Customer experience - Focusing on
Customer experience - Focusing on
M AY 2 1 8 I S SU E 6 Focusing on the customer experience R + T A s i a R e p o r t | M a n u f a c t u r i n g + Q A | B l i n d M a c h i n e r y ISSUE 60 MAY 2018 W FA
PA G E 0 1 Hunter Douglas HUNTER DOUGLAS: INNOVATION, SIMPLIFICATION + THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE A renowned market leader and pioneer in the window covering industry, Hunter Douglas look to the future, transforming operations to reshape the way it does business with its customers. 24 PRODUCT NEWS A run-down of the latest Window Furnishings product news 14 MANUFACTURING: TOOLS OF THE (QA) TRADE The word ‘quality’ continues to gain currency in an ever more competitive market.
So what are the most effective tools in fostering quality assurance?
28 EXTERNAL SUNSCREENS UPDATE With demand for external sunscreen fabrics maintaining its characteristic highs, the market is responding with innovative systems and unassailable fabric constructions. 58 R+T ASIA BEATS EXPECTATIONS IN STUTTGART YEAR R+T Asia 2018, held 20 to 22 March in Shanghai, set a new record for visitor numbers with an increase of 10 percent over the 2017 show, exceeding 34,000 visitors and 500 exhibitors. 66 HONEYCOMBS A HIVE OF INNOVATION Great insulation properties are a given in the honeycomb and pleated window coverings category; but enhanced trend awareness, improved functionality and new fabrications are keeping the keeping the market vibrant.
50 BLIND MACHINERY: R+T STUTTGART AND BEYOND Three leading blind machinery specialists report back on developments at R+T Stuttgart and add in a few surprises of their own. 34 RETAIL PROFILE: CHADWICK DESIGNS Canberra supplier and installer of internal and external window furnishings for the residential and small scale commercial sectors, Chadwick Designs has flourished rapidly since its early days as home based business. 42 ISSUE 60 | MAY 2018
W FA | PA G E 0 2 W E L C O M E Printed by Southern Colour. The printer and paper used to produce this publication have Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) and ISO 14001 environmental certification.
FSC® is a Chain of Custody (COC) process. This publication is printed using vegetable based soy inks. Window Furnishings Australia is a publication of Boston Publishing Pty Ltd editor & publisher James Boston associate editor Belinda Smart advertising manager Liana Treadwell art director Rizla Herdaru print Southern Colour advertising +61-3-8060 1002 editorial submissions email@example.com front cover image Hunter Douglas head office Unit 2, 83-87 Dover Street, Cremorne, Victoria, 3121, Australia telephone +61-3-8060 1002 fax +61-3-8692 2780 twitter @WFAus wfasource.com.au Editor & Publisher JAMESBOSTON Quality and innovation.
They are two words that are often overused in business vernacular, particularly the latter which has had the life squeezed out of it by politicians. However, when we talk about quality and innovation in this industry, what we are really talking about is process and product improvement. Improvement in the quality of the product, the functionality, whether it is the functionality for the end user or the installer, or improvement in its manufacture; that is, the speed of manufacture, the fault rates, wastage and labour. This issue (Page 28) we have spoken to wholesale suppliers and fabricators about some the improvements they have been working on over the past 12 months in their quality processes.
The results are impressive. For an industry that is much maligned as “cottage” and mature, with little room left for fresh ideas, there are a lot of smart operators in this industry who are not sitting on their hands. With wages our biggest impediment to competition with imported product, gains need to be made in productivity for Australian manufacturers to compete long into the future.
And the future may have already arrived if the latest instalment of R+T Asia is any indication. The show, which was expected to have a quiet year due to the Stuttgart show in February, was very busy and the change in the product mix from previous editions was noticeable. For many long-term visitors, the running joke was that the show should be referred to as the Zebra Blind show, such was the prominence of the Shangri-La product. However, the dominance of Zebras and other interior products is fading and the arrival of external systems marks a serious change in the Chinese market. Even as recently as the 2017 edition of the show, I had a conversation with a wholesale awning fabricator who thought their trip to China had been wasted due to the quality of product on show.
Well they will want to be back next year based on the improvement in range and quality on show in 2018. For local external fabricators and importers of European systems, the future has arrived on our doorstep.