The Story

Founded in 1899 by L.F. Pettersson, Edsbyn Office Furniture is a once-small family joinery business that, over three generations, has successfully grown into one of Scandinavia's leading furniture manufacturers.

With a product line ranging from well-designed office furniture to an array of shelving, cabinetry and storage units for the private market sector, Edsbyn Office Furniture prides itself on offering a comprehensive range of products. The company is also proud of its quality: its products incorporate century-old traditions and are built on a vast knowledge of the industry; in particular, key design factors such as functionality and ergonomics.

I would use CorelDRAW for almost everything.

In a modern manufacturing plant covering 40,000 square feet, Edsbyn Office Furniture uses CAD/CAM technology and CNCpowered machines. Production is cost-effective, thanks in part to short lead times, and is geared towards achieving the highest quality. Production is, however, complex and detailed, hence the company's use of CorelDRAW to simplify certain aspects of the production process for the benefit of designers, retailers and, ultimately, customers.

The Challenge

With a focus on short lead times and on-time delivery—as well as customized solutions—Edsbyn operates using a modular system that emphasizes creative thinking and a high level of customer response. In addition, the company has a well-established retail network of qualified interior designers throughout Scandinavia.

In response to changing customer needs, the company felt it necessary to implement a simplified sales support system—a system that would allow customers to effectively visualize the design of furniture, shelving and storage units, while also enabling retailers to easily help customers choose the right product. The company's furniture designers and makers work in an advanced CAD/CAM environment—which makes it difficult for interior designers and retailers to come up with suggestions for customers. Clearly, a more user-friendly solution was required.

The Solution

Since the early 90s—beginning with version 3.0—the company's Marketing Department has been using CorelDRAW to create everything from simple brochures to detailed price lists and 50page catalogs. Marketing Communicator, Nils Eriksson, who joined the department at that time, recalls, “I would use CorelDRAW for almost everything.”

Having acquired this extensive CorelDRAW experience, the department could see possibilities for expanding the program's use, and developing user-friendly applications that would bridge the design gap between manufacturers and customers.

With that in mind and taking advantage of the easy-to-use tools in CorelDRAW, the designers at Edsbyn created simple drawings on a scale of 1.50. These were transformed into templates and saved in CorelDRAW, partly as three-dimensional stills and partly as twodimensional images. With drag-and-drop ease, the templates could then be accessed and customized according to retailers' and customers' wishes. Today there are about 1,000 different images in the company's CorelDRAW picture library. Retailers have incorporated these images into their own CorelDRAW libraries. With the complete openness of the system, retailers can create their own designs, and import almost any file format. When customers want to upgrade their office, designers simply produce a virtual drawing of the room, enabling customers to electronically 'place' desks, cabinets and shelving. CorelDRAW even makes it possible to change the structure and color of materials— and even add plants.

Says Nils Eriksson, “Our new system works even better than I thought it would— CorelDRAW gives you a complete picture of the final design.” The system is used on a daily basis by about 10 employees at Edsbyn, and another 150 interior designers and retailers throughout the sales network.

The Benefits

CorelDRAW has provided Edsbyn Office Furniture with an easy-touse and flexible sales support system that effectively meets customers' needs. The system saves time and reduces costs by allowing the company to integrate all products into CorelDRAW templates in the early stages of production—resulting in the efficient output of a diverse range of marketing materials.

Simplicity, however, is probably the system's greatest advantage: retailers and interior designers have access to an effective, userfriendly visualization tool, while Edsbyn Office Furniture enjoys the benefit of a system that will grow with the company, and will adapt to new products.