The world of work is changing at a dizzying pace. Digital transformation has been advancing in leaps and bounds for several years. Digitalisation and automation in production have revolutionised workflows, while mobile devices take us out of the office and let us work in various locations. These factors have a significant influence on processes, as well as on workplace organisation and the working environment of the office.
One thing is clear: Office life is undergoing dramatic changes. As a manufacturer of office furniture systems and furnishing solutions for modern working worlds, these developments present a major challenge for ASSMANN. Industry 4.0, Work 4.0, Office 4.0 – these trends are shifting our perceptions of modern office worlds and the development and production of suitable office furniture, as well as workplace design for our own employees.
Industry 4.0 – Automation and digitalisation in production
Production and manufacturing have kept pace with digitalisation since day one. Comprehensive IT systems with well-designed digital solutions were implemented early on. More than ten years ago, ASSMANN started forging ahead with a connected production control system and with integrating robot technology in production. Among other things, the outcome is a fully automatic carcass furniture and roller container production line, as well as an automated prefabrication division that produced its three millionth part just last month. Today, manufacturing is virtually paperless and the production status can be accessed and controlled at any time on monitors and online. ‘Pick by voice’ (voice-controlled, paperless picking) was integrated a few years ago. The next step will be to introduce ‘pick by light’ in the workflows, which will use lamps to guide employees through the warehouse. Yet another project is exploring the future deployment of driverless transport systems (DTS).
Work 4.0 – Modern working conditions for the digital age
New requirements within production inevitably place different demands on the staff. Many of the employees working at our Melle site have adapted well to the changes in work and have long since embraced their new roles intracting with digital processes, for instance on the automated carcass furniture production line. In addition, ASSMANN has invested heavily in the recruitment of qualified and motivated young professionals, new occupational health and safety methods and the reconciliation of work and family life. After all, digital transformation helps us to optimise working conditions. This could include flexitime arrangements, time accounts and telecommuting policies.
Office 4.0 – New office worlds as the yardstick for design and development
How will digital transformation reshape the furniture and layout of office workplaces?
Flexibility and modularity are the most important criteria here. Workflows can change and need to be quickly adaptable to specific requirements.
Syneo lounge furniture, the modular Cubas storage system and other models provide furnishing solutions for open-plan offices. They are designed for shared working spaces and innovative layouts that radically depart from compartmentalised offices to satisfy the fresh demands of today’s working environments. They create privacy and refuge areas where necessary, enable flexible use of storage space and are fitted with surfaces that optimise the interior acoustics.
Digital transformation is sweeping through sales as well. In 2018, ASSMANN was one of the first manufacturers of office furniture solutions to give its retail partners an augmented reality app that allows individual furniture configurations to be positioned in customer offices on screen.