With more than 50 years of experience, Lectra’s digital software, hardware and service solutions are making bold strides in the industry. We spoke with Christophe Gaysse, Lectra’s sales director for Northern and Eastern Europe – Furniture, to find out more ...

Christophe, could you tell us a little about your background?

I began my career as a production manager in a French tannery, producing furniture and leather goods leathers, after obtaining a master’s degree in chemistry in 1997 at the Ecole Française de Tannerie. After spending 10 years in Switzerland in high value-added chemistry dedicated to the leather industries, I joined Lectra in 2009 as Product Marketing Manager for leather cutting solutions, notably with the launch of our Versalis range.

Furniture being a major potential for leather, I started exploring the furniture world and can now enjoy 10 solid years focusing on the furniture industry worldwide, developing our market share and being an advocate for our customers. I have a motto, inspired by my passion for astronomy and NASA: “Failure is not an option!”

Lectra is a pioneer of Industry 4.0 – could you tell me a little about the journey to becoming a thought leader in this sphere? 

Since its founding in 1973, Lectra has never stopped pushing boundaries. As a pioneer of Industry 4.0, our purpose is to unlock our customers’ potential by enabling data-driven decision-making. Passion, expertise and innovation have always pushed Lectra to provide our customers with the most disruptive, advanced and sustainable solutions. 

The Lectra team is made up of women and men who, since the company’s inception, share an expertise and a vision for the future. The successful launch of our industry 4.0 solution for the furniture industries in 2017, Furniture On Demand, aligned with the evolving consumer business trends and requirements – driven by data, and fuelled by cloud services – and proved our ability to provide the markets with high performing solutions.

Could you touch on the four pillars of growth that you identify as being the driving force behind your Industry 4.0 strategy?

For furniture and especially the upholstery market, as mass-market mentalities have given way to demands for unique furnishings that reflect an individual sense of style, customisation has become standard.

In addition to a wide variety of models, materials, modules and sizes, growth in the motion sector and desire for more high-tech furniture has only added to the assortment of complex options consumers expect.

Digitalisation of the sales and industrial processes of the market is the transformation and evolution the manufacturers must implement to cope with the increase complexity this customisation will generate. Industry 4.0 solutions also pair with the improved corporate social responsibilities all companies need to develop and implement. Data is now at the centre, or should be at the centre of any business.

Whether you’re looking to get a new business off the ground, replace your older equipment or shift from manual cutting to the most advanced technology solutions, having a cutting room expert on your side ensures you can reach your transformation goals.

Could you discuss the framing benefits of ‘Furniture on Demand’ for furniture businesses?  

First and foremost, allow me to reposition Furniture On Demand. This is a solution covering, end-to-end, the different tasks needed from order intake and management all the way down to the bundling of cut parts. At Lectra, we want to enable our customers to benefit from all state-of-the-art technologies to improve their processes. 

Furniture On Demand allows the management of unitary orders, complex and customised orders, fully automatically, faster and with less errors, replacing many non-added value repetitive manual tasks.

Using edge computing and cloud services gives our solution unlimited power to manage tasks faster, enable more computing power to optimise marker making and generate significant materials savings and waste reduction.

Digitalisation also requires the generation of a large amount of data, which becomes a mine of value with which to capture the current process performance and to support continuous improvements. 

Could you talk about what sets Lectra’s offering/ ethos apart from its competitors?

We believe being a pioneer in technologies and services, especially now with the 4th industry revolution, is the best and most unique way to provide our customers with the continuity and vision they need over decades to stay in business.

We use and cross-fertilise our knowledge and expertise from all markets – Automotive, Fashion and Furniture – and our unique international footprint to better serve our customers.

The solid business model, resilience, and stable financials of Lectra also provide our prospects and customers with the confidence that Lectra is their long-term partner for value and to support their growth.

We also support our customers in the long run by providing best-in-class Customer Success services, as we want to make sure our customers always enjoy and benefit from our latest innovations.

Are there any achievements you wish to highlight in terms of advances for the furniture industry specifically?

I was highly involved in the launch of Furniture On Demand. I was able to witness how fast this solution became the most iconic offer and state-of-the-art technology and service in all major hubs for the production of upholstery across the word.  I must say the Made in France is also a great key for success! All market segments are sensitive to our offering, from premium to entry level.

Are there any upcoming developments or launches that you wish to highlight?

Yes for sure … but psst ... this is a secret! Let’s meet very soon again for more industry 4.0 offers, always more innovative and disruptive than the last!

Congratulations on your 50th anniversary! Could you tell me a little about the company’s goals and aspirations for the coming decades?

What a feeling to turn 50, and I personally know what this means too this year!

Our ambitions are clear. We want to keep developing our offers to better serve the market. We want to remain at the forefront of innovation, always looking into wider services and offers to evolve with our customers and stay ahead of ever-evolving industry requirements.

Using edge computing and cloud services gives our solution unlimited power to manage tasks faster, enable more computing power to optimise marker making and generate significant materials savings and waste reduction.