Neville Johnson Speed Up Design Processes and Improve Accuracy Using DriveWorks Pro

Neville Johnson Speed Up Design Processes and Improve Accuracy Using DriveWorks Pro

July 11th, 2018 / Posted by Danielle Brown
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Neville Johnson has been creating quality bespoke fitted furniture solutions for over three decades, including: bedrooms, home studies, libraries and lounges.

In 2009, the company branched out and established ‘Neville Johnson Staircases’ to offer comprehensive luxury staircase renovations.

Designing to Order Before DriveWorks

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Before using DriveWorks, Neville Johnson used a CAD package to hand draw plans and elevations of a client’s furniture. They would then manually enter the information into another program which would select boards for them to send to their factory.

This system was very repetitive and there were no safeguards in place to help prevent human error when altering designs on 2D drawings.

Reducing Lengthy Design Processes

When we last interviewed Neville Johnson, they had just purchased 15 licences of DriveWorks and SOLIDWORKS. Their design team used SOLIDWORKS to create the baseline product designs and then used DriveWorks to customise the designs to meet individual specifications.

Using DriveWorks and SOLIDWORKS helped them to reduce the lengthy design process and complete overall design cycles 35% faster.

Since then, Neville Johnson have added to their DriveWorks furniture project and created another project to automate luxury staircase renovations. We recently caught up with their DriveWorks Administrator, Nicola Varker, who told us more about how they use DriveWorks.

Two Impressive Configurators

“DriveWorks is used internally at Neville Johnson by our furniture and staircase design office staff. We have 38 DriveWorks users and two DriveWorks configurators; one for customised furniture and one for staircase renovations.

With both configurators, we start by generating a room assembly that we customise in SOLIDWORKS to match the client’s room. We then use DriveWorks to configure furniture or staircase parts which are added to the room assembly.

Every part has properties within it, driven by DriveWorks, that define the material, edging, width and depth. This enables us to create accurate reports and cut lists for the factory” explains Nicola.

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The Benefits

“Our repetitive old way of designing furniture allowed human error to creep in from time to time. Using DriveWorks, we’ve created rules to prevent users from creating things that we can’t make, stopping errors before they happen.

The ability to produce accurate drawings which include 3D views is very beneficial as a lot of people find it difficult to read plans and elevations. A 3D view of the furniture or staircase explains things to them much better.

For us, accuracy is extremely important. DriveWorks has given us the ability to create a unique configurator that we can control ourselves” says Nicola.

Creating New Tools

“Recently, we’ve been experimenting with DriveWorks Live and we’ve produced a toolkit for our sales representatives and survey teams to use when they’re out on site.

Using DriveWorks forms, we’ve created a range of calculators to help them speed up certain tasks.

For example, we now have a calculator to help them work out the gaps required between shelves and the amount of CD’s or DVD’s that will fit into a cabinet.

These calculators are still in the development stages but we’re excited to further experiment with DriveWorks Live and see what else we could automate!”

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For more information about Neville Johnson and their products, visit

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