Product Intelligence 2021
From spec patterns to supply chain, MillerKnoll to the rise of residential, the ongoing demands of work-from-home to the newfound demands of returning to the workspace, Product Intelligence 2021 examines the biggest interior design and product manufacturing stories of 2021.
Above: Product Intelligence cover; Top: The Port of Los Angeles. Ground Zero of the Supply Chain Bottlenecks.
As always, the specification analyses are the foundation of the publication. This issue features reports for 2021 in 43 categories of furniture, flooring, architectural finishes, and textiles. Each report page identifies the top three specified products and the top 10 specified brands within the category. There’s also a chart for each category showing year-over-year performance for the category as a whole during the period from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2021.
A sample report from Product Intelligence, 2021
Complementing the specification analyses, three timely articles cover industry developments during 2021. The first of these looks at furniture specification trends, with insights into the resumption of workplace projects and the leveling-off of education, as well as corresponding increases in the product categories of occasional tables and conference tables.
Studio TK’s Sly table and Herman Miller’s Noguchi table. Rising specification rates for statement pieces like the above may reflect increased demand for heirloom quality furnishings that toe the line between home and office.
Next, our look at the merger (perhaps more accurately termed an acquisition) of Herman Miller and Knoll features interviews with MillerKnoll’s Chief Strategy Officer Megan Lyon, as well as prominent commercial furniture dealers Russell Frees of Henricksen and Mary Edwards of G.L. Seaman and Co. One of the more interesting developments we discuss is how the MillerKnoll pairing may be upending the dealer networks of both brands, especially in the context of MillerKnoll’s increasing visibility in the residential sphere.
Some things never change. MillerKnoll definitely won’t be messing with the time-tested formula for Aeron, apart from making it a bit more sustainable with the addition of ocean-bound plastic.
Lastly, we tackle the behemoth of the supply chain via an in-depth discussion with OFS VP of Supply Chain Lisa Mehringer. Her insights provide an up-close and personal look at what it’s been like to be on the front lines of delays and and shortages caused by COVID, catastrophic weather, navigation errors, labor scarcity, inflation, and the Russian invasion of the Ukraine. While an optimist might argue that the supply chain logjams will eventually promote more American manufacturing, we see that there are no easy answers.
Detailed view of OFS’ Zero Chair. FSC-certified, easy to assemble and ship, Zero is a hopeful example of innovations in manufacture and fulfillment.
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