Cosman Muebles knows perfectly well what it means to reinvent oneself in order to move forward. Although this family business was a!ected by the sector crisis, it survived after betting on innovation and new technologies, and the incorporation of its projects made possible by an alliance with two Galician technological centres that provide the necessary knowledge by means of the transfer of technology made in Galicia. In this way, they were able to endow their products with high added value.


more comfort, more savings of energy, costs, and time, and new forms of entertainment, pleasure, and services is closer to becoming a reality, thanks to Cosman Muebles. The company, located in Coles (Ourense), designs a digital home that is a space which offers its inhabitants functions and services that facilitate management and maintenance by means of the technological integration of equipment and services.

The technological furniture developed by the company is supported by know how contributed by the Technological Centre of Telecommunications of Galicia (Gradiant) and the Timber Innovation and Services Centre (CIS Madeira). The technology is incorporated into the pieces, integrating wide band networks in order to converge the communications, the computer systems, and entertainment. Theirs is an offer that is “more complete than any other in existence and, as a result, there are no competitors,” explained the Sales Director of the company, Francisco Pérez.

Cosman Fábrica de Muebles S.L. has been in operation since July 1975, a time when flourishing artisan activity related to furniture was developing in Galicia. Since then, the company has known how to develop knowledge that is capable of understanding and giving form to the wood. There are three differentiated work centres: one for drying, cutting, and mechanising the wood as well as the boards; another that is dedicated to the manipulation and finishing of the piece of furniture; and a third that is dedicated to storage of the finished product in order to provide better service at the time of delivery. These three centres occupy a space of 14,000m2 and are staffed by 22 workers.

Today, i do not see any other way out than betting on innovation. The competition is global in any sector and we will have to fight against all of it. Either one bets on the innovation and personalisation of what one does, or fails". Francisco Pérez

Obliged to change course

Until 2008, the company had been able to position itself in the sector of classic furniture in which it is the leader at the national level thanks, fundamentally, to the sale of bedroom and salon furniture. The poor sales results of that year caused the two brothers who manage the company to think about new ways of doing business that would permit them to compensate the losses which Cosman Muebles had incurred.

A course in Project Management presented new business prospects for Francisco Pérez and permitted the company with a deep family tradition to incorporate innovation in order to survive the crisis and conquer new markets. The strong competition in the low-cost furniture sector obligated them to add a new business line based in “offering differentiated and personalised products at the levels of design and technology.”

Contacts with CIS Madeira were key and they met with Gradiant and began to dream. “We were clear about the fact that the challenge was centred in differentiating ourselves from the rest and we began to see possibilities,” explained Francisco Pérez.

After various conversations with the new partners, the company decided to bet on the creation of intelligent furniture and presented a project to the Centre for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI) with a total cost of 1.2 million Euros. The State entity assumed 25% of the financing to develop three differentiated innovative products: intelligent storage furniture, the multimedia bedroom, and the technological office.

The storage furniture using shelves incorporates a digital system that permits the deposit and registration of each one of the pieces of any nature whether books, CDs, magazines, or catalogues. The bedroom incorporates an unfolding television system especially designed for people with reduced mobility that is a wager for pleasure and the commodities of control and direction from the bed itself. The last product consists of a system of office desk that integrate electrical potential, network and telephone access with the elimination of the major part of the cabling, and greater connectivity among the components.

The new wooden products line being developed will permit them, according to the Sales Director, to achieve a billing volume equal to that of 2008, “when things began to decline.” Until March 2012, they did not begin to sell intelligent furniture but they knew that it would be a revolution in the market because no one was manufacturing innovative products like those of Cosman Muebles.

The two brothers that manage the company have their vision set on the international market as an outlet for the new products that are designed for a public with high-­to-­average purchasing power which values the capacities of intelligent furniture such as institutions and administrations dedicated to design and the new capacities of furniture.

In order to attract new clients, they have created an alliance with the company Alumega (Lalín, Pontevedra) with which they work on the production of shelving for industrial use and bathroom mirrors of aluminium and glass from which electronic mail, videos, or meteorological information can be accessed. They hope that in 2012, 50% of the production will come from the sales of conventional furniture from public bids or private work. The other 50% will correspond to intelligent furniture. With that, they foresee an expansion plan that involves the creation of a new plant and the incorporation of 20 positions for specialised work. Thinking about the future, the company contemplates the presentation of a second part of the project called ‘Digital Home’ along with four other partners with a contribution of 5 million Euros that they will initiate at the beginning of 2012.