6 criteria for choosing furniture design software
Goals of furniture design software
Two main goals of furniture design software are:
- To shorten the design process, i.e. increase designers’ capacity;
- To reduce design errors amount.
In a way, all furniture design software is similar, because it tries to meet these goals. Nevertheless, when choosing software for a specific company, you need to do research on specific challenges, which company solves and how one or other software addresses those challenges.
Furniture manufacturing companies differ in their customers, products, strategy, therefore different companies pose different requirements for the design system. That is why nowadays the market offers so many CAD systems more suitable for one or other manufacturers.
In order to help you choose the right solution for your company, we prepared 6 criteria for choosing furniture design software.
Simple and complex product proportion
It’s not about a proportion of simple and complex furniture production quantity in the company. This proportion must evaluate designers’ time distribution between complex and simple furniture designs. If company designers spend a lot of time on designing complex products, it would be useful to analyze the abilities of furniture design software to deal with this task, i.e.:
- Does it have a necessary functionality for complex furniture design;
- Does it have the possibility to use different materials in design (veneer, metal, glass, wood, etc.)?
Ability to cover all companies’ production
Nowadays furniture design companies design various production. One company can produce furniture for hotels (usually these projects allow to use previous projects’ information), furniture for ships (which is absolutely unique) and on top of that, some upholstered furniture (where frames must be designed). This is three different segments, which always can change or even increase. Some companies try to cover all needs by purchasing different software for each segment. As you may already have guessed, this way of the solving situation grows software operating costs to sky heights. That’s why ideally you need to find a system, which allows designing all types of company’s products.
One platform of furniture design software
Does your company designers specialize in a certain segment of furniture complexity? Or on certain clients? If that is not the case, designers must have the ability to design different products, exchange information and have the ability to replace each other. If the company uses a lot of different systems – the exchange or replacement is almost impossible.
Furniture design software integration with ERP
Operative and errorless design data transfer to the ERP system is crucial to every company. Design data is part of the product manufacturing process. If design data is not operatively included in ERP, then the business management system doesn’t perform one of the most important its’ tasks – it doesn’t provide information for operative management. Actually, all it does – collect historical data.
Ability to create your own templates
Product templates save a great amount of designers time when projects’ topology is the same as ones’ created before. This is a feature of most furniture design software systems. But, the difference between it is how easy you can create this template. If we put all software on a scale, on one end we would find systems, which can use any designed product as a template. In the middle, there would be systems, which require special skills or even tools for template creation. On the other end, we could see systems, where templates could only be provided by software developers.
Competence of solution provider
Last but not least – choose an expert in the market to do the implementation in your company. Competence is a key factor for successful solution implementation and software functioning. If you’ll try to skip implementation and limit yourself with training the best outcome you can expect is not fully exploited software, and the worst scenario is that software won’t be used at all and designers will go back to the old ways.
This is our brief point of view and we hope it will help you decide at least where to pay attention first. Remember, that while your way of designing might still be working, there are new ways which can help you do it faster and more efficiently.