Under the motto “Häfele Engineering – turning ideas into reality, together”, the industrial division of Häfele Group used a concept cabinet to demonstrate how partnerships with the furniture industry result in solutions that offer tangible value to partners during interzum 2013 in Cologne. Häfele not only develops the hardware but, in this example also the standardized cabinet elements that offer the furniture manufacturer all the options when choosing the door.
The furniture manufacturing industry and trade are highly competitive sectors; they are extremely price sensitive. In these conditions industrial manufacturers must be able to differentiate themselves from the competition through unique products and added value in order to ensure success. Häfele General Manager Robert Raith remarks: “With our Engineering services and the exclusive range of fittings from our own factories we have found the right solutions to address these multi-level challenges. Our experts assist in the entire development process of new furniture pieces from initial concept to finished market-ready piece, constantly adding new insights. This is how innovation happens, clever, customized solutions and efficient manufacturing – all key factors that are critical to the sales success with consumers.”
Customized furniture ideas for added value
As a benefit of Häfele’s international presence the company is intimately familiar with global trends and consumer demands. This knowledge results in partnerships between hardware specialists, designers and furniture industry experts that create highly customized and desirable furniture innovations in terms of quality, functionality, comfort and convenience. This is furniture that is very marketable because it enhances the quality of the consumer’s life. Häfele Engineering consultants support their partners through every step of the process. They have a much greater depth of knowledge than sales staff had in the past. They know the entire product, know everything about function and production and are capable of providing their customers with superior advice.
One cabinet case – three door variations
One outstanding example of Häfele Engineering services with added value is the concept cabinet that Häfele presented in its interzum exhibit. For this pilot project the hardware experts in Nagold, Germany developed a standard cabinet case that can be equipped with a choice of either hinged doors as well as sliding or folding sliding doors. The case is prepared for each of these options. It is pre-drilled for every specific solution so that the actual door selection can take place at a much later stage in the game. For the furniture manufacturer this results in a more economical production process because one and the same case now presents three different cabinet options. Häfele delivers the hardware fittings for each solution in special hardware package sets, only once they are ordered by the dealer the decision on the door type is made. Greater flexibility is not possible.
Suitable packaging for the industry
To ensure that this concept works flawlessly Häfele prepares customer-specific packaging and assortments of hardware supplies in bags, boxes or packages. The company calls this innovative service Packaging-Engineering, because the suitable packaging and correct unit counts of all supply parts are essential steps in saving time and money. This doesn’t just hold true for the concept cabinet we described, it especially applies to the entire RTA furniture industry. This sector is the focus of Häfele packaging engineers and the company built its own plant to perfect the process. 14 highly advanced, fully and partially automated packaging machines operate three shifts in the 3,000 m2 area. They produce everything that the sector uses in bag and box packages. Last year 20 million bags were produced in this plant.
German quality for the entire world
But Häfele Engineering goes further. Regardless of where products are manufactured they are backed and guaranteed to be of Häfele quality.
All Häfele products are checked and tested to German standards, everywhere in the world. The same applies to costs and delivery standards. It is critical that products arrive at the customers’ quickly and reliably.
This recognition is one of the reasons Häfele continues to invest in the development and expertise of it logistics centre. Today 150,000 products are available 24/7 around the world. An intelligent networked system ensures a fast and transparent flow of goods. This is another area where Häfele consultants assist their industry partners with their trained expertise to see the big picture from procurement to sales, and ensure their competitive advantage in international markets.
Close to our customers around the world
Häfele has a history of being at home around the world. The perspective beyond borders and our closeness with our customers around the world is an integral part of our corporate history. Today the Häfele Group supplies customers in 150 countries and operates 37 subsidiaries and numerous sales offices outside of Germany. Häfele’s own house assortments are manufactured in the company’s German factories. This is just one of many reasons for the furniture industry to choose a German partner – because in the final analysis our customers even save money.
Source: Häfele GmbH & Co KG
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