23 January 2024
Founded in 2017, iWood creates solid wood furniture that are available for online purchase. While some of its production is subcontracted to partner joiners, the company operates from Geneva, Valais and Neuchâtel. Thanks to the success of TopSolid'WoodCam solution, iWood company has gradually grown its presence in the Swiss market. Pierre Sandoz, the CEO, and co-founder explains why he chose TopSolid'WoodCam.
iWood: local excellence in solid and long-lasting furniture
iWood is an outsourcing company that connects skilled artisans and buyers to create and sell sustainable, customized furniture. iWood furniture are conceived by a curated group of talented designers and Coulet Frères Sarl takes charge of the woodworking and manufacturing phases. Coulet is a dedicated network of woodworking manufacturers. They devoted significant time to conduct exhaustive research and development to create iWood's unique furniture.
A sustainable model
The company is committed to employing exclusively short supply chains, locally sourced solid wood and to creating timeless furniture... Sustainability is deeply embedded in iWood's DNA. The company aims to design pure, timeless and long-lasting furniture. The manufacturing process adheres to stringent principles, utilizing only solid, highly durable, locally sourced wood, strategically chosen to minimize transportation distances.
"From the project’s inception, we were guided by an ecological vision. An iWood piece of furniture represents a durable, timeless investment, designed to endure for generations and effortlessly maintained." Pierre Sandoz, CEO and co-founder of iWood.
A tailor-made catalog powered by technology
At iWood, our commitment to sustainability goes hand in hand with uncompromising quality. We give our customers the freedom to fully personalize our furniture to align with their needs and desires. Each piece of furniture is made to order, tailored to the buyer's specifications. The power of technology turns our ambitions into reality. Our partner joiners employ cutting-edge digital solutions while iWood remotely oversees the design process with TopSolid software.
The model, blending an innovative concept with traditional craftmanship and state-of-the-art-technology, has proven to be remarkably successful. Looking ahead, the company envisions expanding its network of manufacturers in German-speaking Switzerland to cover a 50km radius.
The key role of TopSolid in successfully launching iWood business
In 2017, Pierre Sandoz won the BCN Innovation prize and turned his concept into a thriving business. iWood first crucial step was to find the ideal CAD/CAM software that would align with the company’s ambitious goals and ensure sustained profitability.
After extensive research, it finally clicked in Lyon at the Eurobois trade fair, dedicated to the industry professionals. The choice was obvious, as TOPSOLID was the only CAD/CAM player on the market to offer three key features that were paramount for iWood’s operations:
- Modeling: provides iWood with the ability to visualize part models upstream of the production phase.
- Customization: empowers buyers to personalize the dimensions of their furniture.
- Automation: increases productivity and maintains profitability.
"We prepared our specification and realized that we needed a software that would not only enable us to accurately model our furniture but also set precise parameters and automate the machining sequences. TopSolid stood out as the only software that ticked all the boxes perfectly." Pierre Sandoz, Director and co-founder of iWood.
The modularity of TopSolid’s solution convinced the teams involved: "The same design can be used for various furniture pieces such as a bench, a coffee table or a stool... This is particularly impressive because, usually, creating such diverse products would require separate assembly lines" explains Pierre Sandoz. "The flexibility of TopSolid proved to be the decisive factor in selecting a solution".
Top-quality TopSolid training for optimum use
The iWood staff members have received comprehensive support and training from TOPSOLID, covering every aspect of the software from A to Z. They quickly became expert users. The manager and co-founder of iWood proudly asserts: "Today, we are utilizing almost the full potential of TopSolid."
Since the implementation of the solution, the iWood team has been using version 6 of TopSolid'WoodCam and successfully produced a dozen furniture pieces.
How will iWood benefit from TopSolid'WoodCam?
TopSolid'WoodCam has met all iWood's expectations thanks to its unparalleled capabilities, its flawless execution and the remarkable responsiveness and efficiency of TopSolid’s teams.
Essential business functionalities
TopSolid’WoodCam stands out as the only solution on the market that provided a comprehensive package of essential features including modeling, configuration, and automation. These functionalities are essential for iWood. They contributed significantly to the production start and ultimately, they enabled iWood to achieve both sustainability and profitability.
The company's CEO comments: "The remarkable capabilities of TOPSOLID facilitated the connection of diverse skills and allowed us to create a new local production model."
Maximizing efficiency and potential with tailor-made solutions
TOPSOLID also stands out from its competitors due to its impressive ability to deliver customized products, a crucial activity for iWood. Pierre Sandoz emphasizes: "The main advantage we find in using TopSolid'WoodCam, currently, is its capability to offer bespoke solutions to our customers." Given that customization accounts for a substantial quarter of iWood’s turnover, the company heavily depends on this functionality, viewing it as a vital asset for its business operations.
Highly efficient teams
Pierre Sandoz also praises the skills of TOPSOLID staff members, with a special mention to Luc Ribato, an engineer who played a crucial role in overseeing the rollout for iWood: "From a human perspective, everything is progressing remarkably well; TOPSOLID proves to be a reliable partner" he says. Furthermore, the CEO acknowledges and praises WoodCam's highly responsive and user-friendly support system in promptly addressing technical issues.
Thanks to the automation provided by TOPSOLID - specifically for the configuration sequences, renderings, and customer presentations - iWood managed to design a 3D furniture model in record time of just 15 minutes. In the highly competitive Swiss market, this very efficient processing time not only helps iWood maintain its competitiveness but also preserves its core values.
"Thanks to TopSolid, we transformed our business idea into a tangible reality."
Pierre Sandoz, CEO and co-founder of iWood.