As a team we have made some great strides that I am very proud of.Several bench marks have been reached including recently reaching our highest production month ever, an internal reduction of departmental reject’s and repairs to less than 5%, a reduction in backorders from over a year to one month and growing our production capabilities to include high end solid top acoustics and other key models such as the Casino, Les Paul Custom Signature models and others.Though there are differences in some of the production processes between the USA and Asian factory, to be successful the end results must be the same, a quality built guitar that musicians want to play.
In late 2001 Gibson luthier Mike Voltz, and a team from Epiphone set out to change the guitar world as it was then known. Voltz and other Epiphone and Gibson personnel became intimately involved in facility layout, equipment design, training techniques and the establishment of quality control and by October of 2002, the Epiphone only Gibson Qingdao factory had become a reality.
The effectiveness of combining Epiphone and Gibson expertise and experience with Asian production efficiencies ushered in a new era for Epiphone and brought about exceptional instruments at price points the average working musician could afford.
LLOYD: We are Epiphone employees, we are an Epiphone factory so therefore we take ownership of our guitars in a way that no OEM produced brand can do.
We have access to proprietary manufacturing techniques from Gibson and we can be innovators in the development of new models and features which is not always in the interest of our OEM competition.
I returned to the Nashville factory in 2001 and was appointed to the position of Assistant Plant Manager / Production Manager and in 2004 I accepted the position of Plant Manager.