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Latest trends and innovations for the future of the supply chain in the furniture industry

6-7 Jun 2024 • interzum forum italy

Important issues such as the sustainable production of materials, components and technologies, the sustainable development of companies and transparency and monitoring regulations are increasingly taking centre stage. The interzum forum italy event programme, with its wide range of exciting training and information formats, offers trade visitors concrete answers to these current questions. The spectrum of content ranges from the green to the digital revolution, from certifications and innovative production processes to modern living trends and the latest generation of materials.

In the biennium 2021-2022, the Italian furniture industry recorded exceptional growth, exceeding 20% in current values compared to 2019, reaching over 20 billion euros in value in 2022 and performing well both domestically and on exports.

Following this extraordinary growth, there is now a natural slowdown, also due to a weakened global scenario. To cope with the current decline in demand and higher than usual prices of raw materials and components, Italian furniture manufacturing companies prioritize investment in product research and innovation (CSIL Forecast Report on the Italian furniture sector, Nov. 2022), seizing, among others, opportunities arising from the digital transition and sustainability.

In this context, a recent CSIL survey shows that the ecological component already plays an important role for most Italian furniture manufacturers and that they are increasingly investing in sustainable production and the development of environmentally friendly products. However, other factors also contribute to the industry’s ability to remain efficient. Anna Barbara, CEO of POLI.design and partner of interzum forum italy, explains that materials, surfaces and finishes are becoming more and more important in furniture production and are thus increasingly becoming the unique identity of top design from Italy.

In this context, companies, universities and innovation centres are carrying out advanced research, exploring new fields of application and developing complex materials and technologies to meet the constantly growing demand. This multifaceted design environment is strategic to ensure the success of Italian brands and their recognised qualities. It is therefore necessary to further promote awareness and training in relation to tangible and intangible design culture.”

The interzum forum italy is under the patronage of Federlegno Arredo, the umbrella organization of the Italian wood and furniture industry, which in its function provides the entire industry with useful and varied tools for all topics related to the furniture industry.

An important topic in the industry is digitalization. Digitalization facilitates access for consumers who, in addition to the functionality and aesthetic appearance, also appreciate the simplification and control of products for more efficient time management. Giulio Salvadori, Director of the Internet of Things Observatory, Politecnico University of Milan, stated: “The smart home concept is also becoming increasingly important in Italy. There are more and more networked objects for our homes that can break down the boundaries between the physical and digital worlds.

And that’s not all: companies are focussing on service-oriented strategies and business models. They no longer limit themselves to selling hardware, but also offer additional services. These include, for example, monthly subscriptions for remote maintenance and servicing for devices at home or usage-based insurance to protect the home against theft. Such services may also be activated for short periods on a pay-per-use basis. In the future, Italian consumers expect all smart devices installed in their homes to be fully networked, enabling them to set up scenarios autonomously. It should also be possible to pay for items depending on actual usage and integrate devices into their furniture.”

Thomas Rosolia, Managing Director of Koelnmesse Italy declared: “All the panels that we have organized with manufacturers’ associations, research organisations and institutions have shown that we are on the right track. We can provide concrete answers to future-oriented companies with a clear and innovative event concept.”

The event, which will be attended by national and international companies as well as scientists and associations, is actively supported by all those involved. interzum forum italy can also count on the patronage of Lombardy region’s department for Economic Development, the Italian-German Chamber of Commerce AHK Italien, ASCOM Confcommercio Bergamo, CdO Bergamo and Confartigianato Bergamo.

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