AK-Service at your service
This is a special feature from PAX International's May Amenities & Comfort 2020 digital edition.
For more than 20 years, AK-Service Group of Companies has been creating, producing and supplying onboard products for passenger carriers throughout Russia and the CIS from its factory in St. Petersburg, Russia. Its massive warehouses and efficient logistics processes has expanded its production facilities to key regions in Europe and Asia, with an impressive roster of customers, including Aeroflot, Air Astana, Uzbekistan Airways and Rossiya Airlines, for which the latter two were both awarded 2020 PAX International Readership AwardsReadership Awards for Business Class Amenity Kit.
Now, the supplier is adapting to the demands of its customers for personal protective equipment while simultaneously developing innovative disinfecting methods. In this Q&A, Aleksandr Ferents, Chief Executive Officer of AK-Service Group of Companies, tells PAX International how its factory on home soil has helped the supplier support its customers during the pandemic.
PAX International: Why did AK-Service opt for a factory in Russia from the start, and how does this benefit the customer?
Aleksandr Ferents: Based in St. Petersburg, we started with only one machine in 1994 and then began to grow every year, increasing the amount of product that we can make ourselves. Now in 2020, it is larger than 12,000 square meters and has more than 600 employees. The St. Petersburg factory has grown to have its own sewing production department and we produce cosmetic bags, eye masks, blankets, slippers (more than 15 million pairs per year) and other comfort items.
The most important thing that our factory provides by being based in Russia is speed and flexibility. The production speed of samples, the speed of delivery of the first batch of products when the project is launched. The client does not need to wait several weeks for delivery – the final product can be produced as quickly as the client wants. We are flexible and can regulate the volume of deliveries, make the necessary changes and additions to the products at the request of the client right here and now
PAX: How has AK-Service incorporated the efficiency of the Russia factory location into supporting the battle against the pandemic?
Ferents: Currently, AK-Service is producing hygiene products and masks, and we are always expanding the product line to help reduce the spread of viruses and bacteria. We produce different kind of protective equipment at the St. Petersburg factory: masks, medical gowns, sanitizing door mats, antibacterial hand soap, antiseptic hand sanitizing gels and more.
The new door mats, which have a special shoe disinfectant, are already available to all customers. This is an effective way to keep spaces clean for many business sectors, and the offer includes recycling at our facilities after it is used. We are supplying these for the aviation industry as well for anyone who needs them because we understand that these products are in high demand.
PAX: What is next for AK-Service?
Ferents: As we care deeply about the environment, we are aiming to be more self-sustainable. For example, over the past couple of years, we have expanded to start producing raw materials for a number of products on our own in order to experience minimal dependence on the always-changing international market.