Southerland Supports Retailers With New Approach To Manufacturing

By upgrading its equipment and instituting new lean manufacturing protocols, Southerland is increasing the capacity of its 318,000-square-foot factory by 30 percent. 

Southerland recently reconfigured its new Nashville, TN based plant’s layout around the principles of lean manufacturing. Production now proceeds in a linear pattern from the back end of the factory, where raw materials are stored, to the front end, where assembly is completed—streamlining the manufacturing process significantly. 

In addition, Southerland’s new equipment acquisition will enable it to increase the output of its bed-in-a-box product line—of which its most prominent collections are the iBnB line and the company’s exclusive collection for online retailer Wayfair. The new layout also features a third production line for its popular American Adjustables adjustable base collection. 

But that is not all that is new for Southerland. Upon completion of the remodel, Southerland also has plans to move its corporate offices to the new facility, including the offices of its wholly owned transportation company, Southerland Transport. It will also open an expanded showroom on the site, which will increase its show space from 2,000 square feet to 7,000 square feet. The new layout not only increases the efficiency of manufacturing, it will also create a more comfortable environment for employees, providing improved access to break rooms and other amenities. 

“With the new machinery and the lean manufacturing layout, we will be achieving a dramatic improvement in total productivity,” said Bryan Smith, president and CEO of Southerland. “This is a timely move for us considering that demand for bedding products is outpacing the industry’s over-all capability to meet consumer and retailer needs. It is also an investment in the future because we expect demand to continue growing through the rest of this year and into next year, and we want to be front and center as a supplier that can meet all of our retail partners’ ever-growing needs for quality bedding products.” 

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