German kitchen giant Nobilia has been outlining the processes that have seen it continue to manufacture, deliver and, it says, support its retailer network through the covid-19 situation.
The manufacturer, based in Verl, Germany, says it has continued production at both of its factories throughout the lockdown phase and maintained a delivery schedule of three to four weeks.
A large-scale support programme has also, Nobilia says, enabled retailers to continue selling kitchens during the restriction period.
“The coronavirus has presented us with some unprecedented challenges,” said Michael Dohmen, head of sales for North and East Europe. “In this extraordinary situation, our efficiency and agility have been particularly evident. With the shared commitment of all our employees, we have risen to this crisis in the best possible way and strengthened the position of our retail partners.”
At its two plants in Verl, Nobilia manufactures around 3,400 kitchens per day and during the lockdown it says that figure did not drop.
It built large stocks of materials early on in the lockdown – around four times the usual amount – and several additional HGVs and freight-forwarders were hired to transport doors and fronts from Italy to Verl more quickly.
Nobilia has also created additional storage capacity for kitchens that have already been made but cannot yet be delivered to customers. These kitchens are being accommodated in 300 HGV trailers specifically hired for the purpose.
It has also set up a wide-ranging support programme for retailers. For example, it has enabled its retail partners to advise end customers online via the company’s extranet with Zoom. Sales brochures have also been made available in a digital format and it expanded its range of training courses via video conference and e-learning.
And on its website, a virtual trade fair tour showcase was launched along with an online planning tool for prospective customers.
Nobilia has also confirmed that it is continuing to extend its production capacities with two new production plants currently under construction in Germany. The first is being built in Gütersloh near Verl, and the second in Saarlouis, near the French border.
The latter, totalling 290,000sqm, is the company’s first decentralised production facility and the building is set to be completed on schedule in the Autumn.