The Faces of Furniture – Bill Fazler
The Faces of Furniture – Bill Fazler, Scheduling & Engineering
Bill Fazler, currently a scheduling and engineering professional, has been a part of the Savoy team since 1980. It is our pleasure to feature Bill as the very first ‘Face of Furniture’ in our new spotlight series.
Where It All Started
Hired right out of high school, Bill has committed more than 41 years of hard work to Savoy. That’s longer than many of our current team members have even been alive! There were only roughly 40 employees at Savoy throughout the office and manufacturing plant when he first started. He showed up his first day to begin working in the assembly department with absolutely zero experience. “But that was about to change!” says Bill.
“I still remember my first week on the job building chairs that were very heavy. At the end of that first week, I thought my right hand was going to drop off!” The quick transition from spending days learning in a classroom to 40-hour weeks manufacturing furniture was a dramatic change for Bill. “I was starting to rethink the whole idea of this manual labor stuff!”
A Savoy tradition still to this day, Bill began to learn how to work throughout various departments and became well rounded in all phases of production. Over time, he became familiar with woodworking tools, assisted with laminating in the rough mill, loaded trucks in shipping, and learned the ins and outs of the upholstery department. A dedicated employee, Bill also worked some Saturday mornings to do maintenance on equipment that could not be done during the normal work week.
The Introduction of Tech
“Sometime around 1988, I was asked if I was interested in a job learning something called a “’computer.’” After eight years of performing the not-so-glamourous tasks of painting the dust collector or replacing air filtration bags, in addition to building furniture, Bill immediately jumped at the opportunity. “Say goodbye to manual labor!”
Once Bill became acclimated to life with a computer, he used his new skills to help improve processes surrounding employee time sheets, cutting tickets for the shops, and bills of materials.
Sometime around 1991, a CAD program was installed on the computer, which he taught himself to use. With this new software, Bill was able to create prints for the overall look of our products and individual part prints, too.
Additionally, after a few years of creating bills of materials and CAD prints, it was clear that we needed a weekly production schedule for the plant to follow. “I created these schedules for the supervisors to use as we continued to grow and receive more sales orders.”
Over the years, Bill has been responsible for developing many of the lines of furniture we continue to sell today: Nittany, Homestead, Sedona, Shaker, Woodcrest, Beachcomber, Aero, Apollo and Madison, to name a few. Now there are at least three people (but occasionally more) required to do all of this as we expand the company and provide more custom furniture to meet our customers’ needs. Bill is also instrumental in helping to update the plant and equipment as needed for the future. “I’m looking forward to the upcoming year and beyond.”
“Some of my fondest memories are when the president of the company, John Savoy himself, would come out and walk through the plant and talk to everyone working on the floor. John also enjoyed picking up a glue bottle now and then and helped to assemble some of the furniture right alongside us workers. I guess making furniture was in his blood.” Bill shared. “I’ve always enjoyed working here for John and Carol Savoy, and the entire Savoy family who show the way a family-owned business should be by personally knowing and caring about their employees.”
Outside of work, Bill enjoys camping, biking, fishing, and spending time with his grandchildren. There must be some furniture in his blood, too, because he occasionally passes the time doing a little woodworking on his own.
Thank you for sharing your story with us, Bill, and for your great commitment to Savoy!
Savoy Contract Furniture manufactures traditional and contemporary styles of furniture for colleges and universities. Over more than 70 years, we’ve prioritized the growth of our state-of-the-art central Pennsylvania plant. As a result, we utilize the most advanced technology available and handle our orders entirely in house. In short, this allows us the flexibility to custom tailor our products to meet your every need.
Presently, we manufacture 12 styles of casegoods and 20 types of upholstered furniture. Additionally, we provide a variety of tables and chairs for both studying and dining. Furthermore, everything is available with the choice of several finishes and hundreds of fabric options. Client partners can also choose to upgrade their furniture with special hardware and power sources.
Savoy has adopted a customer-centric approach to business. That is to say, we aim to be the best full-service furniture provider for our client partners. We offer assistance throughout quoting, order management, delivery, and installation. However, our service doesn’t stop there. All Savoy products come with our industry-leading Limited Lifetime Warranty. To sum it up, we’re passionate about helping make your furniture buying experience as easy as possible.
Do not hesitate to send us an email or give us a call (800.233.8953) if we can be of service. We’re here to make your job easier.
Savoy Contract Furniture is a registered trademark of John Savoy and Son, Inc.