Researching the competitiveness of wooden furniture products of production units in Huu Bang craft village, Hanoi

Trong điều kiện hội nhập kinh tế quốc tế trên thị trường nước ta ngày càng có nhiều các doanh nghiệp và sản phẩm đồ gỗ nột thất của các nhà sản xuất nước ngoài tham gia cạnh tranh. Bởi vậy, yêu cầu nghiên cứu về sản phẩm đồ gỗ nội thất và từng bước đầu tư, cải tiến nâng cao năng lực cạnh tranh của các sản phẩm đồ gỗ nội thất càng trở nên cấp thiết Bài báo này nghiên cứu thực trạng năng lực cạnh tranh sản phẩm đồ gỗ nội thất của các cơ sở sản xuất thuộc làng nghề Hữu Bằng, Hà Nội thời gian qua, đề xuất những giải pháp và kiến nghị nhằm góp phần nâng cao năng lực cạnh tranh sản phẩm đồ gỗ nội thất của các cơ sở sản xuất thuộc làng nghề Hữu Bằng, Hà Nội trong bối cảnh hiện nay.

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Vu Thanh Tu ANH - Fulbright University in Vietnam, USA Le Xuan BA - Centural Institude for Economic Managerment, Vietnam Hervé B. BOISMERY - University of La Reuinion, France H. Eric BOUTIN - Toulon Var University, France Nguyen Thi DOAN - Vietnam Learning Promotion Association, Vietnam Haasis HANS - Dietrich - Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (isl) Bremen - Germany Le Quoc HOI - National Economic University, Vietnam Nguyen Thi Bich LOAN - Thuong mai University, Vietnam Nguyen Hoang LONG - Thuong mai University, Vietnam Nguyen MAI - Vietnam Economist Association, Vietnam Duong Thi Binh MINH - University of Economics HoChiMinh City, Vietnam Hee Cheon MOON - Korean Trade Research Association, South Korea Bui Xuan NHAN - Thuong mai University, Vietnam Luong Xuan QUY - Vietnam Economicst Association, Vietnam Nguyen Van Song - Vietnam National University of Agriculture Nguyen TAM - California State University, USA Truong Ba THANH - University of Danang, Vietnam Dinh Van THANH - Institude for Trade Research, Vietnam Do Minh THANH - Thuong mai University, Vietnam Le Dinh THANG - University of Québec à Trois Riviéres, Canada Tran Dinh THIEN - Vietnam Institute of Economics, Vietnam Nguyen Quang THUAN - Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, Vietnam Le Nhu TUYEN - Grenoble École de Managment, France Washio TOMOHARU - Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan Zhang YUJIE - Tsinghua University, China THE Members Editor in chief NGUYEN BACH KHOA Deputy Editor in Chief SECTRETARY OF EDITORIAL OFFICE PHAM MINH DAT Editorial SCIENTIFIC COUNCIL Dinh Van SON - Thuong mai University, Vietnam - President Pham Vu LUAN - Thuong mai University, Vietnam - Vice President Nguyen Bach KHOA - Thuong mai University, Vietnam - Deputy President 1. Literature review According to Michael Porter, competition is to gain market share, its nature is to seek profit, higher profit than the average level that the business is making. Competition may result in higher average profit ratio in the industry, which may lead to lower prices [1]. From this perception, the following conclusions can be made: (1) Competition involves the rivalry among many participants; (2) competition aims at a specific object which all participants wish to gain: a market, a product, a project, etc. The ultimate goal of competition is maximizing profit; (3) Competition takes place in a specific environment with binding reg- ulations that all participants need to follow: market, legal conditions, etc.; (4) Participants in the competi- tion may use a variety of measures and tools such as product differences, product prices, sales services, etc. Competitiveness of a product/service involves all nature, components and potential based on which the product/service can maintain and develop its position in the competitive market over the long run. Product competitiveness is measured via the share that the product/service gains in the market. According to Prof.Dr. Nguy?n Bách Khoa, competitiveness of a product/service establishes its competitive advantages based on its quality, differences, technological/intellec- tual elements. [3] From the above-mentioned concepts, it can be seen that components to the competitiveness of wooden fur- niture include: - Functional quality of products (product func- tions): the usefulness and functions that products can offer to satisfy a specific demand of customers in either production or individual consumption. - Technical quality of products: to wooden furni- ture, technical quality is composed by elements such physical structure, physical and chemical features, sophistication of carved patterns on products, etc., besides material with features on quality and value is also an important component to product quality. - Safety, convenience and aesthetics when installed: those are criteria that customers mostly care about. As to wooden furniture in particular, as these products are frequently used in their daily life in the office or at home and users often have direct touch to products, product safety is of great concern to con- sumers. The aesthetic value and convenience in instal- lation are also important features since wooden furni- 21 journal of Trade Science 4:2 (2016) 21 - 29 JOURNAL OF TRADE SCIENCE ’S JTS Nguyen Duc Nhuan Thuongmai University Email: ndnhuanvcu@yahoo.com.vn Keywords: wooden furniture, competitiveness, Huu Bang craft village In the context of international integration, there have been more and more foreign producers of wooden fur-niture participating in our market, thereby increasing the