Archaeological researches have estimated that human beings began carving furniture using wood, stone and animal bones around 30,000 years back. In the present day context, furniture refers to any movable object which can support various human activities like sitting, working, sleeping, keeping other objects, home décor, storage etc and can be made using different materials like wood, plastic, metal, bamboo etc. Furniture can be broadly classified into the following categories –
- Seating (single seat, multiple seat etc)
- Tables (desks, dining and coffee tables, lowboy etc)
- Sleeping/Lying (beds, hammocks, futon etc)
- Entertainment (billiard and chess tables, cabinet for TV, gaming console, music system etc)
- Storage (cabinetry, bookcase, dresser, chest, wardrobe etc)
- Sets (bedroom set, dinette, vanity set etc)
Managing a full-fledged furniture showroom requires meticulous operational planning and execution which is why SOPs secure a very important place in a furniture business. Firstly, SOPs can prove to be very instrumental in controlling inventory costs. Secondly, the quality control, the design and the production process need to be impeccable to the arc and degree level.
In this article, we’ll try to present a general idea on SOP design for furniture showrooms with help of a model example.
The major processes of a furniture showroom can be classified into the three broad categories [Depicted in Model Example (Figure 1)].
- Supply Chain, Quality Control, Design, Production, Safety & Security
- Marketing, HR, Finance, Administration, ICT (Information and Communication Technology
- Retail Showroom (merchandising & inventory, service environment, facilities management (hard FM), CRM, billing & payment, service, delivery)
Every process comprises of certain vital operations. The successful execution of a process depends on the successful execution of the operations involved in it.
In our model example, the retail process of a furniture showroom can be divided into several essential operations like managing the merchandising and inventory, managing the service environment, managing the facilities, CRM, billing & payment, service, delivery etc [Model Example (Figure 2)].
Identifying of the Operational Activities
Each operation is executed through a series of activities which are called as operational activities.
These operational activities are identified, defined and arranged in a logical, sequential manner so that all the necessary tasks and activities are taken into account, what needs to be done in each operational activity is precisely defined and all the identified and defined operational activities are placed in a working sequence while keeping in mind the planned/desired output from the concerned operation from the outset.
An example of various operational activities involved in managing merchandising and inventory in a furniture showroom is depicted in the diagram below [Model Example (Figure 3)].
Identifying Standards of Performance and Output
Defining what needs to be done is not enough.
It is equally important to identify and define the conditions for and standards of performance and output for each operational activity so that the overall operation yields the planned output.
For example, in ensuring the availability of the necessary stock in the showroom for the targeted time period, some of the essential elements are:
- Details of stock requirement as per merchandising plan and sales forecasts
- Updated stock register of the showroom
- Raising stock requirement order on time
- Coordination and follow-up with Supply Chain
- Receiving incoming stock and updating the stock register
- Releasing stock for display and sales in the showroom
Allocate Positions (Manpower Allocation)
Staffing is an important element in SOP design. Some of the important staffing decisions which need to be finalized at this stage are who’ll be carrying out the tasks and activities, whom they would be reporting to and coordinating with, who’ll be supervising them etc.
One of the last steps in SOP design is the selection of a standard format that is easy to be understood and followed by the employees using them. Different organizations may use different formats according to their operational requirements, ease of usage etc. Flowchart formats combined with procedural forms are very common for SOP implementation.
To know more in regards to SOPs for furniture & furnishing business, get in touch with YRC Consultants. Visit: www.yourretailcoach.in
Disclaimer: The above content/article is intended only to provide a general overview and is not to be used as a basis for the exercise of any business, professional or investment judgment/action.
Benefits of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
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