Building modern furniture through modern business practices

- Winnipeg, Manitoba

EQ3 plant

Established in 2001, EQ3 is a Canadian designer, manufacturer and retailer of modern home and office furniture. In 2017, the company reached out to the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) when they were running into challenges with adopting and integrating an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution to optimize business production results.

At the time, the firm was connected with Ryan Johnson, an industrial technology advisor (ITA) with NRC IRAP. With a strong background in systems engineering, Ryan met with EQ3 to discuss their needs and identify how best he could help. What Ryan discovered, was that the firm's challenges did not stem from their ERP system itself, but from more foundational issues that first needed to be addressed.

"I saw a greater need for the company to re-align their business processes before adopting an ERP solution," recalls Ryan. "The best approach is to begin with the manufacturing system. When you get that process working well, the management and business processes follow suit—only then can an ERP implementation be successful at driving further benefits."

EQ3 followed Ryan's advice and so began the first NRC IRAP project with the firm to re-align their manufacturing process. The realignment led to EQ3 achieving improved product quality and increased production capacity. This not only positioned the firm to increase their sales capacity, the firm was now poised to adopt new methodologies and technologies into their manufacturing process to further grow their productivity.

Through this experience, EQ3 realized they needed to act on acquiring internal technical expertise to help them develop further digital capabilities, so they added engineering and IT expertise to their team. This led to NRC IRAP support on another project to develop front-end digital technologies and a unified business model to support mass customization of their furniture, alongside new value-added products and services for EQ3 customers.

Realigning their manufacturing capacity supported growth in many ways for EQ3. From 2016 to 2021, EQ3 doubled their staff and more than doubled their booked sales revenues. Furthermore, they were able to expand their online sales, which saw online revenues jump over 690%!

Today, EQ3 has expanded its presence throughout Canada and into the United States, establishing flagship locations in New York City. The company continues to stay true to its roots and Canadian brand with product design, R&D, and manufacturing remaining in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

"Thanks to NRC IRAP and Ryan, our trusted ITA, we were able to adapt and innovate quicker than our competitors which allowed us to gain further market share in the home furnishing space. Without NRC IRAP's support, the capacity increases and high revenue growth percentages year-over-year would not have been possible,"

Dennis Liu, Chief Financial Officer, EQ3

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