Klaussner Home Furnishings delivers the goods for retailers and employees
If you ordered a sofa or a bedroom set in 2021, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that you still don’t have it yet. If Klaussner Home Furnishings made it, however, you’ve no doubt been enjoying months and months of comfort with your new piece of furniture.
As supply chains the world over struggled to keep production in line with demand, faced worker shortages, and encountered lines at ports that were several weeks long, Klaussner has been ramping up production, keeping lead times short, and keeping employees happy. BOSS dove into how Klaussner has thrived and how the best is yet to come.
There On Time
The Asheboro, N.C.-based company manufactures more than 70% of its products domestically at five campuses throughout North Carolina. This large domestic footprint allows Klaussner to keep lead times at between 20 and 25 days, outclassing fully international supply chains and making Klaussner a key partner to the furniture industry’s top retailers.
Klaussner has a strong supply chain team and values partnerships with its suppliers and logistics partners. Those strong relationships and partnerships were Klaussner’s biggest key enabler to avoid any business disruption. Klaussner worked closely with their suppliers and faced challenges as a team. For example, if a supplier has a labor shortage challenge, Klaussner works with them to assemble the purchased product in-house on an as-needed basis, a true partnership. The same can be said of Klaussner’s logistics partnerships. Significant joint planning and coordination take place on a daily and hourly basis to make sure everyone is successful.
Klaussner has improved quality and lead time by 60 to 70% in the last year, staying agile and flexible to meet business partners’ needs in the current environment, which is challenging to say the least. There has been tremendous focus on meeting or exceeding expectations when it comes to quality and lead time in particular, but there is always more room for improvement. This is why Klaussner’s culture is a continuous improvement culture. There is no end point when it comes to making improvements to their processes and products.
While most of its production does take place in the U.S., Klaussner has built global supply chain relationships for the high-quality international supply furniture components, case goods, bed frames, and mattresses that round out the product offering.
Stepping Up Production
When it comes to turning out those products, Klaussner managed to increase daily units per production employee by 40% during the pandemic. The implementation of lean manufacturing principles brought tangible and substantial results. Over the last year, external quality defects have dropped from 7% to less than 1%.
Quality is built into products, from a design and engineering starting point and throughout all production processes. Final finish quality control is considered Klaussner’s last line of defense.
In-house foam pouring and fabrication and wood cutting capabilities create advantages over competitors who source foam and frames from third parties. Innovations like that keep coming thanks to in-house product design and R&D teams. Customers can get creative, too, with a made-to-order model that enables end consumers to customize their upholstery purchases.
Production processes have become streamlined under the lean principles. Management has strategically reorganized manufacturing lines and process flow to align with synchronous flow principles. Site consolidation has reduced costs and eliminated inefficiencies caused by shifting materials across Klaussner’s footprint. Significant cross-training efforts and training tools such as a skill-set matrix measure training effectiveness.
The next step is data-driven efficiency throughout. Klaussner is currently working on using technology in manufacturing and transactional processes. This ranges from using real-time GPS systems to measuring logistics efficiency and effectiveness, to automating production processes to maximize efficiency and improve quality and safety.
People Make It Happen
Along with product and process, people are the driving force of Klaussner’s success. The company revamped its compensation, paying workers hourly wages instead of piecework pay. With several raises since, skilled employees are now making more than they did before the change and have more consistent hours. Organizational hierarchy has flattened.
Change, as it often is, was difficult at the beginning, but Klaussner’s management put together a management team suited to the values and culture they wanted to instill at Klaussner.
Safety never takes a back seat amid increased production. Klaussner has installed proactive safety programs to identify and measure hazards, fixing them before there was a problem. Klaussner made significant improvements in operations, but the best is yet to come.
Excited to explore the team’s capabilities and what they will accomplish next, Klaussner looks forward to the next challenge. There is no finish line. Klaussner will strive toward the next goal and succeed with the help of all their valued employees, suppliers, and partners.
Since 1963, Klaussner Home Furnishings has been the leading solutions provider to the furniture industry. Our mission is simple: to provide value-driven product, constant innovation, speed-to-market, and total customer satisfaction. Through strategic acquisitions, domestic and overseas partnerships and state-of-the-art inventory control and manufacturing/shipping options, Klaussner has created a vertically integrated furniture powerhouse with one of the fastest delivery times in the industry. Asheboro, North Carolina is home for 10 manufacturing plants, one warehouse and one distribution facility as well as the company’s corporate headquarters. With Klaussner’s many product lines, consumers can choose from upholstery (fabric and leather), reclining furniture, bedroom, dining room, occasional tables, and memory foam bedding. From the beginning, Klaussner has prided itself in its quick delivery and custom order capabilities. In order to provide quicker delivery times and to better serve its customers, the company formed a strategic plan to make its manufacturing facilities in North Carolina to function as Service Centers providing a network of facilities to house and produce goods. This allows the company to provide one of the fastest delivery times in the industry.
405 Lewallen Rd, Asheboro, North Carolina 27205