Skip to Main Content
Perceptions of firms within a cluster regarding the cluster's function and success: Amish furniture manufacturing in OhioAuthor(s): Matthew S. Bumgardner; Gary W. Graham; P. Charles Goebel; Robert L. Romig
Source: In: Fei, Songlin; Lhotka, John M.; Stringer, Jeffrey W.; Gottschalk, Kurt W.; Miller, Gary W., eds. Proceedings, 17th central hardwood forest conference; 2010 April 5-7; Lexington, KY; Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-78. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 597-606.
Publication Series: General Technical Report - Proceedings
Station: Northern Research Station
PDF: View PDF (129.72 KB)
DescriptionThe Amish-based furniture manufacturing cluster in and around Holmes County, OH, is home to some 400 shops and has become an important regional driver of demand for hardwood products. The cluster has expanded even as the broader domestic furniture industry has declined. Clustering dynamics are seen as important to the success, but little information has been available to assess the perceptions of firms operating within the cluster. The present study asked manufacturers to rate the importance of several factors to making the Holmes County region a good place to be in business. Common actions taken by these firms, and the information sources most commonly used, also were evaluated. A reputation for high-quality products was rated as critical to the cluster's success, followed by access to suppliers and manufacturing services. It was somewhat common to outsource components from other local shops, to use other vendors for computer numeric control work, and to refer potential customers to other local shops when better equipped for an order. Firms within the cluster were close to their customers, as conversations with customers was rated the most common source of information to learn about furniture industry trends. Word of mouth from other local shops also was somewhat important. These results demonstrated the importance of repeated interaction among the numerous shops, and also showed the importance individual firms placed on maintaining the reputation for high-quality products coming from the cluster. The unique mix of cooperation and competition has resulted in a model of competitiveness in wood furniture manufacturing.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, email@example.com if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
CitationBumgardner, Matthew S.; Graham, Gary W.; Goebel, P. Charles; Romig, Robert L. 2011. Perceptions of firms within a cluster regarding the cluster's function and success: Amish furniture manufacturing in Ohio. In: Fei, Songlin; Lhotka, John M.; Stringer, Jeffrey W.; Gottschalk, Kurt W.; Miller, Gary W., eds. Proceedings, 17th central hardwood forest conference; 2010 April 5-7; Lexington, KY; Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-78. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 597-606.
- How clustering dynamics influence lumber utilization patterns in the Amish-based furniture industry in Ohio
- The Amish furniture cluster in Ohio: competitive factors and wood use estimates
- Opportunities for development of local forest markets: the case of Amish furniture manufacturing
XML: View XML