Hardly a week goes by that we do not assist multiple churches in understanding the difference between a Church Chair Manufacturer who manufactures some of their chairs overseas, and a Church Chair Distributor who imports church chairs from a third-party overseas factory. In fact we explain this so much it’s time to place some of those basics in article form for ongoing consumption. So here goes!
First, please understand that church chairs that are manufactured overseas are not by default of less quality than those made totally or to some degree in North America. The key is not WHERE the church chairs are manufactured but rather WHO is manufacturing them! Here are the two most common scenarios regarding manufacturing church chairs overseas.
- Domestic Manufacturer Sets Up an Overseas Operation: Under this scenario, a North American manufacturer decides to move some of their manufacturing capability overseas, primarily for economic reasons. There are a host of challenges the manufacturer will face in carrying out this huge task. But because they are the church chair manufacturer, they have the capability to engineer and enforce quality control processes. Because they are the church chair manufacturer, they own the tooling and jigs and molds. Because they are the church chair manufacturer they can train supervisors domestically who then provide oversight overseas. Because they are the church chair manufacturer they can make the same chair over many years and provide parts and service perpetually. Because they are the church chair manufacturer they can produce a quality product overseas for less dollars. A great example of this type of church chair manufacturer is Comfortek Seating.
- Domestic Distributor/Dealer Who Imports Chairs and then Private Labels the Chairs: Under this scenario a North American Furnishings Distributor and/or Dealer contacts a variety of overseas sources or factories, or is contacted from the overseas sources or factories to establish a business relationship. The overseas source or factory will manufacture chairs, place the domestic distributor and/or dealer’s information and chair names on them, and ship them to North America for that distributor/dealer to market. And that same source or factory may make the same arrangement with other distributors and/or dealers. Most of the factors mentioned in the first scenario are absent: the dealer and/or distributor does NOT determine the quality control processes, does NOT train the supervisors, does NOT own the tooling, jugs and molds, and CANNOT guarantee that same chair will be available in a year, much less a decade. And from what we have seen and experienced, the quality of the church chairs produced under this arrangement is lacking even though the price might be attractive. A potential example under this scenario some would say is Hercules Church Chairs.
The reality is we have been contacted at Church Furniture Partner many times from overseas sources desiring us to work with them under the second scenario. We have repeatedly refused despite the financial attractiveness. Why have we refused? Primarily because we would not place church chairs produced through the second scenario in our own churches! And if we will not place them in our own churches, we are not going to market them under a private label arrangement to churches throughout North America. That’s the bottom line!
At Church Furniture Partner we have access to nearly every church chair on the market and our low overhead allows us to save you dollars on nearly all of them. We would love to have you contact us as you consider church chairs for your church! Blessings!