How to identify furniture manufacturer? There’s no rule of thumb.
When we search for a furniture supplier, we’re likely to be in contact with a sales person. These sales would quote products for us, tell us about their strength (not weakness, definitely), and try deadly conviencing us to place orders.
It is good to have conversations with them, but do yourself a favor do not take all their sayings (They would only tell you the pros and may exaggerate some facts). So no matter how trustworthy a furniture manufacturer looks like, do judge them with criteria below.
History of the Furniture Manufacturer
A company’s history tells a lot of things – when the company was established, how fast it grew, what was its core advantage, etc. Take a look at a furniture manufacturer’s history would help us identify the company’s basics.
1. When is the Furniture Manufacturer Estalished?
- Companies make mistake just like people. They try, fail, and then learn from failure. It takes time for a furniture manufacturer to optimize its production processes. A new founded furniture manufacturer might have their niche, but believe me you don’t want to learn from their failures. In the other word, long existed furniture manufacturers are usually better – they learned, survived and earned their reputations.
2. How Fast did the Furniture Company Grow?
- Fast-growing speed also signals a company’s strength – a furniture manufacturer must have their advantage so in order to scale up fast. The advantage could be their material, price, quality, service, and so forth. For example, a fast-growing furniture manufacturer could produce products meeting highest quality standard while still requiring low MOQ and providing mixed container service.
Scale of the Furniture Manufacturer
Scale of a furniture manufacturer could include its annual sales, company size, number of employees, and so on. These figures may not directly affect your orders, but they do tell you how strong your collaborating manufacturer is.
3. What is the furniture manufacturer's sales?
- For any for-profit firms, sales number is the key figure. A good number indicates that the firm brings enough orders – which further tell you how many clients the firm owns and how loyal these clients are.
- In the past COVID-19 period, a company’s sales reflects its ability to deal with emergencies. Lots of exporting furniture manufacturers cannot ship their cargos abroad and failed their clients. While a small drop in export numbers may reflect only economic situations, a big drop in sales signals a firm’s incapability of serving its clients during emergencies.
4. Facility Size
- Economies of scales is a key for manufacturers to drive down their costs. Small furniture makers could hardly offer low price. So it is usually better look at mid-to-large furniture firms. And as mentioned before, a company makes mistakes to grow. A large furniture manufacturer usually went through all those “trial & error” processes and they know how to avoid problems in your collaborations.
- Unless you could only afford extremly low MOQ, or have a specific requirement that only particular workshop could meet, I’d suggest you working with scaled furniture manufacturers. The small one usually have loose quality control as everything’s not standardized. You’ll never know what they do with your orders and how many defects you’d receive.
The Manufacturer's Collaborating Partners
Companies loves to showcase their clients. A long-term relationship with famous brand would build their fame and prove their capability. They’ll tell you who they are working with, unless they signed a non-disclosure agreement.
5. Who's the Furniture Manufacturer's Clients?
- First thing first, find furniture manufacturer that has experience with large brands. These manufacturers could meet large brands’ strict requirement for price, quality, and service. They could provide way more than smaller firms, but they are also picky about their customers. If you’re ordering a small quantity of products, their quotes may not be that desirable.
- Say your furniture supplier is working with a famous brand, you can easily check their product quality – either buy online or shop in local stores. Or say a hotel furniture manufacturer supplies for a world-famous hotel, you’ll know their product quality without even getting a sample.
- If you are a furniture importer, you may also want to identify a furniture manufacturer who worked with people in your market. A furniture manufacturer knowing your market could save you tons of time and energy dealing with tariffs, packaging and other requirements, and they could even advise on styles.
Other Pros of the Furniture Manufacturer
Bisdes all metioned above. There are mroe criteria that could help identify a furniture manufacturer. Certifications are very important when it comes to marketing & social responsibilities. While self-owned brand helps a furniture manufacturer to learn more about products and the market.
6. What Certifications do the manufacturer possess?
Certifications help furniture manufacturers to prove themselves – their ability to conduct high standard quality control, their commitment to environment and the society, and so forth. Say if you’re selling MDF panel furnitures, you may want a furniture manufacturer using CARB P2 material so that you can market your product as healthy and environmental friendly. And if you are buying office furnitures, a BIFMA certificate may help you screen furniture manufacturer who makes sustainable and durable furnitures.
7. Do the furniture manufacturer runs its own brand?
Firms with self-owned brands usually provides either better products or service, as they know the market just like you and me. These manufacturers, they understand customers’ situation and could solve them with little instructions. They provide not only production service, but also advise and suggestions on product developments.
Above are some tips about how to identify furniture manufacturer. I believe there are more useful criteria but the 7 tips should be enough to a certain extend. If you like this article, please feel free to share it with your friends.