Consumers have exacting demands when it comes to home furnishings. They believe furniture serves a larger purpose than its intended use. It is meant to represent them. For this reason, people today spend more time shopping for the perfect piece of furniture to outfit their space. When they cannot find what they want or at the price point desired, consumers turn to customization.
With endless options, your business must have the ability to handle any and all requests to survive in a buyer-driven market. For a better idea of what can be done to increase business success in the home furnishings industry, read on.
Optimize production processes.
A zero error rate can be achieved if you consistently improve your production processes. Your goal should always be to avoid consumer dissatisfaction and publicized complaints by constructing pieces well. This applies to both in-stock items as well as those that are customized.
The best way to limit missteps involves automating data generation and transfer. You may not be able to automate all aspects of your business because some areas are more dynamic than others. However, for items such as material and model, having a designated option for employees to select in your computer software ordering program will make it easier to communicate purchase requests to fulfillment personnel.
These actions will improve manufacturing accuracy and ensure repeatability, an important achievement that helps sustain quality and manage cost. Additionally, you will discover it aids in procedures standardization. Standardization is a necessity for reducing errors. Consistency in executing processes and procedures results in crafting a quality product every time.
Keep in mind, however, you must invest a substantial amount of effort to developing an approach that has flexibility, so all requests have a solution. The end result is an optimized process that expedites production development and brings your product to market sooner. The quality is always on point, and consumers who are elated by the furniture they receive.
Before people expected everything to be quick, you had the luxury of making up to eight prototypes of a single product to ensure it met your specifications and lived up to quality standards. Thereafter, the product would launch for purchasing. If a consumer preferred customization, it was available, and could take approximately 12 weeks before the person received their final product.
However, that is no longer the norm. Buyers do not want to wait a prolonged period to receive their product, even if it means they will receive an outstanding piece that fits their style. Instead, consumers expect their demands to be fulfilled with expedited delivery. In that respect, it is crucial to increase your appeal to customers by instilling greater efficiency in manufacturing processes.
A good starting point for improving efficiency involves streamlining processes with the implementation of new software. The software you choose should eliminate unnecessary steps in the design, industrialization, and production processes by offering both two- and three-dimensional visuals and data on the actual product. The illustrations would allow you to select specific colors, stitching, textiles, and foam, among other aspects.
Having a clear picture of a piece of furniture as well as associated expenses based on the options chosen reduces the need for a physical prototype, thus speeding up the manufacturing timeframe. Keep in mind the importance of proper training when introducing new software. Develop a training strategy that involves a holistic approach to ensure you address all factors, including employees and processes, impacted by the tool. In doing so, you can maximize your return on investment.
Consumers are enticed by customized products. They consider a customized piece to be a premium purchase because it is made exactly to their personal preference. While giving the option is costly to execute, it can increase your appeal to consumers as well as your bottom line.
So how can you maintain your margins and still give people exactly what they want? As stated in the previous section regarding efficiency, utilizing software will limit the need to invest in physical prototypes. It also helps you understand how to manipulate designs to meet a particular budget. A simple switch of fabric or material that still meets a consumer’s request, while reducing production costs, can alleviate financial burdens.
Further, software that provides data transfer is the best option for customized pieces. Accurate data transfer from 3D to 2D is essential when multiple parties are involved in manufacturing a final product. Some departments require a visual 3D model of a piece of furniture to view it for design and function. They want to understand that all the components will work together and result in a cohesive product.
Without the 3D option, the complexity of furniture making can be overwhelming, and the potential to construct a solid, functional product without a prototype is less likely. Departments that value 2D information utilize it for the industrialization phase. They require specific measurements to build a piece. Accurate data results in fewer errors, especially when designing a one-of-a-kind product.