The world is changing. How about you ?
The Pandemic is changing how business gets done, including the business of cabinetmaking. A number of the shifts were already pretty far along, but the situation led companies to delve deeper into the world of technology to get their heads above water.
An ongoing industry shift accelerated by the pandemic is in the manufacturing process itself. Prior to COVID-19, the industry saw many cabinet shops adopting more automated production processes: paperless job tickets, lean manufacturing. This continues, but the pace and urgency of such changes has accelerated. Considering the current situation, finding new ways of doing business, from sales through design and production, is now mandatory.
Cabinet businesses not moving with the market forces driving these changes run a high risk of being left in the dust. How about you?
5 Ways the Pandemic is Changing Cabinetmaking
- Remote communications have transformed the sales process:
In sales, client visits are now history. And cold-calling is prohibited. Now pitches are developed through e-mail and online marketing, follow-up calls, and 3D presentations of kitchen and room design renderings. Increasingly, presentations use precise 3D renderings, some using photorealistic designs or even immersive reality, letting clients “walk through” the proposal virtually.
The more real, the better the chance of closing the sale. And another upside: cutting travel means more time for more proposals, a formula that ultimately leads to more sales.
- Plant managers should be seen, and not heard:
To keep colleagues safe, the manufacturing workplace has also been changed, with the new social distancing reality. On the noisy plant floor, work cells are spaced out to minimize peer to peer exposure. And face to face, and “face to ear” shouting, is now considered very unsafe.
Production optimization systems and adoption of Manufacturing Execution Systems for factories, already trending in the two years leading up to the pandemic, has moved from “nice to have” to “got to have” status. These systems help keep production moving, communicating orders, changes, and advisories from a distance, without risk. They offer the added bonus of transparency, providing a window into job status and productivity rates for all the members of the team, wherever they are working.
- Adapting rapidly to unforeseen changes
Having contingency plans in place for business operations has always been a good practice. But with the pandemic, businesses were reminded to expect the unexpected. A manufacturing tracking system that knows the status of every project – from design through shipping – as well as parts and outsourced components, is the best way to ensure responsiveness.
- Leading innovation through Virtual Events
In a rapidly changing environment, organizations must be constantly on the lookout for innovations in their industry. Cabinetmakers will now look to “digital events” – online conferences, webinars, virtual exhibitions – presenting at them to win new customers. But remember, too: attending them to hear from suppliers helps shops stay up with technology and materials advances that can improve their own businesses.
- Centralizing documents
Working remotely has become the preferred approach. Though there are downsides (juggling childcare and homelife versus worklife) the efficiencies gained make this a winning strategy. Companies quickly learned, however, that they did not have the IT structure to share databases and documents. While this sticking point is still a concern in some areas such as accounting and general administration, the ability to share assets is easily resolved within a Manufacturing Execution System.
How about you? Have you managed to adapt to the new reality? How did you do so?
Contact us for a free consultation to find out how we can help you improve.
– WEB-CAB Team