Using a furniture sales order processing system for better efficiency

Posted by Jonathan Davies on 22 Jan


The furniture industry is one of the most demanding industries in the commercial world from a manufacturing point of view. It has to take into account the complexities of using sustainable materials; the costs and the lead times of raw materials; of offering full traceability throughout the supply chain and complying with the demands of its client base.

Due to the competitiveness of the furniture sector, manufacturers are well-advised to use an ERP system to oversee the entire process, from the purchase of raw materials, to the sale and delivery of the final product. Such systems can improve efficiencies throughout the complete cycle and help to reduce costs, minimise waste, and increase profits.

The job of the inbuilt Product Configurator

Any ERP based furniture sales order processing system must be capable of managing and supporting the suppliers of materials, components, kits and sub-assemblies, which must be married with requirements of the end products. This is where a product configurator can be beneficial.

A product configurator can help increase the efficiency of the production process as it forms a direct link between sales and production. All products, whether they are standard, made to order/configured to order, have to be supported with Bills of Materials (BOMs). These BOMs detail all of the parts that are needed to make a final product.

These "blueprints" can then be exploded according to batch quantities and controlled through the procurement, shipping, storing and manufacturing phases within the supply chain.

The devil is in the detail 

While the basics of sales order processing are the same from industry to industry, product configurators come into their own for bespoke orders.

Sales orders processed in a product configurator can be translated into a BOM - it can define the materials required, suggest which supplier to source from, initiate procurement, schedule and manage manufacturing processes, including the kitting of parts and the ordering of sub-assemblies. The product configurator can help manage these complex data structures and be responsible for all of these actions, which, in industries such as furniture and fixings, are essential.

From the moment that a sales order is created in the ERP system its inbuilt product configurator will generate that all-important BOM. From this, everything will then be configured to order.

Streamlining for maximum efficiencies

Processing one order at a time can be time-consuming especially if they are the same or similar. This is the opportunity for streamlining, and when done correctly, successful streamlining creates increased efficiencies in optimising production and output, reducing any waste and improving product quality.

As well as facilitating increased profit, the right ERP system will also help to reduce lead times and eliminate stock-outs. Once manufactured, the journey of the final product from loading to storing and warehousing and final distribution to the client can also be controlled by ERP software. It can also manage Customer Service and facilitate aftercare. In short, an effective ERP system will oversee the entire process, ensuring it runs as smoothly as possible.

If you would like to know more about a Furniture Manufacturing ERP system with a built-in product configurator contact us our ERP consultants today.

>> Download our 'Furniture Manufacturers Guide to Being Lean and Productive' 

Topics: Manufacturing, Product Configurator, Production Management, Furniture Manufacturing, Business Efficiency

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