Furniture manufacturing resource efficiency

Furniture manufacturing product assembly, packaging and returns

Guide

Product assembly, packaging and returns are key areas that furniture manufacturers should focus on to reduce costs and waste.

Product assembly

Typically, your business will manufacture 2 per cent more components than are actually needed to assemble your finished products. Even a small reduction in the number of components discarded during assembly can lead to substantial savings. Ways of reducing waste include:

  • checking that the components your business buys are of the correct standard
  • ensuring components are not damaged before assembly
  • raising staff awareness of the value of components they are handling

Product packaging and returns

Most furniture manufacturers spend between 1 and 3 per cent of their turnover on packaging. Reviewing your product packaging can have a significant impact on costs as returns are minimised. However, you should avoid overpackaging. Effective methods to reduce product packaging include:

  • rationalising your packaging use by using automated systems and transparent packaging, enabling operators to recognise easily damaged products
  • training to ensure operators correctly handle products during packaging and transport and that they understand the true cost of returns to your business

You should also ensure you're aware of the legal responsibilities you have regarding the packaging your business uses - see packaging and packaging waste management.