Challenges of the Furniture Manufacturing Industry

Modern furniture design

Furniture design isn’t exactly easy. Furniture designing is an artistic niche that caters to both the functionality, as well as the visual appeal of different types of furniture. Basic storage and comfort are no longer the only functions associated with new-age, contemporary furniture. There is demand for accessibility to the internet with one touch, charging ports, app-friendly features and more.

There’s an increasing demand for smart furniture in offices, with the aim of boosting productivity, while still creating modern aesthetics for ambience. Furniture is, undoubtedly, part of interior design, but its more than just decor.

Designing commercial office furniture is not something that most of us will be involved in, but we might be able to appreciate it a bit more if we see the thought and care that goes into the design. As customer’s expectation rise, those who make contemporary furniture need to find solutions to challenges that the new environment is bringing to them. [1]

There is an increasing interest at workplaces to upgrade their space with smart furniture. This not only helps to boost employee productivity, but also provides a more modern outlook to the office ambience.  Furniture is part of the interior design, but its significance goes beyond just décor.

Contemporary furniture design is limited only by the imaginative and creative capabilities of the designer when it comes to combining function and fashion. The Internet of Things (IoT) can now be expanded to include modern furniture. However, the fast-paced evolution of technology is a challenge when it comes to new-age furniture designing. What was modern last year is no longer a recent feature. As  customer expectations rise, contemporary furniture making also needs to find solutions to the various challenges it faces in a  new environment.

Risk of entry into the furniture manufacturing industry

The Business Dictionary defines risks or barriers to entry as “economic, procedural, regulatory, or technological factors that obstruct entry of new firms into an industry or market.” The ability to overcome such barriers can make or break a business in any industry. People looking to enter the furniture business should consider its several potential barriers.

It’s also important to choose suitable  insurance coverage to give you peace of mind and protect your company.

Large furniture companies can make it difficult for smaller furniture businesses to attract customers when they enter a market. Large companies often are household names, have significant resources for marketing campaigns, and can take advantage of economies of scale, thus decreasing their manufacturing costs and prices charged to the consumer. As an example, the largest furniture store in the world, IKEA, can leverage its size to lower manufacturing costs and provide furniture at low prices.

Furniture purchases are often large expenditures where families look for both exceptional quality and value. National or international chains can take advantage of brand recognition and reputation to attract customers, making it difficult for new furniture stores to attract a clientele. Furniture stores of any size that have been part of a community for many years may also pose a similar threat to a new store. Family and neighbourhood connections may have generations of customers returning to the same store.

Challenges of furniture manufacturing in Australia

Despite the uptake in Australian manufacturing as a whole over the past year, furniture manufacturers face a set of challenges that will make it difficult to compete in the coming years. While some of these obstacles apply to manufacturing in general, furniture manufacturing is especially sensitive to price fluctuations, customer demand, and a stiffly competitive environment.

As with all industry trends, proper planning is key to navigating the competitive landscape. The top challenges currently facing furniture manufacturers are skilled labour shortages, increasing costs, and fluctuating customer demand.

Most manufacturers reported that their greatest obstacle for 2019 was finding skilled workers. As key workers move into retirement, furniture manufacturers may struggle to replace positions on the production floor. If, like many companies, you cut on-site training programs during the economic recession, you won’t be developing these important skills within your existing workforce either.

Furniture manufacturing is facing price hikes due to factors both within the industry and outside of it. The increasing cost of materials may force you into a tight space, either you absorb the costs  or you pass them down the chain to your consumers and risk losing business to your competition. Experts in the furniture industry predict that manufacturers will be more likely to have their own business take on the costs, in order to survive in a  competitive environment.

Cost increases and potentially rising employee wages are even more difficult to manage in a time of fluctuating customer demand. Furthermore, people are turning to “smaller households,” such as apartments and small houses. These trends have a huge impact on furniture manufacturing.

Apartments and small homes call for less furniture, and rented spaces are often furnished with cheaper and smaller furniture. Renters are less likely to invest in large, high-end furniture pieces. Given the more transient nature of renting, items generally need to be easy to move, or inexpensive enough to be disposable upon moving.

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