competition. It is therefore essential to research the products, invest in and modernize the production so as to raise their competitiveness. This article researches the competitiveness of wooden furniture products made by production units in Huu Bang craft village, Hanoi, then proposes some solutions and suggestions to raise their competitiveness amid the current context. Received: 9th May 2016 Revised: 25th May 2016 ture is also used to decorate the living space of users. Therefore, besides practical functions, the appropriate- ness in looks, designs, structures, sizes, colors are deci- sive factors to the choice of consumers. - Prices based on product value: the way of pricing products based on their value, this pricing method helps position products better in the market. As to wooden furniture, product prices depend on many fac- tors, including: value of materials used for production, sophistication of production, especially the precious- ness of materials is an important factor determining product value. - Customer service quality: customer services are activities to facilitate product trading and increase value received by customers, thereby increasing value supplied to them. They include services before, during and after sales, including consultation services, designs, delivery, installation and guarantee, etc. 2. Research model of wooden furniture product competitiveness From the above-mentioned literature review, a research model on wooden furniture product competi- tiveness can be built up as follows: From the above model, some conclusions can be drawn on the importance of each factor / component of product competitiveness as follows: - When buying any product, its functional quality is of great concern to consumers. When choosing wood- en furniture, customers tend to base their demand on the functions which their current wooden furniture products are in lack of, then they choose the new prod- ucts with appropriate functions to make up for these insufficient demands. Therefore, this parameter is very important as it directly affects the buying behavior of customers, its significance coefficient is 0.25. - Technical quality: to wooden furniture products, besides functions, technical quality is a factor which consumers often care about when choosing a particular product. Therefore, this parameter has great effects on buying decisions of consumers and its significance coefficient is 0.25. - Utility and aesthetic quality: wooden furniture is products frequently used by individuals or organ- izations, users have direct contacts with the products everyday. Therefore, product safety, convenience and aesthetic value after installation are of great importance to consumers and its significance coeffi- cient is 0.1. - Price positioning quality / product quality and value: wooden furniture products are those to meet basic demand and are used in the daily life of cus- tomers, but at the same time they are used for decorat- ing the working and living space of cus- tomers. When buy- ing wooden furni- ture products, espe- cially hand-made ones made in small quantity and from precious materials, consumers have to spend a consider- able amount of money as their prices are often high and extremely high. Depending on their consumption pur- poses, customers may have different needs and choose products at dif- ferent price levels. Therefore, product prices are one of factors determining consumers' buying decisions, so the price parameter has significance coefficient of 0.2. - Perceived quality of the wooden craft village brand is also an important factor for customers to 22 Journal of Trade Science JOURNAL OF TRADE SCIENCE ’S JTS Figure 1: Research model on wooden furniture product competitiveness of a craft village Functional quality Technical quality Utility and aesthetic quality Price positioning quality / product quality Perception quality of craft village Customer service quality K6=0.10 K5=0.10 K4=0.20 K3=0.10 K1=0.25 K2=0.25 Capacity of wooden furniture product competitiveness of a craft village choose products, but in these villages, production units and enterprises do not pay adequate attention to and invest heavily in building up brands for enterprises and the entire villages, product designs are somewhat sim- ilar between different production units, customers- based brand value remains low, so this parameter has its significance coefficient of 0.1. - Customer service quality: wooden furniture prod- ucts are often big and cumbrous, difficult to be trans- ported and installed. Therefore, customer services are a factor affecting customers' buying decision and this parameter has its significance coefficient of 0.1. 3. Research methods To evaluate the competitiveness of wooden furni- ture products of a craft village, a combination of inter- nal and external evaluation of competitiveness fac- tors/components was used. Internal evaluation was implemented on production unit owners, marketers, sales representatives in the location of craft villages, representatives of Economic Department under Thach That and Huu Bang People's Committee; objects of external evaluation are customers - consumers of prod- ucts, distributors, retailers of wooden furniture prod- ucts of Huu Bang craft village in the market. Sample scale was identified by the number of questions in the questionnaire (18) multiplied by 5 (the lower number of recipient/question (Hair et al - 2001)), making a total of 90. 