Fast Furniture

When I was in London last Fall, I noticed a trend toward quick, custom, home goods at the retail level.

Forget about 8-12 week lead times, one boutique rug company was advertising a custom rug delivered in two weeks. Another upmarket department store in Sloan Square was advertising curtain panels delivered in seven days. And despite what you might think, the products were gorgeous.

Closer to home, Ferrell Mittman can do a two-week turn-around on sofas anywhere in the country. Christiane Lemieux and Meganne Wecker’s latest venture Cloth & Company ships upholstered furniture, window treatments, decorative pillows and slipcovers within six days of ordering.

Customization is not a new trend. Research shows that millennials expect to be treated as individuals and are looking for brands that offer personalized products and experiences. As the marketplace shifts to cater to them, manufacturers are shifting too. At least some of them are and depending on your audience, that’s a good thing.

The law of gestation says that some things will always take a certain amount of time. Pregnancy for human beings is nine months. Chrysalis for butterflies takes about four weeks. A pumpkin matures in about 85 days. So trying to get some things finished before they are ready can have negative consequences.

However, when it comes to your own process, I’ll bet there are things you can improve. I’ll bet there are tasks you are micromanaging, team members you’re not delegating to, and time you’re wasting doing things that aren’t in your zone of genius.

I’m also guessing that there are things you could do, that have been asked of you, but that you’re not doing. Because all that micromanaging, not delegating and time wasting keeps you busy and in your own way.

You don’t know how to do everything better and that is a good thing.

When you let go of trying to control the wrong parts of the process, what you don’t know can be revealed and improved: fast.

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