From the idea to the finished piece of furniture

Everyone of you has probably already been in this situation: You are in the furnishing store and stand in front of the desired piece of furniture. Some of you will put it into their shopping cart without much thought, while others are concerned with its development: How is a piece of furniture actually made and how does a new idea become a finished piece of furniture? To get to the bottom of these questions, GERMANIA has six phases, which describe the product’s process of development:

First Phase
 
The first phase is mainly about the creation of a new idea. This can be formed by own ideas, by a model committee, which at GERMANIA consists of product developers, the managing director and sales managers, or by so-called “OEM” (original equipment manufacturer). The latter are nothing else than customer-specific orders. In the process, first sketches (also called renderings) are created, which show the first design idea. As soon as a draft is ready, first prices are determined (including both sales and purchase price) in order to be able to offer a realistic final price at the end. In addition, the question of quantity is answered in the best possible way. The development of a new piece of furniture is in constant and in close cooperation with the marketing department. Shortly after a draft is introduced and approved by the model committee, the department starts creating an assortment card, which contains basic information about the product. Simultaneously, the marketing department is concerned with marketing ideas, so that the piece of furniture can be successfully established on the market.
Second phase
 
The second phase begins with the development meeting, which takes place once a week. It consists of product development, quality assurance, construction, purchasing and production. In this meeting, the assortment card is presented and the draft is explained to the colleagues. Subsequently, the product development initiates parts lists, which provide information about the individual parts the piece of furniture consists of. Now, the starting signal for the construction has been given. The construction is responsible for creating a rough outline and for compiling parts lists step by step. In addition, a so-called proportion sample can be created now, which is supposed to serve as internal support. With this kind of pattern, the piece of furniture is simply “nailed together”, which is why is it also described as “nail sample”. At this stage it has no function, meaning that doors and drawers, for example, cannot be opened. At the same time, the procurement is being explored. This means that new surfaces, hardware parts, prices and delivery times are being investigated. Only then is it possible to initiate a calculation. Of course, there should also be sufficient capacity in the construction department to be able to actually implement the idea. In the meantime, everything is documented and the assortment card, parts lists and calculations are revised.
Third phase 
 
In the third phase, the sample construction or rather the sampling of the intended final product is integrated. A so-called “functional model” is created and presented on exhibitions. The technical as well as visual approval of the piece of furniture and all purchased parts is also important. If necessary, this phase allows the arrangement of an additional model meeting. The marketing department has the task of having the product photographed and staged in such a way that it can be offered on the online market in particular. Changes are constantly updated on the assortment card, as well as in the parts lists and the calculations.
Fourth phase
 
In the fourth phase of the process, the elaboration of technology and the system of the bills of materials is intensified. Here, the IT has the task of integrating the piece of furniture into the system. In the construction department, the drawings and assembly instructions are finalised and initial thoughts are given to the packaging design. Moreover, the department for product development takes care of the decor allocation based on the parts lists. The next step takes place in work preparation: Parts lists are compiled, meaning that a list is created, in which individual components of the piece of furniture can be traced. This list is not only advantageous for the current development status, but it also makes it easier to reproduce the process even after a few years. Finally, specific order quantity or rather capacities are determined, so that one has a reference point for production planning.
Fifth phase 
 
The fifth phase encompasses the production as well as the final approvals by product development and quality assurance. So-called serial meetings are used to coordinate appointments, in which all items are integrated into production planning.
Sixth phase
 
Last but not least, in the sixth phase, the product is sold on the market. This takes place both on the stationary trade (i.e. in shops) and online. Particularly in online trade, it is important to present the piece of furniture in the best possible way, because as everyone knows nowadays: The internet is no longer uncharted territory…

Based on these six different phases, a piece of furniture “Made by GERMANIA” is finally created. Particularly noticeable is the constant cooperation of all departments, because only with a good team and permanent consultation it is possible to transform an idea into a finished product.