New La-Z-Boy Innovation Center In Dayton
Exciting times of innovation lie ahead for La-Z-Boy – Users may soon be able to operate their chairs with their iPhones!
Chief Executive Kurt Darrow, says innovation at the company is vitally important and is one of the things that makes the company different from others. In light of this, La-Z-Boy have opened a new $16 million research and development center in Dayton, Tennessee. The 70,000-square-foot center will serve as the innovation hub for the entire company.
The innovation center will be located directly across the road from its 1.2 million-square-foot manufacturing plant, which is also due to receive a $10 million upgrade and renovation.
The R&D center will add an additional 115 employees to the existing 1,400 people who already work at the Dayton site, where more than 800,000 pieces of furniture are made every day.
Gregg Schweir, the company’s vice president of R&D, said the work is a commitment to customers, employees and the Dayton community. “We build great products and spend a lot of time innovating,” he said. “It’s an investment in people and will keep us competitive for years to come.”
Allen Borden, assistant commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, said the state’s workforce and improved education offerings are the biggest reason why Tennessee is making R&D strides.
The new R&D center, which is planned for opening in approximately 12 months, will about double the size of the company’s existing facility in Dayton. It will have much more equipment and hold added space for working teams. The facility will house approximately 75 people and will have a model shop, technology center, test lab and 3-D printing capabilities.
The Dayton plant is the only La-Z-Boy facility that makes furniture in all three upholstery categories — recliners, motion sofas and stationary upholstery. It also makes about 90 percent of the various frame styles in the company’s manufacture-branded product line and services the Southeast, Midwest and Northeast parts of the country.
Don Mather, vice president of La-Z-Boy Tennessee, said the work produced at the new innovation center will “drive a stake in the ground” for Dayton. It will help the company be an innovative leader in its industry.
To find out more about R&D or to determine whether you may be eligible for an R&D Tax Credit Contact a Swanson Reed specialist to see if you qualify.