The Australian Cabinet and Furniture Association (ACFA) has been serving the furniture, cabinet making, kitchen and joinery industries for more than 70 years. We spoke with CEO Dean Brakell on how the ACFA is supporting the furnishing industry during these unprecedented times.
“As the go-to for advice and support for these industries, the ACFA works to promote its members to the wider community, including consumers and governments,” says Dean. “It also provides a forum for members to exchange and receive information that’s essential to their businesses, helping them to grow their network.”
During COVID-19 and impromptu lockdowns, the organisation has been a guiding light for kitchen and joinery builders and designers. As always, it provides its members with up-to-date information on current affairs to ensure complete transparency.
When working on projects within these new rules, Dean encourages industry workers to constantly check local government regulations and facilitate virtual customer consultations where possible so that safety measures are met. “Investing in digital tools that streamline communications and marketing is also paramount for remaining sustainable and open during a global pandemic,” he says.
When it comes to design trends, Dean and the ACFA are always on top of it. Having been in the furnishing industry since the age of 17, Dean has an eagle eye for growing design trends. He says practical cabinet storage solutions including corner drawers, lift doors on upper cabinets, and drawer steps for easy accessibility to upper cabinets are on the rise. “Colour wise, earthy tones and muted palettes are gaining popularity, and island benches are fast becoming the focal point in nearly every kitchen, big and small.”
Being a member of the ACFA comes with an array of benefits. Cabinet makers and designers are spoiled with a wide variety of resources that protect, educate and inspire them. Plus, if you’re new to the industry, the organisation provides you with the right contract templates that protect your interests, money and business from the beginning.
2020 and beyond has seen a rise in home renovations, with many spaces becoming a one-stop destination for home, kitchen, office, gym and more. Dean believes that because of this, construction businesses are booming in growth, leading to higher demand and longer lead times. “We ask consumers to be patient and understanding during this time. Make no mistake — our industry is working very hard to meet its needs, but we’re only human, so it does take a little time. That said, the ACFA is here to help its members throughout this process, from dealing with supply chain issues to everyday construction matters in the furniture, cabinet making, kitchen and joinery industries.”
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