Furniture manufacturing software helps businesses optimize lead times, meet customer demand, and increase profitability through efficient inventory control, supply chain management, production planning, and quality control. This industry-specific type of manufacturing ERP platform addresses the unique offerings and production quirks of the furniture business.
End-product and made-to-order furniture manufacturers using software can automatically manage the entire manufacturing process, from obtaining raw materials to assembling the final product. And assembly-based furniture providers can use the same tools to ensure the correct parts kits, instructions, and sub-assemblies are in the same package. Software also tracks sales orders, plans production schedules, and creates accurate estimates for custom products.
Many solutions tailored to the furniture manufacturing industry are really full enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools. These solutions include modules for manufacturing processes as well as other business processes like human resources, payroll, and customer relationship management.
|Manufacturing Inventory Management||Track quantities of raw materials, assembly parts, and finished products currently on hand. Automate purchase order processing when supplies run low.|
|Bill of Material (BOM)||Create instructions for furniture assembly and lists of materials, equipment, and hardware needed.|
|Quality Control||Lower production costs by using corrective actions to reduce defects in finished products and ensure furniture pieces meet your quality standards.|
|Supply Chain Management||Track the flow of goods from acquiring the raw materials to delivering the final product.|
|Sales Order Management||Convert sales orders to begin the order fulfillment process, then create corresponding invoices.|
|Production Planning||Determine and schedule the materials and labor needed for each manufacturing job to be finished on time.|
|Warehouse Management||Keep accurate, real-time records of stock levels in your warehouse storage to know which products are available at all times.|
Furniture manufacturers have thousands of product variations to manage at any given time, from fully assembled pieces to individual spare parts. An automated system will track your finished inventory and raw materials like wood, metals, and fabrics. This allows you to see what you have available in addition to which product variations can be made with on-hand materials. Many furniture manufacturing systems also include a product configurator module to create a custom piece with a particular size, pattern, color, or material.
Prices of wood, metals, and other raw materials fluctuate frequently–furniture manufacturing software will track these costs in real-time, so you can adjust prices accordingly. And when supplies run low, software can automatically send purchase orders to prevent production from slowing down.
Many furniture businesses rely on multiple software solutions to run. One common integration is ERP software, which balances manufacturing operations as well as day-to-day business processes. These solutions also typically include features like human resources, accounting, and CRM to help manage backend tasks. ERP systems with manufacturing modules offer material requirements planning, sales order management, quality management, and more.
|Accounting||Track revenue from sales orders and open invoices, as well as business expenses and payments to vendors.|
|MRP||Streamline manufacturing with shop floor control, purchase planning, demand forecasting, and equipment maintenance scheduling.|
|Customer Relationship Management (CRM)||Store customer contact information and order histories. Automate order entry, shipping notifications, and order status updates, as well as marketing emails based on purchase history.|
|Human Resources||Manage the hiring and onboarding process, employee recruitment, track time and attendance, and benefits administration.|
|Budgeting and Forecasting||Create estimates of the business’s future revenue and expenses based on historical trends and future market condition predictions.|
Furniture manufacturers that offer direct-to-consumer sales can use ERP to streamline the sales process. Some software solutions offer e-commerce functionality that allows your business to sell to consumers online. The system makes it easy to update pricing, add product variants, upload product images, and automatically update inventory quantities.
Many ERP systems have the ability to integrate with other solutions to cater to your unique business needs. Advanced ERP software sometimes includes business intelligence (BI) tools so furniture manufacturers can make better business decisions based on both financial and non-financial data. This information can help you find where improvements can be made to increase customer satisfaction.
Other important software integrations for the furniture manufacturing industry include:
Inventory management helps furniture manufacturing businesses track quantities and prices of raw materials, hardware, and finished products. Raw materials can include anything used to manufacture the furniture, such as screws, brackets, and nails. Purchase orders can be automatically sent to your vendors and distributors before the materials or hardware runs out to reduce downtime.
An inventory management system makes it possible to track finished furniture within your store or warehouse. The system includes descriptions of each product, material makeup, and available product variants. RFID and barcode labels can be placed on raw materials, hardware pieces, and assembled furniture to streamline physical real-time inventory counts.
Production planning helps furniture manufacturers determine the materials, equipment, and labor requirements for each job order. If materials are low or out of stock, the system will warn you in advance, so you can reorder as needed before beginning production.
The production schedule helps businesses track each piece of furniture throughout the manufacturing process. For example, you can see when the product is scheduled for the initial assembly and when the piece should move on to the painting or finishing stage. This allows you to ensure products are being finished on schedule. If any part of the process is falling behind, corrective action can be taken to prevent late delivery.
Product configurators are commonly used for made-to-order and custom furniture sales. The configurator allows customers to see how a completely customized piece of furniture will look. Specific parameters can be set up, including patterns, material type, and dimension limits within the configurator to control what the customer can customize.
The product configurator will also provide real-time price quotes. When the customer is done selecting their desired customizations, the estimated cost will be calculated and presented automatically. The configurator will also show suggested add-ons and options to upsell products.
Finally, these products can be grouped together in the system to form furniture sets. For example, variations for a matching sofa, loveseat, and ottoman can have similar SKUs, so you can find related products quickly.