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    Furniture | Home Furnishings | Home Decor

    Furniture | Home Furnishings | Home Decor

    I) Challenges Faced by Home Furnishing and Furniture Industry

    #1. Technology Integration

    Getting integrated with new processes and technologies as per market trends is critical. Websites are increasingly delivering RTA products customers want. Digital stores offer lowered production and shipping costs and buyers get the self-service experience they crave. But integrating new technologies means streamlining the sales process, while aggregating customer data. Furniture manufacturing and supply is complex.

    Integrating CRM systems and other technologies allows quick sales, fast ROI and control over sales channels. Furniture and home furnishings retailers need to integrate technologies for not just maintaining customer, but vendor relationships as well. ERP systems are needed for managing production, orders, and inventory so companies can minimize delays, control the manufacturing process and back-end furniture retail operations while managing inventory and logistics.

    Technologies represent an investment for growing your business. To support these new technologies, furniture and furnishings companies need to consider the total cost of ownership, available support, flexibility, scalability and partner ecosystems.

    #2. Management of Inventory and Selling Space

    The furniture and home furnishings industry carries out high volume sales. So inventory management in furniture industry is always a challenge. The ready availability of stock in demand is essential. When the demand for furniture products soar, it becomes very hard to provide stock from the backend. Leading players like Godrej Interio, for example, target customers through bespoke décor. Managing inventory as sales and demand fluctuate requires innovative solution, which is why the best retail management consultants in the industry can help your business.

    #3. Higher Labor and Technology Costs

    The higher cost of labor and new technology adoption serves to minimize wastage and optimize quality. But for tapping the true potential of these opportunities, furniture manufacturers need to overcome a critical hurdle: skilled labor shortage. The greatest obstacle for furniture and furnishings retailers and manufacturers are finding skilled workers.

    As prime workers move into retirement, furniture manufacturers need to find the right staff for production floor positions. Developing critical skills for the existing workforce is also critical. Furniture manufacturing is facing price hikes due to factors external and internal to the industry. The increasing material cost can force individuals into a tight space. Cutting costs and surviving a competitive environment requires skillful interventions. Leveraging an Retail Furniture Software and other data capturing technologies can help in formulating supply-chain data in real time to reconcile design choices with cost objectives. This allows furniture and furnishings companies to keep costs low and get customers the products they seek.

    #4. Customer Shifts in Preferences

    Customer shifts in shopping preferences also need to be identified regularly. Furniture and home furnishings private label brands need to identify their growth strategy and USP. Costs and rising employee wages are difficult to manage in the face of demand that fluctuates. Demand in furniture industries is dependent on consumer housing trends.

    As trends shift, the focus is on small homes and apartments for the residential furniture market, which needs to focus on cost-effective products, not large, high-end ones. Furniture manufacturers need to view changes as opportunities to experiment with product and design offerings and switch their focus to meet new demands. This requires collecting and monitoring data on customer demand in real time. To better forecast when demand will change, it is important to make evidence-based decisions.

    #5. Setting Up Distribution Channels

    Setting up sales or distribution channels like e-commerce, franchise, and dealership also requires careful planning. This includes e-commerce- the dealership, franchises, etc. A Lectra survey found boosting efficiency is leading priority among 22.3 percent of all furniture manufacturers. To improve operational efficiency, a bird’s eye view of production across the entire supply chain is vital. This is not only within your own plants.

    Continuously engage with suppliers to understand material availability and retailers in the manufacturing process and create better workflows. Turning the ERP system to get better visibility across entire supply chains improves the efficiency of ordering, furniture inventory management system, production tracking, last mile delivery, furniture sales analytics as well as after sales processes. Through tracking of the data, an ERP system can help identify new market opportunities, reduce costs, and act fast on demand shifts. Addressing these challenges and ensuring the furniture manufacturing company is prepared for change matters.

    #6. Acquiring an Omni-Channel Approach

    For the furniture and furnishings industry, acquiring an omni-channel presence has never been more important. The value of multiple channels as platforms to showcase products and services are manifold. Customers in the digital age are increasingly relying on AI, smartphone technologies and online research to make purchase decisions. New-age furniture, home furnishing or home decor private label brand must have an online as well as an offline presence, to capture clients interested in both segments. While niche customers in the e-commerce space will rely on online purchases, traditional buyers would visit the retail store, but still consider online reviews. Technologies like AR and VR are even being used by furniture brands like IKEA to help customers make the right buying choices. Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) for furniture stores & ecommerce store must incorporate an omnichannel perspective, therefore.

