JAT LMD January 2024 Made In Germany

JAT LMD January 2024 Made In Germany

Q: How do the affiliated German brands contribute to a unique selling proposition (USP) for the organisation in the market?   
A: German brands can significantly contribute to an organisation’s USP through various factors. These brands are often associated with precision, engineering excellence, innovation and reliability. Furthermore, German products are renowned for their higher quality and craftsmanship.

Affiliation with German brands can signal to consumers that the organisation prioritises quality, leading to a USP centred on superior products. The association with innovative German brands can also set the organisation apart from competitors, attracting customers who value staying ahead in terms of technology, innovation and design.

German products are also perceived as reliable and durable. Incorporating this aspect into our USP appeals to consumers who prioritise longevity and dependability in the products they purchase.

With current global developments and the emphasis on the significance of sustainability and environmental responsibility – all our products conform to these values and can be a key element in attracting environmentally conscious consumers as well.

Q: As an organisation with German brands operating in Sri Lanka, what is your assessment of the country’s economic landscape and its impact on your industry or sector?
A: The country has faced significant challenges over the past four years, starting with the 2019 Easter attacks and a subsequent decline in tourism, followed by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns in 2020, causing disruptions in day-to-day operations. The economic crisis and resulting import restrictions have further impacted the construction industry.

In 2018 the industry contributed around 10 percent to the country’s GDP, but this figure fell to six percent in 2020. Despite these challenges, there’s a positive development as import restrictions on goods, especially those related to products sold by JAT, were lifted in August 2023.

JAT can now freely import its full portfolio of products, including the high end SEAFORM kitchen, wardrobes and vanities, along with sought after Herman Miller seating solutions. The previous import restrictions had a negative impact on JAT’s B2C customer base – a significant category of customers who trust the brand for its products, service, after sales support and overall quality.

During the period from 2019 to 2023, JAT secured significant BOI approved projects such as ‘The Grand by Prime Residencies’ and ‘606, The Address by EA Macro Holdings.’ These projects kept JAT fully occupied and engaged at full capacity, showcasing the impact of German brands in the market.

Over the past decade, German brands and other international names, including Herman Miller, Armstrong and Knauf ceiling solutions, have become trusted household products in both the construction B2B and B2C sectors.

Despite the challenges, JAT is optimistic about the current economic landscape and has invested in a new experience centre at its head office in Thalawatugoda, featuring an exciting range of kitchens and wardrobes. Additionally, plans are underway for the opening of a three storey, 10,000sq facility showroom along Duplication Road, housing all JAT brands under one roof.

Q: How does your organisation capitalise on technological advancements to enhance operational excellence?
A: Leveraging technological advancements is imperative for enhancing operational excellence. Integrated systems like enterprise resource planning (ERP) play a crucial role in streamlining various business processes, providing a centralised platform for managing and analysing data from different departments.

The adoption of ERP systems facilitates improved communication, collaboration and decision-making across the organisation. At JAT, we are fortunate to have Bileeta on board for all our ERP requirements, and we take pride in being a part of Bileeta’s shareholding.

Moreover, the increasing popularity of data analytics and business intelligence is evident in many organisations. Utilising data analytics tools enables gaining insights into operational processes, and predictive analytics aids in forecasting demand, optimising inventory and enhancing overall decision-making.

In our commitment to innovation, we have incorporated AI into all our employees’ Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) this year. AI contributes to optimising, managing and improving forecasting processes, leading to an enhanced overall customer experience.

The introduction of the WhitebyJAT e-commerce platform, the first of its kind, has enabled us to reach a broader and newer audience, proving to be an efficient sales and distribution process.

Q: How has your organisation (including brands, products and services) adapted to the local market over the years?

JAT’s strength has been in adapting to the local market by identifying industry voids and introducing innovative, high-quality products. Representing top-tier global brands has positioned JAT in a niche market, and expanded through innovation, localization, and affordability. SEAFORM Kitchen, a sought-after brand, introduced PLYFORM, a unique waterproof carcass material for sink units. Collaborative efforts have led to the success of bespoke solutions like Hormann GmBH's fire-rated doors, meeting global standards with local affordability. JAT's strategy involves introducing products relevant to the Sri Lankan market, demonstrating adaptability, and ensuring safety certifications for commercial buildings