120 questionnaires were delivered, of which internal evaluation accounted for 40 question- naires (38 were collected back), external 80 question- naires (67 were collected back). A total of 95 question- naires were inserted for analysis. The method of sam- pling was convenience random. Survey period was from October 2015 to January 2016. Statistics descrip- tive method via SPSS-16.0 was employed to process research data. 4. Situation and problems facing competitive- ness of wooden furniture products of production units in Huu Bang craft village Huu Bang is located in the northeast of Thach That district, Hanoi, 3 kilometres away from Lien Quan town, bordering Phung Xa to the east, Thach Xa and Binh Phu to the west, Di Nau to the north and Binh Phu to the South. It is nearly 30 kilometres from Hanoi cen- tre, linked by the important transport route of Lang - Hoa Lac. The commune's total area is 178.4 hecta, including 30 hecta for residential area. The commune has the biggest population in Thach That district with over 18,000 people. At present, Huu Bang is a special- ized craft village of wooden furniture products. The markets for wooden furniture products made by production units in Huu Bang have increased sharply in recent years with regular customers being stores and enterprises; most customers are in northern provinces such as Hanoi, Hai Phong, Thai Nguyen, Lao Cai, Vinh Phuc, Phu Tho, Nam Dinh, Thai Binh, etc. and central provinces of Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Da Nang, Hue, Khanh Hoa, etc. who account for a considerable proportion in product consumption. Besides these customers, production units in Huu Bang commune are now trying to offer their products to southern provices. Some units with strong capital sources have invested in moderning facilities and tech- nology to produce high-quality goods and produce under contract for local and international wood furni- ture producers. For research purposes, the author designed a ques- tionnaire and conducted a survey in the communes of Huu Bang, Chang Son, Thach Xa located in Hanoi. Data collected from these communes' people's com- mittes database, interviewing production unit owners, customers and craftmen to evaluate the production activities of these craft villages were analyzed via SPSS and the results are as follows (Table 1): 4.1. Functional quality of products The consumption value of wooden furniture prod- ucts is to meet the living and decorating demand in offices and houses, they are products frequently used in living and working environment. The survey results indicate that functional quality of wooden furniture products of enterprises in these craft villages is rated above average (from 2.56 to 3.06), of which the quali- ty of products in Huu Bang is rated higher at 3.06/5 points. 4.2. Technical quality Wooden furniture products consist of different kinds, each is designed specifically to meet different consumption needs, made from different material to meet different demand of customers. Ancient-styled and fine-art wooden furniture products are often made by skilled craftmen from precious, high-valued materi- als, Chang Son craft village has better advantages in these kinds of products. 23 journal of Trade Science JOURNAL OF TRADE SCIENCE ’S JTS In comparison, Huu Bang has better advantages in popular products such as beds, wardrobes, doors, tables and chairs as production units in this village pos- sess more industrial equipment and supply sources of material while Thach Xa specializes in producing under contracts for enterprises and production units in Huu Bang village. The survey results indicate that in terms of technical quality and production material, Huu Bang and Chang Son are rated equally with 2.89 and 2.91 respectively. 4.3. Utility and aesthetic quality Level of convenience: At present in Huu Bang, to buy wooden furniture products, customers can choose and place orders. With orders from households and individuals, production units often deliver products within 7 - 17 days. With bigger orders, production units in the craft villages often cooperate with each other to meet the orders. Besides, customers can also come to Huu Bang village to choose and buy ready-made products, then transport them home or have the sellers deliver and install prod- ucts at their home. Level of safety: wooden furniture products are to meet the necessity demand of customers, they are used to protect the safety of their homes or offices and con- tribute to protecting their health, so product safety becomes top priority to customers and producers from choosing material to production process. In Huu Bang craft village, products are made from natural material, mostly natural and industrial wood which does not harm people's health and environment, all products meet requirements on durability and firmness to meet safety criteria for construction works and houses. Aesthetics: Wooden furniture products made by production units in Huu Bang are produced on the basis of already-made designs to meet the common demand of users and fit in their living space. Customers can look on the already-made designs and order production units to produce under the selected designs, or they can also choose from already-made products on display in the village. At present, the designs in these production units are not various so customers do not have a lot of choices to meet their diverse and changing demands and consumption trends. Generally speaking, designs and shapes of wooden furniture products in Huu Bang craft village are rated at medium level and can fit the consumption needs of different groups of consumers. 