We are pleased and proud to present you the latest issue of the popular French magazine for architects Office et Culture. It includes an extensive and very interesting article about our company.
The relationship between Nowy Styl Group and the magazine can be described in one word ‒ historical. Ten years ago, in 2007, Alain Boisson, Publishing Director of Office et Culture, together with Jean-Paul Fournier, Editor-in-chief of the magazine, accepted the invitation to come to Poland from our French subsidiary. The guests visited our production plants and conducted an interview with Adam Krzanowski, President of Nowy Styl Group's Management Board. In December 2007 they published a 7-page article titled: "Nowy Styl ‒ a new furniture industry giant coming from the East, not very noticeable but extremely effective." In the article, the authors painted a glowing picture of our company. They also told readers our history and made an assumption that in ten years we would become one of leading office furniture companies in Europe.
The ten years have already passed and the French magazine sent its representatives to Poland once again to see what has changed in our company during this time. The guests, accompanied by Mikael Nigon ‒ Nowy Styl Group's Director in France and Dariusz Frydrych ‒ Operational Director and Board member at the Group, visited our factories in Jasło. They also conducted a new interview with Adam Krzanowski. Their visit has been described in the article published today. We invite you to read some of its fragments.
"During our first trip from Cracow to Jasło, where Nowy Styl Group's production plants are located, we had to spend many hours to cover the distance of 180 km ‒ almost every 100 metres we encountered some road works. This year, half of the route was a motorway, while the other half was a smooth road with an impeccable surface. We were under a similar impression when we saw the Nowy Styl Group's factories. Ten years ago they were located in non-plastered buildings that were the miserable remains of the socialist industry. Then we also saw the first production hall of new factories that was brand-new, yet empty. It was a sign of the company's future efficiency and the upcoming capitalism. This year the hall turned out to be one of many other halls with all workstations grouped that make up the office furniture factory that is considered the most modern production plant in Europe. Of course, we do not know all furniture factories in Europe, however this one has undoubtedly the most modern equipment and management systems of all the other factories we have visited before. It possesses first-class tools that show clients the company's scale of abilities and production capacity.
More interestingly, the Management Board's headquarters is still located in Cracow, in a modest building. In Adam Krzanowski's office the only thing that has been changed is the furniture" – write Alain Boisson and Jean-Paul Fournier from Office et Culture.
Office et Culture: How would you summarise the last ten years that have passed since our last meeting?
Adam Krzanowski, President of Nowy Styl Group: When I look back over the last ten years, I can say that we have come a really long way. It wouldn't have been possible without our stable internal development and successful external acquisitions (Grammer Office and Rohde & Grahl in Germany, Sitag in Switzerland). We are now a united Group with a long-term strategy and good financial results. Today we are certainly better than we were ten years ago.
What do your sales look like in terms of particular products and markets?
Our main domain is office equipment. In practice, in all of our brands the ratio of the chair sales to the furniture sales is 50:50, while in the market the ratio is usually 70:30. This means that we will potentially develop towards furniture. The two product groups that are most promising, due to the fact that they respond to the main trends in equipping office and public spaces, are table tops with electric height adjustment (65–115 cm) and lockers. Geographically, Germany represents 30% of our sales, Poland ‒ 19%, France ‒ 7% (equal to Benelux), Switzerland ‒ 12%, the rest of Europe ‒ 20%, and the rest of the world ‒ 5%.
When it comes to the sales turnover, in 2007 we reached €292 mln, while in 2016 ‒ €318 mln. This discrepancy is due to the fact that we have separated the business activity of our Russian subsidiary from the Ukrainian one. When we compare our turnover proportionally, we see that in 2011 we reached €242 mln, which makes up average annual growth of 12%.
How can you describe your position in France?
We have been present in the French market for fifteen years now. We realise 7% of our sales there, which wouldn't be possible without our team consisting of 25 people. (...) A few months ago we opened a showroom covering 400 m² that is located at the exclusive Boulevard Haussmann in Paris. We are gaining more markets and winning more tenders for local and international contracts, so this is not huge difficulty. The list of our latest project realisations includes, e.g. offices of the company DS Smith in La Défense, seats at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais stadium in Lyon, offices of the company Sonepar CGED in Montrouge and the company Capgemini in La Défense, as well as the headquarters of Gemalto in Meudon which was awarded the Arseg Gold Trophy.
How do you imagine Nowy Styl Group to be in ten years when we meet once again?
We intend to be indisputably considered the first furniture company in Europe. I think we will be no. 1 in terms of sales turnover, but we also wish to become a privileged international partner in all European markets – not only as a furniture supplier, but also as an expert in the workplace strategy. We already have a team of consultants in Amersfoort for the Dutch market. We have also started offering these services in Poland and we will gradually introduce them in whole Europe. However, we aren't hot-tempered, so we aren't going to develop these activities in haste neglecting their quality. We will also continue to offer product lines adjusted to particular markets and cultures. We see our future in the "medium" and "high" sectors, but we also intend to maintain our influence in the economic product market. We will first of all strengthen our position in Europe, including in particular the Scandinavian countries.
We are aware of our strengths and the directions in which our prospects are the best. We are going to continue the long-term strategy, which we have defined and which has proven to be successful for the last ten years, at our own pace.
