With the launch of FAKTUM in 1992, the popularity of IKEA kitchens grew to a new level, becoming what we today think of as “the heart of the home”. However, times have changed and so have consumer needs. There’s a clear demand for kitchens that offer more functions and more options.
A few years ago, IKEA of Sweden AB formed a work group with the task of examining what modern kitchen living looks like. The result is a new kitchen system called METOD*. Roll-out of METOD began in 2013 and will continue into 2015.
* In North America the new series is called SEKTION, and is built on the same principles as METOD, but uses the local measurement standard of inches rather than centimetres. Its predecessor was called AKURUM.
Meet the kitchen with endless possibilities
METOD uses a building-block approach with consistent sizing to let you create endless combinations of cabinets, shelves, drawers and more. Innovative interior fittings help organise everything from cutlery to spice jars. The finishes have been updated too, strengthening each style expression.
True flexibility. That’s what’s at the heart of METOD, and what makes it special for consumers. You get to create something that suits your home, your style, your needs. Choose a colour, size, function and finish. Make it freestanding or fitted, or mix it up. Fill the inside with infinite drawer combinations, then cover it all up with a choice of fronts, or skip the fronts and leave it all on show. The possibilities really are endless.
15,000 co-workers for a seamless switch
Switching from FAKTUM to METOD is a complex operation, especially for the stores. 1,100 new article numbers have been introduced, making this the biggest range change in IKEA history. And since a substantial share of the IKEA business is in kitchens, it is also important to accommodate the FAKTUM sell-out process in parallel to introducing the new range.
The process of moving over to METOD has taken approximately two years and will continue as the collection is launched across the different IKEA markets. For consumers in stores that have already made the switch, it appeared that FAKTUM was replaced by METOD literally overnight. The process had to be seamless so there was never a moment where no kitchens were on sale. So far 15,000 co-workers have been involved in making the switch happen.
IKEA co-workers are involved in the change process at many levels. The carefully organised change plan involves regular information sessions, a range training package, a communication package, and support for co-workers at all levels. Anders Elmeskov, Change Management, IKEA of Sweden AB, explains, “It is important that everyone feels ownership and involvement in the process.”
Most co-workers are enthusiastic about the new kitchen system, but are concerned about looking after FAKTUM customers. Learning the new system and its possibilities while selling the outgoing system is also a challenge. “It’s no secret that the workload in many positions has been quite extensive during the sales solution planning, training and rebuild period. The physical range change in the warehouses as well as in the supply chain has also been very demanding” explains Anders.
Taking care of existing and potential customers
Obviously the switch will have a big impact on people who own a FAKTUM kitchen, but potential customers are also affected. “The switch has impacted customers that are in the midst of the buying process. They’ve had to decide if they should continue with their purchase, if they should wait, or if they should simply not purchase an IKEA kitchen at all. We had to reassure these customers that METOD will give them the kitchen of their dreams,” says Andréas Elgaard, Global Business Area Manager, Kitchen and Dining, IKEA of Sweden. He continues, “For those customers who decide to buy a FAKTUM kitchen during the changeover, we provide two years of after-sales service.”
So what does Andréas feel has been the greatest insight during the change process so far? “Mobilising 15,000 co-workers would not have worked unless we’d actually had something really unique to offer. The passion and commitment for METOD has rubbed off on the entire organisation as well as on our suppliers, and I’m deeply impressed by the commitment shown by everyone.”
METOD’s journey has only just begun
Repeating the popularity of FAKTUM will be a challenge, but judging by the huge interest already shown by visitors, it’s clear to everyone that METOD will be a success. And with the help of hard work and a belief in the consumer benefits of the new system, METOD will surely become just as loved as its predecessor.