A lot of people ask me: ” Have you ever been on MebelHoll?”, ” Have you seen how Huga salon is designed?”. At that time I just only have heard that MebelHoll is a company based in Minsk which produces custom-made furniture. And that’s all.
Then I went to the Grad shopping center and saw an entirely new format of working. Previously, there had been similar “boxes”, and now there was an open space. Just like the European approach.
And right after that I decided to talk with the head of the company and find out why MebelHoll is so cool.
– Good afternoon, Alexey, thank you for taking the time to talk. The first question will be difficult, I warn you. If MebelHoll is a car, then which brand? …have been thinking for almost a minute. I guess Audi.
– Audi skillfully combines classic models with sophisticated technology. I like the philosophy and approach of this brand. We strive to be the same.
– What was MebelHoll like a few years ago and what it has become?
– At that time it was a small workshop. Family business. We had friends and relatives working for us. Today, we have grown, first of all, we have changed social attitudes. Our team has become different. Different people with different views but at the same time MebelHoll isn’t breaking things up. We are motivated by the overarching goal, as a team of like-minded persons.
– And what about specific indicators?
– I think we have grown tenfold. We want to study and be the first company that mass produces individual furniture.
– Customization of kitchen and furniture in general is a very popular trend in the European furniture industry. Many companies tries to make their furniture handicraft. With the soul of the master, so to say.
– Here we are not lagging behind. Today we complete furniture by trays made of solid birch, made for the customer. We make paintings on the facades and in general, we try to add a bit of individuality in all projects.
– You said that MebelHoll wasn’t breaking things up. What does it mean? What is your customer? Describe in a few words.
– Our employee is a person who likes to work. This is the first. The second is that all our guys are ready for changes and able to improve themselves. The third is creativity and inspiration. We have ensured that designers today can deviate from the trivial projects. And no one will disturb them.
– I am still going to talk with your designers about it)))
– And what MebelHoll is afraid of? What fears does the company have?
– In general, we like challenges. We are learning from competitors. It stirs up and makes me kindly angry. When we went to the Grad shopping center and offered an open space, a flurry of criticism and negative struck us.
They say, but who are you to manage. We ask then why nobody has offered this in all that time. Nothing to say. I have thought, and who else should come to the Grad of major players? We invited the Montanja company and Everest to grow with. Well were not really complete, processes are not well define, there are plans to create teams of sales managers and collections. But we recognize this and are working on revisions. And learn from competitors.
– I know that you were the first to start training employees concretely for your company. And you are looking for the staff among graduates. Why have you decided to go in such a difficult way?
– We are faced with a shortage of staff, when company began to expand. Therefore, it was decided not to look for designers from other furniture companies, but to create their own. At that time, we knew that such companies as Shef Kuhni and Master Mebel already had been conducting similar training. We took the idea and upgraded it.
We have created a three-step training course for designers. First step: we teach the product. We visit suppliers, explore the production and installation. We tell about the basic principles of design.
After that designers should pass the test. Who has passed, goes to the next step – working with administrative programs, such as 1:C, Amo CRM and others. And then, the last step is sales. There are 12 video lessons and 3 extra session with a coach + final exams. This way we get a results-oriented specialist.
– Alexey, why does customer choose your company? There are a lot of others. Why do people trust you?
– I always tell all my employees that meet the background and follow on the details.
Details mean a lot. We focus on them. We are distinguished from the rest, first of all, by high visual culture and online presence. We even think over how our customer receives the set of documents and how it will be looks like. Booklets, the whole identity is carefully designed. In no time it forms an opinion about the company. I think people take note of these details and stay with us.
– What do you think about the furniture market in Belarus?
– This is a turning point or even a transitional moment from the old to the new. We all are sorely lack of engineers. Lots of ideas. But there is no one to implement. There are furniture makers who have learned to play by the rules of the 90s and 2000s, but unfortunately or fortunately everything has changed. The one will survive who is able to change.
– May MebelHoll be present in the EU market nowadays?
– Not in the short term. Perhaps vivid interest will arise, when we create collections. There is a plan to entry into external markets with our new product “Zym”.
– And is there a company that can show Belarusian furniture to Europeans?
– I think this is “Yavid” company. They are really great, and everybody should everyone measure up to them.
– I want to know your opinion on such news in the furniture market: news number 1 from America, retail stores combine with a cafe to increase sales, a so called retail-host restaurant. So a person can eat before or after making a purchase. And news number 2 – Ikea introduced the concept of “Space on Wheels.” In fact, a person through an application can call for a pharmacy in any part of the city, or a cafe, or an office. What do you think about it?
– The first news is not an innovation, but very interesting. We are working on aromamarketing and audio marketing in our showrooms. Also, one of our kitchens is ready for a cook-off with our partners. But in no way we can agree on technical issues with the administration of the shopping center. As for the second news, I think that until Belarus begins to prepare qualified engineers, we will not be able to implement such ideas useful to humans.
– In general, we need engineers.
– … laughs. Yes, it’s just a trouble without them.
– Wish two things to those who seeks to be like MebelHoll.
– First – believe in people. Second – don’t be scared.
Thank you once again, wishing your company a financial success and inspiration.
I promised to talk with the designer of MebelHoll. See the conversation.
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