24 Journal of Trade Science JOURNAL OF TRADE SCIENCE ’S JTS Table 1: Parameters to evaluate competitiveness of wooden furniture products of some craft villages in Thach That district, Hanoi Source: Survey data Sig. co. Production units in Chang Son Production units in Huu Bang Production units in Thach Xa Rank Total scores Rank Total scores Rank Total scores Functional quality 0.25 2.83 0.71 3.06 0.77 2.56 0.64 Technical quality 0.25 2.91 0.73 2.89 0.72 2.52 0.63 Utility and aesthetic quality 0.10 2.52 0.25 3.48 0.35 2.75 0.28 Price positioning quality / product quality and value 0.20 2.75 0.55 3.14 0.63 2.98 0.60 Perceived quality of craft village brand 0.10 2.47 0.25 2.55 0.25 2.34 0.23 Customer service quality 0,10 2.59 0.26 3.38 0.34 2.47 0.25 Total 1.0 2.75 3.06 2.64 Villages Criteria 4.4. Price positioning quality / product quality and value Prices of popular wooden furniture products in Huu Bang are at medium levels, for example, a kitchen cab- inet costs VND 4 - 4.5 million/m2, door from VND 1.6 million to 3 million/m2, wardrobes from VND 4 mil- lion to 5 million/m2. Fine-art wooden products are higher-priced, depending largely on production materi- als. In general, products in Huu Bang have similar price levels to other products of the same kind in the market, but their prices may change when customers order specific materials or accessories to be used for their products. Generally, dealers of wooden furniture products in southern, northern and central provinces of Vietnam estimate that price levels of products made in Huu Bang craft village are often lower than products of the same kind in the market, therefore business units nationwide often choose designs and order products from Huu Bang craft village, then transport products to other provinces across the country. In the last 4 months of the year, craftmen in production units in Huu Bang often have to work 3 shifts a day to meet customer orders. 4.5. Perceived quality of craft village brand At present, there are many craft villages and enter- prises producing and supplying wooden furniture products, of which some have good brands and reputa- tion in the market such as Hoa Phat joint-stock compa- ny, craft villages in Ung Hoa district, Dong Ky craft village in Bac Ninh, craft villages of Chang Son, Thach Xa, etc. However, these craft villages mostly focus on production process to produce crude products rather than pay attention to establishing consumption centres and building up their own brand names. Besides, promotion activities such as advertising are not highly invested in but only limited to organizing or sponsoring sport events in the forms of spontaneous funds of each production unit. In recent years in Huu Bang craft village, some units with good financial strengths and the commune's people's commitee have cooperated with media units to organize sports events to raise funds to support the poor, the disabled, people with merits or poor students nationwide. These activi- ties have helped to introduce and promote the village's brand image to some consumers and customers. 4.6. Customer service quality As for customer service level, Huu Bang craft vil- lage provides some customer services such as delivery, installation and guarantee. After searching information and ordering products, customers can easily seek and use the services right in the village. Most production units are willing to provide services to support cus- tomers when they buy products. However, customers from other provinces who buy in bulk often choose to buy products and hire their own transportation servic- es, customers choose to take charge of installation and guarantee. At present, the average transportation fee for a product of medium size within Hanoi ranges from VND300,000 to 400,000/product (if transport a single product). The fee may reduce depending on the num- ber of products transported, for transportation to other provinces, customers and suppliers often negotiate and agree with each other specifically. 4.7. Overall evaluation of competitiveness of wooden furniture products made in Huu Bang craft village Wooden furniture products are of higher demand in the market. Amid this context, wooden furniture prod- ucts made by production units in Huu Bang craft vil- lage have gradually built up their position. At present, the village's products are being consumed in many provinces in the country, production units in the village have set up and established distribution network with stores and retailers nationwide. Besides, right in the village, a system of centres to introduce and sell prod- ucts have been founded along the main roads in the vil- lage, where customers can get information and choose to buy or order products. Production units in the village have invested in and used modern machines more extensively in produc- tion, many advanced procedures and technology to treat materials are put into production process. Moreover, a team of skilled craftsmen has been expanded, partly thanks to local workforce and partly thanks to the movement and immigration of laborers from other provinces to Huu Bang craft village. Therefore, production units in Huu Bang can produce many products with high quality. Products