    II) How YRC Retail Management Consulting can help

    YRC Retail Management Consulting is known for helping furniture brands develop stringent policies and procedures organization-wide thereby facilitating growth. Retail Management Consultants can work to build your furniture and furnishings in different ways by streamlining manufacturing and retail operations and offering process optimization support. The reason why YRC is the best management consultancy for the furniture industry has to do with our dedication and commitment to create value for your business and unlock its tremendous potential. As a furniture business retail consulting company with special emphasis on ecommerce business consulting as well as retail store consulting or hybrid business model i.e. brick-and-click or omni channel consulting, YRC will anticipate every need of your growing furniture business and meet the challenges head on.

    III) About Furniture & Home Furnishing Industry

    The rise in disposable incomes, affordable home loans, and desirable government policies have created a climate for growth for many industries. One of the leading ones is the furniture retail industry across the globe. Furniture and home furnishings industry across the globe has been in demand due to increased activity in the housing and infrastructure sector. The furniture industry is set to meet infrastructural needs. Due to steady and strong forces of urbanization, furniture and furnishings brands are set to meet commercial as well as residential needs. Such stellar brands are rapidly gaining ground worldwide.

    Statista estimates that the furniture and homeware segment revenue is expected to grow at a yearly CAGR rate of 16.2% thereafter, resulting in market volumes of USD 3724 million by 2023. The user penetration rate will hit 13.8% by 2023. The average revenue per user is pegged at USD 18.93.

    Technology advancements like high-speed internet connections including 4G and smart gadgets have boosted the ecommerce furniture industry and home furnishings business, as well. The rise in smartphone users is shaping the future of furniture retail. Ecommerce Retail revolution has led to the emergence of e-tailers in furniture and home furnishings business like overstock.com, wayfair.com, urbanladder.com, pepperfry.com and many more. The emergence of online channels is also pushing companies like Godrej and IKEA to introduce and sell furniture via the online space. Leading furniture retailers are launching online stores for furniture and home furnishings.

    Change in demand patterns has been observed as furniture continues to be a leading sector. Expanding distribution networks of furniture manufacturers is steadily growing. SOP for retail stores are the solution to multiple obstacles faced by furniture retailers and the furnishing industry.

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    We work only for Visionaries.

    PROCESS AUTOMATION

    The idea of having Ecommerce Consultants on-board from the beginning itself points towards reducing the involvement of the promoters in daily operations. Ecommerce Businesses willing to be a brand reaping profits & sustaining the competition must ensure that most of their processes should be automated. The more the manual intervention, the more would be the errors.

    In Ecommerce business, you get only 1 chance to impress the customer & if you mess up there, you lose the customer for long.

    Process automation in respect to all the activities pertaining to customers from order receiving to order fulfilment is a must for a seamless experience for the customers.

    Task Management is another grey area where most deadlines fail as 90% of the tasks are assigned manually & are forgotten, unheard, misunderstood or mistaken.

    YRC Team of Ecommerce Management Consultants helps to make maximum of the processes system-driven to ensure minimalistic manual intervention.

    VIDEOGRAPHY & PHOTOGRAPHY

    No matter how good your product is, the customer would know only if it looks good.

    Photography includes the following steps:

    • Cataloguing your products
    • Cataloguing your images
    • Backup your images (A few cloud storage solutions include Dropbox, Google Drive, Bitcasa, Apple’s Cloud Storage etc.)
    • Choose the right camera & lens (You may also outsource the photography to a third party agency)

    DIGITAL MARKETING

    Digital Marketing includes SEO & SMM. SEO i.e. Search Engine Optimization includes activities like back-linking, meta tags, blog-writing etc. to ensure your website ranks on the 1st page on Google Search.

    Next comes SMM i.e. “Social Media Marketing” which as the name suggests including promoting your products on all the social media sites, email marketing, influencer marketing & several other BTL activities.

    These activities are going to be recurring & would decide the traffic on the website, the conversions, whether the right target market is tapped, the likes, the views, the orders, the reviews & much more. YRCs Ecommerce Consultants create a budget for digital marketing right from pre-launch to launch & for each month thereafter.

    Building digital marketing strategies in coordination with the agency, selecting them to signing them off would be the role of YRC.

    This ensures seamless coordination, detailed interactions & desired execution as it is always advisable to work with a single agency than multiple of them.

    IT INTEGRATION

    Selection of the right software for smooth functioning of back-end operations right from production to webstore display would be suggested and integrated by YRC Team.

    YRC’s Team defines SOPs of Product Movement, maps it with the locations & people. They then create a blueprint of all the features required in the software & help in shortlisting & selection.

    IT Integration involves connecting your offline inventories with real-time online webstore so when a sale occurs, inventories get deducted real time across offline as well as online platforms.

