Mr Bui Nhu Viet, General Director of Long Viet
With a focus on veneer, melamine, MDF, particle boards and components, Long Viet has chosen to specialise in the basic materials of the furniture industry. And though they do not export their products to other countries, according to Mr Bui Nhu Viet, general director of Long Viet, many other furniture companies in Vietnam make their furniture with components from the company.
Long Viet makes the components other businesses need, with many buying the necessary parts in order to manufacture and install their own products.
Behind the scenes
“Long Viet provides veneer, MDF, particle boards, melamine and laminates on top of boards and components,” Mr Viet explained. “Many companies in Vietnam make their furniture with components from Long Viet, and after that, those finished products are exported to many countries in the world, such as the United States, Europe, and Japan.”
Long Viet imports acacia and other species of wood both domestically and internationally, counting America, Europe and New Zealand among the countries in which he brings in logs to produce veneer.
As Vietnam’s wood industry continues growing at a rapid pace despite the challenges, buoyed by change spurred on by new tax policies in China that has translated into a transition of orders, Mr Viet’s conviction to expand comes at no better time.
“It is, in fact, better for the industry in Vietnam. From 2017 to the present day, orders from customers have increased by 25 per cent, and so have the speed of orders,” he stated. “I do have plans to expand the factory as the one in Binh Duong is at full capacity and demand is still growing for basic materials, but the market is also very competitive, so we have to improve and maintain the quality of the products as well.”
So much, in fact, that the current production lines in Long Viet are at full capacity and the company is looking to open a second factory.
“There are also plans to open a second factory as this one is full, and scale production,” said Mr Viet. “With the trend of increasing and speedier orders that are coming in, especially in the furniture industry, BIFA Association has plans with the support of the Binh Duong government to build an industry park, and Long Viet is planning to invest in a new factory in the park.”
Long Viet produces laminate on top of melamine, MDF and components
But at the same time, Long Viet faces numerous challenges – rising labour costs and a shortage of material chief among them.
“I have made a resolution to reduce the usage of solid wood from the forest for panels,” Mr Viet elaborated. “And the cost of labour has been going up around 20 per cent a year.”
However, as costs keep on rising and technology continues to advance, Mr Viet is looking to introduce modern equipment and automatic machinery in order to reduce the cost of production while bringing up the quality of his products.
“To address the cost of labour, the company is looking to improve the management, increase productivity and the quality of the product while decreasing material consumption, cost of the product, as well as the labour cost,” Mr Viet continued.
“I am looking at investing in modern equipment as well as automatic machinery to cut the cost of production, and we have set aside more than US$1 million a year to invest in machinery and equipment. I will attend BIFA Wood Vietnam in order to look for the best machinery I need for production,” Mr Viet said. “And I believe that this show will get bigger and better.”
One of the challenges Long Viet faces is the rising cost of labour
Even as Vietnam continues to evolve, slowly forming supply chains in industry and allow companies to specialise – such as Long Viet in panel boards and components – businesses are looking to the future.
“We will continue to advance while following our motto, ‘Onward and improving, day by day,’” Mr Viet stated. “We will improve the quality of the products, production line, train the workers, everything. I will continue to invest in automation, machinery and technology, and I hope that in the coming five years, Long Viet will be up to three times bigger than it is now.”
Mr Viet has a huge opportunity to expand now that orders are steadily moving to Vietnam.
“I will keep the growth up,” Mr Viet continued. “By investing in land, factories, and machinery. I prepare the management staff for the growth by sending them for training in production management and how to keep it sustainable.”
Mr Viet plans to keep the growth of Long Viet up by investing in machinery, land and factories
BIFA Wood Vietnam plays a substantial part in Binh Duong and Long Viet’s future growth, bringing the machinery to the province rather than having representatives of the numerous factories travel to far off places in order to find suitable machinery, especially as an estimated 50 per cent of furniture turnover is found in Binh Duong alone.
“It is certainly closer than Germany, and I can save on the travelling cost,” Mr Viet enthused. “It is comfortably close, and definitely affordable for me and many other departments in my company to go down and have a look as well.”