Manufacturing Sector: Wood and Furniture
Keywords: furniture, manufacturing, sentiment analysis, opinion mining, trends detection, weak signals, collaborative design process
Detecting the furniture trends before they happen, connecting to the sentiment and opinions of our final customers and offering collaborative tools to the people involved in the creation of new products. We have to use technology to automate these processes and make them more effective while improving their quality. These processes are not new. They are simply being carried out currently in a manual fashion, thus:
- the amount of information being obtained is less,
- the amount of work dedicated by person is larger,
- the capacity of accessing people’s opinion is minimum,
- the potential to collaborate is reduced geographically,
and so forth.
Automation of these processes is key as the processes themselves. We know where the information is. We just need to have the right tools to analyze it and be able to share it among all stakeholders independently of their location.
Innovative Services and Functionalities
- Automated vs. manual processes
- Opinion mining and sentiment analysis
- Location independent collaborative processes
- More in depth trend analysis
- More electronic sources can be analyzed in less time
- Most involvement of key players in all aspects of design process
Impact and Benefits
Efficiency is achieved by the reduction of searching time for electronic sources from having tools to automate the ongoing manual processes. Also by saving time when addressing customers complaints or negative opinions, and at the technical office during the design process.
Productivity is achieved by increasing the number of sources that analysts can process giving almost a double value, and helping to develop the home trends report with better and more accurate information. It can also be observed at the design processes since collaborative processes among all stakeholders yield a greater number of sketches developed, almost twice as many as in the as-is scenario.
Finally, other indicators of economic, marketing and social nature are being measured such as the number of e-customer opinions that in the as-is scenario were non-existent, consequently with FITMAN the scope is maximum. In addition, the number of players in the design process, limited before by geographical constraints, can be unlimited now, therefore enriching the design experience by adding all important stakeholders to this key process.
The original situation was mostly characterized by a lack of automation in all processes. Trend analysis processes, all searches manually, accessing posts and articles, were done manually and required longer times by analysts. Some of the processes Final customer’s opinions had to be obtained at retail stores, or at events or fairs, again manually, and losing fidelity by not being able to access the wide spectrum of customers of the product or brand in question. The third business scenario involving the design process from the original idea to the prototype being developed from it, and later mass produced, is done with limited resources since all decision key people don’t have the right tools to perform a fully collaborative process. They rely now on standard emails, or basic phone calls, and this subtracts lots of new potential ideas from their work for instance.
A to-be scenario breaks through all this, and adds automation, intelligent searches, and collaborative tools to aid the important key processes while detecting furniture trends, studying and analyzing customers opinions and sentiment, and finally, designing custom made products based on the final customers demands. All the processes are largely benefited from FITMAN tools. Tools that assist analysts, managers, designers, and other stakeholders in being more accurate when creating products that will fit customers demands.
Technical Challenges & Trial Platform
The main technical challenged was to build easy to use software tools with a limited budget using best of breed heterogeneous software modules, while integrating them and applying them to a broad range of sources of information. Developing a cost-friendly solution was necessary to open the solution to SMEs. The solution was developed with a user-friendly interface and a focus on the design of innovative products. The use of the tool is intended to be intuitive so that a faster return on investment is pursued. The solution was conceived from the beginning with a cloud-driven purpose to lower the technical barrier entrance.
The architecture of the solution is the following:
The software solution is divided in three modules to be used in the three main processes. The furniture trends forecasting for product development provides a web based environment using the web up mashup technology and uses a mixture of engines to provide trends from RSS posts that can be added.
The collaborative work for product design module is used by an innovative product design team, and uses a set of well-defined widgets composing and environment that supports collaboration among sales, production and research department members.
The opinion mining for furniture products compliments the trends analyzer with social mining from opinions from customers and potential customers founded in Facebook and twitter accounts thanks to the unstructured ad social data analytics component (NTUA Greek university).
Contact: María José Núñez: firstname.lastname@example.org
Founded in 1984, the Technology Institute on Furniture, Wood, Packaging and related industries, AIDIMA, is a private, non-profit organization recognized by the Spanish Science and Technology Interministerial Commission. AIDIMA’s purpose is to contribute to increase competitiveness in the Spanish sector for the furniture, wood, packaging and related industries, specially in all aspects related to quality, technological innovation, training, information, security, and environment. AIDIMA also wants to improve management in the areas of design, production, marketing, and to empower of export activities. AIDIMA’s associated companies are part of one of the most important specialized, and highly recognized Technological Centers in the world. Among its different activities are: Research and Technological Development and Innovation Programs (R&D), Design and development of products, Standardization and certification, Quality and security, Environmental, Logistics and process technology, Packing and transportation of goods, Information technologies, Training, Information, Market analysis and strategy, Advice, consulting and advance services, Cooperation, Internationalization, Dissemination and technological transfer.
Contact: Angel Ortiz: email@example.com
The Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) is a Spanish Public University with 13 High Technical Schools of Engineers, 30 Bachelors and 60 Masters. The staff is more than 5.300 (2.700 teaching and research, 800 research and 1.800 administrative), with more than 38.000 students. In 2013 its budget was roughly 353 MEuro. UPV is very active in R+D Projects and contracts with private companies, the incomes in 2012 produced by these activities were 30 MEuro). The Research Centre on Production Management and Engineering (CIGIP) is at the leading edge on enterprise modelling, manufacturing planning research, particularly manufacturing assembly, distribution and service supply chain management research issues. CIGIP gathers more than 30 members including professors, associate professors and full researchers dedicated to teaching and research & development in different areas of Operations and Production Management. From 1994 the CIGIP has participated in several European and Spanish Research Projects and several research & development contracts with regional industrial firms from different industrial sectors.