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A business consultancy, based in London, England, John Sacks' JSA Consultancy Services provides expert, in-depth, information advice and guidance as to how to exploit successfully the office furniture and interiors markets in Europe, North America, Australasia and Japan.

Office Furniture Makers in Taiwan Fight to Survive Adversity

Thursday 9 October 2008

Compelled by the realities in the wake of globalization and gradual liberalization of the mainland Chinese economy, office furniture makers in Taiwan, like many other manufacturing sectors, have also been moving production offshore to take advantage of lower labor cost to upgrade competitiveness, hence leading to downsizing of the industrial scale in recent years. The relatively small number of furniture makers who have chosen to remain in Taiwan, to keep at bay emerging rivals in Southeast Asia and China where labor costs are a fraction of those in Taiwan, generally resort to division of labor to cut manufacturing cost, as well as turning out innovative, high-end, eco-friendly products that are not only upscale, but also meet global demands that are increasingly green-oriented, with such items able to command higher markups as well.

Although emerging players from Southeast Asia and China offer cost advantages, but makers in Taiwan have counterpunches that such fledgling rivals have yet to master: seasoned downstream suppliers, relatively skilled marketing and business sense, and design capabilities that are keenly sensitive to the latest trends. But even backed by such desirable skills, furniture makers in Taiwan still have to grapple with formidable challenges, including soaring raw material prices, red tape to apply for domestic standards, as well as difficulty to recruit young professionals, who tend to be traditional-industry-averse-regarding furniture making as passe.

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