in Huu Bang craft village are quite vari- ous and diverse, for a product of the same use, there are many models for customers to choose. Besides, production units in the village have always tried to 25 journal of Trade Science JOURNAL OF TRADE SCIENCE ’S JTS research and develop products with new designs to meet orders from individuals and distributors. At present in Huu Bang craft village, it is very con- venient to find and buy materials and accessories for production because there are many enterprises and business centres specializing in wooden and materials for carpentry industry. Moreover, in Huu Bang craft village, there is a high level of specialization, so many stages of wooden furniture production process have used modern technology and machines, which helps to save labor and restrict flawed products. Therefore, product prices are often lower than others of the same kind in the market. Services accompanying wooden furniture produc- tion and trading in Huu Bang craft village are also very convenient. Here customer demands are well satisfied, they can choose a package of products and installation services, buy products only and hire other services at will, or even choose to buy crude products and hire completion services, etc. However, the competitiveness of wooden furniture products made by production units in Huu Bang craft village is just fair or high-fair: in terms of technical quality, product durability and firmness remain low; product designs are more diverse than other craft vil- lages but still limited, there are not many products with distinctive designs; in comparison with income levels of the majority of rural people, product prices are still quite high; prices of supporting services such as trans- portation are high, especially for individual customers; products are mostly distributed via stores and outlets in localities, as these middlemen are independent distrib- utors, it is difficult to get customer feedbacks about products and reputations of the production units in the village. These are problems that wooden furniture pro- ducing and trading units in craft villages, including Huu Bang, need to solve to raise their competitiveness. 5. Major solutions to raise competitiveness of wooden furniture products of production units in Huu Bang craft village 5.1. Applying modern technology and reducing production wastes Amid the present fiercer competition, applying the development of science and technology in production to raise productivity, quality and reduce prices, thereby improving product competitiveness is of great concern to enterprises. Therefore, production units in Huu Bang craft village need to invest more in equipment, facilities and apply modern technology in production so as to make high-quality wooden furniture products to meet the market demand. This is especially impor- tant when they wish to participate in big urban markets where consumers have relatively high income and demand for high-quality, multi-functional and safe products. At the same time, to achieve high production effi- ciency, production units have to minimize production wastes so as to cut costs of materials, increase output and shorten production time. Specifically, the goals are: (1) cutting waste products and unnecessary visible wastes such as using more inputs than required, pre- ventable waste products, waste product recycling and product functions not required by customers; (2) reducing the time for production process and cycle by reducing the gap time between stages, time to prepare the process and time to transfer product designs or modes; (3) minimizing inventory in all production stages, especially in semi-finished products; (4) raising labor productivity by reducing idle time of craftsmen, machines, at the same time ensuring highest capacity of craftsmen at working hours; (5) using equipment and production space more effectively because wood- en furniture production often requires large space. 5.2. Promoting marketing activities Promoting marketing activities on products and production units in the village to create confidence for customers when buying and using products, mak- ing contribution to creating comparative advantages for the products in the market. To promote marketing activities, production units in Huu Bang craft village should cooperate to advertise and communicate the images of their products and village in mass media, persuade customers that products made by the vil- lage always meet technical requirements, have good quality and are highly reliable. Besides, it is also necessary to sponsor local community activities, charity works and sports events so as to attract local people and customers to know about the village as well as its products. 5.3. Fostering the links between production units It is advisory to form groups of production units which produce the same kind or kinds of products or perform the same stages of productions such as saw- ing, carving, lathing, shaving or polishing, etc. 26 Journal of Trade Science JOURNAL OF TRADE SCIENCE ’S JTS Through these links, production units can make use of resources of each unit such as labor, machines, also can invest in equipment and facilities, promote specializa- tion in production stages so as to improve labor pro- ductivity and cut costs. Moreover, the links between production units of the same product groups can help them to meet orders which would otherwise be impos- sible if a small production unit does not have enough resources to produce. 