Van Hoecke, supplier of functional furniture fittings became one of the most important producers of customized wooden drawers, thanks to a more than succesful digital transformation.

Van Hoecke is an expert in functional furniture fittings and has represented Blum on the Benelux market since 1973. They supply the entire furniture industry, from small, self-employed cabinet-makers to large industrial companies. Therefore, they use a specific strategy which involves the end consumer to create a pull effect on the market. This company strives for continuity across the generations through constant growth in both turnover and margin. With a share of 80%, they are the market leader in the regional market. However, according to economic laws, this means that they are almost at the ceiling of their possibilities. To further guarantee growth, Van Hoecke has taken the step from dealer/distributor to assembler and finally to producer. They assemble fully customized metal drawers for use in kitchens and bathrooms. Furthermore, the Benelux market accounts also for 300,000 wooden drawers, the production of which is very varied and often of relatively poor quality. Under the motto of Antoine de Saint-Exupery 'You should not predict the future, but create it', they started to specialize in customized wooden drawers, based on their know-how of producing metal drawers. TA'OR or 'The Art of Organizing' was born.

The TA'OR concept has everything you can expect from a 'Factory of the Future'.

The production equipment is state-of-the-art and allows to remain competitive, the design approach has been tackled in such a way that the entire value chain and all stakeholders are covered. Furthermore, all operational processes are fully digitized, automated and connected via the internet. Employees play an important role in the development of the organization and the products and their autonomy and personal development is encouraged. Their network of suppliers and partners is optimized, and finally sustainability is key in every phase of the product life cycle, from the choice of raw materials (FSC or PEFC certified) to compact transport and in the end recycling. The product configurator allows each drawer to be fully customized and produced in a one-piece flow.

All these new technologies require people with new skills, which makes training very important to Van Hoecke. But not just for this. Due to the ever shorter product life cycles, the innovative capacity has to be increased and therefore they need well-trained people who can look outside of the box.


Source: EROV, Manufacturing Industry in East-Flanders.