A grain of sand from the times, falling on ordinary people, is like a mountain. Especially when structural imbalances or even fractures occur, the fate of individuals will be more easily overturned by systemic shocks. This sentence also applies to resilient vinyl flooring enterprises.
The PVC flooring industry has achieved rapid development in the past thirty years. The number of factories has increased from dozens to thousands, and the sales scale has increased from billions of yuan to tens of billions of yuan. At one time, with high profit margins, it has become a “hot spot” in the building materials industry, attracting many surrounding industries and upstream and downstream customers to join the manufacturing army of vinyl sheet flooring.
The wave of epidemic that began in mid to late March this year has brought unprecedented impact to the main production area of elastic flooring, the Yangtze River Delta. Many factories in Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Shanghai have shut down, suspended operations, production, and supply, and even some old factories have experienced reduced orders, shutdowns, and holidays. Furthermore, micro entities quickly experienced the severe pain brought by macro fractures. The decline in total demand in the European and American markets, high sensitivity to product prices, and the downturn in the domestic real estate industry will affect the future development of the resilient flooring industry.
I believe that the “golden age” of resilient flooring may be passing. It will be difficult to adapt to the New Normal characterized by insufficient aggregate demand if we continue to follow the practice of “investment, scale up, and work fast” in the era of insufficient aggregate supply. To safely navigate through the current pain period, in my opinion, it is particularly necessary to abandon the mentality of quick success and cleverness, use “innovation” as the keyword, return to common sense, practice internal skills, and truly create value for customers, ultimately forming a true core competitiveness, which is sustainable cost advantage and differentiated products. In short, safety comes from innovation.
Firstly, product innovation is the core, and we should actively promote the application of new materials and technologies. Through cross-border integrated innovation, we can make good products that can truly meet specific application scenarios, rather than just being used as “gimmicks” or “gusts of wind” for marketing;
Secondly, equipment innovation should adapt to the situation, and flooring factories and equipment suppliers should form a joint force to learn from the German reinforced flooring industry, firmly promote the digital transformation and upgrading of factories, deeply integrate industrial productivity and information productivity, step out of the greenhouse of “labor arbitrage”, and create a new situation of “productivity dividend”;
Finally, it is necessary to solidly promote innovation in basic management work, effectively improve the effectiveness of internal division of labor and collaboration within the organization, enhance the integration ability of key elements and the ability to obtain business opportunities.
For resilient vinyl flooring factories, at least two things are very certain amidst numerous uncertainties. Firstly, the customer’s demand for flooring materials and cost-effective products is very certain. Wherever customer needs are, opportunities are where we should be. The second is the large-scale and endogenous characteristics of the domestic market, which give us huge room for maneuver.
This is an era of deep structural adjustment that requires and will trigger mutations, as well as an era where innovation is urgently needed and will be highly rewarded. Those who believe in and are good at innovation have the opportunity to solidify the foundation of development in the great changes of the times, transform the super uncertainty of the times into a surging driving force for their own growth, thereby breaking through the tight encirclement and creating new careers and situations.