensate for the regular decrease of the Ukrainian market for it, selling its own products in Western Europe.

However, with respect to the PVC edges, a large part of its products does not correspond to the volume of production that Kromag currently offers to its customers. If we talk about another Polish manufacturer, then the coverage of the Ukrainian market by its products, and the range of offers, as well as the incomparably less productive capacity, turn it into a local producer, or, in sports language, on “second-league players”.

– Already, Kromag is perceived as a solid company offering products of very high quality. Does the new investment provide additional benefits for customers?

– JumboRoll technology is an entirely different approach to the production of edges. The entire investment covers extrusion lines, a line for color printing with reverse printing technology (reverse printing), as well as auxiliary lines for cutting edges. This allows us to offer products for any possible, even the most unusual size, taking into account both the width and the thickness. Also, the expanded offer further leaves behind us the main trump card – an optimal ratio of quality and price. This is an undeniable advantage over our competitors.

“So, does this mean that Kromag is a leader in the Ukrainian market?”

– The market for furniture edges should be divided into two sectors: wholesale and for furniture manufacturers. Analysis of the data shows that in the wholesale market, “Kromag” confidently demonstrates the greatest turnover of all brands. However, this does not mean that this situation satisfies us. In 2017, we have developed a strategy aimed at maximizing the share of Kromag brand products in the market and, accordingly, reducing the share of foreign producers. On the whole, this is a long, irreversible trend since the appearance of the edges of the trademark “Kromag”, which is carried out in accordance with the goals we set for ourselves.

– Could you reveal the secret – what is this purpose? To our readers, this, obviously, will be very interesting.

– Yes. Our goal is to reduce the total sale of foreign brands on the Ukrainian wholesale market to a level that would not exceed several percent of all revolutions. We believe that their total sales value should not exceed 10%.

– These are very ambitious plans. On the one hand, the impressive development of the brand “Kromag”, on the other, should not forget that competitors will not easily escape the market.

– And it’s very good! This is the best information for customers. Competitive struggle always generates the best service and product quality. For companies this means a hot period in the market, to which “Kromag” not only was perfectly prepared, but first of all created the conditions under which this competition will be implemented. It is precisely Kromag that is now one step ahead of its competitors by setting new standards for offering and servicing the customer. Experience shows that whenever a national producer with a product of very high quality appears, the presence of foreign brands sooner or later begins to decline to several percent. These are the rules of the market game.

– Do you plan on the same intensive expansion in the market of edges for furniture factories?

– The market of furniture factories is so interesting, so demanding. The content of the corresponding warehouse space, the constant readiness of production, the ability to speak with proposals of arbitrary size – these are factors that indicate the competitiveness of the offer. For today, market demand is being filled by suppliers of edges from China or Turkey, which most of the above-mentioned problems translate into a final recipient, that is, on furniture factories. “Kromag” as a local manufacturer turns this circuit down. Offering a very customer-friendly service along with a competitive price for products, Kromag is interested in all the factories. To all this, please do not forget that the products offered by other manufacturers are now on the market, in comparison with our quality of technology abandoned by the years. It also matters. So, 2017 year will be the year of our intense expansion not only in the wholesale market, but also in the edge market for furniture manufacturers.

– So, the stimulus for the company “Kromag” in 2017 will be the maximum increase in its presence in the Ukrainian market, and as a result, strengthening the position of the leader?

– Not only. We call the Ukrainian market our “home”, and therefore we pay special attention to it. However, this does not mean that we neglected export markets. Today, our exports are concentrated mainly in countries of the so-called CIS. This year we are planning a powerful expansion to Western markets, even to our close neighbors: Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, the Baltic countries, and the like.

– Conversation with you inspires optimism. An example of the company “Kromag” proves that in Ukraine you can create a company that will be able to successfully compete with Western firms.

– Kromag uses the most up-to-date western technology available on the market. The average age of our machines is only three years, and the new JumboRoll line uses the latest, newly developed technologies that were not available a year ago. All the components we use are supplied from Europe. Products are subject to quality control system. We can safely state that in terms of quality, our product is now in no way inferior to Western counterparts, and often just the best. And all of this we do in Ukraine.

– So what to wish you in the new year?

– Let’s wish each other so that our domestic market develops steadily and is free from external factors that we are not able to influence. Together we can and must strengthen our state economy by supporting domestic producers. Our task is to offer the products of the highest quality, with the best service. Let’s wish for our Ukrainian client to support Ukrainian products, which is now in no way inferior to foreign counterparts.

15 February 2017|