It was always discussed about the recession, economic slow downwhen ever I met Furniture manufacturers across various shows and in India also. Whenever we discussed about the furniture business in India, it was told that the business is becoming very competitive, profits are shrinking and the skilled workers availability is becoming very hard. These are the problems faced by almost every furniture manufacturer. In contrast to this I met few Furniture companies who do not face the marketing problems, shrinking profits etc. I decided to go deep in to its philosophy. Quality raw material, Exclusive Finish, Appealing Esthetics, Utility are the key areas to be controlled carefully and with no nonsense attitude. I found that it not very difficult to follow it in Furniture manufacturing business.
I got the inspiration to write this article after I visited few small units with 5 to 10 persons working and saw a lot of small and portable machines producing Furniture and wooden products worth 2 to 5 MillionUS$ [ Rs 12 – 30 crores per year ] . The quality and finish was so attractive that they never faced the problems of hard price negotiations, delayed payments from the customer and eventually they derived a great customer satisfaction and also a great feeling of high self esteem.
After lot of brain storming discussions the idea of To Make Furniture That Will Sell Itself was shaped. I hope this article will induce lot of hopes in small manufacturers to get lot of Profits – Respect – Satisfaction.
Furniture Retailing – Today’s Scenario
No one imagined few years back that the furniture can be sold on Internet without physically visiting a show room. But today millions of Rupees worth furniture is sold on Internet. This e- retailing market is expanding in leaps and bounds . The main reason of the success of this type of business is the trust that the companies have generated in the buyer that they will get what they see in the picture. This has made to rethink in the big showroom business model that is becoming too expensive due to rising rents and overheads. In today’s world of tight schedules more and more persons prefer Internet buying. This type of buying not only saves the travel time, traffic jams, parking problems but also offers design and material options.
When we see a Furniture piece it should create a positive vibrations in customers mind and he should be attracted towards it like Love at First site. Then come the utility, dimensions and price. When one likes the product the price negotiations take the back seat. To achieve this one has to do lot of study and should think inline of market trends.
We have designed the Six Point program that is necessary to implement this idea.
- Selection of Raw material
- Process of making furniture
- Accessories with higher cosmetic value
- Packing and safe delivery at customers site
Designing the Furniture
Today we are living in the world of THEME. Hence the furniture design should have certain theme and all the furniture products should be designed accordingly.
Today’s each and every customer needs to look his home different than others. Hence they have developed different choices about shape, size
and colour combination of the interiors. The design presented / offered should match the requirements of the customer and utility of the furniture. If you take the example of a sofa, the comfort level and the aesthetic of the seating system should be of higher level to appeal the customer.
Internationally reputed designers are available to share/ lease their designs for reproduction. They can develop the orientation designs for the manufacturers.
Selection of Raw material and Consumables
The first and foremost requirement is the selection of High Quality Raw material like Timber, Panel material like Veneers – Plywood – MDF – Chip Board –Finishes- accessories etc. We can see that novel materials are available in the market as lot of Importers are visiting International shows and are offering advanced materials to the customers. Some of these raw materials may look expensive initially but the advantages they offer will make these more durable and competitive.
Every day new exotic raw materials and accessories are being introduced in the marketso proper attention should be given to use these to value add the furniture products.
In today’s world of digital printing one can reproduce the surface texture and finish that is required so materials can be produced custom made as per our choice .Designer accessories will further value add the furniture and will give a personalized touch to the product.
Process of making furniture
After selection of the raw material next important step is to produce the products with good aesthetics/ visual appeal and good workman ship. It is well said that“to make high quality product you do not need expensive machinery and heavy investment. But most essentially you need is a strong attitude to make a good product. One should not fall prey to CHALTAI HAI attitude”.
The Designer Furniture Productsare not manufactured on mass scale, but are designed to accommodate the customer’s need. Hence all one needs to possess a set of small machines and portable tools that will perform each of the operation needed in the manufacturing process. This process of working will minimize the risk of poor workmanship and finish.
One can do a good joinery without buying an expensiveTenoner&Mortiser. Simple jigs that can be used with Portable Router are available which costs 200 to 1000 US$ as shown in below picture. Non-friction flexible material is available to make the jigs that can produce furniture components accurately.
One can produce one dinning set with six chairs every day with help of these jigs. The joineryfinish is very good and accurate as the cutter is rotating @ 10000 to 25,000 rpm.This toolhas got large variations of sizes and shapes that are generally needed in wooden furniture ranging from chairs, tables, wardrobes etc.so you can work on complicated designs also using the same tool.
Veneering and bent veneered components can be made with vacuum technology as shown in the above picture. It is used to veneer components of any shape by use of simple jigs or even without jigs also. This can be used to veneer various plywood, MDF components also.
Accurate drilling can be performed with precision Drilling Jig that does almost entire drilling requirements of furniture. Mirror drilling is possible that helps in drilling holes for hinges, drawer slide, handle etc.
In final stages all the components are sanded properly to get good surface finish. Thesecan be assembled with minimum glue without bleeding the glue from the joinery. Turbine Pump Spray system is very useful to high material transfer efficiency. This guarantees good surface finish.
Accessories with higher cosmetic value
The accessories manufacturers are doing lot of research to offer better and long lasting products to the customer. These products not only add value to the product but also have impressive visual appeal.
Surface Finishing is the most important area at this stage the furniture gets highest value addition. Modern paints and finishes are available which offer smooth surface and long life to furniture. Metallic finishes are in great demand. The painting process should be such that higher material transfer is guaranteed. HVLP spray guns with pressure fed system will be recommended to get good finish. Pressurized spray rooms will assure dust free surface.
Packing and safe delivery at customers site
Last but not the least the packing and the delivery of the furniture up to customers place is most crucial. Proper attention should be paid while packing the furniture about the Road condition and the material handling attitude.
I hope this article will inspire& motivate to wood working Industry.
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