The furniture industry characterizes itself by its longstanding partner relations. Not seldom, partners cooperate for decades to each other’s benefit. However, there are a number of reasons to look for a new furniture supplier. Whether you want to change your supplier, add a supplier or outsource your previously manufactured products, this guide will help you reaching your decision. Your case fits in one of these categories; Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM) or Original Design Manufacturing (ODM). Below, we will firstly elaborate on the difference between these two types. Then, we will discuss the reasons to make a change in your supplier portfolio, followed by a recommendation list of things to provide to your new supplier.
OEM or ODM furniture service supplier
Mainly automotive and electronics industries use OEM manufacturers to outsource to. With OEM service you use a company to help you produce your product’s design. Usually, these are unbranded components of your final product. In the furniture industry, OEM manufacturers help you to complete your collections and designs, completely or partially. Usually, OEM partnerships breathe loyalty and cooperation. Especially creating new successful items together, requires both capable manufacturing as well as marketing skills. On the other hand, when you work with ODM manufacturers, you also give them responsibility on the design phase. You can either completely rely on the design expertise of the furniture supplier, or reach design consensus together. More than often, furniture suppliers have the capability to be on top of the trends and continuously create new popular designs for you.
Why would you change your furniture supplier?
If you’re reading this, perhaps you are happy with your current supplier(s), but you just want to manage the risk of your supplier portfolio or release capability pressure on a certain furniture supplier. It can be a good idea to move certain products to another supplier or country, so you are rarely affected by one supplier’s headwind. Maybe your supply chain’s risk is already exposed by a supplier. Alternatively, it could be possible that one of your products show immense popularity, and your supplier is failing to deliver your growing demand. Another good reason to look for a third hand. Finally, a regular reason is that you do continue to make use of a supplier with a small MOQ or small capacity. However, due to popularity or inventory control, you’re looking for a neighbouring supplier to fill more frequent container deliveries.
Conversely, you can have a more than legit reason to be unsatisfied with your current furniture supplier, providing OEM or ODM service. Due to a number of reasons, you could be pressured by a price increase. You may have stumbled upon quality problems and customer complaints. It might be possible that your supplier has deprioritized you over a bigger or local buyer and you experience increased lead time. On the other hand, it is possible that you’ve grown out of your supplier’s capacity or willingness to innovate. In that case, for the sake of your growth potential, it might be a bold move, but a necessary transition.
How to find the right furniture supplier
Depending on your requirements, you can choose a furniture supplier from a certain country. We will cover comparative country analysis in the furniture industry in a future article. When choosing specific suppliers, focus on their MOQ, their design departments and their manufacturing abilities. If you are looking for highly standardized and and huge quantity products, it might be best to cooperate with a machine-intensive factory. In contrast, if uniqueness from a human touch is what you’re looking for, search for countries and companies with skilled labour expertise and preferably low labour costs. The personality expressed in the furniture and the flexibility that comes with it might be the right choice for you.
Once you’ve found a potential supplier, ask for the company profile. A profile can give you many insights about your partner in the making. Perhaps your supplier already delivers to your country. This significantly simplifies importing furniture to your country, especially with respect to legal requirements. For instance, if your company is based in the USA, you can make sure that the furniture supplier satisfies all required certificates and standards, by getting information about established partners in the United States. Furthermore, an international and stable footprint gives you initial trust about the specific furniture manufacturer. Most certainly, they know how furniture ‘behaves’ in each country, from both a consumer perspective and quality perspective.
Last but not least, check if the capacity and growth potential aligns with your own. In order to avoid future capacity restrictions it is better to find a furniture supplier that can not only give you the quality but also the quantity you might need in the future. Surely it is better to prevent than fix a situation where you are missing out on sales while finding a new manufacturer.
What to give your new furniture supplier?
In order to make things easy, be honest and straightforward with your intentions. Are you just looking for temporary OEM service due to capacity constraints? Or are you appealing for a long-term ODM or OEM service relationship? If you exactly know what you need, give them the technical drawings, including thickness, components and materials, and possibly provide a Bill of Materials. If you require a product, which is merely designed or you can only show from a picture, many suppliers have the in-house capability to change that picture into a technical drawing and accordingly into a sample.
Make sure you have had a reliable price discussion before ordering a sample. After all, some suppliers can give you price expectations far from final reality. We can imagine you don’t want to waste your time. Some suppliers, like us, are capable of making accurate price estimations regarding the amount of wood needed, materials and accessories, as well as packaging. No matter the estimation accuracy, expect minor differences between conceptual pricing and final prices of ordered furniture.
If you choose to work with a furniture manufacturer in Indonesia, here’s a guide to buying furniture for import. Generally speaking, companies usually choose to import furniture from Indonesia for its abundance of teak, mahogany and suar wood expertise.
Pijar Sukma is one of the biggest indoor furniture suppliers of handmade products in Indonesia. We are schooled in the French Classic style, but offer a wide range of indoor products, both modern and classic, emulating the widely adored French style. We enjoy a huge capacity in terms of throughput and design and provide both OEM and ODM service to furniture buyers around the world.
Every year, we create around 400 new items by designers and the Research and Development department. Around half of the development consist of fulfilling specific partner requests. We transform their design ideas or more abstract requirements into reality. The latter of the new items enrich the catalogue that Pijar offers to its partners worldwide. Feel free to have a further look on the website and contact us if you’re interested in working with us.