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| Share info, Azan urges furniture industry players

Share info, Azan urges furniture industry players

Azan offered the advice while addressing the Jamaica Wood Products and Furniture Association (JaWFA) installation ceremony of new executives on Thursday night at the Four Seasons Hotel in Kingston.

He said that what would take the sector to another level is sharing at four levels. The training, he said, should take place between manufacturers; between manufacturers and the association that serves them; between manufacturers and government; and between manufacturers and the public.

Azan pointed out that his own association was integral in this sharing process through the hosting of subsector meetings and working with the productivity centre.

"This helps to determine best practices," he pointed out. "We do not have to reinvent the wheel as well-established manufacturers can assist young start-up companies."

Turning to aggressive marketing, Azan said the domestic market was down by some 30 per cent, but urged players to look to the regional markets.

"When the domestic market here in Jamaica with the recession started slowing down, I went out aggressively as the owner of the company to try and market my furniture and find other markets because my volumes were down," said Azan, who owns Boss Furniture, producers of beds and furniture.

He said that his company has been making inroads in the region. "Within the last three to four weeks, I have been able to export close to 20 containers of Jamaican-made furniture to other countries in the region," he said as he offered to assist to help find customers for those who wanted to export.

Improved competitiveness

Azan also noted that the sharing of information was important so that data could be captured to determine benchmarks, which helps to improve competitiveness. He said that partnering to increase salesprospectswas another way of keeping competitive.

"A television manufacturer, for instance, can partner with a surge protector manufacturer and marry products toincrease sales prospects, and this is happening right here in Jamaica," he said. "Don't try to do it all yourself."

Thursday's ceremony saw the association installing its new officers. The new president of the JaWFA is Mortimer McPherson, with first vice-president being Edgar Bryan; Barrington Senior, second vice-president; and Owen Reeves, treasurer.

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