How often do you see a Â news article with the title â€“
A US FurnitureÂ ManufacturerÂ ImplementsÂ Lean Production.
It’s really exciting to see a report about a U.S. company investing to upgrade their facility, especially in a down economy, when all you usually read is bad news!
Companies are starting to realize that many of their customer service issues can be traced back to their facility and production systems. The solution and capability to eliminate the root cause of their problem already exists inside their own facility.Â The solution is to train their employees to â€œwork smarter, not force them to work harder!â€ They need some basic problem solving tools to allow them to improve their workplace. In doing this, the management team will see the manufacturing systems run efficiently and become more effective at servicing their customerâ€™s needs. This is a win-win scenario for the company and their customers because they will be able to continue to generate revenues to support their employees and business interests.
The Harden Furniture Co. plans to invest as much as $3 million to install state-of-the-art woodworking equipment and engineering software later this year as it upgrades its facility and introduces additional lean manufacturing practices..
The upgrade is expected to occur in several phases. The first phase will be operational prior to the end of 2012 and will include a “batch one” manufacturing cell supported by a new Holtzer CNC machining center and replacement of the roughmill with a Weinig optimizing system..
Hardenâ€™s manufacturing facility utilizes a batch process for most woodworking operations and the modernization will convert several product lines to a lean manufacturing/just-in-time process. The anticipated benefits include shorter production lead times, an increased ability to customize existing designs and reduced operating costs. In addition, Harden has begun offering the Cabinetmakerâ€™s Cherry Collection in solid black walnut as the new process will allow consumers to choose alternate hardwoods..
The introduction of additional hardwoods compliments what has been “a unique and popular Harden quality â€” the opportunity to select from over 40 distinctive finishes,” the company noted. The conversion of Hardenâ€™s cabinetmaking operation to “batch one” expands custom capabilities and aligns all manufacturing processes with a more efficient lean model..
According to President and Chief Executive Officer Greg Harden, the investment will “establish Harden as one of the few furnishings manufacturers world-wide that has â€˜one offâ€™ and true custom capabilities.”.
Harden Furniture manufactures high-end residential and commercial furnishings..
I take my hat off to the management team at Harden Furniture Co. because a furniture manufacturer implements lean production system is not an everyday occurrence. Â It was inspiring and enjoyable to read about their $3 million investment to upgrade their facility.
They are continuing to follow a strong tradition of innovation amidst a world economy that is fraught with doubt and angst for most business owners and management teams. They are implementing lean principles to help them stay ahead, when so many are falling behind in the belief that they will catch up when the economy improves. This is based on false hope, and successful companies take on the challenges and learn from them.
You will also enjoy reading this article: Can Your Business Satisfy Customer Needs?