Monday, July 27, 2009

A New Look for HCC University Alumni News

For some time we have heard from our HCC University participants in the "impressed by sessions" that they were expecting a factory with production lines. They did not expect Hickory Chair's 600,000 square foot factory to have the feel of being a custom workroom! Our employees showed their passion and craftsmanship. They were happy and shared their enthusiasm for our culture of continuous improvement named EDGE Employees Dedicated to Growth and Excellence. They were eager to share their stories of the ideas they had to make their work not so hard, to make the product better quality, to reduce the waste in the process and to make one of a kind pieces to order. They were amazed to see one of a kind pieces being made to order.

We began using the word made instead of manufactured a few years ago. We do not manufacture large production runs. We do make pieces to order. This allows us to personalize pieces for the person's home. We make the vast majority of our wood and upholstered products here in Hickory, North Carolina. We do source some hand carved posts and pieces from long term associates off shore in areas where there are no local sources. We do source metal, glass, stone and our hardware as we do not make these components. But, if we can possibly make it we are determined to keep the work here for our employees. While most manufacturers have been closing plants, we are working hard to build skill, perfect artisanship and remove the waste through recycling, repurposing and and designing the waste out of the product. It is lack of control of these costs that typically causes domestic factories to close. It is a fact that the percentage of pieces made here in Hickory grows each year!

We celebrate the word MADE as it reflects the dedication of 450 employees here in Hickory, North Carolina who hand make furniture to order. It is in celebration of this ability that we have changed the name of HCC University Alumni news to MADE for those who take furniture personally!

Share with us your feedback. You know we are listening!

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