An Interview with the Sales & Marketing Manager of Greater China is Market for SCM Group China, Mr. Peter Liu

The SCM Group is Italy's number one manufacturer of machinery and peripherals for industries working with wood, glass, marble, plastic, metal, composite materials and other industrial fields. With distribution across the world's five major continents for over 60 years, the enterprise has the most extensive sales network in its field. Since 1985 SMC diversified its business to consolidate the company's position in the furniture industry, covering manufacturing, distribution, and a variety of high-tech material processing technology as well as industrial spare parts.
SCM's range of machinery applications include furniture production and buildings material processing equipment. Their furniture manufacturing machinery provide processing solutions and related services for the furniture industry, including sheet metal, drilling, jointing, metal embedding, sanding, painting, stamping, automation technology, edge banding, assembly and packaging.
As for housing materials, SCM provides processing equipment, solutions and services for the construction of timber houses and ships along with applicable details like doors, door and window frames, stairs, chairs, tables, wood floors, roofing, wall panels and furniture. 
interwood was honored in 2015 during the guanzhou interzum exhibition to visit Mr. Peter Liu, SCM Group China sales and marketing manager of the Greater China Market.  He was pleased to share some of his experiences in the market with us.  Mr. Liu indicated that the main focus of regional sales for the SCM Group comprises the United States, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and China.  In recent years the economy has been unstable, but the United States saw its largest growth this year and Italy began to grow by 30%.  He added that recent depreciation of the euro has had an especially beneficial effect on sales.  Additionally, he is optimistic about markets in Central and South America. European manufacturers value the Chinese market, and from Mr. Liu's point of view one of the key influences on SCM's success there has been the human work force they employ.  Currently, the SCM Group China is reconstituting its workforce to further enhance its overall services to the China market.   
When asked about adapting to market trends, Mr. Peter Liu expressed that as the market changes, products must also be adjusted. In China's highly competitive market, demand presents a certain polarization. At one extreme, big brand company growth emphasizes the sales of European machinery.  At the other end of the spectrum he sees small factories going the route of customization with machinery having intelligent functionality. In the Chinese housing market prices are rising, so consumers prefer to buy combinable furniture systems. This trend presents the need for higher levels of automation. Overall, intelligent machinery for customized production of furniture is the current trend.
Mr. Peter Liu emphasizes that to enter the market a comprehensive consideration of different points of view is critical.  In Mainland China, the North emphasizes production of solid wood doors and windows while the East manufactures more flooring.  In the South they specialize mainly in furniture and cabinet-based products.  Each region has a different focus, hence SCM needs to be in accordance with the different needs of different manufacturing regions.
Currently there is overproduction of panel processing machinery.  His current concept is to develop ways to combine existing machines that allow manufacturers to process panel based materials and solid wood simultaneously.  This will expand production capacity and help increase sales.
When asked about Mr. Peter Liu's view of Taiwan woodworking machinery, he said he is impressed with their solid wood machinery in particular, and he sees strong opportunities for Taiwan.  As for panel processing equipment, he recommends PC computer controls. He also sees the need to produce machines that are flexible enough to easily integrate with ever evolving production line configurations. Looking the market, and Mr. Liu emphasizes the importance of participating in exhibitions to remain acquainted with customers and agents, and especially to seek long-term cooperation. He also suggests that Taiwan continue to develop blueprint planning teams and long-term business models with services and marketing for sustained operations. He also pointed out that Taiwan's machinery exhibits great performance, is made with excellent materials, and has been widely affirmed and accepted by mainland furniture factories. Taiwan's localized sales and service systems are strong, and according to Mr. Liu, he sees even more potential for them to grow. 

writer / photographer  Wan-ting Liao
translated by Greg Niederhaus
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