Stickley Furniture Case Study

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Stickley Furniture

Stickley Furniture

Ashford University
Business 644 Operations Management

Professor Ronald Beach

December 12, 2012

An analysis of Stickley Furniture’s production, aggregate planning production control, inventory and quality reveals that the company has made changes that have proven successful strategies for the long term success of the company since it was sold in 1974. The analysis presented here will show areas of strength and areas of improvement. L. & J.G. Stickley Furniture has a production facility that is rectangular in design with 30 foot ceilings and this building is staged to facilitate several different production processes from continuous production their primary production process, job shop for custom furniture, batch processing and repetitive to produce a large number of furniture products made from Mahogany, Cherry and White Oak in the Mission Oak Style. Stickley primarily uses the continuous production process along each point in the production of Mission Oak Furniture. First stacks of raw lumber are received from the lumber mills and parced out by material handlers. The bulk wood is cut into smaller sizes in batch processing. Then the raw lumber is inspected to check for knots and other defects. The inspectors of the raw lumber look for imperfections such as knots and other defects, on the cut wood and mark the locations to prepare it for cutting by the Optimizer Saw. After the lumber inspection process is completed the raw wood is fed into the Optimizer saw that has the unique feature of an onboard computer that calculates the optimal cut pattern for each piece of wood to fulfill the needs for the jobs that are in the queue. Using the optimizer saw reduces waste by optimally cutting the wood away from the defects like knots and allowing for the scrap to be reused. The lumber scrap pieces that are cut out by the optimizer saw are glue together to form workable wood. Those wood pieces, that have been glued together, are placed in a wood press compressing the wood into a common solid and super strong board for use in parts creation. These pieces are then mortised or drilled to fit the different needs of the particular furniture production runs by a computer controlled router. These pieces can be used to fulfill the need of different furniture production runs such as table, desk and dressers tops and other various parts for production. After this is done the next step is a series sanding operations that smoothes the boards by removing excess glue from the compressed wood board making it look seamless and smoothing the solid wood parts. This continuous process proceeds on a regular daily basis, processing twenty thousand feet of board each day. The cut furniture parts are assembled into the various sub-assemblies for the furniture or assembled into complete pieces like dresser drawers and cabinet doors. For each piece that is made in a production run all the information about it is meticulously recorded and the parts are stamped to identify the parts purpose, date of production, finish type, furniture line it is intended for and color. This data can be used for raw material ordering for the future and for furniture that is sent back for repair so that repair people can closely match the original production run. Unfinished furniture and parts are placed in white inventory for future production needs and can be finished to fulfill orders quickly. The other production processing methods that Stickley Furniture uses include job shop processing where highly skilled craftsman make custom furniture in the custom shop. Batch processing is used for production runs of common parts. Repetitive processing is used for parts that are for large productions runs used in production of legs, spindles and chair backs for their main product offering the Mission Oak Style Furniture. The type of production processing runs that Stickley Furniture...
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