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Hey board,

Quick story to tell. So listen up.

I'm an engineering student at Mississippi State University and sometimes get set up on a random plant tour. Just so happens though, that yesterday it was a Flexsteel plant right down the street.

Since some of the folks checking this board probably own stock, I figured my experience could be of some use.

So here we go.

The first thing I noticed- this is no S&P 500 level operation. The factory is old, poorly lit, messy, and the employees are a savy motivated bunch. Most of the assembly workers aren't very happy to be there and I get the impression that they make frequent mistakes. I don't say this without any evidence either, the one chair we watched them build got mucked up. Apparently the frame was wrong and the arms couldn't be drilled in right. So there 0 for 1.

Second thing I picked up on- they aren't built for speed. They do so many different models of both chairs and couches, that this is more of a custom job. The plant competes against China with speed and customization. If a Hilton or an Outback steakhouse wants something that matches and they need it in less than 10 days; they call Flexsteel. Big quantities of a standard product? They call Bejing.

Final thing I learned- work is tough. The engineer told me he worked around 10 hours a day. In that factory, 10 hours per day and your Rocky Balboa. But he has the easy job. The assembly workers are usually there for 8 hours, but constantly moving in such a poorly lit, unmotivating environment, doing repetitve work...Not an easy calling.

I was tired after just taking the tour. I mean really tired. And all I was doing walking around and asking questions.

That's my tour. And to leave on a positive note, I must say, the employees giving the tour were very accomidating. They answered all of my questions and went out of their way to show us whatever we wanted. I can't thank them enough.

Best of luck to those of you with FLXS,

And email me at FoolishThurmond@aol.com with any questions.

-Matt










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