“From the very beginning, I believed in the quality of the products, the values and ideas, as well as the whole process of service delivery. Here we are today, after 20 years, stronger than ever. “- Ovidiu Prodea, Founder of PEFOC.
Next, we invite you to find out the story of a successful business, which brings warmth to Romanians' homes through fireplaces built by passionate and professional people.
1. I know your business has a vast history behind it. Please tell us, when and how did you get started?
It all started in 1999, when Ovidiu Prodea (currently one of the 3 associates of the company) goes to Germany, to call some family friends, to learn how to build a fireplace. In 2000 he builds the first fireplaces with the help of the accumulated knowledge. He continues to build fireplaces by training other people and executing works in the neighboring counties of Sibiu. The idea continues in an ascending way until 2006, when, a major problem arises - the lack of materials necessary for the construction of a professional fireplace in Romania. Ovidiu Prodea's eldest son - Benjamin - joins and, together, sets up a company to bring the materials that the assembly teams needed to build fireplaces. In the short term, several craftsmen from Sibiu area are supplied with materials necessary for the execution of the fireplaces. At the end of 2013 he joins the business and his younger brother - Samuel - and thus the management team of the company is formed in the format in which it is found today. In this format, with clear strategies and reliable external partners (European suppliers), the business expands at national level, with the main domain of the distribution of fireplaces under the name of Pefoc.ro.
2. It is therefore a family business. What are the advantages, but also the challenges, in this situation?
Being a family business there are both benefits and challenges. In our case, the challenges are related to the differences of personality, as well as those regarding the endowments and abilities of each one. In this way, we complement each other and the responsibilities are clearly divided according to the strengths of each one. Being not only different personalities, but totally opposite in many respects, I could say that this can be a challenge from time to time, materialized by differences of opinion, the way we think and the way we perceive things. However, I could say that it is more of an obvious advantage!
3. At this moment there are many shops in all the big cities in Romania. Do you consider it more important to have presentation shops than to present the products only in the online environment?
We are present at the moment both in the online environment and in presentation shops throughout Romania. We believe that they can blend very well with each other. In most cases, customers, thanks to technology and the Internet, document themselves very well, even from home, and then turn to the presentation shops and companies that can run a fireplace ready, knowing exactly what they want and what they need. to demand. Online contributes a lot, so that customers can make the right decision to their advantage and can also compare products, taking as long as they need.
4. "The man of the house buys his summer sled and winter car." Does this saying also apply to the fireplace market? What is the period with the highest demand?
Yes. This saying also applies in our field for some of the products we sell, especially for a period of approx. 3 months of the year, when the demand is lower (we speak of the season). This period usually begins after Easter and ends at the beginning of August. However, the highest demand period of the year starts in September and lasts until Christmas. We recommend, not only with regard to the materials, but especially with regard to the fixtures, that those who want a fireplace to look for offers and to be informed, even during the summer and this not only to obtain a better price, but because good craftsmen during the season are very busy with many accepted works from time. It is important that the assembly is done by a person specialized in the field, so that the products can operate at optimum parameters and have durability over time.
5. How does PeFoc.ro differ on the Romanian market from the rest of the competitors in the field?
Pefoc.ro is differentiated both by products and services offered on the national market - for example, the supply of materials in a short time (1-2 days) throughout the territory of Romania from its own stock. Most of the materials we exhibit, with a few exceptions, are in stock. Focusing mainly on products that have a good ratio, both in terms of quality, but also as a price, is again an advantage offered by us, so that the products are bought due to the specifications and prices they have. , without the need for endless arguments or marketing persuasions for someone to buy the products.
Practicing real prices and real discounts on certain products (if any) has also built our customers' trust in our brand, and here I am referring to the fact that we do not practice strategies such as inflated prices, which, afterwards, are reduced only to grab customers or for the sake of modern marketing. I think these things recommend us and cause our customers to recommend us in turn.
6. What are the guarantees you offer to your customers?
Warranties vary widely and cover a period of 2 years to 30 years. With a wide range of products and services, these guarantees vary widely (in terms of duration and consistency). If I were to remember which guarantees are most commonly used, then they would be those of 5 years.
7. I noticed that you have very good communication with customers in the online environment. How important is this aspect?
We try through the online environment to transmit everything we do and everything that characterizes us, starting from the way we carry out the activity, events, tips, own presentations of the products and their testing. We are as transparent as possible in everything we do and we can see that this aspect is highly appreciated by the customers, which is why we consider this fact an important one.
8. Fireplaces: a heating mode or a design object? I notice that more and more people have a fireplace set up just because they are "in style".
If 5-6 years ago a large part of the customers chose a fireplace as a source of heat, now most of them choose it for design. For the beautiful ambience it offers, to listen to the little piece of wood or to see the play of flames. Even if the wood is expensive, this does not exclude the tendency for people to choose a fireplace from other ranges, such as: gas fireplaces, pellets, bio-fireplaces or electric fireplaces.
9. What are the trends of fireplaces for 2020?
As for the fireplace market, it is constantly changing, not only in Romania, but throughout Europe. In 2020 more and more people are turning to chimney-type stoves that no longer require complicated installation, but which have a more special appearance, to the range of premium fireplaces, due to their clean performance and combustion and to gas fireplaces. , which are close to traditional wood fireplaces, but the comfort is much greater - everything can be easily controlled and controlled from the remote control. What we want is for customers to focus not only on quality products, but also on qualified personnel for the implementation of these products, so that they can truly enjoy the investment they make for a period as long as possible, or why not for a lifetime.