Case studies

Designers, retailers and manufactueres

f you are a furniture manufacturer, a furniture retailer or a furniture designer, our ambitious mission is to build for you a supply chain for which we achieve and maintain a potent and unique win-win situation between Furniture retailer and Furniture manufacturer, for any Furniture Sourcing project we engage in. Let’s face it! The supply chain, which you form part of, is only as strong as the weakest link – and the weakest link is bound to determine whether a project or product becomes a success or a failure. Our win-win approach is intended to achieve the strongest supply chain in the world market for furniture.

For the retailer

We can develop your design from scratch – but we can also offer ready-to-manufacture new designs which can enable you to bypass the many time-consuming steps from idea to launch, and thus, we can improve your competitive advantage.

If you are a retailer sourcing and importing new designs and/or existing long-lived designs from manufactures in South East Asia, you can consider us a shopping/sourcing channel which you can source through with confidence. We offer our services as your supplier and we take responsibility for the success of your sourcing project(s) – In addition, our website is continually updated with NEW designs, which are fully documented, sampled and ready to order, in full container loads.

That said, you are also welcome to use the website as inspiration for your own development projects, which we hope you give us the opportunity to bid on.

We hope that, when you order from us, your expectations relating to both QC, Consistency, Speed-to-market and pricing as well as state-of-the-art of personal support of your marketing requirements, will be exceeded.

Reveal the hidden opportunities

With more than 20 years of experience – both from a retailer perspective and from the perspective of sourcing for retailers – in developing and sourcing furniture from South East Asia, we know – first hand and from every angle – all the many challenges and pitfalls which retailers and other importers face on a daily basis, – as well as the potential profitability for a successfully rolled out project/product. We exist to help you overcome the challenges, while maximising your supply chain’s contribution to your profitability.

Through visiting and working with dozens of factories in South East Asia it becomes clear on a regular basis how many unharnessed opportunities exist. This is because the South East Asian factories – even very large manufacturers with thousands of employees – are frequently strong in production but weak in marketing. This means that thousands of ‘gems’ exist – factories who have grown and gained capabilities on the back of one or just a few large customers somewhere in the world – but have focussed all efforts on building their factory, and little or no efforts on marketing. Very often, such factory could have a particular skill in making a particular type of product making these manufacturers absolute gems. But it’s a jungle… and not advisable to engage with a such factory ‘blind folded’. There are rotten eggs in every basket – and there are also plenty of cultural and linguistic barriers. We can be your eyes on the ground and help you reveal the truly profitable opportunities which best suit your business model.

Prevent variation between production runs – and bear in mind that finish is the most common cause for claims

Consistency – Documentation and clear product specification is everything! We make sure there is no doubt about the specifications of any piece of furniture and we will only accept orders when you have approved the final set of specification – both technical specification and the physical samples.

Especially the finish of particularly wooden furniture is extremely important to keep consistent. This is an area where we go the extra mile. According to our experience – and yours, no doubt – the single most common cause of expensive claims, complaints and inconsistency is finishing issues. Therefore, this is an area that needs extra attention to ensure that your sales and profits are maximised. In addition, finishing is an area where there is a huge opportunity to create genuine USPs which can be highlighted in your store(s). We prefer to develop finishes directly with the chemical supplier, specify the finish decided on to the factory, and have the chemical supplier train the factory staff to apply the finish the correct way – let’s face it! The chemical suppliers are the experts in their field which is really a high-tech area. But the vast majority of YOUR competition treat this as low tech – i.e. as long as the colour matches the QC sample, everything else often becomes an afterthought – and worse yet, the control over the actual compound and application method is rarely specified and therefore left to the discretion of the factory, leaving the road to inconsistencies wide open.  YOU NEED TO BE IN CONTROL OF THIS if you wish to ensure consistency of your wooden furniture, and reduce or ideally eliminate expensive claims.

Once a finish is developed and approved, the lacquers, oils or wax should be free of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compound – or solvents) which are unhealthy for both workers and for customers when new furniture is placed in their homes. But the vast majority of wooden and veneered furniture imported from South East Asia is in fact finished with NC (Nitrocellulose) Lacquer, which is not only full of ‘bad chemicals’ but also tends to have the wood changing colour as it cures. So whilst the QC inspection might pass a production batch based on comparing the colour/finish with a master sample, the furniture might have changed colour when it arrives – it’s a classic cause for claims and losses. Our advice is to let us help you prevent this – by letting the chemical supplier who developed YOUR finish supervise the application, train the factory and take responsibility for the consistency.

