It is about design
An all important consideration in making great quality furniture is the design of the product. Are the materials selected and the craftsmanship required in the execution of the design high quality? Are they refined, are they long lasting, and are they precisely and carefully done.
Challenged by a partner to provide upscale contemporary design at an affordable price point, O-Palier, as an example in its Prelude collection, has carefully mitered the side post panel and top panel of the case to ensure a clean “wrap-around” joint, therefore presenting the dark ebony oak framing as a clean contrast to the light ivory oak finished drawer fronts.
This same collection includes touch latch drawers to eliminate the visual clutter of hardware, fully finished drawer interiors to provide a pleasing display of the drawers contents, and O-Palier’s enhanced extension , self closing guides engineered with four ball bearings and level adjustment to ensure long lasting performance of the cases primary storage and access functions.
It is about execution
The product’s quality is also very much related to how well the design is executed in mass production.
Our experience is that good execution is the result of attention to the many details that go into the final product, from material selection, to machining and assembly, precision sanding, finishing and finally to packaging. Each step must be carefully controlled and monitored for conformity and consistency.
This process of monitoring is very complex because it is done in the context of a production environment where the factory’s revenue and often a workers pay or bonus is tied to how much is boxed. The conflicts are many and obvious particularly in the situation where the product is manufactured in a country distant from where it is sold and the “time to judgment” is appreciable.
A final challenge is the “cultural divide” wherein the worker making the product is often not prepared through their own life experience to be able to judge either aesthetic or functional value the correctness of high quality furniture products.
In this context O-Palier’s quality control process is unique and very effective. We commit that only experienced furniture people are responsible for the inspection process and these same people have an economic interest in good quality. We do not rely on the manufacturer, agents or even local staff to watch the product go into the box.
We do it ourselves, the each-step monitoring, the aesthetic judging, the quality control. We do it ourselves!
A final word on packaging.
Experience has taught us that the phrase “penny wise and pound foolish” describes the considerations in package engineering. Wooden furniture is fragile, does not like to travel, and is at significant risk for damage with each mile traveled and with each loading, unloading and storage along its path to the consumer. Each and every O-Palier item, once it is developed and released for production, goes through a process to define the packaging standards for that item. In addition to a significant investment in better quality corrugated to reduce risks of damage, an O-Palier principal personally oversees the testing and live drop simulations for each and every item before packaging specifications are approved. It takes time, costs money but makes a worthwhile difference in reducing damage and defect.