Building an agile and diverse supply chain
Embracing the transformation of the value chain by changing production processes, increasing product availability, and shortening delivery times is essential to ensure a successful customer experience. Increasingly drawn to immediacy, consumers often prefer the more digital-savvy, younger brands to big brands that lack agility. The three key words here are: digital, retail and supply chain transformation.
But let’s not bark up the wrong tree – building a supply chain is above all about keeping end customers happy. They are now mainly divided between the residential furniture market and the office furniture market.
The lockdown caused a spectacular upturn in the residential furniture market in the summer of 2020. Manufacturers have been able to adapt to demand and get closer to their customers through their product offerings but above all their services. But this boom has also limited customization because to meet the demand, some manufacturers have developed standard designs to build customer loyalty.
In the office furniture market, the recovery came later, weakening the financial results of certain manufacturers in the sector in the second quarter of 2020 before meeting with real success in the fourth quarter. The office furniture market indeed had to meet specific challenges during this crisis. The challenge was to create B2C products for employees who had to work from home, digitize catalogs, integrate PIM (Product Information Management) and ERP systems, create high quality products less expensive than in BtoB, all in record time.
In these two markets, digitalization is strengthening the link between consumers and brands, which helps reduce lead times and develop smart stock management processes.
Aiming for permanent resilience
As the health situation goes up and down, will the digital transformation of the furniture sector continue in the long term? In order to sustain the growth the furniture industry has experienced overall since the start of the pandemic and to implement new levers for growth, players must continue to invest in the digital transformation of their supply chain to make it even more agile and diverse.
The crisis ultimately proved to be a catalyst for the necessary changes in certain sectors, notably the furniture industry. This market must continue to capitalize on this growth, although it is difficult to predict, and take advantage of the financial resources available in order to progress in a sustainable and innovative manner. Major investments must be made and selling online is no longer an option, it is becoming a key tool for growth. The most successful companies, whether brands or manufacturers, will be those who have implemented a vision, as well as a medium and long-term investment strategy. Digital transformation indeed requires the automation of processes and methods, while consumer services must adapt their strategy to improve the customer experience by opting for a multi-channel approach.