Truong Thanh Furniture Corp: Growth in Crisis

4:52:01 PM | 10/7/2009

Activeness, creativeness, continued improvement in administration and production have brought in contracts for Truong Thanh Furniture Corporation until the end of April 2010 even when the economic crisis remains a main threat. Vietnam Business Forum reporter Anh Dao had an exclusive interview with Mr. Vo Truong Thanh, General Director of Truong Thanh Furniture Corp, on secrets to grow in the time of crisis.
Could you briefly introduce Truong Thanh Furniture Corp’s achievements in the time of crisis? How are these achievements meaningful to the development roadmap of the corporation?
Although the global economic crisis caused dreadful subsequence, TTF still stood firmly and went out of the crisis. We have successfully applied business strategies in the crisis time. With our endless efforts to push back difficulties, the corporation’s sales in the first six months of 2009 climbed 30 % from the same period of 2008. Our current contracts will ensure enough work for us until the end of April 2010.
Exiting the crisis, TTF can focus on addressing its weaknesses and the most important priority is the material source. With its projects implemented since 2007, TTF can feed nearly 50 % of its material demand. Notably, when forests TTF purchased from private foresters start to be logged, expected in nearly 2010, the corporation can supply its materials to other companies.
Apart from material matter, the group currently has to import accessories from foreign countries. Being fully aware of losses of import reliance TTF decided to develop its own accessory sources. At present, the corporation is preparing to set up accessory production facilities such as PB/HPB chopped wood processing plants and plywood factories. When these facilities start operations, TTF and other companies will reduce the reliance on foreign sources.
At present, the technology of Truong Thanh Furniture is on a par with the level of developing countries and its managerial and technical workforces have high professional levels. How have you executed your grey matter reform?
Although TTF now has many employees holding master and doctor degrees, training courses are organised biweekly or monthly. These courses are lectured by CEO Vo Truong Thanh, deputy general directors, managers and broadly experienced staffs. Syllabi are prepared carefully and scientifically and are always based on practical life. Workers are trained at TTF’s worker training school which was set up two years ago with the assistance from social organisations, the German Government, and the Vietnamese Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs. Trainees are given free tuitions and living expenses. TTF, besides, commits to recruit 30 % of trainees.
Especially, TTF always attaches much importance to training designers. With training programmes compiled from domestic and international materials, and practical lessons collected all around the world, the school has provided opportunities for trainees to approach unique designs and experiences from international experts. Currently, 25 designers of the corporation designed 80 % of exported products. This is an exploit of the group because most Vietnamese woodwork firms mainly use designs given by customers.

Truong Thanh Furniture has been known as a very successful exported woodwork producer and processor as it won the absolute trust of customers in Vietnam and in the world. Would you mind revealing which factors lead to the success of Truong Thanh Furniture Corp?
I myself think an enterprise will be only perfect and successful if it builds its own healthy corporate culture. Knowing the importance of corporate culture, TTF has proactively introduced a number of measures to create its own organisational culture. This policy has been applied since 2001, and after eight years of active implementation, it has become a string to link nearly 6,500 employees of Truong Thanh Furniture. All TTF members share the same objective of building the company into a powerful entity.
They feel proud of making contributions to the general development of the company. They love all traditional songs of the company and enthusiastically sing at any meetings or events. This proves that our company has a very strong cultural foundation. This is an invisibly huge force for us to make successes that all employees feel proud and devoted.
As the Chairman of the Binh Duong Wood Association, could you share your efforts to create a fair business environment for all companies?
At present, I regularly holds talks with association member companies to exchange experience and discuss cooperation to sharpen our competitive edges. Besides, seminars and field trips to factories of member companies are regularly organised. We also join hands with each other when we attend trade fairs in other countries. We also gather opinions to send to the Government when it prepares policies or regulations to restrain the industry development. These activities help create a fair business environment for companies of the same industry and gather joint forces to secure more sustainable development.

With efforts of individual members as well as the entire association, I believe that the association will be further developed to contribute more to the development of the Vietnamese wood industry in particular and of Vietnam in general.