Established in 1997 by the Hill Family in Greymouth, Coastwood Furniture’s modest beginnings involved the manufacture of just two chair designs – a far cry from its current position as a supplier of a comprehensive range of bedroom, dining and occasional furniture to over 250 furniture retail stores nationwide.Coastwood Furniture’s staff are its most important asset and fundamental to the firm’s ongoing success.
Marketing spokesperson Jethro Hoyle says Coastwood Furniture has grown steadily “by increasing its product lines and ranges, and is now able to supply furniture items for every room of the home”.
Coastwood has also expanded by acquisition – buying Northwood Furniture in 2011 and becoming one of the country’s leading manufacturers of bedroom furniture.
In 2014 the firm took over Galleon Woodware – another prominent manufacturer. And just over a year later – when key competitor Royal Furniture in Christchurch closed its doors – Coastwood solidified its market position by purchasing all of Royal’s intellectual property and some of its key plant.
Hoyle says staff are Coastwood’s most important asset and fundamental to its ongoing success. Providing excellent working conditions for its 40-plus skilled employees has resulted in a dedicated and stable workforce … which, in turn, has led to an enviable consistency in the firm’s ability to attract and retain customers.
Motivated and skilled staff who have 12 months’ continuous employment with Coastwood (and who already hold level one certification) have the opportunity to attain level two and level three certificates in subjects that will advance their abilities as furniture makers. Time and training are provided by the firm, which also meets the costs of instruction.Left: Implementation of the Lean Manufacturing System “allows us to provide the best service and value in the industry”. Right: The McKenzie range includes a two-drawer bedside and six-drawer lowboy.
Hoyle adds that Coastwood has implemented the ‘Lean Manufacturing System’ – a management philosophy used by manufacturers to work towards increasing efficiency, eliminating waste, reducing delivery times, providing higher value to customers, and improving employee morale. “The combination of these things allows us to provide the best service and value in the industry.”
He says the firm has always recognised the need to acquire new technology to maintain a competitive edge – notably in its continuous investment in CNC machinery and other high-tech woodworking machines. “By mastering top-of-the-line technology we have been able to build a sustainable business and remain at the forefront of the industry.”
Most of Coastwood’s timber comes from sustainably sourced radiata pine forests on the West Coast – with the raw material often machined and kiln dried by local mills. The firm also uses the ever-popular and distinctively grained American white ash – plus products like plywood and MDF … suitable for drawer bases, backs of units and headboard panels.Left: Ferngrove seven-piece dining suite: part of a contemporary range of occasional furniture. Right: Waihi round table dining setting: crafted in renewable plantation-grown pine.
Over 20 years ago, Coastwood’s founders detected certain frustrations in the marketplace when it came to the public perusing and buying furniture. Hoyle says they were keen for consumers “to look at samples of our furniture at retail outlets and either purchase the standard item or request customised requirements”.
Those customised features now include 21 handle options, and a wide range of colour options – from rosewood and sienna to aged white and stone grey. Two drawer runner options are also available – standard metal runners and premium double extension runners.
Hoyle says Coastwood supplies over 30 different bedroom furniture styles. “And what really sets us apart is that every single piece can be customised to meet consumers’ requirements – whether it’s height, depth, length, colour or design, we are there to help. We can even stain-match to a home’s existing furniture.”
For more information, go to www.coastwoodfurniture.co.nz
– Michael Smith
All photos © Coastwood Furniture