Cetem’s participation in Yecla furniture exhibition has 2 aspects. From a more corporate perspective, Spain’s oldest trade fair event supports Spain’s oldest trade fair event to show how the habitat sector in the Murcia region understood 30 years ago that investing in R+D+i is essential to gain competitiveness. . Cetem was created as a private business association dedicated to increasing the innovation of the sector. On the other hand, its position shows one of the many lines it operates in recent years and it introduces metawares and artificial intelligence in the field, thus already happening in other cutting-edge technologies, the region. Murcia are the first to use this technology.
–At what stage is the sector and what are the main challenges it faces?
– The situation in the sector is reasonably optimistic. Even so, the domestic economic conditions in Spain and the extraordinary global events in which we are immersed make it stand out as much or more than other sectors. A continuous and still uncontrolled increase in inflation is not favorable for the growth or maintenance of domestic sales and global conflicts such as the invasion of Ukraine, with all its economic derivatives, are not favorable for foreign sales in affected countries, for example, Russia. However, exports have experienced a very significant improvement in recent years, with this growth reaching 21.5% in 2022 and 26.7% in 2021, both data exceeding the national average.
We can talk about the challenges of the sector, global challenges such as digitization, which, although very high, it is necessary to continue betting on it and, of course, sustainable in terms of circular economy and holistic. Control of origin of raw materials. More specifically, it will be convenient to bet on innovation in all sectors, and in addition, it will be convenient to gain muscle with large companies to deal more efficiently with increasingly common economic uncertainties.
–What tools does Cetem use to advance the sector?
-Cetem is a tool for the field. In fact, it was created almost 30 years ago for that very reason. If I had to define Cetem in a few words, I would say it is the R+D+i department of all companies in the industry. With the services provided by Cetem, companies can improve their products, their production management, the certification of their products and innovate in important and necessary areas such as new, more stable and round products, technologies such as robotics and automation, mixed reality. Artificial intelligence or additive manufacturing, to give a few examples.
–How important is investment in technology in this sector and what is Cetem’s role in this regard?
– Investment in technology is absolutely essential. The most important thing in organizations are well-trained and committed people who use the best technology to get the best results. Competitiveness in this sector is linked to many aspects, but mainly to people and technological developments.
The role played by Cetem in this sense, as we have already mentioned, is fundamental. In fact, our two core activities are technology innovation and training, as both are absolutely essential to the habitat sector.
–What can you say about training?
– Medium-term viability of the sector revolves around it. Cetem is the reference system for training for the furniture industry and, in fact, it was the first activity that began almost three decades ago. It is necessary to guarantee that there is a proper and efficient transfer of knowledge about highly manual or artisanal trades so that new employees can learn and apply them in the companies. For this reason, having a training center adapted to this type of trade is absolutely essential, in fact it is one of the major demands of the sector. At Cetem, we are working hard to find funding to expand our current facilities, part of which will be dedicated to this type of training that is so needed today.
–Is the strength of the field in the geographic vector as important as Yekla?
-With the fluctuating times we experience it is difficult to guarantee the medium and long term aspects, but in the case of the sector in Yegla there are some conditions that are stronger than elsewhere. The fact that the sector in Yegla is a true cluster (defined as an important group of companies dedicated to the same sector and located geographically close) gives it some cohesion and survivability, giving it a very important strength. In addition, important infrastructure such as the A-33 highway that connects the entire north of Spain with Europe to the south with the proximity of the AVE station will mean an economic boost in a few months. For this section. In fact, more and more companies are keen to settle in Yegla due to its strategic location. But immediate provision of more industrial land is absolutely essential for these interests to materialize into real investments.
Having these infrastructures and companies like Cetem gives strength to the sector that offers a reasonably optimistic future in the coming years.