Sherrill Furniture is continuing to make strategic moves and investments like workforce expansion and a new upholstery operation to meet the demand among high-end retailers and designers. Their new upholstery plant in Conover, NC opened in March 2022, four months ahead of schedule. As of October 2022, there were more than one hundred employees on site, and lead times across the company have improved significantly.
Sherrill transitioned leather and OEM manufacturing into the new plant, which continues to reduce lead times for new orders and the workable backlog across all facilities. Weekly shipping goals are currently ahead of schedule, and lead times for new orders are significantly improved across the company.
Johnny Suddreth, Sherrill VP of Sales, has seen a substantial impact on shipments and orders. “We’re excited about the workforce expansion and production capacity added across the Sherrill Companies. The increased stability in our work force, a more stable supply chain and a new factory are all contributing to lead times coming down. This improvement has stimulated our special-order business and we are consistently shipping more custom products each week than ever before.”
“Lead times on new orders in our Express Programs are shipping in 9 to 10 weeks, while Sherrill Fabric, Leather and Motion Upholstery are at 12 to 14 weeks, and Hickory White upholstery 14 to 16 weeks. Domestic case good lead times are at 4 to 6 weeks, if white wood is in stock.”
Production throughput at the new Conover plant is ramping up more quickly than planned. “By moving leather to the new space at Conover we’ve been able to optimize the leather inventory and floor layout. We have a more streamlined flow all the way through the whole leather operation,” said Donald Wright,
leather department manager. “We are cutting more now than we cut in Hickory. Each day I’m able to take in more and more work,” Wright added.
Sherrill has also deployed new equipment across their casegoods and frame router plants. This includes two 10-axis lathes and three 5-axis routers to expand casegoods capacity and exposed wood frame parts capacity.
Along with this, they have expanded the Frame Router Division from two shifts to four in May 2022, added two additional frame suppliers to expand capacity, and reorganized the casegoods plant by establishing dedicated production lines for large format, small format, and beds/tables.
Sherrill has been able to grow its workforce by 20% since 2019. They have hired 1,200+ employees across all five NC-based manufacturing facilities and are continuing to hire both experienced craftspeople and hourly labor across the company.
Sherrill Furniture Company’s core capability of transforming USA-supplied lumber and materials into heirloom quality, customized casegoods and upholstery is a significant competitive advantage that has enabled them to effectively serve their customers during the global turbulence, which has become the ‘new normal.’
Charles Sherrill, third-generation owner, and his experienced leadership team have made many decisions over the past two years that prioritized families of local furniture craftsmen and women they employ, putting their needs and customers’ needs ahead of profits.
Their commitment to customers and sustaining a healthy, vibrant, local community of skilled furniture craftspeople is just as strong as when O.T. Sherrill founded the company 77 years ago. The investments Sherrill has made since 2019 will secure the company's future for generations.