A sharp decline in online furniture sales from 16% in 2013 to a mere 11.8% in 2017 has the woodworking industry baffled by this downward trend. With 2018 sales looking on the slow side, albeit with a slightly better trajectory than 2017, carpenters will have to pull every rabbit out of the hat to land on their feet again. One of these rabbits happens to be technology. But how do technology and woodworking combine to increase production or sales? The Internet of Things (IoT) promises a few marvelous integrations that might just revive the online sales side of business, and here’s how.
Companies Already Looking Into Innovative Design
Only a few short years ago, the Internet of Things was still only a concept and only took place in science fiction films. Now, IoT has taken over many functionalities from controlling city street lights to integrating all the electronic functions within the household from a smartphone. The woodworking industry no longer has to be in the dark where this technology is concerned, as companies have already started distributing their software specifically tailored to this industry. The software is designed to integrate every process from start to finish in order for the owner to have a clearer understanding of what is required to make each section of their business work efficiently.
A Start-to-Finish Integration
IoT technology is designed to allow the controller access to any part of the production, distribution, or sales line. Each piece of technology that is used in woodworking manufacturing is connected to the cloud. From here, the information is distributed to the rest of the production line. An example of this flow follows:
All the machinery that is used in the production line is linked to the cloud, which is the main base where the IoT operates from
From there, the information is fed to the other departments in order to keep the production line as efficient as possible
The system can pick up inefficiencies and alert the responsible person, for instance, if there is downtime on a machine
Correct calculations and measurements are sent through, and if there are any adjustments this can also be done using a combination of historical data and new information
This, in turn, is connected to the distribution channels where data is also collected and stored on the cloud
Online sales and orders can also be linked to the cloud, which can point out whether there are flaws in production, distribution, or the closing of the sale
No Need for Manual Intervention
For business owners, human error is often one of the major contributions to losses, especially when calculations are incorrect. IoT can fully automate the entire woodworking process as it uses accurate figures that are adjusted all the time. This means a perfect product and happier customers. For woodworkers, this translates into higher sales as the quality of the craftsmanship will be undisputed.
Anyone in a sales environment knows it’s a numbers game and the woodworking industry is facing some tough competition online. Better integration and an understanding of the sales results is where IoT comes in.