How IKEA Makes Its Furniture
Customers enter IKEA in search of a couch to pull their living room together. They seek that one table that will make their dining room cozy. They scour for the perfect bed to make their dreams more blissful. IKEA makes their furniture with these scenarios in mind. Here’s how they do it.
IKEA beings the process of making a new product by determining a price. They will not set out to design a piece until they know what to sell it for. This helps keep the cost of their furniture low. It also helps them maintain good, quality furniture. The designers can use the budget to map out what materials to use.
The process begins with sketching. The designer will sketch a design and show it to their team. Then comes the actual design. The sketch is put into work and made into a 3D model, which can be done with a 3D printer.
Throughout this manufacturing process, the designers and suppliers work together. They can send back different prototypes to determine the best materials. This is a large part of the 3D model step. Re-design is a big part of 3D modeling, too. The designer and suppliers can see what doesn’t translate from page to model. Something on a sketch may seem pertinent but doesn’t fit with the actual product.
Another thing that has to be considered when creating IKEA furniture is that the customers have to assemble it. The product needs to be made with larger pieces that will lay flat in a box. In addition to this, IKEA tries to use sustainable, raw materials. They use wood, cotton, metal, glass, and rattan.
However, IKEA likes to focus more on durability rather than uniqueness. This means their products are plain and simple to design. Their top-selling product, the Billy Bookcase, is a straightforward, tall, six-shelved bookcase. There is nothing particularly notable about the bookcase, but it sells out all the time.
Another thing the designer must consider is safety. IKEA is a place where families can make their home together. Because of this, IKEA designers have to consider children when making products. They don’t want to make a product that could easily hurt a kid.
After the grueling processing of redesigning a product until it’s at its best, it will be manufactured. The majority of the design process takes place in IKEA’s home country, Sweden. That being, the products are mainly manufactured in Asia. The products are mostly made in China, as well as Vietnam, Malaysia, and Myanmar. In Europe, they are manufactured in Poland and Romania. There was an IKEA factory in the USA, too, but it was shut down.
With 957 million store visits per year and 2.5 billion online visits, the company has to assemble furniture quickly and efficiently. After extensive product testing, the furniture is allowed in the store. If anything changes following product testing, IKEA will determine if it needs to be tested again. They want the best products in their store at the cheapest price.