Sitting in the Driver’s Seat: Ekornes’ Distribution Transformation Journey

How Ekornes is rethinking furniture distribution in Europe with the help of Kinver’s Analytics Intelligence Solutions.

Furniture Manufacturing
Ekornes is the largest furniture manufacturer in the Nordic region and owns such brand names as Ekornes®, Stressless® and Svane®. Stressless® is one of the world’s most famous furniture brands, while Ekornes® and Svane® are the best known brands in the Norwegian furniture market. Products are manufactured in Norway and sold in 4,000 retail outlets worldwide.
Furniture Manufacturing
Products by Kinver
Kinver Transport Intelligence Suite


Since its establishment in 1934, Ekornes has been synonymous with innovation, comfort, and Scandinavian design in the furniture manufacturing industry. With a presence spanning 48 countries with availability in over 4,000 retail outlets, Ekornes is no stranger to the complexities of global distribution.

Facing evolving transport challenges and rising customer expectations, Ekornes embarked on a digital transformation journey to enhance transparency, boost customer experience, and prioritise sustainable practices in its European distribution network.

This ambition led to a strategic partnership with Kinver, an Oslo-based tech company known its leading-edge distribution and fulfillment analytics solutions.

Challenges Before Kinver

The partnership with Kinver emerged from a need to establish greater visibility across their European distribution operation.

"Distribution was essentially a black box. Working with a large volume of transporters across borders, each using different systems, reporting methods, and with varying data quality, it was near impossible to get a clear picture of where we are and where we can improve…" Jan Robert Lyngvær, Global Logistics Director at Ekornes described.

The push for a digitised, data-driven approach was born from the urgent need to establish control of their transport operation to rapidly identify and diagnose any challenges or inefficiencies before they arise. This transformation was not just about adopting new technologies but about embracing a system that could support Ekornes' commitment to excellence in customer service, ensuring the delivery of a seamless and timely experience expected from a premium brand.

"Kinver didn't just provide a product; they provided us with the facts. Now with true control of our data, we can strive for clear improvements in our service that were a black box beforehand" – Lyngvær reflected.
Kinver visits Ekornes at their epic HQ in Sykkleven, Norway

Transformation with Kinver

The collaboration between Ekornes and Kinver marked the beginning of a new chapter in digital and environmental transformation. "Kinver wasn’t just a platform for us. It became a catalyst for change." Lyngvær affirmed.

Kinver's Transport Data Intelligence Platform offered a unified solution for monitoring and managing all transporters throughout Europe on a single platform. The system enabled complete visibility over Ekornes' distribution operations, a significant leap towards a greener and more connected European operation.

Enhanced Transparency and Efficiency

The platform now provides insights across the entire European transport network, consolidating all transport carriers into a single workspace. Ekornes now has complete visibility over activity in aggregate, but also granular drill-down by country, carrier, reporting period, customer, route and more, enabling Ekornes to make informed decisions such as reducing unnecessary shipments, and optimising routes.

"We now have complete visibility… from the overview across Europe, all the way down to a customer, postcode, or shipment. It’s extremely easy to use and cuts our time to analyse and act, in half" – Lyngvær noted.

Setting up for Greener Operations

Ekornes has activated several initiatives including route optimisation, bio-fuel and electrical trucks on several routes, alongside other improvements to reduce trucks on the road by optimising truckloads and consolidating shipments.

The next step is to start deeper work on optimising upstream and downstream transport emissions. "Transport is the most natural place for us to start working activity based with emissions. Even though we are in the furniture business, really, we are in the logistics business. Transport is a major part of what we ultimately deliver to our customers" Lyngvær commented.

"We’re not just focusing on furniture innovation; we're evolving the way it reaches your living room – sustainably and efficiently."

Improved Customer Experience

As a high-end furniture manufacturer, Ekornes believes in the importance of customer experience. Now that greater transparency across the transport operation has been achieved, the team is leveraging data driven insights to better serve their customers.

"Having facts on the table is always the best place to start. Now we can see clearly where we are falling behind and pinpoint exactly what we can improve to deliver on our customer promise" Lyngvær said.

After improvements have been made, continuous performance tracking is crucial to reinforce a customer centric culture across the organisation.

The timeless Stressless® recliner with more than 60 configurations

Goals for the Future

Ekornes is well on the journey towards more sustainable practices and a culture of customer excellence. The company is committed to achieving complete digitalisation of its transport operations, reducing its carbon footprint, and improving standards for customer service within the furniture industry.

The successful partnership between Ekornes and Kinver illustrates that with the right vision and collaboration, even the most traditional sectors can truly innovate and make a sustainable impact at every stage of their customer journey.

Ekornes showroom located by the sea in the beautiful city of Ålesund

Recommendations from the Global Head of Logistics at Ekornes

Take project initiation with partners seriously

When activating the project and engaging your transport partners, the importance of taking initiative in onboarding all parties to the process properly, cannot be understated. When we rolled out across Europe (after the initial roll-out in Norway), we encountered some resistance with our partners in terms of communication, data maturity, availability, and commitment to the joint project. Recognising the importance of solid data practices for both strategic and operational success, we've begun incorporating our data expectations into our transport tenders to ensure our transporters are equally committed to transparency and high-quality information flow, facilitating active collaboration to optimise our operations and emissions footprint together.

Embrace Digital Transformation

Invest in integrated platforms that offer real-time insights and control over your operations, especially when there are number of third-party data sources involved.

Establish Your Own Facts

When there are a number of third parties involved in collecting and sharing data, it can be difficult to establish a clear overview and single source of truth. It is important to manage and control your own data to ensure compliance and best practice is followed with all of your partners. At the end of the day, customers are number one, so the more you know about your operation, the better you can all work together and discuss the facts.

Focus on Sustainability

Leverage systems that allow you to not only track and report on your environmental impact in aggregate, but also allows you to deep dive actively into your numbers. It is important to choose a system that doesn’t just serve your needs for today but also future-proofs you against evolving customer and regulatory requirements.  

Prioritise Customer Experience

Customers should always be your North Star. When diagnosing and resolving any challenges in your service, utilise data and digitise where possible to enhance transparency so you can all work together with facts on the table. Equally as important to solving any immediate challenges, is giving consideration to ongoing tracking and monitoring so improvements and best practice ways of working truly stick over time.

Ekornes HQ in Sykkylven

If you're inspired by Ekornes' story and ready to take your own distribution and logistics transformation journey let's connect! Request a complimentary demo today

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