Nice Link Home Furnishings is an original design manufacturer (ODM) serving global markets with an emphasis on the US where they get 90% of their orders. Designing and manufacturing furniture for home furnishing giants such as La-Z-Boy requires Nice Link to deliver consistent quality and achieve high operational-performance levels. The company exports 400 containers—or 16,000 sofas—per month. Nice Link faces the challenges of increased labor shortages, rising material costs, and the need to reduce risks when entering new markets overseas.
NICE LINK home furnishings partners with Lectra to grow and enhance its competitiveness
NICE LINK was able to overcome rising raw material costs by gaining a 3% increase in material savings which protected profit margins.
How to future-proof its furniture production processes to achieve performance targets in difficult and uncertain times
Standardizing their production methods to make expanding into new markets easier
Lectra suggested the all-in-one cutting solution, Versalis, to enable Nice Link to digitize and automate its production flow. From work order preparation to the unloading of cut parts, Versalis’ automated nesting software helps Nice Link achieve grouped and mixed nesting as well as material waste reduction and increased leather yield. This makes expanding into new markets easier by standardizing production methods to boost product quality and overall production efficiency.
Meeting product quality and cost demands with workflow visualization and automation technology
Nice Link was able to improve productivity by manufacturing more furniture articles with fewer workers, reducing its dependence on manual oversite and labour during peak and tough periods. The company was therefore able to overcome rising raw material costs by gaining a 3% increase in material savings which protected profit margins. The company also capitalized on its long-standing knowledge of global furniture trends by boosting its production speed to deliver new products to new markets, fast before its competitors.
Why strengthening operational resilience, flexibility and agility is key to success in today's global furniture market
One of Nice Link’s goals is to save time in the manufacturing process with effective workflow visualization and automation technology to deliver high-quality products to the market faster.
Due to the aging of the local employee pool and the scarcity of industrial labor in the younger generation, the company turns to investments in reliable and professional automation solutions. These could reduce the company’s dependency on manual labor and simultaneously boost its production speed.
Digital cutting solutions enable Nice Link to respond to changes in demand with greater flexibility and agility. The company was struggling to meet demands during peak seasons because additional manual cutters were not always available. Now, Versalis enables Nice Link to keep up with a much higher demand with fewer workers.
Versalis’ digital production management capabilities help improve Nice Link’s overall production efficiency, thereby increasing the company’s competitiveness and strengthening its ability to develop new products as part of the company’s expansion strategy into new overseas markets.
In an unstable market with fluctuations in demand as well as uncertainties, disruptions and higher shipping costs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the company deems diversifying its export orders an urgency.
Reducing material waste to maximize profit margins
Nice Link has achieved a 3% increase in material savings by using digital visualization technology to nest, cut pieces in groups, make marks as close as possible to the defects, cut with greater accuracy and achieve a smaller buffer between cut parts. This contributes to reducing material waste and increases leather yield which protects profit margins against rising material costs.
Building a partnership for innovation and growth with advanced digital technology and automation solutions
Impressed by Lectra’s years of experience in the furniture industry, Nice Link aims for a closer and longer-term relationship with Lectra.
Nice Link’s introduction to Versalis started with a test project where both companies worked together to formulate the KPIs that would validate the performance of the cutting solution. During the testing process, Lectra helped Nice Link to digitize markers and optimize its pre-production and production processes. This collaborative and customer-centered relationship enabled Nice Link to understand quickly how to use Versalis and discover ways to ensure they achieve their performance targets.