Volume Design OÜ with its more than 25 years of experience in manufacturing illuminated signs is a well-known and acknowledged producer in Estonia and Nordic countries. According to Lauri Filipjev, Chairman of the Board, the move to Rae Technology Park (Rae Tehnopark) undertaken in April opened up new opportunities for the company on this extremely competitive market.
‘The primary purpose of the move is to offer customers better value in terms of product assortment, delivery times, and prices. Today, we have an opportunity to control the entire manufacturing chain of advertising signs, as we are a producer of signs rather than a middleman,’ says Filipjev. ‘Until now we have had to use subcontracting for operations such as waterjet cutting, powder coating, and metalworking; however, in the future, we plan to gradually open our own metalworking plant and paint booth. This would increase production speed and improve the price of the final product for the customer and would enable us to expand our product portfolio; for example, we already have the capacity to manufacture larger and more complex advertising pylons than before. Naturally, we also listen to our customers’ wishes and are open to developing new products in cooperation with them.’
Teet Rüütmaa, Sales Manager Estonia for Volume Design OÜ, adds that the location of the new 3,750 m2 office and production building in Rae Technology Park, where top players of different fields operate, is no less important. ‘Close by are logistics companies, suppliers of materials, and subcontractors which in itself is already speeding up our production and deliveries. As for logistics, the location is superb – by Tartu maantee and close to the airport, Tallinn city centre, and port. It is easy for customers to come here.’
The move to the new building has also improved the logistics of operations and synergy between employees who at the beginning of the year were spread over three production areas housed in separate buildings. Now, the company has sufficient warehouse space to store materials, products are moved between departments using a well-thought-out lean-method, and the quality of work processes has increased. In the new building, great attention has been paid to the environment which was tailored to the needs of employees – the premises are well-lit, spacious, well-ventilated, and have ergonomically adjustable work surfaces.
‘Good workers are always valued; however, they have to be motivated by other means than only wages. Consequently, we plan to open a gym in near future, etc. The mind will not tire so quickly if you feel good at work and are able to use new equipment, provided diverse training, and if the work is challenging enough. Competition on the market does not involve only products and services but also labour, and we believe that a good team must be developed and sufficiently motivated every day,’ says Filipjev.
A good showroom simplifies and speeds up the selection process
In the new building, we also focussed on improving the presentation of our product range; for this purpose, two showrooms will be opened where customers can examine and even touch the advertising solutions themselves. ‘We can demonstrate light effects, show product modifications, and present different materials which helps the customer in making a decision and enables us to reach a deal and finish the product quicker. Actually, everybody is always in a great hurry to get their advertising,’ explains Rüütmaa. ‘We are also working on a program that would give the customer a preliminary price immediately after entering the parameters which enables us to speed up the process in this regard as well.’
Filipjev adds that automated production and digitalisation of the sales chain, i.e., getting budgeting, design, and price with less clicks, is, in fact, one of current priorities. ‘In advertising companies, too much time is spent on documentation, leaving less time for value adding sales. This should not be so and our next half-year goal is to automate all operations in the plant as much as possible, so that the customer would receive a response to their price quotation in a matter of days. This means that while our competitors are still preparing an offer, the customer will have already received a good offer from us and we will be ready to start working right away.’
‘Certainly, the global emergency situation and COVID-19 virus related effects have also influenced us – customers are taking their time before giving their affirmative response. We hope that we can implement our future development plans and grow our customer base both in Estonia as well as on new markets despite this complicated situation.’
There is more to a product than price
As the most important characteristic of every product is its quality, Volume Design provides its customers assurance by granting a five-year warranty. ‘We know our product through and through; therefore, we can be certain that it is of high quality and reliable. A five-year warranty gives customers confidence,’ says Rüütmaa. ‘We wish to help our customers and assist them in promoting their business by offering a full service from design to installation.
We make our illuminated signs of high-quality and durable materials that are suitable for our climate, which is why these signs can be considered long-term investments.’
The company has established a new department for developing and testing new products. Our team is in agreement that many current promotional products are to labour and material intensive and too bulky. Instead, we should approach this from an engineer’s perspective and change this trend.
According to Filipjev, all preconditions exist to play in the Scandinavian major league: ‘At our previous premises, we literally hit the wall – there was no space nor capacity. We can now increase our turnover which, however, could only be achieved thanks to our good customers, quality products, bringing the entire manufacturing chain into one building, and, of course, our diligent people!’
Volume Design OÜ products bear the European Union CE-marking, which indicates that the advertising solutions are in compliance with the applicable health, safety and environmental requirements.
The activity of the company is in compliance with the international quality and environmental management standards ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. In addition, the installation of wrapping products is granted a 3M MCS warranty.