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Honesty & credit boost wood flooring sector
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2008-06-24 10:48

By Zhang Xue

Recently, such six leading enterprises of Zhejiang's wood flooring industry as Sunyard, Treesun, Biyork, Tiange, Fudeli, and Yongji jointly set up the "Credit Association of Zhejiang Flooring Industry", and took lead in carrying out credit index evaluation. It is reported that this evaluation system is consisted of eight general subjects such as product quality & service system, societal responsibility & company management, ecology harmony & company environment, and more than 50 topics. Enterprises can conduct self-evaluation with the help of the system to find out their own defects so as to promote favorable development in future. Zhang Senlin, President of China National Forest Product Industry Association (CNFPIA), expressed that "The wood flooring industry shall build their business on honesty and seek prosperity through credit, so as to lead the great advancement and development of the industry."

The market prospect is promising

The wood flooring industry is a composing part of China's forest product industry. It has been growing at an average rate of 20 percent to 30 percent annually in the past few years. Statistics show that in 2007, the total production and sales volume of the wood industry in China was 361 million square meters, creating a production value of RMB 50 billion Yuan, with one third of the volume exported. Experts in the industry attribute the continuous growth to the increasing demand. "With the improvement of people's life and the accelerated urbanization, demands for wood flooring in markets both at home and abroad are increasing"

Among all the different kinds of flooring, the sale of engineered wood floorings reached 75 million square meters last year. It's introduced that engineered wood floorings use nature wood of 2-4mm thick for only the top veneer while the material of other layers come from fast-growing plantation timber, which has satisfied the industry policies of resource reserving. Moreover, engineered wood floorings have the good properties of both wood floorings and engineered floorings while overcoming their defects. They are visually enjoyable, natural, resilient, stable and not easily warped by dry or wet weather, and more suitable to be used in such buildings that adopt terrestrial heat worming. In recent years, the growth rate of the engineered wood floorings market has been staying around 30 percent to 40 percent. Companies such as Nature and Fudeli are gearing up to exploit the engineered wood floorings market.

Focusing on quality and innovation

"The wood flooring industry in our country started in 1995 and, after more than 10 years, has developed fairly. However, the average profit in the industry is still low. Price competition and concept competition should be discarded before the industry can achieve better development, and more effort should be put in the improvement of the products" said Zhang Senlin earnestly. He believes products quality should be the top priority for a company. "Floorings that use good materials and are produced in stringent compliance with concerning national standards, and that are environmentally friendly, safe, good-quality, and of high performance-price ratio will certainly win the favor of consumers.

Wu Gaohan, Vice Secretary-general of China Consumers' Association (CCA), said that companies should be honest in production to make sure the duration of the floorings, which in itself is a way of resource reserving. He reminded the consumers not to go after only the low-price products, but to choose products that are high in performance-price ratio.

Besides production quality control, experts said, great effort should be made in technology innovation to increase the added value of the products. Sunyard spent two years in overcoming the technical difficulty of the scratch-resistance of ordinary floorings. They turned out the scrape-resistant T-crystal surface flooring that would not leave traces when scratched by hard objects. Shanghai Lingge Co. applies the ancient technology of mortise and tenon connection into the flooring production, which are without nails, glue and keels. It is told that most of the large-scale flooring companies in the country have their own R & D centers, seeking profitability from products innovation.

Upgrading through establishing famous brands

Statistics show that there are currently more than 3,000 wood flooring companies in China. In recent years, organizations such as CNFPIA, after comprehensively investigating the flooring industry, focus their support in about 100 companies that are of relatively large scale to help promote their brands. "The whole industry can only be upgraded through the cultivating of famous brands, establishments of large companies and their development and expansion.   

The Credit Index Evaluation carried out among the Zhejiang enterprises is part of the activity of 2008 CNFPIA Credit Year that is jointly held by the CNFPIA and Association of China Industrial Newspapers (ACIN). The evaluation will be promoted nationwide in future. At the beginning of this year, the two associations co-started a "help the forestry and support the agriculture" program. Flooring enterprises such as Sunyard and Dare Technology Group took part in the program and joined the relief effort for forestry and agriculture that were hit by rain, snow, and frost. "We hope to built up a credit system for the enterprises and enhance their cooperate citizenships through the guidance and cultivating of a series of programs, so as to further standardize enterprises' conducts and elevate their brands value", said Hu Yingnuan, Vice Secretary-general of ACIN.

"The wood flooring industry can have a great development space only through supporting the leading enterprises and strengthening the well-known brands", said Zhang Senlin frankly when talking about the future of the industry. He said enterprises should speed up the integration of resources, brands should be centralized, and large-scale enterprises should enhance their strength and increase their market share. Only through the development of the leading enterprises can the industry be driven to a higher level. 
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