Read our exclusive interview, as we unveil the secrets of down feather and all our filling materials, including FAQs, with Saltanat Barış Bukenova, Overseas Sales Manager.
Our factory, spanning an impressive 52,000 m2 on 200 acres in Akyazı, Sakarya, serves as the birthplace of a diverse range of exceptional products. With a commitment to utilizing the finest filling materials and offering an extensive selection of fabric types, we have successfully expanded to over thirty countries worldwide. Notably, our exclusive partnerships with prestigious global brands and tailored sleep sets for various sectors, including tourism and accommodation, have propelled us to the forefront of the industry. Our ultimate mission is to provide accessible, top-notch sleep experiences while maintaining unwavering dedication to sustainability.
Saltanat Barış Bukenova, Overseas Sales Manager, answers the details of Maya’s Professional’s business processes in the field of exports and the most frequently asked questions.
In how many countries across how many continents are Maya’s Professional products distributed?
Through our Maya’s Professional contract manufacturing channel, private label products are exported to more than 30 countries on 4 continents. Europe, Africa, Asia, North America are among the main continents we work with.
What are the most ordered products?
If we take the category of pillows and quilts, sleeping pads and covers as a basis, the products with the highest sales dynamics are pillows. Since it is the group that is offered for sale regardless of the season, we can state that it is consumed more rapidly. Pillows always account for at least 60% of the order.
How do the product development process work, and how are product recipes created to cater to the specific needs of these brands, ensuring the delivery of top-quality and licensed products?
Our process commences with in-depth and comprehensive bilateral interviews with customers who express interest in private label products. During these discussions, our aim is to gain a thorough understanding of the customer’s market position, business model (whether it involves online sales, retail, or both), brand identity, and target segment. Based on the evaluation of these crucial details, we prepare a collection outline that aligns seamlessly with the customer’s requirements. Throughout the creation of these product outlines, we consider the market landscape, sector analysis, global trends, and potential opportunities.
What are the most common questions you receive from customers?
Price list ???? When it comes to custom production, the customer’s demands can be very different and unpredictable. For this reason, the product range we offer as Maya’s Professional is presented as a general product outline that will give customers an idea of our production capacity, product variety, and sewing technique. However, when details such as special size, filling ratio, filling type, and special packaging are requested, this opens the door to special product development and contract manufacturing process and will require us to make a special price study.
Another question we receive most frequently is Minimum Quantity (MOQ). The minimum quantity question is directly related to many parameters such as the type of product requested (pillow, quilt, pad, pillow pad), type of filling, fabric, size, production, and sewing method. It is not possible to determine the minimum quantity without details such as product type, product size, fabric, and filling type.
Could you provide a brief overview of the processes involved in working with Maya’s Professional for potential customers, with a specific emphasis on international operations?
The initial step of this process involves providing a comprehensive introduction of our brand and the solutions we can offer to potential customers who express interest in collaborating with us. Effective communication is of utmost importance, which is why we prioritize conducting these meetings through live or online video calls whenever feasible. Typically, these meetings span between 40 minutes to an hour in duration. As we elucidate our capabilities, we also inquire about the other party’s business model, aiming to evaluate the alignment between the customer’s needs and the solutions we can provide, as well as the potential opportunities for collaboration.
After making an internal evaluation based on the details shared by the customer after the interview, the offer file is prepared according to the customer’s business model, sales channel, or company profile. Based on the customer’s feedback, the stage of switching to samples or any improvement and change in the offer is reviewed again if any improvement or change is requested. After the sample is processed, each step of the production phase is progressed by obtaining approval from the other party. This whole process allows us to proceed faster and more quickly in the production of the next same product. After the samples are ready, they are shipped to the customer’s address and the order production is started upon the final approval and order of the other party.
Maya’s Professional is one of the names that set world standards, especially in the field of goose down. In which products are goose down filling materials most preferred?
The most preferred product with goose down filling material is the pillow group, which has the fastest sales dynamics. Then we can list them as quilts and the goose down pad group, which has become especially well-known and demanded in recent years.
What are the most sensitive issues for customers in goose down production and how does Maya’s Professional respond to them?
We know that goose down is one of the best thermal insulation fillings in the world, and customers know it too. At a time when online markets and social media are so active and intense, consumers have high awareness and expectations of products. They know the details about the type of filler used in the product. One of the most sensitive issues related to feathers is animal rights. Especially for markets such as Europe and America, this condition is the most important factor in choosing a supplier or not.
