If you're a small business or startup, the hurdle of finding a furniture foam manufacturer that can handle your volume, be it small or very small, is often one of the biggest issues that you may encounter. Some companies have strict minimums and might not give your project a second balance if you're not willing to pay the up-front costs of 10,000 initial builds.
Much of this has to do with that company's initial investment into procuring the necessary materials, molds, and other construction elements that cost them money. To put it bluntly, they're not looking for a small-time operation. This does not mean that you will not be able to order small quantities, or test certain models in prototype form before beginning mass production, but it will mean that you'll have to be explicit with the company. If you're only interested in making 500 chairs, make sure they are aware and that you do not sign a contract for 50,000.
Customizability in Three Dimensions
Another essential element to a quality furniture foam manufacturer is their ability to produce completely customizable and detailed options. You also might be surprised at how much an old-fashioned producer might not be able to create what you want in shape, dimension, and pieces-per-model.
A quick way to tell if they are keeping up with the times is to see how they've adapted their CNC routers and robotic laser printers to scale to certain levels. If they do not have the machinery in place to create a full production line, and you plan on dealing with large quantities now, or even later, you'll need to reconsider your choice. As well, if you're working on a smaller scale to the point that your furniture requires intricate and detailed sculpting of the foam, you'll need to ensure that their resolution capability is on par with your models. If not, this could force you to use two companies instead of one, and could cost much more than you expected.
Finally, it's important to go with a furniture foam manufacturer who has a high degree of green awareness. In today's EPA-regulated market, you do not want to be a creator who distributes furniture that violates environmental standards for excellence in material quality. Not only could you get in trouble and incur a fine later, but this could also significantly affect your business image and the popular opinion of your company.
It's not enough to ensure that your materials are environmentally friendly, either. The manufacturing company has to use practices themselves that are efficient and environmentally conscious. Not only will this most likely save you on production costs since their overhead will usually be much lower, but it will also increase your visibility as a green company. You can advertise your environmental awareness on company websites, and even ship the products with detailed information about how you went out of your way to ensure that each piece was made with our planet's health in mind. You might be surprised at how many individuals will buy your product explicitly for this reason, and even more, it might open you up to demographics that you did not even know existed.