Oi SIDE prevé “una recuperación rápida” del Contract tras el frenazo del coronavirus
Oi SIDE foresees “a fast recovery” of the Contract after the coronavirus’ slowing down
September 16th / 2020
The outdoor furniture manufacturer will turn its ‘Fabric’ outdoor furniture collection, all in aluminum, into the star of a concept that takes into account the current pandemic and future similar situations that may occur.
The 12th chair, as light as a musical pentagram, could represent the spirit of Oi SIDE, the outdoor furniture manufacturer from Totana, in the face of the world pandemic and the new global context in which we are going to live. It is light and ergonomic, easy to disinfect, resistant and stackable. “And very trending”, says the founder and CEO of the firm, Pedro Andrés Martínez, about his first collection entirely made of aluminum rod. In this ductile and recyclable metal he has trusted to form binomial with the Colombian designer David del Valle, who will light the next collection of the Murcian mark. It will be called ‘Fabric’ and, despite the name, will not include textile fiber, as it will be manufactured entirely in aluminum. The industrial designer from Medellin has been inspired by the braiding of the threads that form the fabric to conceive the new chairs and armchairs, tables and loungers that will furnish in the future Caribbean hotels and luxury pools in several continents, as Oi SIDE is present in 18 countries.
With projects carried out in the Caribbean and Dubai, it is not necessary to jump from one continent to another to test the quality of the Murcian firm. Its 45 collection, in total aluminum, marks style on the panoramic terrace of the restaurant El Rubio 360, at the top of the Nautical Activities Center in Lo Pagán.
Its ‘Island’ line, of technocement with nautical boards and silver ion fabrics, decorates the terrace of the private mansion of Leo Messi in Castelldefels (Barcelona). Some loungers of vanguardist line ‘made in Totana’, at the height of the best soccer player of the world.
THE POST-COVID DESIGN
The ‘Tejido’ line promises to be more than another collection in the catalog of the Totana company, as it will represent the resurgence of the firm in the post-Covid stage, when it will be more important than ever to have furniture that is “easy to disinfect and with very low maintenance, which is the added value of outdoor furniture,” the businessman points out. To the light weight -very inferior to steel- and to its abundance in the planet -there is more than iron-, values like its lightness, appreciable for the hotel and catering industry, and therefore less expensive to transport and with a lower energy consumption, are added. The recycling capacity of aluminum is infinite. For Pedro Martínez, these qualities will be valued by the new sensibility in a new international context. “There will be new ways of living together in hotels and restaurants, where the terrace has acquired an importance that it did not have, and that leads us to adapt our materials and designs,” he says.
READY FOR THE RETURN
In its 25 years of history, the Murcia-based manufacturer is no stranger to the demands of versatility that the challenge of the health crisis demands. “Our furniture is for outdoor use, but it is also used inside airports, hotels and restaurants”, Martínez points out. From the El Saladar industrial park, in Totana, they continue to “devise new collections, machinery and materials in the Product Development Department, which never stops”, says the CEO.
The company has invested in this creative energy during the impasse of this second phase of the epidemic, waiting for a clearer horizon. “I believe that we will have to go through this ‘stand by’ until the vaccine is available, but as soon as the starting shot is given, the recovery will be fast,” the businessman foresees. In Cartagena de Indias they have “a very important project, already with an approved budget, in two years time”, he assures.
EXPANSION WITH THE CONTRACT PLAN
To the rest of the projects “nobody is able to put a date on them”, says Martinez, who confirms that the company has continued working on projects that were already started, although some have been cancelled. Another order that is waiting for the notice of reactivation is that of the hotel in Dubai where the chef Alain Ducasse has put his internationally prestigious brand. His clients will rest on the sun loungers manufactured in Totana.
As a member of the Contract platform, promoted by INFO, the outdoor furniture brand had just carried out commercial missions to Mexico, Colombia and the Dominican Republic before the arrival of Covid. Martinez is confident that the agreements reached in its main markets in the United States and the Caribbean will be recomposed in the future. “The last quarter of 2020 is going to say a lot, because depending on how the epidemic evolves, that’s how everything else is going to react. “These are times when business and professional cooperation takes on a new dimension to adapt and be proactive in the market. Our collaboration with the designer David del Valle, which was given by the recent action of InfoMurcia in Colombia within the framework of the Contract Plan, is part of the reinforcement of this strategic approach,” predicts the CEO.
The Murcian firm already had advantages that are especially relevant to face the pandemic. “We offered materials specially adapted to situations such as the current pandemic and antibacterial fabrics for cushions that can be left out, and now there is a better understanding of the value of manufacturing high-end furniture, with a price that is also high, but versatile, design and low maintenance,” the businessman argues.
MURCIAN STAMP IN HALF THE WORLD
After manufacturing during the first years of the company in an Asian plant, Oi SIDE decided in 2007 to implement all its production process in the Region. “Today we control the entire chain in Murcia, from the supply of raw materials, which are ‘zero kilometer’, to quality control and manufacturing,” explains Martinez. The innovation of its products, materials and processes also culminates in Murcia, with the help of the Furniture Technology Center in Yecla, where they carry out the stress tests of each new model.
The auxiliary companies of the furniture cluster are also from the Region. “We work with metal, laser cutting, plastic and other companies from Yecla, San Ginés, Molina de Segura, among others”, says Martínez, whose brand works as one of the wheels that turn a regional sector that in 2019 added up to 81 million in furniture exports abroad. Made up of 1,127 companies, furniture from Murcia contributes 7.8% to the turnover of the national sector, which in 2019 grew by 3.6% despite the climate of recession that was already announced before the Covid. Against the current of the omens, the furniture sector was advancing with the impulse of the growth stage initiated in 2014, especially with the Contract channel, encouraged by the boom in international tourism. According to the Regional Association of Wood and Furniture Entrepreneurs (Arema), Murcia’s sector increased its exports by 9.2% in 2019. The epidemic has blurred the graphs with the stop of the demand.
For Martinez, “the Region is the great unknown at the international level”. For one of the Murcia exporters with the greatest territorial reach, “the potential of the Region is brutal, with a quality raw material, a valuable ‘know how’ that other regions do not have, such as the knowledge treasured by the canning industry for the treatment of stainless steel”. This industrial experience, in some cases artisan, has served the company to incorporate methods and machinery to its production process. Also from auxiliary companies.
“There is not only agriculture in Murcia. The furniture sector in Yecla has very powerful companies”, points out Martínez. In fact, the furniture division generates 7% of industrial employment in the Region.