The local manufacturing  sector continues to take a beating  as a result of the slowdown in construction and the persistent  effects of the global recession.

But operators of at least one local firm, Oran Limited, said that despite the tough environment they were continuing to hold their own both locally and regionally.

Operations manager Justin Oran said that as a result of the slowdown in business for the company which manufactures doors, ladders and windows among other products,  they had embarked on a number  of mitigation strategies.

Among the measures taken  were the incorporation of new technologies and an expansion  in the product offering.

“For the past two years we  have been involved in very heavy discounting,” Oran said. “Part of that is for two reasons: One is to maintain jobs. The second is to try and grow our market share and encourage customers to purchase from Oran Limited.

“We should be looking to continue with this strategy. For the most part that has kept things afloat and moving in this period of decline. But we are optimistic and will see how things  pan out in the next year or two,”  added Oran.

The company currently exports  to ten regional countries including Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas and Guyana.

Noting that there had been increased competition in all these markets, Oran said: “In each of the markets we have seen a general slowdown. Barbados hasn’t been  the only one.”.

Oran Limited currently employs 220 people, about half of whom are female.

Oran was speaking during an  open house last Friday, which  forms a part of the Barbados Manufacturers’ Association’s  (BMA) buy-local campaign. (MM)