Stickley Furniture Operations Management

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  • Topic: Furniture, Batch processing, Oak
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  • Published : November 4, 2012
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Cathryn M. Agge
Stickley Furniture
BUS 644
OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT
WEEK 6 FINAL PAPER
September 26, 2011

Abstract
After changing management current Stickley Furniture managers were able to turn the company around, growing and generating a steady demand for their products. They produce fine cherry, white oak, and mahogany furniture with a prestigious line of mission oak furniture. Stickley Furniture has a production facility outside of Syracuse, New York but has various showrooms in New York State, Connecticut and North Carolina. Employing 1,350 employees, Stickley Furniture has been able to gain report with local customers and gain a large market share in the north eastern part of the country. Using a continuous process paired with batch and job shop processes, they are able to maintain a level production schedule. This enables them to continuously produce furniture during times of low demand and have enough furniture in stock to handle the high demand times of the year. Seasonality paired with their level production keep Stickley Furniture in constant production.

Introduction
Stickley Furniture manufacturers fine cherry, white oak, and mahogany furniture with a prestigious line of mission oak furniture. Stickley Furniture has a production facility outside of Syracuse, New York but has various showrooms in New York State, Connecticut and North Carolina. Employing 1,350 employees, Stickley Furniture has been able to gain report with local customers and gain a large market share in the north eastern part of the country. With continued growth and technological advances, they have the opportunity to increase production and streamline production processes. Explanation of Various Processes used in Production

Stickley Furniture uses a variety of processes to complete each piece of furniture. They have developed a way to utilize their seasonal demand to their benefit. Utilizing slower production times of the year enable Stickley Furniture to stay on top of production during the busy times of the year.

The Continuous Process
The majority of the production of furniture uses a continuous process. A continuous process consists of a very high volume of output (Stevenson, 2009). Most output is highly standardized and very low variety in the output. This non-standardization does not require significant flexibility of machines and production equipment. Worker skill levels vary from low to high depending on the complexity of the item to be produced (Stevenson, 2009).

Stickley Furniture employs a variety of skills levels, from low to high. This variety is needed to keep production running at a consistant rate, as well as; having the highly skilled employees work on more intricate pieces. These highly skilled employees are able to aid the company in customization and inspection processes. The lower skilled employees are essential to the everyday production of furniture and play a crucial role in the finishing of the furniture.

In the beginning of the production process, large and numerous pieces of lumber are sawed in various ways depending on the current process or desired end result. These pieces of lumber are sawed into smaller more manageable pieces to continue in the process. Implementing technology whenever possible has enabled Stickley Furniture to take these cut pieces of lumber and run then through a computer controlled “optimizer” saw. This saw improves productivity and helps to eliminate some waste (Stevenson, 2009). This technological addition is aided by workers who manually mark any major defects in the lumber and then feed the lumber through the optimizer. The computer recognizes the defects and determines the ideal cut for the desired results. Additional sawing operations are sometimes necessary for specific jobs, but that is included in a different process.

After the sawing process, the unfinished wood is glued together and pressed with large presses that are able to hold 20 to 30 pieces at a...
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