While there remains a mist of uncertainly surrounding COVID-19 and its long-tem effect on the economy, one thing has become clear: now is the time for the furniture design and manufacturing market to embrace technology and digitalisation.
“It’s no longer a question of if companies need to integrate intelligent technology into their business, it’s when,” begins Martina Schwarz, International Sales & Marketing Manager at CAD+T Consulting GmbH. “People have seen first hand how important it is for businesses to be prepared and how technology has a huge part to play in their ongoing success. We’ve seen a huge surge of interest from companies keen to invest in cloud-based software, as they begin to restructure their processes and create a practical online structure that could combat the effects of a potential second wave. It’s clear that the industry’s mentality has changed.”
The beauty of CAD+T’s software is that it’s tailor-made to your business and it can be installed directly onto a cloud system. This means site visits are a thing of the past for many customers. “Our cloud-based software can be accessed anywhere in the world using something as simple as a mobile device. You still get the same functionality you’d expect when using a powerful desktop computer but its considerably more flexible, a fraction of the price you’d pay for the latest CAD hardware and it’s continually updated.”
For those that have continued to use CAD+T’s software during the pandemic, CAD+T is asking them to take advantage of its consultancy service. “Now more than ever, it’s important for our customers to re-analyse their processes and understand their new market. They need to know which direction they want to go in and what they want to achieve. Only by asking these questions are we in a position to help our customers reach their full potential.”
It’s equally as important to re-think how to sell your products into the market. Martina explains, “The end consumer’s buying habits may have changed and that means your products may need to change too. The good thing is, our software is flexible and works around you. It doesn’t matter if you change your product range or target audience multiple times. As long as you can identify the product in your design, our software works exactly the same way. Customers have the ability to change their manufacturing methods in a matter of days to stay ahead.”
It’s this mind-set that has allowed the CAD/CAM specalist to connect its customers to one another through its software. “Over the last few months, we’ve seen some of our customers struggle to keep up with demand and others with more specialist set-ups, like exhibition stand manufacturers and shopfitters, grind to a halt. By using the same data-structure, we have been able to introduce different businesses and merge their skillsets to overcome these problems.”
The last few months have also offered CAD+T an opportunity to educate its customers by creating regular webinars. Martina says, “Weekly topics that are relevant in today’s market are presented online for free. From better selling opportunities and cost-saving production ideas to understanding HR and machining, we’ve got all bases covered. Simply register on CAD+T’s website and choose which webinars you’d like to take part in.”
Training has also been adapted to suit the current climate, with CAD+T moving away from direct training to focus on its online offering. “Most online sessions are carried out on a one-to-one basis so they can be fully customised to the needs of the individual, but we also offer group training sessions which can include up to five people. It allows a small team to take part in the same training programme remotely, while benefitting from expert training from our team. We’re also offering free online training sessions to students who have enrolled in design courses until schools re-open.”
In the next few months, CAD+T will be launching its next project – a new online solution designed to connect people even better but for now, attention remains on offering valuable online webinars and online training sessions via an online configurator and continuing to educate people to the benefits of its cloud-based online shop, planning and design tools.
Martina adds: “We pride ourselves on being able to create customised software solutions – it’s what we do and it’s what we’re good at. During this time of uncertainty, the power of digitalisation has come into its own and our experience in this field has allowed us to help our customers overcome a wide range of challenges and introduce even more businesses to our innovative software solutions. We’re proud to represent the furniture design and manufacturing marketing and we’re confident the shoots of recovery will be seen soon.”