This Aussie furniture franchise is turning the industry upside down

By Harry Allan

Australian franchise Vast Furniture & Homewares has cast off traditional trading practices in the furniture industry and is developing a business model that runs a lower cost base than that of industry standards.

The furniture industry is worth an estimated $7 billion in Australia, with approximately half of stock nationwide imported from China. Australian Resellers have traditionally been forced to store stock in expensive warehouses, requiring substantial investment capital, storage space and limiting availability of product for the consumer.

CEO and Founder of Vast, Ross Clayton has criticised way of doing business and has brought out an alternative model that has removed the need for storage, has cut the cost and time of delivery and is shaking up the industry with its impressive results.

“It’s one of those incredible situations where everyone follows the same practices in the furniture industry simply because that’s the way it has always been done,” said Ross.

“I have been in the industry for many years and one day simply questioned why we are spending so much money on storage, wasting time in terms of delivery and limiting our overall results. I knew there had to be a better way.

“What we have done is to turn the furniture trading model on its head and look for a more efficient way of doing business and delivering to the customer. The result has exceeded all expectations and our future has never looked brighter.”

The new model is based in the cloud, creating a system that is able to store all inventory centrally and organise direct manufacturer-to-customer delivery, bypassing warehouse overheads. Instead of franchisees having to build their own system from scratch or be expert importers or exporters, now each business has instant access to the entire range of suppliers.

To compliment this, working alongside the franchisees is a nationally versatile online team that focuses on franchisee support including sales coaching, operations, accounts, HR advice and marketing support.

The outcome has led to reduced delivery times by 80 per cent, providing the ability to offer the quickest possible lead time to customers and all at a low cost. The concept also has the added benefit of costing 70 percent less than the traditional industry model.

Ross said that the system means being able to give business-minded individuals a model for success and a product that reduces the work required to grow each franchise from three years, to just nine months.

“Previously we needed someone who was a born creative business whizz or a cashed up genius to make their franchise a success. Now anyone with the desire to be involved in the franchise business can be set up for success with this model,” said Ross.

 “The furniture business has not had a decent revolution since the introduction of flat pack products,” he added. “We believe the future lies in being more efficient, productive and cost effective and by providing a franchise model that ticks all these boxes we offer investors a very real chance of keeping our industry alive, right here in Australia.”

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