Weekly Editorial

Your Industry Toolbox: What Industry Tools You Need To Get The Job Done

Written By Rob Kirkbride, Write Office • October 31, 2022

Indiana Furniture - Natta
Natta offers an agile solution for a variety of community spaces and meeting applications. With its simplicity of form, it can achieve a subtle effect and still provide an excellent solution for any meeting and breakout environment. 

Indiana Furniture - Fifteen Pods
Fifteen Pods provides users with a personal getaway space, private meeting, or collaboration location, and can be placed anywhere in a facility. 

Indiana Furniture - Spirit
The entire Spirit Collection – Spirit, Spirit Lite, Spirit Lounge, and Spirit Tables – provides a refined and inviting design, and capitalizes on versatility and comfort. 

Featured Brand: Indiana Furniture 

I had the pleasure of attending Configura’s CET Experience conference this week. Whether or not you are with a dealer or you are a manufacturer, you know CET. It has quickly grown to become one of the most important space planning tools in the industry and its annual gathering of CET users, developers and supporting brands has become a must-attend.

It is definitely a deep dive into all things related to CET – updates, tips to best use the platform, previews of coming features – it is also one of the largest gatherings of dealer designers anywhere.

In 2019, the last time Configura held its Experience event live, it attracted more than 600 attendees. This year, the conference attracted about 300 in-person, according to Peter Brandinger, vice president of customer success. And while you might think that might be a major disappointment to the company and event organizers, the conference actually had more than 1,000 attending. Not surprisingly, Configura, a tech company, has figured out how to successfully host hundreds and hundreds of attendees virtually.

Space planning tools: Let’s start with the subject of this column, Configura. The Swedish space planning software platform has become a go-to for industry designers. The industry is also served by 2020, whose Worksheet tool remains the industry standard.

Dealer tools: For this part of your toolbox, turn to INDEAL. The dealer platform is always working on adding new tools for dealer salespeople, designers and executives. It is currently working on updating Pinpoint, an already outstanding tool that helps the dealer community navigate the avalanche of products that are available to them. The platform has a host of other tools that range from supporting dealers to helping them onboard new employees through its outstanding INDEAL University offering of videos that explain everything from the commercial interiors ordering process to an explanation of the various roles in the furniture procurement process.

Publications: Yes, we’re an industry tool as well. Hopefully, The Insider is becoming an important tool for you to start your week off right. There are many good industry publications, including officeinsight, which is published every Monday and includes important news and information for designers and industry insiders.

Events: Our industry is filled with fantastic events, starting with NeoCon, the most important of the year. Some of you might be reading this from Orgatec, the biennial furniture show in Cologne, Germany. Other overseas shows include Clerkenwell Design Week, Stockholm Furniture Fair, iSalone in Milan and the China International Furniture Fair (assuming China will ever reopen to foreign visitors).

Of course, there are dozens of other tools you use every day at work, though many of them are not specific to our industry. Zoom and Teams, email, the internet, smartphones and tablets all help us work more efficiently.

Every once in a while, it is worth looking through your toolbox to replace what you are not using with tools that work. So take a moment today to think about how you work and what you need to get the job done.

The event itself was fantastic, a great mix of serious, heads-down learning and a lot of networking and fun. But it got me thinking about the growing number of tools, both high- and low-tech, that we use in the industry. This list is in no way complete, so if I left your company or its tool out, I’m sorry in advance. There’s a lot cooking in the industry and it is impossible to keep track of everything.

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