We focus our QC efforts on the most commonly occurring causes for claims in order to eradicate them. Should we do this together for your projects?

Quality – Of course we are aiming for zero errors and no claims. One claim is one too many! However, claims do occur, even for the best quality products. Once your first order is delivered and we start a statistical claim monitoring system, which identifies the frequency of different types of issues – expectedly only insignificant issues – occurring. We then tailor the ongoing QC focus to target the most common issues. In other words, the longer we work together, the better the QC which will improve ongoing. The more orders the better and more reliable the claim data. On that basis, we believe that our QC efforts work better than that of our competition, which is usually based on a ‘one-size-fit-all’ QC.

Let us help you prevent delays caused by irregularities in your shipping

Shipping – When goods are ready to ship, the container(s) booked, and the ETD and ETA determined, we will work alongside you, and the factory, following strict procedures to plan everything relating to shipping. We will actively ensure that containers are booked long time in advance, and we will remind you to book delivery time (road haulage) your end long time in advance, and ideally imminently after the shipping date from Asia. We follow a strict procedure for this because we know how disruptions due to – for example – lack of road haulage vehicles being available on the exact date and time you want to take delivery, if booking is left to the ‘last minute’. The earlier booking is made, the less risk of shipping/delivery delays and disruptions which can cause great inconvenience (and money) for you. This is just one ingredient frequently costing money. And our aim is always to minimise both visible and hidden costs in the whole supply chain wherever they occur, with a view to make our shared supply chain more efficient than that of our competition.

Let us help you make new launches ‘hit to floor running’

Marketing – Despite marketing being the second most important ingredient necessary for success of new, costly developments, It is often dealt with as an ‘afterthought’ because all eyes are on Product development the furniture, and production. The keyword is ‘Images’!! A whole range of images of new launches, to be ready to start marketing (particularly online) the new, proud Furniture Designs before they are even shipped, or while they are in transit so that they can ‘hit the floor running’. What’s better for cashflow profitability and competitive advantage, than a chunk of the first production run already being pre-sold before it lands. And equally, what’s worse for performance than having to wait with the marketing until weeks after the furniture has landed in cases where photo sessions can only take place, organised by yourself, AFTER you have taken the first delivery – probably because your supply chain were not able to  – or didn’t allocate the right resources or skills – to create imagery in a quality in compliance with the standard you wish to display on your website and elsewhere.

We understand the importance of Marketing and will support you all the way. And we will always proactively stimulate a dialogue with you to come up with ideas of how you can stand out from the crown, whether it be loyalty schemes, Company presentation as inserts into the boxes, branded Assembly Instructions or your logo mounted as plaques on the furniture, you name it!

You really don’t want any nasty surprises – particularly time schedules having gone off track after your whole launch campaign is planned.

Production – When your order is placed and confirmed, it is of paramount importance that production is planned carefully to ensure that time schedules don’t slip – and in many cases you will have no control over the factory’s ability to meet deadlines, nor knowledge of time schedules slipping, should this happen. All you can do is to rely on the factory’s word. We can help you sleep better! We have very close cooperation with the factories we work with and have daily contact with them once a production runs. And we will keep you posted at least on a weekly basis, whether we are on schedule or not, so that you can be up to date and ensure that your own plans are not being spoiled by delays you have no knowledge of, until it’s ‘too late’.

Never order furniture based on assumptions – be in no doubt about what you order!

Documentation – It is extremely important that any piece of furniture is thoroughly documented before ordering. If there is a risk something can be misunderstood, whether it be the finish, thickness of a panel, assembly method or packaging, it probably will be. We prevent such misunderstandings by addressing all angles and present a full set of documentation.

Convert regulation, legal requirements and compliance from ‘necessary evils’ to Unique Selling Points and competitive advantage.

We ensure complete legal compliance and we always strive to be one step ahead of new regulation likely to be introduced in the near future. Yes, red tape and bureaucracy can be a burden – but we choose to look at it as an opportunity. Simply because most businesses see new regulation as a nuisance and are slow to respond and implement new regulation. We see this as a continuous feed of opportunities to positively stand out, and help you add USPs as new regulation is about to be rolled out.