    This helps in accurate inventory management, maintaining the MOQs, re-order levels & achieving the optimum inventory levels.

    Some popular software include unicommerce, viniculum for your front-end website management & Genisys for your entire back-end Purchase, Production, Accounting, Invoicing etc. management.

    WAREHOUSE & LOGISTICS PLANNING

    • How many cities or countries you wish to sell in?
    • Where should your Warehouse be located?
    • Should you have one warehouse in each country or city?
    • Should you be having your own delivery team in your base city?
    • Would the 3rd party vendors be reliable? What happens when they lose or misplace your product during delivery?
    • How should I manage the logistics if my goods are coming from different countries?
    • How should the goods be stored and barcoded?
    • How much space do I require for warehouse?
    • I am sure several such questions must be haunting you while you think of starting your own fashion ecommerce brand.

     

    At YRC, our warehousing and logistics experts can help you devise a strategy for all of the above mentioned queries and much more.

    We design the layout of the Warehouse considering the inward, goods processing, software entry, barcoding, outward, goods return, scrap storage, goods stacking & much more.

    Logistics route plan is devised considering the manufacturer to your warehouse and from there to last mile delivery locations.

    UI & UX DESIGNING

    This Step involves 03 distinct parts:

    Part 1: Choosing the right Platform:

    From several platforms available in the market right from Shopify to magento, woocommerce, prestoshop, wordpress etc. you must choose the one that fits best for your business

    Part 2: UX Designing:

    “UX” denotes User Experience, which if put in simple language is building the functional requirements of the website.

    UX Designing includes designing the features required in the website, customer journey map, website features, the browsing features, navigation features, ecommerce order management process flow, checkout cart features, catalogue management, ecommerce payment system, cross selling features & much more.

    “As per statistics, 68% of the customers abandon the carts before payment”

    An interesting UX ensures the customer sticks on to the website for a longer time.

    Part 3: UI Designing:

    UI stands for User Interface, which means designing the look and feel of the website. UI includes using the right colours, elements and the entire aesthetics of the website.

    A good User Interface ensures the user completes the task that he has come for. It navigates the user through the journey of the brand in the simplest but most effective way.

    The UX designer maps out the bare bones of the user journey; the UI designer then fills it in with visual and interactive elements.

    If User experience is the bare bone, user interface wraps it up with an attractive cape.

    At YRC, our team if experts can help you develop the entire User Journey to ensure it is engaging!

    SAMPLING & PRODUCTION

    This step follows the “Designing” Phase, whether you have an in-house design team, freelance designers or an outsourced design company. It is one of the most exciting phases, as here you see your designs turning into products & your ideas turning into reality.

    In most start-up cases, production is outsourced i.e. brands tie-up with the established manufacturers/ job-workers to get their products manufactured.

    Sampling involves multiple 04 Stages, Fit-Sample, Prototype Sample, Pre-Production Sample & the Production Sample.

    Prototype Sample is the first sample provided to the buyer. It can be in any fabric/ colour. This sample is just to understand whether the product design looks equally great in reality.

    Fit Sample, as the name suggests is prepared to check the fit of the garment i.e. the various sizes, length, width etc.

    Pre-production is made by the actual production line. Here the stitching quality and other aspects related to manufacturing are checked. This is the last stage where rejection can be accepted.

    Production Sample is made before the production which is the replica of what is going to be finally produced.

    Once you are through with all this, you are good to go ahead & get your goods manufactured.

    PRODUCT DESIGNING / SOURCING

    Product Designing or Sourcing is the heart of the Ecommerce Fashion Brand.

    Product Designing / Sourcing can be done in several ways, as follows:

    • In-house Design Team
    • Freelance Designers
    • Outsourced Design Team
    • Ready Product Sourcing (From Manufacturer or Wholesaler)

    At YRC, we evaluate your business strategy & business model to arrive at the decision, which of the above ways would be best-fit for your business. In certain cases, product sourcing may be a combination of the above.

    These are the people who are going to build your brand! Whether they are the designers or merchandiser, your brand look is going to be in their hands.

    If you are designing each garment from the scratch, the sourcing would play crucial role in developing design identity of your brand.

    Sourcing includes fabric, trims, lining & all the raw material required to build the garment.

    BRANDING

    Branding is the “Look of the Brand”, right from logo to tagline, the colours used, the brand story, the brand communications on social media, the packaging & all the other aspects which speak directly or indirectly to the customers. Branding constitutes the look & feel of the brand & hence must be thoughtfully planned to match with the product that we are selling.

