BEDFORD, Va. – Custom upholstery manufacturer Sam Moore will resume production May 11 at its 300,000-square-foot facility in Virginia.
Following the federal and state government stay-at-home guidelines as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company had furloughed most of its staff, leaving a small group to focus efforts on improving procedures and enhancing the facility. Sam Moore says many employees will return to work next week.
Upon return, employees will follow new health and safety protocols that have been put in place at the factory and within the office. The protocols include social distancing with workstations spaced six feet apart, temperature checks, daily symptom questionnaires, face coverings, restrictions on visitors within the facility, regimented handwashing and sanitation stations and expanded cleaning protocols across all work areas. Employees who can perform their job duties remotely will continue to work at home on a rotating basis to limit the number of employees in the office areas.
"In conjunction with neighboring companies in Bedford, Sam Moore abided by the CDC, state and federal guidelines to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” said Alex Reeves, president of Sam Moore. “Over the last several weeks, we have been monitoring the situation and have been slowly – and cautiously – returning our manufacturing workforce to a level of normalcy.”
The company says it took advantage of the its downtime to focus on enhancing its facility, operational efficiencies and quality processes. Some of the enhancements include revamping and relocating its product development department, implementing new quality control systems, creating a new sales aids department, refurbishing and reorganizing its COM, spring-up and cushion departments as well as a variety of building maintenance and improvement activities.
“This has most certainly been an unprecedented time, and while it did present a ‘bump in the road,’ we were not going to let it derail our plans for this year,” Reeves said. “We had to keep moving – safely – toward our goals and I am so proud of the tremendous work our team accomplished to ensure that Sam Moore will emerge even stronger on the other side of this. They truly made the most of an extraordinary situation.”
The factory was not completely quiet during this time. Furniture production continued with work already in process and orders for its contract business, which was not as impacted by COVID-19 as its residential products – which had softened due to temporary retail closures across the country. In addition to producing contract furniture, Sam Moore used its sewing expertise to provide fabric masks for healthcare providers and first responders at its local hospital, fire department, EMS and veterinarian offices. The company also provided masks for many of its sales reps and dealers across the country.
Sam Moore Furniture's primary product is custom upholstery. In 1940, a young Sam Moore and four of his friends bought the Delaware Chair Co. in Delaware, Ohio. A tough economy and a looming war forced Moore to relocate. The company moved south to Christiansburg, Va., in 1943 and to its current home in Bedford, Va., in 1960. Through the years, the company expanded to a 300,000-square-foot facility. In 2007, Sam Moore was acquired by Martinsville, Va.-based Hooker Furniture, one of the world’s largest furniture companies.
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