Furniture manufacturers face multiple challenges, with rising material costs and lack of skilled labour being the most common. These challenges, coupled with continuous environmental change, mean the need for constant improvement. Here are some ideas on how to improve production management in your company:
Improve stock management.
Stock control is an act of balancing, especially for custom furniture manufacturers, as too large a stock can have a significant impact on the cash flow and, in addition, requires extensive storage space. A good inventory management system will create an alignment between stock levels, production, and customer requirements, which reduces the risk of product shortages and excessive inventory. In order to have constant control over the stock level, it is advisable to use stock management software that allow you to set minimum and maximum stock limits for each product and notify you when they have been exceeded. This way, you have clearer control and you eliminate stock bottlenecks.
Minimize the losses resulting from the production process by minimizing the consumption of raw materials.
An efficient use of resources results in a reduction of the produced waste, while reducing unnecessary costs at the same time. Examine the current production processes and identify benchmarks that you can improve. Take a benchmark at a time and determine the result you want to achieve (for example, a 10% decrease in the amount of waste resulting from the exploitation of that landmark in the next 12 months). Once you're done with this, move on to the next one.
Plan and schedule all production activities.
For efficient production planning, it is essential to know, at all times, the degree of loading of your employees and of the equipment, the available stocks and the orders you need to execute. When you plan, you can use resources more efficiently. A plan will help you create a better connection between departments. For example, using a design solution right from the sales process, you can send the exact list of the necessary materials to your acquisition department and send the production documentation directly to the factory. This way you can eliminate the time lost with the transmission of information, as well as possible communication errors between departments. Using a resource management system you will be able to avoid blockages and you will have a clear overview of the tasks of each employee.
Uses optimal human resources.
Especially when it comes to furniture design, it has become increasingly difficult to find qualified staff to work with dedicated software, and their salary demands are not small at all. You would like to move from paper sketches to the next level, but if you buy a design software, you don't have experienced employees to work with it? Fortunately, there are solutions that come bundled with a database that can be used immediatelyThus, the design is much simplified and you do not need people with advanced knowledge, because the constructive principles, preconfigured cabinets have already been created by some specialists. Your employees only bring the cabinets on stage, and the system does the rest (respects constructive principles, imposes limits based on them, puts accessories and everything you need to be able to get a list of all the materials to be purchased). The system generates the production documentation and you can put the furniture directly into operation. Thus, with a single employee, you can have design, bidding, purchasing lists, and production documentation in less than an hour. It is very important, however, to buy a system that also includes databasesotherwise you will need someone who knows design at a high level, as well as patience, because it will take at least 1 - 2 years to create your own database.
The lack of automation between departments can cause communication problems and increased risk of errors - especially for custom or complex projects. Therefore, the digitization of the design activity has beneficial effects on the entire company. Starting with furniture configurators to help you in the bidding and design process, to Enterprise Resource Planning solutionscustomized to the specifics of your industry, they will all help you increase the profitability of your business, and by default, your profit.
Invest in the suitable technology.
Technology can help furniture manufacturers improve production management, but choosing the right solution can be difficult. There are many different solutions on the market. Standalone software serve a specific purpose, such as CRM, inventory and production management, whilst an integrated system, such as ERP software, has a wide range of functionalities.
When you start looking for design or ERP solutions, look for the ones that best fit your business and cover your needs as much as possible.