The leatherwork industries are faced with several difficulties or challenges. Experts in this area must know the challenges so as to devise means of arresting them. The discussed challenges in this article, however, have been dealt with appropriate solutions.
1. Problems of Material Acquisition
The leatherwork industries are faced with the problem of material acquisition. Materials for the production of articles are usually in scarcity. The means of obtaining some of them is very difficult since there are no or few local producers of them. The majority of the materials for leatherwork productions is imported from foreign lands into the country. This makes them very expensive, resulting in high production costs and exorbitant prices for the products. This has seriously affected the patronage and sales of them.
This problem can be curbed by the establishment of more local industries who would produce these materials for leatherwork productions. This would invariably reduce the cost of them and the cost of the products produced from them resulting in higher purchase and patronage. Also, if some of the materials would be imported, the government should reduce the import duty on them to enable customers to be able to purchase locally made leather products.
2. Lack of customer confidence in locally made leather products
Some leather craftsmen fail to use good materials in their productions, but they also impose high prices on their products. Some are very dishonest. They lie to their clients that they’ve used natural leather for their productions while they have used synthetic leather. This has waned the trust that buyers have in local leather craftsmen. They now prefer to buy foreign leather products which have quality as its hallmark unlike the locally produced items which is not durable.
A remedy to this problem is that leather craftsmen should be honest with their clients and speak truth to them. They have to also use good or quality materials for their leather productions. This would bolster the patronage and purchase of the products.
3. Compliance with hallmarking requirements
Most leather craftsmen fail to comply with the hallmark requirements in the leatherwork sector. These include quality control, finishing, packaging, etc. This may be as a result of the deficiency in skill acquisition. This has accounted for the low patronage for locally made leather products.
All leatherwork enterprises should be made to join the professional leatherwork association in a bid to remedy the situation. The association should enforce the hallmark requirements for all leatherwork enterprises. The penalty for infringement of the requirements should be meted out to defaulters to serve as a deterrent to other leather craftsmen.
Also, training should be offered to leather craftsmen on how to maintain these hallmark requirements. Workshops, seminars, forums and talks should be periodically offered to leather craftsmen to abreast them with modern production techniques, finishing etc. Moreover, lectures should be given on work ethics, moral and human values, attitudes etc. If these measures are taken, all leatherwork enterprises in the country would meet the hallmark requirements.