VIFAH To Offer Direct Vietnamese Sourcing - At High Point Show
Furniture World Magazine
VIFAH, a company that is run by all native Vietnamese throughout the entire supply chain, announced its newly opened U.S. showroom in Morrisville, North Carolina. The company will aso be available during the High Point at #PS2-223 (Plaza Suites).
This leads the way for the company to create a direct channel between U.S retailers and Vietnamese furniture companies.
“Although furniture made in Vietnam is increasingly gaining its reputation in the U.S., most, if not all, of them have been going through a very long channel with a lot of middlemen involved and with a lot of markups added,” explain Duy Huynh, president of VIFAH. “In order to provide U.S. retailers with the best possible price and product quality, we have decided to eliminate all those hurdles by establishing an office in the U.S. We are the very first furniture company from Vietnam, truly run by all native Vietnamese, that has opened a showroom in the U.S.”
Before making such a bold move, VIFAH spent the last two years studying the U.S. furniture market has earned itself an advantage over other companies. The two years of the study influenced the organization and strategy of the company. “While a lot of Vietnamese furniture companies are doing very well today; 90% of their customers are from Europe and Asia,” says Huynh. “But they still have not yet understood the U.S. market, which is so different from other markets. Thus, there are problems in developing products, quoting prices, and marketing products to U.S. buyers.”
In terms of organization, the VIFAH design and sample team is the one that must be singled out. Consisting of professional artists and senior technical experts, the team routinely carries out a complete process of collecting requirements, creating detailed technical drawings – mainly in Autodesk AutoCAD, rendering product images with materials and hardware, generating 3D product simulations – mainly in Autodesk 3ds Max, and making product samples. All of these steps are conducted prior to the actual production.
“Computing technology nowadays is just fabulous,” says Huynh Quang Dao, vice president and chief production officer of VIFAH. “It really improves our productivity and communication with our U.S. customers, who are 10,000 miles away from our manufacturing facilities. Not only do the technical drawings give us the ability to give a precise price quote and creating production plan, but the rendered product images and 3d product simulations also give the customers a much better idea how the products look like and how they work.”
In terms of strategies, VIFAH has chosen to focus on both the high-end furniture and the promotional to medium-end furniture.
“Producing fine furniture is always one of our mandates,” says Tran Thi Minh Nhon, project manager of VIFAH. “Premium grade mature teak is always our primary timber for the high-end outdoor furniture, and cherry is our primary timber for the high-end indoor furniture. And of course the hardware fittings are marine-quality brass and stainless steel manufactured by our own factory.”
In addition to high-end furniture, VIFAH promotional to medium-end furniture is built with the same styles and designs, yet from more affordable materials. For outdoor furniture, variations of plantation-grown teak such as white teak and xana teak, and FSC-certified timbers such as eucalyptus, shorea, and yellow balau are the strategic timbers to this market. They are as durable and eco-friendly as teak, yet cost less than one-third of those for teak.
For indoor furniture, acacia, pine, mango, mindy, and some North American timbers are the key timbers. “Mixed-media furniture is our key message for 2006 – wood with all-weather wicker, wood with wrought iron, wood with aluminum, wood with stainless steel, wood with canvas, and many other combinations that you can name,” says Duy Huynh. “And so is our garden collection including round planters, square planters, plant stands, trellis, garden gate, and wood obelisk.” While outdoor furniture remains as the key product line, indoor furniture is an important part of the company’s business. “
During High Point Market in October, we will introduce a refreshed collection of bedroom, dining, and living room made from various timbers including acacia, pine, cherry, rubber wood, and xana teak. Particularly, our antique collection is the main theme for this show. We are also in the process of talking with a number of U.S. lumber suppliers in order to buy U.S. lumbers to make furniture from U.S. lumbers such as cherry, oak, ash, and maple.”
For the remaining of 2005, VIFAH will introduce its key collections at the Chicago Casual Market September #7-7099, High Point Market October #PS2-223, and Backyard Living Expo November #507B. In 2006, VIFAH will also exhibit at the Las Vegas World Market and the Las Vegas National Hardware Show.
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