From focusing on comfort to giving importance to creativity and aesthetic effect, the global furniture and furnishing market has evolved significantly. Suppliers in the market understand that shrinking workspaces and a high number of health issues due to poor sitting posture have boosted the demand for modular and ergonomically designed products. The overall procurement process, thus revolves around procuring the best products through effective expense management.
What are the buyers looking for in the furniture and furnishing market?
Comfort, customization, easy accessibility, and long warranty periods are the four major category requirements of the buyers.
Comfort and customization
Comfort is the basic requirement of every buyer. In fact, comfort has emerged as the cornerstone on which other requirements are built. Clutter free designs, especially when it comes to desks, ample leg space, and great support for the back are few of the important features that any furniture should have. Also, the furniture should help in the optimum utilization of workspace, by providing easy access to items.
Once the criterion of comfort is met, category managers look for products that can be customized as per their changing needs. Suppliers who can design furniture as per the requirements and provide furnishing of a particular color, size, and material are preferred.
Long warranty period
The quality of furniture and furnishing purchased is of paramount importance for the buyers. Since a long warranty period is indicative of a product’s quality, it is one of the major category requirements in the global furniture and furnishing market.
Procurement pain points and its effect on the global market
Despite having requirements, which seem to be quite easy to meet, category managers have a tough time procuring the right furniture and furnishing products. For instance, buyers are increasingly looking for suppliers who adhere to environment-friendly and sustainable manufacturing practices. Finding products made from recycled plastics, wood, natural resins in a challenge for the buyers as most SME suppliers hardly focus on these details.
Secondly, warranty period is one aspect on which buyers do not wish to compromise. As suppliers adopt different techniques and materials to manufacture products, it becomes rather difficult for procurement managers to estimate the life expectancy of products accurately. Perhaps the inclusion of a clause in contracts that makes it mandatory for suppliers to provide an accurate estimate of product lifespans will help buyers overcome this specific pain point. Similarly, including details on the materials used in the furniture and furnishing items will also help buyers have a realistic picture on the comfortability and lifespan of the products.
Lastly, buyers take adhering to regulations very seriously – as it impacts their brand value and affects the stability of their operations in a region. The major challenge is that more than often the suppliers, especially the unorganized ones, are not even aware of the relevant regulations.
The presence of numerous challenges, no doubt has a negative impact on the market. But adhering to sustainability practices like green sourcing, recycling, and focusing on energy efficiency, are sure to make the task of procuring desired furniture and furnishings easy.
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