By Edward Cone  |  Posted 2003-08-01 Print this article Print

How does U.S. Furniture maker Vaughan-Bassett compete against cheap imports? Start with a tightwad who's averse to hiring software developers.

-Bassett Base Case">
Vaughan-Bassett Base Case

Headquarters: 300 East Grayson St., Galax, VA 24333

Phone: (276) 236-6161

Business: Manufacturer of wood furniture for the home.

Information Technology Vice President: Wyatt Bassett

Challenge: Modernize factory floor with computerized equipment in order to compete with low-cost imports; avoid spending on technology that doesn't bring rapid payoff.

Baseline Goals:

  • Increase amount of usable wood per board by 15%.

  • Guarantee delivery to retailers in two weeks or less.

  • Reduce head count by 100 jobs, through attrition, this year.

  • Maintain information system spending outside the factory at

    less than .01% of sales.

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    Senior Writer and author of the Know It All blog

    Ed Cone has worked as a contributing editor at Wired, a staff writer at Forbes, a senior writer for Ziff Davis with Baseline and Interactive Week, and as a freelancer based in Paris and then North Carolina for a wide variety of magazines and papers including the International Herald Tribune, Texas Monthly, and Playboy. He writes an opinion column in his hometown paper, the Greensboro News & Record, and publishes the semi-popular EdCone.com weblog. He lives in North Carolina with his wife, Lisa, two kids, and a dog.

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