In 1992, Matjaž Šivic founded Silvaapis together with his sister Alenka Šivic and their parents. New market conditions after the split up of the former Yugoslavia contributed to this formation.
“Our major customers in the beginning were IKEA, Habitat and Stokke®,” says General Manager Mr. Šivic. After Mr. Šivic and his sister finished their studies and entered the business, they began to develop it. “We started to work in solid wooden panels, which is our main product now,” explains Mr. Šivic. “In the beginning, we were involved only in trading. Then we invested in production.”
Mr. Šivic and his sister run the business, and they have two employees for commercial and administration purposes. Purchasing, quality control and development are outsourced to former Silvaapis employees and long-term business partners due to optimization in cost efficiency. The company’s annual turnover in 2012 was seven million EUR, and the company has been consistently A-rated over the past years.
The two main programs of the company are divided between the brother and sister. Ms. Šivic is in charge of the furniture line: mainly Stokke® products, especially Tripp Trapp® production. Mr. Šivic runs the wooden element production: solid wood panels and other semi products. Croatian oak is the primary wood for the panels.
Silvaapis is FSC certified, and only European wood which is grown sustainably is used in the company’s production. The wooden panels are produced for staircases, kitchen worktops and tables. Stokke® is the biggest customer.
Norwegian, German, Danish and Swedish companies make up 95% of the customer base. Silvaapis is the main supplier for hardwood to Hagen AS, one of the biggest Scandinavian stair producers, for its two brands Stryntrappa and Escalia. “We have always been export-oriented,” says Mr. Šivic. “We market our products through direct channels. Our name and our quality open new doors for us. It is a niche market, and we are well-known in that market.”
The mission of Silvaapis is quality, reliability, tradition and price-performance. In 2014 Silvaapis wants to expand its customer base while keeping its present customers. Mr. Šivic visits customers at least three times a year to see what problems, possibilities or news they may have.
“We are constantly looking for new customers and agents. The UK and Switzerland are interesting markets for us for the future because both have a long tradition in solid wood,” Mr. Šivic summarizes. “Our vision is to have 5 to 10% growth, remain financially stable and improve quality. Our main goal is just-in-time, so customers have less stock. We will keep production in Slovenia as it is close and reliable. We will continue searching for new suppliers, especially in Croatia and Bosnia, and keep developing new products together with our customers. We want to optimize production and costs, and become more efficient and more competitive. We strive to be partners, not just suppliers.”