5.4. Enhancing innovation of new products Reality shows that many production units in craft villages in general, wooden furniture production units in Huu Bang craft village in particular are facing fiercer business situation. Therefore to raise competi- tiveness of the wooden furniture products, they need to research and develop new models and designs. To ful- fill this goal, it is necessary to boost market research to understand the market and customer demand and spot new consumption trends. 5.5. Gradually enhancing brand value of Huu Bang craft village It is necessary to invest in and build up brands for wooden furniture products of the craft village. To achieve this target, there should be methods and meas- ures for customers to access and recognize the brands of the village's wooden furniture products. Besides, production units also need to increase their spending on advertising on means of media so that the village's traditional craft and products can be better known to customers. Furthermore, they should invest more in new technology and modern facilities in production to develop new products to meet customer demand. 5.6. Setting up websites to introduce wooden fur- niture products of the craft village The application of science-technology develop- ment and information technology has become a com- mon trend in all fields as it brings numerous benefits to individuals and organizations. The websites to intro- duce about the village and its products will help to remove distance barriers, save time and enable pro- duction units to access a larger number of customers. With the explosion of information technology today, consumers tend to get information about products and producers via the Internet to help them save time, trav- el costs and search more products. However, to meet this demand of customers, production units have to invest in and set up their website, train and educate staff so that they can deal with customer enquiries promptly and clearly to create good impressions on customers. 5.7. Attracting and recruiting skilled craftsmen to meet the demand of producing and trading high- quality, high-value wooden furniture products Competition is becoming more severe not only in business but also in development strategies of human resources with good qualifications, proficient manage- ment skills and craftsmen with good professional tech- niques. The goals of human resources in production units in Huu Bang craft village are developing a team of salesmen with good skills to meet the basic demand of wooden furniture product trading. To achieve these goals, it is necessary to (1) have policies to attract and retain highly-skilled craftsmen to work in the produc- tion units via incentive schemes with good physical and spiritual values; (2) training, improving and devel- oping a team of craftsmen right in the production units; (3) developing training programs for sales staff, mar- keters so that they can develop necessary knowledge and skills such as having polite and considerate atti- tudes when serving customers; developing credibility and reliability; improving enthusiasm and quick response to customer enquiries and problems; knowing how to communicate with and understand customers, supplying information to customers clearly; (4) devel- oping a team of high-skilled chief craftsmen (to replace managers) who can master know-how and modern technology in production and considering them the key to developing operations in the units. 5.8. Raising sponsorship capacity for production and business Ensuring financial resources enables production units to maintain their operations effectively, through which they can understand customer demand so as to meet it and serve customers well. To raise financial capacity, production unit owners should build up good relationships with credit institutions, capital contribu- tors and even with the teams of craftsmen in their units in order to ensure the financial resources to sponsor and develop production and business activities in line with market changes, at the same time create solidari- ty among workers and close links between craftsmen and production owners. 27 journal of Trade Science JOURNAL OF TRADE SCIENCE ’S JTS 5.9. Proposals Firstly, to administration mechanism and policies of the states and relevant agencies Gradually reforming administrative procedures to create favorable conditions for enterprises in business and production activities; issuing and implementing financial incentive policies to facilitate enterprises and production units in craft villages to invest in new tech- nology and develop production. Creating favorable conditions for wooden furniture production units in craft villages to access stable sources of wooden materials to ensure production activities; issuing policies on forestation, encouraging enterprises to participate in supporting industries to produce accessories for wooden furniture products to ensure supply resources of materials and accessories to replace imports and reduce product prices, which helps to increase product competitiveness; issuing policies on preserving and developing traditional craft villages. Supporting craft villages in building up and organ- izing marketing and PR activities to promote the vil- lages. These activities help customers and the public to know about wooden furniture products of production