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5 Ways the Pandemic is Changing Woodworking Businesses

26. August 2020 11:50

The pandemic is changing how businesses operate, including woodworking business.  A number of the shifts to more efficient administrative processes such as paperless records and digital information systems, were already pretty far along before COVID-19 appeared. Now the pace of adoption has been accelerated,.

Within the manufacturing process itself, the changes are profound. Prior to COVID-19, the woodworking industry saw many shops adopting more automated production processes: paperless job tickets, lean manufacturing, design-to-production workflow. The pace and urgency of such changes has accelerated. Finding new ways of doing business is now mandatory, and particularly within sectors producing cabinets.

 

Here are 5 ways the pandemic is changing cabinetmaking. (Read the entire article at WEB-CAB.)

Remote communications have transformed the sales process:
In sales, client visits are now history. Increasingly, design presentations use precise 3D renderings, some incorporating photo-realistic designs or even immersive reality, letting clients “walk through” the proposal virtually. The more real, the better the chance of closing the sale.

Plant managers should be seen, and not heard:
To keep colleagues safe, the manufacturing workplace has incorporated social distancing between workers.. On the noisy plant floor, work cells are spaced out to minimize peer-to-peer exposure. Face-to-face or as so frequently is the case, “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 the unforeseen
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 work-life) 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.

(Read the full post at WEB-CAB.)

WEB-CAB creates smart solutions specifically designed for the woodworking and kitchen cabinet industry. Its solutions complete the functions of an ERP system by integrating production floor operations and optimizing business processes. Its Production Coach, which won an IWF 20218 Challengers Award, is sold by RSA Solutions, an exhibitor at IWF Connect

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