With the gradual stabilization of the epidemic in China, and the resumption of production, the Chinese sun-shading industry is showcasing their determination to grow the industry. R+T Asia interviewed some important Chinese manufacturers, who shared how they are adapting to these new challenges.
Today we talk with Mr. Ryan Tairy, General Manager of Lanxi Baolong Finished Machinery.
Baolong is a national enterprise with over the 10 years of experience. The company produces machinery for production sun-shading systems as venetian blinds, roller blinds, wooden blinds, honeycomb blinds, and much more. Baolong operates worldwide, offering stable and high production capacity as well as quick service.
How is your company resuming activities after the emergency caused by COVID-19?
Our company is located in the famous cultural Lanxi City, in Zhejiang Province. During the outbreak of the COVID-19 in China, the impact of the epidemic was minor in our province. Our co-manufacturers resumed work as well, and our plants are now operating at 100% of production capacity.
During this period, Baolong carried out an on-site technical after-sales training session in open areas, keeping the necessary distance between personnel. At the same time, we also provided online technical support.
What is the actual situation of your industry? How is your company managing orders, and when will your export activities get back on track?
As Baolong's production capacity has returned to normal, we are able to meet the existing market demand. While the domestic epidemic in under control, the global epidemic has intensified in other countries. The domestic market is recovering, even going well, but the international demand has decreased. After negotiations we suspended about 20-30% of our total overseas orders. Among our customers, the biggest impact has been in UK, Poland, Australia, Turkey and the USA. During the epidemic we canceled the on-site after sales plan in European market. With new orders now put on hold, we have shifted half of our overseas production capacity to the domestic market.
We eagerly hope that the international epidemic will get under control quickly and rebuild consumer confidence. Then, we will be ready to supply our customers as always.
The epidemic in China appears to be getting under control. To recover customer demand in the second quarter and to support enterprises that operate in China, Chinese local governments have introduced assistance measures. At the same time, a large-scale national project has been announced to reconstruct infrastructure in China. What opportunities and challenges are these favorable policies bringing to the sun-shading industry?
We believe that after the recovery of the markets, the infrastructure reconstruction will gain momentum. With the rapidly recovering construction market in China, the sun-shading industry will also flourish. Due to the government's investment in infrastructure and a relatively large investment in the sun-shading industry, customer confidence is expected to grow, and market demand will bring our development to the next level.
How will this crisis transform your business? What are you focusing on today?
The epidemic caused us to focus on minimizing the human factor by automating manufacturing and on strategies that are more time- and cost-effective. For example, for fabric production, we decided to apply the latest laser equipment to replace human labor. For venetian blinds production, which usually requires two different operations and two workers, we now have one machine to replace the work of two workers. Plus, one worker can now manage four machines at the same time, which greatly reduces the labor cost.
As long as foreign trade is affected by the epidemic, the global market situation will not change. We need to keep focusing on company transformation, learning from the market, and maintaining close contact with our customers, providing them stable and efficient service.