In 2020, people all over the world shifted to working remotely as the events of the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded. Estimates from EU agency Eurofound suggest that close to 40% of workers in Europe worked from home most or all of the time during the pandemic. Productivity levels are up too: almost half of 1,000 CIOs in a survey by US-based Enterprise Technology Research reported a rise since making the switch.
The World Economic Forum believes that more than 20% of the workforce in advanced economies could work remotely three to five days a week as effectively as if working from an office – more than triple the number of workers with this arrangement prior to the pandemic. What does this mean for furniture manufacturers like Nowy Styl, the European leader in comprehensive furniture solutions for office and public spaces?
The Polish company already recognized the shift underway as business leaders rethink the role of the traditional office. The pandemic inspired Nowy Styl to work on a report on how the future workspace will need to adapt to suit the needs and expectations of the “organization of tomorrow.” The outcome is Nowy Styl’s concept called ‘Communication Hub’. It believes that many will turn to hybrid setups, supporting employees to work from home – or another off-site location – and making available open, inviting work and meeting spaces to facilitate in-person interactions. Office spaces will transform from primary work locations with a focus on personal productivity into flexible meeting points for collaboration and interaction.
“We operate in many markets and channels offering our customers a broad portfolio of products and services to create inspiring, effective spaces,” said Karolina Manikowska, Workplace & Marketing Director, former Product Management Director at Nowy Styl. “Our customers want high-quality furniture but, more than that, they want solutions that will get the most from their people. Driven by recent events, we see a future where there will be a hybrid working mode as people move seamlessly between home and the office, and we’re working with many clients to redesign and renovate office spaces to suit this new way of working.”
Nowy Styl is used to staying on top of the latest trends. Through its five brands, offices in 12 countries and extensive network of designers and suppliers, the company introduces innovative, exciting furnishing solutions and forward-thinking product development and manufacturing methods, such as chairs made from composites and office furniture that incorporates cellular boards. Over the years, as the business has continued to grow at pace, it has re-engineered its research and development processes, built a common technical knowledge base for its extensive product portfolio and turned to the latest applications for 3D design, 3D modelling and simulation. All of this is done on the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform.
With the support of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, our project teams responsible for new product implementation can prepare projects easier and faster, keeping track of expected costs and margins from the beginning to end.
“We started investigating new tools and methodologies to support our expanding business, thinking about the environment we needed for our people to develop new products effectively,” said Tomasz Bardzik, director of production planning and supply chain at Nowy Styl. “We had a lot of different tools and it was difficult to find the information we needed. It was a space without portals and we wanted to improve the time and cost of product development.”
Nowy Styl opted for the industry-leading 3DEXPERIENCE platform to future-proof its business and deliver the common environment it needed to bring together all disciplines and organizations as it continues to onboard new companies and expand its product portfolio. “To improve people’s performance, you need to provide good tools,” said Paweł Smaś, chief technical director at Nowy Styl. “The 3DEXPERIENCE platform delivers that in a single environment. It helps us standardize our process and gives us speed.”
Nowy Styl turned to business technology and product lifecycle management solutions specialist IBS Poland for support during the implementation.
“We were looking for a company that would bring us knowledge and challenge us to change our mindset and entire way of working,” Bardzik said. IBS Poland worked with Nowy Styl to define its specific requirements and choose the best solution to meet its needs. “They convinced us to go with the 3DEXPERIENCE platform,” Bardzik said. “They have a great understanding of the platform and took the time to understand our business needs. It’s quite something considering how complicated we are. We produce so many different types of furniture, our portfolio is huge and each customer department has different needs. But IBS successfully analyzed our methods and organization and helped us to build completely new processes so we could take best advantage of the platform.”
The 3DEXPERIENCE platform is the backbone of Nowy Styl’s vision to have all of its geographically distributed operations and subsidiaries operate as one company.
“We wanted to have one common environment – a single place for everyone to work,” said Mariusz Sobociński, IT and business analyst director at Nowy Styl. “That’s what the 3DEXPERIENCE platform is helping us to achieve. It’s allowing us to integrate the entire product development process, from quotation through to production. Already, the platform is breaking down siloes and improving communication. It allows a member of any team to communicate with the right stakeholders on a project without having to go to the organization chart and figure out who to speak with.”
Departments using the platform include Nowy Styl’s technical division, commercial departments, project management, and quality and planning. “The platform is a solution for true collaboration, not just for our engineers but across all these departments,” Smaś said. “We previously had some tools for modelling, but we never had one common environment gathering everything together. Now, we do and it means we can act faster. We can share information from different departments and countries across our entire business.”
In a practical sense, this is already helping to improve communication and understanding between departments, leading to fewer quality issues and helping to keep product launches on track.
