How furniture trolleys suppliers help companies grow

Furniture trolley suppliers are keeping up with the changing demands of the furniture industry.

Still British

Most household items are made in the Far East, but plenty of furniture is still made in Britain. Gainsborough, Belfield and Steve Bristow Furniture are amongst the many manufacturers still making furniture on these shores. These manufacturers and the shops that sell their products all need specialist furniture trolleys.

There are also many furniture retailers in the UK who need quality equipment to move and store these often large and bulky items.

Non-standard trolleys

Most warehouses use warehouse trolleys, usually flatbed ones that can move boxes easily. Furniture manufacturers need more than standard trolleys because not all furniture fits neatly into rectangular boxes. Sofas, for example, are an awkward shape and are heavy. Standard warehouse trolleys are too short to carry a three-seater couch, and stacking one sofa on top of another one will likely create an unsafe and unstable load.

The solution provided by furniture trolleys suppliers is a special sofa trolley that has arms that support two tiers of sofas. These are made from tubular steel for strength and have quality swivel castors to move and steer the trolley. Sofa trolleys can be used to store sofas before they are packed and delivered.

Beds and mattresses present another challenge to furniture trolleys suppliers. Bed factories need equipment to store and move bedheads, beds, and mattresses. Some mattresses need to be stored flat and others can be rolled up. Trolley manufacturers supply a range of trolleys suitable for all bed components.

Small items such as coffee tables and footrests fit in boxes that can be transported using flatbed trolleys.

Meeting the demands of the furniture industry

British people purchase over £19bn worth of furniture a year – a figure £3bn higher than in 2015. Much of the furniture bought is imported from outside of the UK. If and when Britain leaves the European Union, there could be tariffs imposed on furniture imports, and these could make UK made furniture more competitively priced.

The growth area of consumer spending is online. Around a quarter of the British people purchase furniture online in a year. Perhaps the largest online growth sector is for mattresses, with companies like Emma, Simba and Nectar marketing innovative mattresses that promise better sleep and more comfort.

These statistics show that there is a huge potential for British furniture manufacturers. Though some manufacturers have ceased trading over the last seven years, there are still opportunities for existing companies and startups to make money making and selling furniture.

Designing new storage spaces

To cope with the rising demand for furniture, companies need to find more space to store their stock. Furniture manufacturers that make items to order do not need as much space for finished furniture than ones who keep many items in stock, but they do need to store the components of their furniture. These components include seats for chairs, cushions, bed headboards, and mattresses.

There are two ways to find extra space – move to larger warehouses or maximize the space in existing storage areas. If the furniture trolley supplier also manufactures shelving, they can help design a space efficient warehouse. Storage solutions can be fixed in place, or on wheels to make a combination of storage equipment and furniture trolley.

A British manufacturer has the flexibility to modify designs to suit particular operations. Invite their designer/engineer to visit the business premises to see all the furniture that is made or stored in the building. After talking to managers and workers, he or she will get a good idea of what is needed and come up with a bespoke solution for storing and moving furniture.

Furniture manufacturers that make high value items such as sofas, chairs, tables and beds do not have a huge number of orders to fulfil each day so may not need a fully automated order picking system. Nonetheless, warehouse management software can be useful in keeping track of stock orders, noting the best locations to store items, and tracking packing and delivery systems. Furniture trolleys suppliers don’t sell computer applications, but they do have extensive knowledge of the furniture trade and can suggest automated solutions.

The main criteria for warehouse equipment is that it must be well designed to do the job it was made for, and needs to be durable and able to carry heavy loads.

Health and safety

As furniture storage facilities grow, more furniture trolleys are needed, and more workers are required to push or pull them. As many furniture items are heavy, safety training is vital. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has guidance on its website on the best practices for pushing and pulling loads so that strain injuries are avoided.

Health and safety risk assessments are required for furniture trolley use. If there are also powered vehicles like forklifts operating in the same area as furniture trolleys, there needs to be systems that prevent collisions.

The future

In the future, people will continue to need furniture to sit, sleep and eat on. Due to environmental concerns, they may buy less plastic furniture and turn to more solid wood items. There is a trend to use better quality furniture that lasts longer, so people may not buy as much furniture over their lifetime. The total they spend on furniture may not be much different to having to replace cheap furniture every few years.

The furniture trade will continue to need furniture trolleys suppliers, as it is doubtful whether manual handling processes will be replaced by robots or automated systems any time soon. The furniture trade is not like grocery operations where thousands of items need to be picked and packed every day by machines.

The range of specialist furniture trolleys is not expected to significantly change. There may be modifications to designs, but there is no practical alternative to making them from strong and light tubular steel by skilled metalworkers. Casters will likely remain the best solution to easily move and steer trolleys.

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    Posted by Derek
    24th October 2019

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