What do you think? From emerging trends to the latest business principles, Furniture News is setting out to gauge the trade’s feelings on a variety of industry-specific topics. Today, we’re asking our panel: How are you working smarter, not harder?
Steve Pickering (Sussex Beds): The Level 10 meeting format, as presented in the book Traction. It has ensured all departmental meetings remain engaging and focused on the most important priorities
Peter Harding (Fairway Furniture): Having used the various lockdowns to carry out several technology replatforming projects, we now have an even better oversight of the business from anywhere at any time, meaning less reliance on being in the office, which frees up plenty of time
Mike Whitman (Iconography): Iconography started as an ecommerce-only business, that integrated with traditional EPoS and RMS solutions. After years of chasing down bugs in these integrations, we built a unified commerce solution that eliminates them completely. That frees us up to improve our award-winning platform and support furniture retailers, rather than wasting time fighting fires
Paul Wray (Modern Outlook Furniture): Making sure that when I receive inquiries for furniture products, I get as much information from the potential customer so as not to waste my time and theirs
Steve Adams (MattressOnline): Allocated diary appointments with myself for specific deep-dive project work. Ignoring my inbox and phone for this time takes discipline, but it’s vital to carve the time out to get into the flow
Wendy Martin Green (Peter Green Furnishers): We’ve orchestrated a change in the culture of our company, and have worked on modernising our processes and developing more transparency for both our management team and myself. To do this, we introduced a cloud-based management system to create dashboards, which enable us to follow sales and project pipelines. We also harnessed the energies of our retail system to give us more clarity with orders and stock (we’re not yet paperless, but we do use much less paper!). All this has enabled us to quickly see the numbers and data we require in our decision-making, to track jobs and have customer information at our fingertips, all of which saves time and makes for less mistakes
Dids Macdonald OBE (ACID): Engaging with a broader ACID community through Zoom
Mike Murray (Land of Beds): We’re using data and analytics more consistently internally in order to make smarter merchandising decisions. We’ve embedded enhanced analytics software into our website, which has enables us to double down on the key decisions that really move the dial
Huw Williams (Toons Furnishers): Many businesses have space that is not fully utilised within their buildings. At Toons, we had a number of these – for example, we took an area which was used to store rugs but was no longer in use, and turned it into a kitchen and bathroom showroom concession. Not only does this contribute to the bottom line via rent payments, but we pick up incremental sales on flooring , blinds and lighting. We’ve done a number of these concessions, which contribute significantly to footfall and profit
John Northwood (agent): I’m making more use of social media, in particular messaging services such as WhatsApp and Facebook messenger
This article appeared in the May 2023 edition of Furniture News magazine.