    Branding must appeal to our target audience. Example : A golden colour logo depicting finesse, art, richness, premium, however beautiful it may be individually cannot go with a brand selling affordable kids wear products. So, your logo must be in-line with your brand positioning, whether you are an expensive brand or a luxury brand or a value for money brand, it must be depicted from your “Branding”.

    It is an integral part to attract the target audience.

    ORGANOGRAMS & SOP’s

    Organogram is the “HR Blueprint” of the business which is created at the onset, to map out the team required across each function at various stages of the business. At the launch, only key people need to be got on board to ensure the project gets started & at this stage, all of them need to multi-task. Similarly, certain financial as well as operational goals are set for addition of the further team. Example, for the operations team, we hire 1 operations manager during the pre-launch phase & we add 1 more only when the business kicks-off & we reach a volume of selling more than 1000 pcs/ month or a turnover of more than 0.1 million USD.

    SOPs are Standard Operating Procedures, a bible to run the entire organization right from Sales, Purchase, HR, Order receiving to Order fulfilment, Inventory Management, Accounts, Warehouse, Logistics, Supply Chain, Production & all the other relevant functions for the business. Business must be organized from its first day of operations; only then the tasks can be delegated.

    At YRC, we design the organization structure, the processes, and approximate time taken to execute each process, job profile of every member within the organization, their KRAs, KPIs & the Reporting Structure.

    CRITICAL PATHWAY

    Critical Pathway Analysis (CPA), is a project management technique which cannot be overlooked while launching an ecommerce fashion brand. Brand launch process is cumbersome with multiple inter-dependent & time-bound tasks involved, which need to be tracked to ensure the project remains on track.

    CPA outlines key tasks across the project, their turnaround time (TAT) & the dependencies of tasks upon each other. It identifies the sequence of tasks, their interdependent steps from inception to completion, their criticalities, and their dates of onset, target dates of completion along with the key responsible person for the respective activities. Critical Pathway helps in understanding the unimportant & not urgent tasks which may jeopardize the execution of the project because of an unexpected snag! It also maps out the potential bottlenecks which might be posed because of the dependencies of tasks upon each other & cases where the next task cannot be commenced before the completion of the previous one.

    CPA detects the minimum & the maximum time involvement of a particular individual or team to execute the task, thereby arriving at the overall deadlines associated with the project.

    At Your Retail Coach, we design the Critical Pathway & review it periodically to ensure the project is on track & the progress is measurable.

    BUSINESS STRATEGY & BUSINESS PLAN

    Business Strategy includes the vision, mission, goals, business model, business plan & strategy for all the functions within the organization.

    Business Strategy is a well-defined plan that outlines who, what, where, why, how & when for the company; for example, who would be the target market, how to attract the target audience, when to launch new products, where to operate from, how to handle competitors, what would be the USP, what would be long term goal of the organization & several other answers to the 5Ws of Strategy.

    Business Strategy aligns the organization towards a common goal. Business SWOT helps company to identify & overcome their weaknesses & focus to sharpen the strengths. Business strategy forecasts future risks and helps business in building skillsets to overcome the potential threats.

    YRC’s Business Plan focuses on creating a “Blueprint” of the business, thereby deriving the feasibility of the concept & gauge whether the opportunity is lucrative to invest time, energy & effort. Business Plan creates cash flow understanding i.e. building inflow & outflow cash projections from Week zero to week 60 i.e. 05 year projection. Business Plan calculates the capital investment, operating costs, one-time costs, recurring costs & all the other numbers relevant to obtain the breakeven sales, return on investment, return on capital, internal rate of return & several other ratios. Business Plan is also one of the important requirements if you are targeting the “Investor Route”. Fund raising becomes extremely transparent & channelized. With business plan panned out clearly, the business will know until what point must it be stretched & where to stop, which reduces the probability of unplanned investments.

    MARKET RESEARCH

    Starting the concept of Ecommerce Fashion brand with Market Research ensures we get detailed understanding of the industry & this research report also acts as a social confirmation for your concept. Market Research helps in understanding the target locations, their population, potential online buyers for your product, competitors for each category, and top selling products of the competitors, competitors’ price range, offers & their responses & much more. Market Research helps in thorough understanding of your brand position as compared to our competitors. It helps in identifying gaps in the market, in your category along with the scope of the said product in the desired market. This will help in validation of your concept & prevents you from making the same mistakes as your fellow brands, eventually saving your time, energy & efforts. This phase is also a make or a break phase, as the market research study may at-times come up with some eye-popping numbers & statistics which might compel you to re-think on your product or category that you are planning to sell or alter your entire concept itself!! Market Research Reports analyse the competitors’ webstore for their traffic, conversion & sales. This is extremely valuable information to derive our inventory budgets & projections, which takes us to our next phase.