After a lengthy period of stability, recent years have been extraordinarily challenging, and the ‘Office Furniture Industry’ has certainly not been exempt. The rise of the internet had already created a shift toward ‘direct deliveries’, and the traditional model of ‘weekly deliveries to a dealer, stocking & servicing a local area’, has been in decline for some time. COVID and ultimately a sharp rise in ‘working from home’ further accelerated this trend with average order quantities dropping significantly. As Dynamic was founded with ‘Dropship’ at the core of its service proposition, it was already very well placed to cater to these market conditions. With a product that has been specifically designed for self-assembly, packaging that can withstand the tribulations of modern-day courier networks, and existing and well-established relations with various courier partners, this meant it was not only ‘business as usual’, but a period of many new accounts being opened.
Changing stock trends have presented another huge industry challenge. Uncertainty created a general reluctance to commit to stock nationally, plus social distancing resulting in a temporary but significant drop in demand for things like visitor chairs and bench systems, plus a rise in screens and SOHO product, and even demand for colourways being affected. Abnormal demand created elongated manufacturing lead times for certain SKU’s, challenges with order forecasting, plus a knock-on effect on storage, space and even funding. The right stock balance is critical to sales and ultimately the success of most businesses. With probably one of the largest ‘pre-manufactured’ stock holdings of Office Furniture in the UK, and over several thousand stocked SKU’s, careful analysis and planning has been crucial to our success. Recent months have seen a sustained ‘all-time high’ stock availability, plus a healthy forecast on the horizon.
‘Pricing Stability’ has been affected by various factors, including costs of raw materials, utility, and labour. As the vast majority of manufacturers source componentry from overseas, the Office Furniture Industry is particularly prone to changes in shipping costs. Record highs prices saw manufacturers forced to react, and dealers unable to cope with constant and regular price increases. Pricing volatility then forced dealers to rethink their supply chain strategy and consider other options or run the risk of losing their customer. Dynamic has endeavoured to provide a level of pricing stability for dealers, plus retain a competitive edge with transparent service terms.
Furlough has forced many companies to make tough decisions and cut back on ‘non-essential’ staff. The realisation they can continue to operate with a lower overhead has resulted in more permanent reductions in staffing level which is often to the detriment of service. Once a dealer is willing to try something new and break from legacy, ‘Customer Service Excellence’ is critical to relationship longevity. Consolidation into a new ‘HQ & supersite’ with significant investment in IT systems and infrastructure has allowed our team to deliver this more effectively and consistently than ever.
As a manufacturer that has experienced sustained and significant growth from conception, we sometimes become numb to what an amazing achievement this is. Recent years have levelled the supplier landscape and we have been dynamic enough to keep ‘making it happen’. Not only has Dynamic survived, but it has thrived, I would like to personally thank both our valued staff and the customers that continue to make the Dynamic journey possible. We look forward to the next chapter and to serving you in the future.