Maya’s Professional is the only member company of the European Feather Association (EDFA) and continues its activities as a Board Member of EDFA. Within the framework of the regulations and sustainability principles of EDFA, of which we are a member, we work with our respect for animal rights and social responsibility awareness. In this direction, the goose feathers we supply are only supplied from animals raised for meat in fattening farms.
As the only member of the European Down and Feather Association (EDFA) in Turkey, we offer the highest quality product groups in goose down to our customers with our product production in accordance with EN12934 standards.
What are other preferred raw material alternatives; can we meet demands such as customized blends and new raw material supply?
I think we can give a correct answer to the question of preference by making both global and regional evaluations. Globally, we can state that it is anti-allergic and anti-bacterial fiber type. Regionally, in the Middle East and Asia, bamboo fiber is one of the most demanded filling materials besides the feather group. On the other hand, in Europe and the UK, goose down has always been at the top of the list, while wool has become one of the other fillers that have started to come to the fore. The EU has started to pay a lot of attention to sustainability and environmentally friendly production and consumption. Since wool is one of the recyclable fillings, consumers have become interested in this type of filling. Of course, this demand was created as a result of the efforts of global brands to create awareness in this direction.
Can we get brief information about services in the field of creative product design?
In the area of special product development that we offer to our customers, we pay particular attention to providing them with products that are strong, competitive and in line with their brand identity. In this process, we try to create solutions that will differentiate the brand from other alternatives in the market. For example, years ago, we developed a special pillow collection consisting of medical products for consumers with sleep problems for global online marketplaces in the US market. Within this collection, we developed U and L shaped pillows suitable for pregnant women and special pillows for female patients diagnosed with breast cancer. In this process, we realized that we were contributing not only to the customer we were working with, but also to eliminating the sleep problems of people in this special situation. It is a priceless feeling for us to help people in this way.
Is support provided to customers in the area of customization of orders, such as shipment, volume study, yarn and fabric selection?
Within the scope of the custom production process, we consider various scenarios that will increase logistics and cost-oriented production optimization from the product development stage to the final steps, which we call shipment and loading. Without compromising on quality, we offer products that are qualified and meet the expectations of the customer, and we continue to work on fine details such as single or different filling combinations, fabrics that will be compatible with the filling we choose, production and sewing techniques.
During the shipment phase, we offer different options depending on the mode of delivery. Since the pillow and quilt product group is in the lightweight but high volume group category, transportation costs can negatively affect the final sales price of the product and reduce the sales performance of the product. For this reason, we work on various loading simulations with our logistics unit before loading. Our aim is to load all products into the transportation vehicle we will recommend without any problems and in one go and deliver them to the other party.
What are the points where customers are helped to achieve cost benefits?
There are many parameters that lead to cost advantages, one of which is to ensure that the price per unit is as efficient as possible. For example, if there is no special request from the customer for products with small quantities and many sewing and filling techniques, we can direct them to simpler and more efficient mass production instead of recommending this high-cost production. In addition, we also focus on achieving high efficiency in the shipment and logistics phase.
If the loading is via truck or container, the default loading is parceling placement inside the vehicle to maximize the efficiency of this space, and the product capacity inside the parcel is evaluated before the production of the products is completed. For example, for high-volume fillings such as fibers, we can use the vacuum method to increase the in-pack capacity by 30% to 50% depending on the type of product.
How is the process management with customers abroad in areas such as samples and quality control?
After the product development point with the customer with whom we will work on private label products, sample work, approval and control are carried out in a way to be in continuous communication without interruption. Sending samples is always our preference, but in case of time or shorter processes, photos and videos showing all the technical details of the products are shared with our customers and their approvals are obtained. At this point, if there are situations that require revisions or improvements, these processes are completed immediately in this process. In addition, a comprehensive product quality analysis report in English and Turkish is prepared by the Quality units before loading. Visuals of the finished product are presented. This scope includes visuals of processes such as labeling, packaging, placement inside the parcel, label standards outside the parcel, transportation vehicle before and after loading. The quality analysis report is confirmed with the names and signatures of the relevant units. Thus, all stages are recorded and, more importantly, supervised by us.