A fitting success story - Futuristic Store Fixtures puts a premium on good service
A CHANCE meeting, a fluke that many bosses must dream about, was all it took to turn Futuristic Store Fixtures from a run-of-the mill local operator into a global player. Well, a fluke and a fierce devotion to service have helped set the firm apart in the business of making fixtures such as shelves and countertops, mostly for stores in the fashion industry.
The lucky break came in 2003 when a friend introduced chief executive David Low to the vice-president of procurement of a major American firm. At the time, Futuristic was doing fixtures only on a store-by-store basis, but the firm Bath And Body Works wanted to enhance 760 of its stores across North America. Mr Low flew to Toronto to meet officials from the company. He put in a quotation a couple of months later and was given the job.
The task turned out to be a lot more daunting than he had expected - it was to produce and ship 30,000 pieces of furniture within two months. 'We were not ready. I was quite shocked actually,' says Mr Low. 'I asked to do half of it but they said no. It was all or nothing. 'It was like a life-and-death situation and I told myself, if I can make it happen, that may be the road to my future.'Because Futuristic could not have done it alone, he mobilised seven facilities owned by other companies in Malaysia.
He spent two months in Kuala Lumpur to ensure everything went well. 'It was like fighting a war; you couldn't waste a day. Whenever there was a problem, we would solve it immediately.'
These days, Futuristic produces fixtures for as many as 1,500 shops a year. It recorded sales of close to $40 million last year, up by 25 per cent from $32 million in 2010.
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