Briggs & Stratton Corp., Milwaukee, made an announcement recently that it is in the midst of a transformation. Traditionally best known for its gasoline-powered engines for residential outdoor power equipment, the 110-year-old company introduced a Business Optimization Program just in late 2017 to increase production capacity for higher-margin commercial turf products, bring engine production closer to its customers and better utilize its facilities to drive efficiencies.
"Over the last five years, we've successfully grown commercial sales by more than 70 percent, requiring us to evaluate all facets of our business to best support this growth," says Todd Teske, Briggs & Stratton chairman, president and CEO. "In a short amount of time, Briggs & Stratton has displayed quick execution and substantial movement toward meeting the goals of the Program, and is on pace to meet the expected pre-tax cost savings."
Briggs & Stratton is moving production of its Vanguard V-Twin Small and Big Block engines from a joint venture partnership in Japan to its existing Statesboro, GA and Auburn, Alabama facilities in the United States. With 85 percent of Briggs & Stratton engines and products made in the U.S.A. of U.S. and global components, the company is close to its customer base with faster production times and faster shipping.
By consolidating a number of its smaller existing engine and product warehouses throughout the U.S. into two large warehouses in Germantown, Wisconsin, and Auburn, Alabama, Briggs & Stratton is increasing efficiencies to more effectively serve customers and provide a North American enterprise distribution footprint that supports its strategy and customers with optimal inventory and order delivery.
Given the significant commercial sales growth over the past five years, the company is expanding its Ferris mower production capacity into a new, modern facility in Sherrill, New York. This allows employees to more effectively produce commercial offerings.