Anna Carrabs, Chief Executive Officer of furniture company King Living, believes the ability to rapidly change plans and implement change should be part of any organisation’s DNA.
“You never know what’s around the corner,” she said. “But what you need to know is that you have a team around you who can react and adjust – that’s really your biggest asset.”
Like many businesses, King Living saw its operations disrupted at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the company designs its products and makes some of them in Australia, it also manufactures overseas in China whilst sourcing inputs globally. Local health and social distancing policies led to a temporary shutdown of the facility, halting production and affecting supply. And with travel restrictions, designers in Australia haven’t been able to visit the factory.
“We’ve had to rethink our logistics chain and just-in-time manufacturing, and then we’ve had to look at our customer experiences,” said Carrabs.
To continue to serve customers King Living has brought forward plans to diversify its manufacturing footprint and is in the process of setting up a facility in Thailand. It has been working with HSBC to better understand other Asia Pacific markets and to manage potential risks effectively through trade finance and other solutions.
King Living has also launched FaceTime consulting and created a virtual showroom to serve customers who prefer to shop online.
“This has taught us that people can have the same experience by going into a virtual showroom and being led through it, and by being able to do a FaceTime consultation with our team. That has made a huge difference,” said Carrabs.