Fifty years in the furniture industry

Andrzej Gazdzik
President of the Board of Directors, Opolskie Fabryki Mebli SA (OFM SA)

The mission of OFM

The Capital Group of OFM SA is one of the biggest Polish furniture manufacturers. It has 50 years' experience of furniture manufacturing and selling, fully reflected in the quality of its products and its customers' satisfaction. The aims of the Group are to improve its customers' satisfaction constantly and to achieve increasingly beneficial economic and market results by continually perfecting its skills. It is active in the constant improvement of the level of all its resources, and its most challenging aim is to enter the millennium with a new, strengthened market image.

Many operations resulting from the new strategy of the Group are still ahead. The implementation of new tasks of the Group's development through purchases, mergers and acquisitions of other companies in the furniture industry; the development of distribution channels; raising the technological and technical level; acquiring the ISO 9001 quality certificate; and finally, the aim to be quoted on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE).

All of these ambitious tasks are feasible thanks to the Group's most important resource: its employees. Their continuous hard work, combined with an ongoing increase in their professional skills, is the main source of the firm's success and its best guarantee for the implementation of its plans. Realising its strategy, the Group shall fulfil the expectations of its shareholders as much as possible.

The Group is subject to ongoing changes. It is persistent in analysing and removing its weak points, thus building on its strengths. It constantly takes advantage of market opportunities and analyses potential threats, avoiding them or turning them into favourable possibilities. The Group is convinced that such an approach shall lead to it safely achieving its objectives, minimising the natural market risks. It shall take advantage of the projected good climate for the furniture industry in the coming years, bearing in mind the fact that the requirements and expectations of its customers are the most important determinant of its development.

The organisation of OFM SA

The Group of OFM SA consists of six limited companies located in the region of Opole. These companies are situated in Opole, Strzelce Opolskie, Prudnik, Paczkuw, Kluczbork and Ujazd. Each of the companies specialise in a certain production type, whilst at the same time, unifying the colour schemes, appropriate fabrics, design lines and finishing materials within the whole Capital Group.


(A contour map of the borders of Poland with an outline of Opole region and marked towns where the companies are located.)

Stockholders' structure of OFM SA

Employees: 15 per cent;
1st NIF: 33 per cent;
State treasury: 25 per cent;
Others: 27 per cent.

As of 31 December 1997, the OFM SA Group had 1,985 employees. Basic staff come from vocational schools managed by the Group's companies where employees are trained in such professions as carpentry or upholstery.

Significant furniture export markets of OFM SA

Germany, Russia, Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus, the Ukraine, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Kazakhstan, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Austria, Switzerland, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom and the United States.

OFM SA operations

OFM SA specialises in producing and selling furniture for the house (kitchen and rooms), offices, restaurant and hotel facilities. It also manufactures furniture on the basis of designs being supplied by a customer. All produced furniture has resistance test certificates and is manufactured from eco-friendly materials.

Production capacity

Framework furniture

Plain and upholstered chairs are manufactured from beech, alder, oak and pine wood, and finished with eco-friendly compositions of dyes and varnish.

Folding and regular tables manufactured from oak, beech, alder and pine wood, with table plates of artificial and natural veneer such as mahogany, walnut, oak, beech, pine and alder. The tables come in dyed and natural versions, varnished with an increased resistance eco-friendly varnish.

Case furniture

OFM SA manufactures wardrobes, room dividers, cabinets, hall furniture, desks and individual pieces of furniture made from E-1 particle board, laminated with natural veneer or foil, MDF board and solid wood elements. Furniture may have additional elements such as mirrors, glass (including curved glass), lighting, etc, as the customer requires.

Upholstered furniture

OFM SA upholsters furniture (living room sets, sofas, individual pieces of furniture) in all possible configurations, folding or otherwise, fully upholstered with furniture fabrics, natural and artificial leather, with additional elements of solid wood. The furniture framework is based upon solid wood, particle board, polyurethane foam, bonell spring mats and cushioning technical fabrics.

OFM SA product structure

OFM SA production is divided in the following way:

  • chairs: 15 per cent;
  • tables: 17 per cent;
  • living room sets: 41 per cent;
  • case furniture: 27 per cent.

OFM SA investment operations

The investment needs of the whole Group are very high, particularly following the 1997 flood which caused heavy losses. The necessity of modernising the stock of machines simultaneously to commencing environmental protection operations calls for caution in taking decisions.

In terms of environmental concerns, the Group recently introduced air recuperation and waste briquetting systems (resulting in elimination or limitation of waste); it liquidated the varnishing section of the grinding/polishing line in the plant located in the centre of town; it decreased the emission of waste gases of the varnishing and gluing sections; and it connected one facility to the municipal central heating supply network.

As far as the technical and technological undertakings of the Group are concerned, most purchases are related to replacement operations and those with regard to improving working conditions.

Now and in the future

OFM SA has been placed tenth amongst furniture producers on the Polish market. In 1998, it achieved sales totalling US$25 million.

However, each decade brings the world a new vision of changes taking place in the economy, including industrial design. Europe has observed a shift in furniture design in recent years. The number of room dividers for full wall coverage is decreasing. There is a tendency to manufacture furniture in separate solids of various functions, allowing for free choice and structure of complex apartment equipment within an interior. The basic material is glued wood, natural veneer and MDF boards combined with structured foil. Ecological varnish finishes are preferred. The speed of design changes forces the OFM SA Group to adjust to such trends, in order to continue its presence in the market and play a significant role in it.

For more information, contact Andrzej Gazdzik, President of the Board of Directors, Opolskie Fabryki Mebli SA, 45 - 329 OPOLE, ul. Ozimska 72, Poland. Tel: +48 77 455 7801-5 Fax: + 48 77 455 2962 E-mail:

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