HIGH POINT — Bedding producers are pursuing several strategies as they position their companies to continue to benefit from a bounce back in business following the COVID-19-induced slowdown earlier this year.
For some producers that means streamlining their services to their customers. For others, it means looking for like-minded retail partners or pivoting to more digital programs, which continue to gain ground in the marketplace these days.
One key, another bedding leader said, is to focus on the things his company can control.
Here’s how some bedding executives say they are fashioning their bedding bounce back plans:
Stephen Chen, president, MLily USA
“To maintain our momentum and weather the challenges, we have been enhancing and simplifying our service for retailers. We are revamping our portal to make ordering and tracking products much easier, and enhancing our customer service protocols to expedite care. We are examining our product mix and looking to streamline our offerings so that our lineup is better aligned with our retailers’ needs.
“During the last few months, we have seen a surge in business, as well as an increased demand on our OEM operation as retailers and manufacturers turn to us as a domestic resource for products. That increase has us examining our capacity throughout our five-warehouse network in the U.S. We are considering expanding our warehouse footprint in Los Angeles, and we are still exploring locations for a West Coast facility to complement our domestic production in our South Carolina factory.”
Bill Hammer, president, Shifman Mattress
“Our overall strategy for success is to continue to expand across the US with like-minded retail partners, as well as implement a robust digital reach initiative to improve communications for both our retail partners and our consumers. This consequential digital communication strategy is the necessary foundation to our consumer’s purchase journey and overall brand experience.
“Our goal is to enhance our customer support services to ensure valuable information is readily available, and to see that ‘The Shifman Difference’ is a seamless experience from all consumer touch-points.”
Mark Jones, CEO, HSM
“With any challenge, the solution starts with people. During this pandemic, I have seen strong leaders emerge across all levels of our organization. The creativity and innovation that our team delivered in a time of unprecedented uncertainty was — and continues to be — extraordinary. This strong sense of leadership and innovation was felt across the enterprise and energized all of our employees, a true reflection of HSM’s values and family culture.
“Focusing on what we can control is also key. Concentrating our efforts on the activities that we can manage and how we can best utilize our manufacturing capabilities to align with market needs is critical. In today’s business environment, as consumers put more value on made in America, we are focused on positioning ourselves as a leader within our domestic supply chain as a trusted supplier of components for the furniture, bedding and healthcare industries.
“With strong leadership, innovative thinking and a focus on our competitive advantages, I am confident we will emerge a stronger company on the other side of this.”
Mark Kinsley, president of Englander
“Communication is the key to success in a challenging business environment. Englander’s team has stayed in close contact with our dealers, suppliers, and international licensees to do our best to deliver world class products, support and service.”
Shaun Pennington, president, Diamond Mattress
“Financial stability has been a core value of our company since my great grandparents founded the company during the depression in the 1930s. Being strong, healthy and ready to succeed and thrive during hard times is in our DNA.
“We are ready financially and operationally with an incredible team of advisers, consultants, business partners and amazing team members that keep us creative and nimble. We nurture a culture of curiosity, creativity, innovation and continuous improvement to build a winning strategy that allow us to be proactive and agile in response to change and challenge.”
Scott Tesser, CEO, Precision Textiles
“The mattress side of our business is returning, and we are seeing an uptick in demand for our FR sock designed specifically for use in boxed beds. Sleep retailers that are selling online are benefitting the most in this environment, and we are seeing that based on our incoming orders.
“Looking ahead, we have several initiatives that we are rolling out. First, we are taking a tactical look at our supply chain to determine if we can procure our raw materials domestically. There are challenges, of course, but we are exploring the possibility, and I am hopeful that we will be able to make that shift.
“Specific to our mattress segment, we are quickly moving toward having all our FR solutions designed and manufactured without fiberglass. Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, we were making great strides in that direction with a number of our products, and we’re confident that we can engineer our entire FR lineup without glass and the safety issues fiberglass presents.”