L. & J.G. Stickley has passed the test of time from its inception in 1900. Its popularity has been rooted to the high quality furniture products exhibited by each worker in the industry so that the ends result of its furniture products, are outstanding. The company has also invested in production of its furniture using various kinds of wood. This form of diversity, use of cherry to mahogany wood has won the company extensive markets among them are 120 dealers in the United States. Today, L. & J.G. Stickley is proud to own five retail shops in New York and two in Connecticut. One unique feature to this big company that contains over 1,350 employees is its ability to compete in flexibility; it understands the fluctuating market and has incorporated two production process methods that meet its market needs fully. L. & J.G. Stickley Furniture has efficiently combined two production processing methods; batch and continuous production process to effectively meet its customer's demands. Today the company boasts of high market after the concentration of its market to focus on oak furniture, which has made it win so many customers. This is associated with the experience that the company has gained over the years from its inception by Leopold and George Stickley. When it was about to be closed in 1970, but regained in 1974 under the same leadership but different owner the company has studied the market and knows exactly how to furnish for house lovers (Karl, Latham & Latham 2001). Production process
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 continuous production process to produce a large number of furniture products made from Mahogany, Cherry and White Oak in the Mission Oak Style. They primarily use the continuous flow of process along each in production of Mission Oak Furniture. The stacks of raw lumber are received from the lumber mills then the raw lumber is inspected to check for knots and other defects. The inspectors of the wood that find these imperfections and mark the locations prepare it for cutting by the Optimizer Saw. After this process is done the raw wood is fed into the Optimizer saw and the saw computer calculates the optimal cut pattern for each piece of wood to fulfill the needs for the jobs at hand. Additional sawing that is needed for specific jobs is done to fulfill orders. The lumber pieces that are cut by the optimizer saw are glue together which will then be used as part of the end product as the tops of desks, dressers or tables. The cut and glued wood is then pressed which compacts pieces into a solid and strong board. These pieces are then mortised or drilled to fit the different jobs needs by a computer controlled router. After this is done the next step is a series sanding operations that smoothes the boards by removing excess glue on the board. This continuous process continues on a regular basis. The other production processing methods that they use include are job shop where they make custom furniture, batch processing for individual production runs and repetitive for parts to large productions runs used to produce the Mission Oak Style.
Another feature that confirms the continuous production process is the variable cost of electricity which is very low, at $60,000 per month, considering their productivity that twenty thousand boards are cut each day. The process is also flexible as not all the boards are fixed into completed furniture. Others are left to cater for customer preferences, repairs and sudden abrupt demands that may arise any time. However, to a lesser extent there is an element of batch production process methods. This is evidenced by the fact that there are two boom seasons in a year, and other two low market seasons. Therefore during the second and fourth quarters, when demand is low there is production of a high number of furniture which is that is stored into the...
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