AN ICONIC AMERICAN BRAND
Since 1902, Bassett Furniture has been one of the most recognizable furniture companies in America, with more than 100 retail locations in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada. Bassett is committed to designing and crafting furniture that allows their customers to show off their personality. The company currently employs over 700 people in their Upholstery Division at two different locations. The company has over 200,000 pattern files and is able to produce 800-900 pieces of furniture a day. In 2017, Bassett Furniture expanded their business by purchasing Lane Venture Outdoor.
TRANSFORMING FOR CUSTOMIZATION
When Roger Leonhardt, Director of CAD, joined the company over 20 years ago, they were mass producing furniture manually. All patterns were developed and cut by hand, which lacked precision and slowed down production. At the time, the company was also mass producing furniture and wanted to transition to customized furniture.
Shortly after joining Bassett, Leonhardt headed to Gerber’s training facility in Georgia to learn their pattern design software, AccuMark®, in hopes that it would help Bassett transform their business. Ever since Bassett has implemented AccuMark, they’ve kept up with every release allowing them to continue to transform and enhance their supply chain.
NAVIGATING THROUGH COVID
At the beginning of the COVID pandemic, Bassett’s marker maker, who they had relied on for over 40 years, retired. He was a master at laying out markers and spent all day, every day laying out Bassett’s hundreds of thousands of custom furniture combinations. With the retirement of their longtime employee, Bassett would rely entirely on Roger Leonhardt, Director of CAD, for all Marker Making, in addition to his other responsibilities.
In addition to losing a longtime employee, the global pandemic also increased market demand and forced Bassett to make changes to their supply chain. With people staying home, the demand for furniture skyrocketed as people transitioned to working from home and filled their free time with renovation projects. Due to the state of the housing market, many people are also moving out of their apartments and buying homes, which require more furniture.
With a reduced labor force due to social distancing recommendations, Bassett needed to find ways to adapt their supply chain in order to keep up with the increase in demand.
OPTIMIZING MARKER MAKING WITH MODEL OPTIONS
During his initial Gerber training 20 years ago, Leonhardt learned about AccuMark’s Model Options which has completely transformed Bassett’s workflow by allowing them to fully digitalize and automate the production of customized furniture. Each customizable option is set up one time when the model enters production. Once the customer customizes their furniture choice, Model option automatically pulls each pattern piece needed for the chosen configuration. This was a game changer for Bassett as it resulted in tremendous time savings and has eliminated costly mistakes.
Prior to implementing Gerber, Bassett’s patterns were outdated, complicated, and hard to manage. Most of their markers were created for a “one-time” use only, meaning they had to create new markers with every new job. Now, using model options, Bassett has set up every code needed ahead of time, allowing them to be more efficient and use less fabric.
Gerber Experts had recommended they implement the automated nesting solution, AccuNest™, in order to maximize material utilization and minimize costs, even with a reduced labor force.
“I sent Gerber 30 of the best laid markers that we created manually, not expecting AccuNest to beat the efficiency,” said Leonhardt. “To my surprise, AccuNest beat our layouts every time! We saved about a half yard on average. Most railroad fabric nests are breaking 93-95 percent yield.”
Bassett has been able to get through the challenges brought on by the pandemic by leveraging their Gerber solutions. They leveraged Model Options in AccuMark in combination with AccuNest to completely revitalize their supply chain.
In addition to AccuMark and AccuNest, Bassett also relies on Gerber’s automated cutting solutions.