The winner of the "Iconic Award" ‒ the system of pouffes Tapa, the Levitate furniture system, Formo and Sileo acoustic panels, SitagTeam chairs, and Tepee – these are the product novelties that have refreshed the look of our showroom in Prague. To celebrate this occasion, we decided to invite our clients and partners. We had a great time discussing our solutions and sharing knowledge of the contemporary design trends. We also organised an informal networking zone for our guests.
On 25th May we hosted our distributors and architects. The meeting began with a speech given by Petr Špaček and Dominik Jamroga. Then the architect ‒ Alina Fandelová from the NSG.CZ team (the company representing our organisation in the Czech market) told our guests about arranging offices divided into functional zones. The other speech was devoted to the aspects of office acoustics, including good design practices, the influence of noise on employees' efficiency and the process of testing acoustic properties of office interiors. Our guests had the chance to take a close look at Sileo and Formo wall panels that allow for reducing unfavourable acoustic phenomena in offices.
During the informal part of our meeting, we served our guests light refreshments and invited them to taste local beverage.
We would like to thank you all for a nice atmosphere and creative discussions. We invite you to individual meetings at:
Prague Office Park 1, K Hájům 2/1233
155 00 Prague
User experience – this term, which was initially used in the context of designing Internet websites and apps, is finding much wider application nowadays. We can more often hear about the candidate, customer or employee experience. So how has the approach to the process of designing services, products and spaces changed? Are the user and their experience really so important?
Every time we come in contact with new objects and spaces, we experience them in a particular way. People influence the objects they are surrounded with and the space in which they function. But it is also the objects and spaces that influence people and their way of functioning. Every contact with an organisation, whether it is the client‒contractor relation or the candidate‒employer relation during recruitment processes, generates a certain experience on the basis of which companies are evaluated.
More and more companies are beginning to understand that when designing any product or service it is necessary to take into consideration the people who will come in direct contact with it. Their positive or negative experience will build a particular image of a company among its potential clients, business partners and employees. That's why the products, services, processes and spaces we design must make allowances for their users' needs, desires and potential problems.
The power of experience in different contacts with an organisation was the subject discussed by the experts from Nowy Styl Group, Randstad and CBRE who participated in the discussion panel during the ASPIRE "The New Horizon" conference.
Once again, Nowy Styl Group is one of the companies awarded for their corporate social responsibility activities. This year the weekly magazine POLITYKA awarded our company the CSR Silver Leaf, and the Responsible Companies Ranking 2017 placed us in the group of crystal partners.
In the "CSR Leaves" competition, POLITYKA assesses companies in terms of six areas defined by the international social responsibility standard ISO 26000. Every year, the magazine puts the emphasis on different aspects of CSR. This year, a large number of questions referred to HR management. The data were collected by means of a questionnaire survey and then verified by the consulting company Deloitte.
Our company was placed in the elite group of 13 Polish companies awarded the Silver Leaf.
‒ Our CSR activities require constant work. We know that as an ethical and responsible company we can become a better business partner for our clients and provide our employees with a sense of meaning in their work. – says Alina Szastok, PR and CSR specialist. ‒ By taking part in external corporate social responsibility rankings, we have a great chance to verify our activities. Last year we received the White Leaf, and this year the Silver one. For us, this is a valuable sign that our work is appreciated and that it's going in the right direction.
Responsible Companies Ranking (RCR)
The ranking is prepared by prof. Bolesław Rok from the Centre of Business Ethics at Leon Koźmiński and Jarosław Horodecki Academy, and verified by Deloitte experts. The ranking content partner is the Responsible Business Forum, and the results are published in the newspaper Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.
This year, the methodology of the Responsible Companies Ranking was changed significantly. The organisers assessed not only business ethical standards, but also the issues connected with sustainable development and responsible innovation, which means development responding to social challenges.
The companies that earned a sufficient number of points qualified for one of three groups (diamond, platinum and crystal levels) and they were compared to each other within each group. Our activities helped us qualify for the group of well-developed companies that are active in the CSR field – the crystal level. Our company achieved 4th place in its group (out of 39 companies). We were assessed particularly well in the category sustainable development and responsible innovation concerning the area of social development (80%). (We warmly invite you to read our Sustainable Development Report ‒ "CSR Code" ).
Responsible Companies Ranking and CSR Leaves assessed companies for their activities in 2016.
Here are the social initiatives we undertook last year:
- Patronage of the Krzysztof Penderecki European Centre for Music in Lusławice – we supported the organisation of 55 courses and workshops for 1,379 participants and 103 concerts that brought together 31,690 guests;
- Scholarships for pupils and students of the Janusz Korczak Foundation – 58 people received regular support;
- Organisation of the 17th New Year's Ball for approximately 1,000 people;
- Donations in kind ‒ we gave schools, hospitals and nursing homes in the Sub-Carpathian region 876 chairs and other pieces of furniture;
- Sponsorship of the 2nd Magura Ultramarathon, Krosno Swimming Championship, 2nd Night Charity Swimming Marathon, etc.;
- Cooperation with the Magura National Park and the "Save the frog" campaign;
- Co-organisation of an economics lesson "Me and you in the world of money" for pupils of Primary School no. 14 in Krosno;
- Strategic cooperation with the State Higher Vocational School in Krosno and the patronage of a new faculty of engineering studies: "Designing and manufacturing in a virtual environment."