Panels & Furniture Asia Jul/Aug 2020

July / August 2020, Issue 4 | Panels & Furniture Asia 38 | FURNITURE MANUFACTURING In the current digital age, reinventing and transforming a business into a modern operation can seem like a move that is more challenging than what most businesses are ready to face. However, it does not need to be. Transforming and modernising end-to-end operation for flat panel furniture production F or a business to stay ahead of competition, it should focus on improving the overall process from the point of the initial sale to receiving the final payment for a completed project, with minimal mistakes and defects. One commonmistakemade by businesses is investing in different technology separately, be it hardware or software, and adding them to their existing operations. What is often not considered is that these systems, processes and manufacturing methods are createdwith different manufacturing processes inmind. Theymay require a higher level of manual labour when added to an existing operation or are not as compatible with the existing machines and systems in their plants. The outcome? Available manpower is taken up by the many manual processes that range from costing, raw material list (BOM), cabinet list, part list, cut plan, CAM programmes and 3D illustration which are often completed in different spreadsheets and systems. These processes also rely on a great amount of manual data entry, further upping the chances of human error. A BETTER APPROACH An important first step to take is to conduct a comprehensive review of the entire process in your business. Changes must be considered holistically but approached systematically. Starting with the end goal in mind, you should be thinking about where you want to see your business in three years’ time and then work backwards. For example, from reviewing your business, you may conclude that you want to make an investment in updating your machinery in a year’s time. Leading up to this investment, you will need to take steps to prepare your organisation and staff for the changes ahead. It should be emphasised that the investment needs to bring transformation and improvement to your business, as no smart investor wants to invest money just to have updated machinery in their factory. A greater return on your investments should be anticipated and should be the aim to work towards. Utilising a system that allows your staff to start the digitalisation process will allow for a smoother transition into the digital age By Graham Rutter, International Business Development , Cabinet Vision