Scozzafa of Furniture Brands International Unveils Strategic Plan
Furniture World Magazine
Furniture Brands International hosted a meeting with the investment community to unveil the company's strategic plan. The presentation included comments from CEO-Designate and Vice Chairman Ralph P. Scozzafava and was attended by additional members of the Furniture Brands senior management team. The half-day presentation was webcast and can be viewed at the Investor Relations section of http://www.furniturebrands.com.
"Our strategic plan is to move to a more focused organization that is integrated and serves the mid-and high-end markets for residential furnishings. As part of this plan, we have a set of shorter- and longer-term business interventions that we are implementing now,'' said Scozzafava.
The strategic plan is composed of four key elements that will touch every part of Furniture Brands. The four key elements of the strategy are:
Build Our Brand Power
"We are developing best-in-class consumer insights that will drive a portfolio strategy for our family of brands,'' Scozzafava said. "By creating differentiated and ownable strategies for each brand, we can better harness the power of iconic names in the home furnishings industry such as Broyhill, Lane, Thomasville and Drexel Heritage.
"We're also re-engineering our product development process to bring a more orderly and efficient flow of fresh designsto the consumer. We have several new team members in this area, and we will make design and innovation a core strength in 2008,'' Scozzafava said.
Win in The Store
"Brands are most powerful when they are marketed in the right sales channel. We are sharpening our multi-channel sales network to put the right mix of product into multibrand mass retailers, dedicated single-brand stores, and through the designer community. Common to all of these channels is the imperative that we properly manage our sales controllables of availability, space, merchandising and price,'' Scozzafava said. "By managing these key factors, we move the dialogue beyond merely item and price and into the area of customer value creation.
"Furniture Brands will also be a smarter operator of its own stores in 2008. In some instances, this means closing unprofitable locations where the strategic plan elements cannot overcome poor local market fundamentals. In these cases, the company will likely incur one-time charges that, while a drain on near-term earnings, will set the stage for more profitable company-owned retail operations,'' Scozzafava said.
Deliver Operational Excellence
"A company with the size and scale of Furniture Brands can always find new opportunities to reduce costs. One of our most immediate action steps has been to improve our supply chain performance through four near-term imperatives: developing capabilities in global procurement and sourcing, reducing inventory and improving delivery performance, optimizing domestic manufacturing, and implementing a new network distribution strategy,'' Scozzafava said.
"We're creating near-term cost savings opportunities by not only restructuring our global supply chain operations, but also by moving to a shared service organization that leverages economies of scale to reduce SG&A costs and increase speed. The shared services model will centralize processes such as information technology, finance, and human resources and let the brands focus on making great furniture.
Grow and Develop Our People
"We will not win by having the best strategy, we will win by having the best people. We intend to make all of the Furniture Brands companies a great place to work, where people are inspired, engaged, and passionate, where high performance is expected and delivered, and where people work collaboratively and internal boundaries don't exist,'' Scozzafava said.
The company will issue a third-quarter 2007 financial results announcement after the close of trading on October 31 and will host a conference call at 7:30 am CT on November 1. Both the earnings announcement and conference call webcast can be accessed at the Investor Relations section of http://www.furniturebrands.com.
About Furniture Brands
Furniture Brands International is one of America's largest residential furniture companies. The company produces, sources, and markets its products under six of the best-known brand names in the industry -- Broyhill, Lane, Thomasville, Henredon, Drexel Heritage, and Maitland-Smith.