units in the villages, at the same time help production units to get information about the market, customers and their desires, from which they can adjust and mod- ify models, improve product quality to better satisfy customer demand. Secondly, to administration agencies of Hanoi Huu Bang is one of the craft villages located in Hanoi, among many others. To help production units in these villages to develop their production and business activities, promote brands and raise the competitive- ness of their products, besides their own efforts and attempts, there should be some cares and favorable treatment from the authority. Firstly, helping craft vil- lages to promote their brands to the public by organiz- ing exhibitions and fairs for craft villages or promote them on mass media: when a craft village is known to many consumers, they will have favorable conditions to expand customer bases, from which develop their production and business. Secondly, establishing asso- ciation of Hanoi-based wooden furniture production units: through this association, units can learn and exchange business experience, they can also find busi- ness partners for mutual development. Thirdly, invest- ing in traffic infrastructure to facilitate production and business activities because there needs to be good traf- fic network so that materials and finished products can be transported across the country more easily. Thirdly, to Huu Bang People's Committee Huu Bang People's Committee should be the authority who best understand their craft village and wooden furniture products. Therefore, the Committee needs to take timely care of production units in the vil- lage. They should create the links and promote the vil- lage by organizing exhibitions and fairs to create con- ditions for production units to introduce their wooden furniture products to consumers and seek customers. The Committee should also coordinate with organiza- tions and schools to organize training courses to train and improve skills for local workers, these courses will provide new knowledge and skills to help workers pro- duce new products which they cannot make before to meet the market trends. Besides, these courses also help workers to learn and exchange experience with each other. The Committee should also cooperate with other craft villages to organize contests of making wooden furniture products within the craft village or between different communes. These contests help to honor and introduce the fine traditional arts of crafts- men and workers in each village. Through the contests, the images and products of the village can be promot- ed to the wider public. 6. Conclusion Wooden furniture products made in Huu Bang craft village are widely sold in the market for a long time. They are well known to many consumers, especially in Hanoi and northern provinces. However, besides many already-gained achievements, the competitiveness of these products still remains low due to limitations in production and business activities, which requires adjustments so as to improve the competitiveness of products and production units in the market. With his reseach, the author wishes to make a modest contribu- tion to help raise the competitiveness of wooden furni- ture products made by craft villages in general and Huu Bang craft village in particular. References: 1. M.Porter (1980), Competitive Strategy, New York free press (Vietnamese version: Youth Publishing House - HCMC). 28 Journal of Trade Science JOURNAL OF TRADE SCIENCE ’S JTS 2. Ph.Kotler & K.Keller (2008), Marketing Management, Prentice Hall New York (ietnamese ver- sion: Statistics Publishing House - Ha Noi). 3. Nguyen Bach Khoa (2011), Trade Marketing, Statistics Publishing House. 4. Nguyen Bach Khoa (2004), Methodology to Identify Competitiveness and International Economic Integration of Businesses, No. 4+5, Trade Science Review. 5. La Thi Nhu Quynh (2014), PR Management in Wooden Furniture Production Units in Huu Bang Craft Village, Ha Noi. Master thesis. Thuongmai University. 6. Reports on Industrial and Trade Performance of Thach That People's Committee 7. Website of MOIT: Summary Trong ñieàu kieän hoäi nhaäp kinh teá quoác teá treân thò tröôøng nöôùc ta ngaøy caøng coù nhieàu caùc doanh nghieäp vaø saûn phaåm ñoà goã noät thaát cuûa caùc nhaø saûn xuaát nöôùc ngoaøi tham gia caïnh tranh. Bôûi vaäy, yeâu caàu nghieân cöùu veà saûn phaåm ñoà goã noäi thaát vaø töøng böôùc ñaàu tö, caûi tieán naâng cao naêng löïc caïnh tranh cuûa caùc saûn phaåm ñoà goã noäi thaát caøng trôû neân caáp thieát… Baøi baùo naøy nghieân cöùu thöïc traïng naêng löïc caïnh tranh saûn phaåm ñoà goã noäi thaát cuûa caùc cô sôû saûn xuaát thuoäc laøng ngheà Höõu Baèng, Haø Noäi thôøi gian qua, ñeà xuaát nhöõng giaûi phaùp vaø kieán nghò nhaèm goùp phaàn naâng cao naêng löïc caïnh tranh saûn phaåm ñoà goã noäi thaát cuûa caùc cô sôû saûn xuaát thuoäc laøng ngheà Höõu Baèng, Haø Noäi trong boái caûnh hieän nay. 29 journal of Trade Science JOURNAL OF TRADE SCIENCE ’S JTS NGUYEN DUC NHUAN 1. Personal Profile: - Name: Nguyen Duc Nhuan - Date of birth: 05th March 1967 - Title: Ph.D - Workplace: Thuongmai University - Position: Lecturer 2. Major research directions: - Business Administration, Marketing, Strategy 3. Publications the author has published his works: - Trade Commerce Review - Journal of Commerce - Journal of Economic Development

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