“Having access to current technical product data as well as the ability to work concurrently in a virtual environment with process continuity is solving many communication issues between our technical departments as we can now see exactly who is doing what,” said Kamil Popów, design product engineer at Nowy Styl. “In the long term, it’s important to join all our sites to the platform and share knowledge across different departments in the group,” Bardzik added. “It promises a great deal of opportunity for us to continue delivering the best possible customer experience.”
The 3DEXPERIENCE platform promises a great deal of opportunity for us to continue delivering the best possible customer experience.
One of Nowy Styl’s major goals was for the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to support its company slogan ‘Let’s make your space together’ – which supports a philosophy to make it even easier to create tailor-made office environments for customers and design products that fulfill multiple user requirements.
“We have the largest product portfolio on the market and that offers huge value to our customers as everyone can find something they like that suits their specific business needs,” Manikowska said. “But every customer is different and has its own unique set of features and principles. We operate in so many different markets. Our products have to satisfy many different regulations and regional preferences. And we must continue to be very competitive in terms of cost and quality.”
Nowy Styl uses ENOVIA on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to form a 360-degree view of each product to inform when it’s time to launch a successor or launch a new product line. It takes into account market and sales analyses, trend research, sales statistics and the product lifecycle to create a comprehensive product brief.
“We look at everything to determine what new products the market needs,” Manikowska said. “The biggest challenge is how to fulfill expectations for all markets we serve with one product. And sometimes those expectations can be at polar opposites. For example, our French customers generally like rounded shapes, whereas our German customers tend to prefer rectangular furniture. Our strategy is to create a product that balances all these preferences.”
Nowy Styl also uses ENOVIA to keep projects on schedule and deliver the best customer service. This is critical when handling major office redesigns.
“An office is much more than just furniture,” Manikowska said. “It is a place for boosting people’s productivity and creativity and a company’s business efficiency. With the support of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, our project teams responsible for new product implementation can prepare projects easier and faster, keeping track of expected costs and margins from the beginning to end. In the past, we had to search for each person involved in a particular project and collect individual updates to check progress. It was really time consuming. Now, it’s much easier. With ENOVIA, we can cooperate with people in different countries, manage projects effectively and keep budgets under control.”
With such an extensive product portfolio, it was important for Nowy Styl to have the capabilities to easily reuse components and designs to speed up product development.
“We often reuse components to create new products,” Smaś said. “Using advanced tools on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, we can now look for similarities between components. The knowledge about functions and so forth is all stored in the platform. So, for example, if we have a technical solution for sliding tables, we can reuse that solution for other products that need sliding functionality. Or, if we’re developing a product successor, we sometimes combine product designs and take the best functions to create something new.”
Kamil Popów uses CATIA on a daily basis for 3D modelling and appreciates being able to work faster and see his early ideas and concepts come to life on the screen. “I do everything on the platform, including sketches and renders,” he said. “It makes it so convenient to make 3D models and add more details as the design matures and we incorporate new functions and attributes to suit specific customer needs. I’ve been working on adjustable desks with electric height adjustment. When I get a request for a particular size table or a new solution to complement an existing workstation, I can start with a desk already designed by one of my colleagues and focus my time and energy on adapting it to suit the specific use case. It means we’re not duplicating work and saves us significant time.”
In future, Nowy Styl plans to increasingly turn to virtual environments to test new concepts and accurately simulate how products will perform before they are physically made. This will lead to far greater efficiencies in the manufacturing process, too.
“My dream is to avoid producing physical prototypes as much as we can and instead be able to create virtual 3D models to carry out testing,” Smaś said. “It will be faster and cheaper, and it will empower our engineers to be even more innovative. While it will always be important to see and feel the product – to be able to sit on a chair to check how comfortable it is – we also know that there are a lot of steps we can implement almost entirely virtually on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. It’s really exciting to know we have those capabilities on standby and in a single environment as we continue to transform our business.”
Nowy Styl is a European leader in comprehensive furniture solutions for office and public spaces. Every day the company equips new office buildings, conference centers, cinemas, stadiums, music halls, sports and multifunctional facilities. Thanks to its unique business model, the group offers an excellent interior furnishing service based on the in-depth analysis of customers’ needs, efficiency, work organization, ergonomics and acoustics. Nowy Styl’s experience and technological and production facilities ensure that every offer is tailor-made.
For more information: www.nowystyl.com
IBS POLAND is a leading provider of product lifecycle management technology solutions. The company’s mission is to model and optimize business processes so that companies can operate more efficiently, economically and in accordance with the latest trends. IBS POLAND serves five sectors: automotive; aerospace and defense; machinery; marine; and home and lifestyle. The company’s experienced team manages projects in the fields of development, planning and manufacturing, supporting companies with their digitalization strategies as they enter a new era of business.