BedTimes AUGUST 2010
THE BUSINESS JOURNAL FOR THE SLEEP PRODUCTS INDUSTRY
Mixing business & politics Putting advocacy to work for you Product Watch: Toppers taking off Making Web 3.0 work for you
Advanced Border Production Technology with Model
Vertical Handle Machine • Auto Vertical Handle Machine • Auto Border Serger • Auto Border Serger & Rewind • Auto Border Measure & Cut with Optional Closer • • • • •
Two queen size borders per minute with 4 handles Border widths up to 18” Pre-made handles from 1.5 to 3” wide Dual safety stitch overlocks for extra strength 4 or 8 handles may be automatically sewn into border seams • May be used as a plain border serger without handles • Precise measurement and handle placement • Serial Bus Control System with a 3 year unconditional warranty
Vertical Stitch Machine 12 Standard Stitch Profiles
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This equipment is protected by one or more of the following patents: US patents: 4,280,421; 4,432,294; 4,466,367; 4,644,883; 5,134,947; 5,159,889; 5,203,270; 5,522,332; 5,524,563; 5,562,060; 5,634,418; 5,647,293; 5,657,711; 5,743,202; 5,865,135; 5,899,159; 5,915,319; 5,918,560; 5,979,345; 6,035,794; 6,055,921; 6,202,579; 6,279,869; 6,295,481; 6,494,255; 6,802,271; 6,574,815 B2; 6,834,603 B1; 6,968,794 B1 Foreign patents: 9-520,472; 0,537,323; 92,905,522.6; 96,936,922.2; 2,076,379; 2,084,055. Other U.S. and Foreign Patents Pending. Copyright 2009 Atlanta Attachment Co. 09055060809
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Certify your Peace of Mind Hickory Springs goes one step further for quality foam.
CertiPUR-US (CM) approved foams are: • Low emission (low VOCS). • Made without ozone depleters. • Produced without PBDEs. • Made without mercury, lead and heavy metal. • Made without formaldehyde. • Made without phthalates.
By complying with the CertiPUR-US (CM) voluntary testing, analysis and certification program, Hickory Springs confirms the proactive measures taken to verify that its flexible polyurethane foam not only provides durable comfort but is produced in a responsible, consumer-friendly manner.
How will CertiPUR-US benefit your company? • Focuses on current consumer concerns about foam involving health and indoor air quality. • Provides comfort and conﬁdence, reassuring consumers about the foam in your sofa. • Provides a reference source website for your customer service staff. You don’t need an in-house expert on health regulations and concerns. • Demonstrates your commitment to a healthy home environment. Based on a similar program in Europe, CertiPUR-US provides added value to furniture manufacturers – and eventually consumers — offering peace of mind and answering questions typically asked by consumers. Hickory Springs is one of several founding members of the CertiPUR-US program, which was officially introduced in early 2009. To switch to Hickory Springs’ certified CertiPUR-US foam, call 1.800.438.5341 or visit HickorySprings.com. Also see certipur.us.
PO Box 128, Hickory NC 28603
CertiPUR-US is a Certification Mark of Alliance for Flexible Polyurethane Foam, Inc. ©2009 Hickory Springs Mfg. Co.
18 Getting involved in politics
With so much media attention focused on national politics, it’s easy to forget that issues at the city, county and state level are often more important to business owners. BedTimes shows you how to participate in local political systems to help your company.
9 Product Watch
Mattress toppers are taking off as a product category—with everyone from traditional top-of-bed suppliers to major mattress manufacturers offering a variety of styles, compositions and price points.
27 Marketing Matters
Web 3.0 is all about sharing information in real time. Twitter is a great example, but there are many other real-time Web applications that you can use to “push” information about your company, products and services.
43 Sales Talk
41 Plant Management 44 Newsmakers 46 Up Close 48 Calendar 49 ISPA News/Advocacy 50 Advertisers Index 51 Classifieds 52 Last Word
Technologies like email can speed communication and make our lives easier, but sales professionals should be wary of relying on them. Oldfashioned techniques like phone calls and face-to-face meetings can’t be replaced.
5 Editor’s Note 7 Front Matter 31 Industry News www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
BedTimes | August 2010 |
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EDITOR IN CHIEF Julie A. Palm 336-727-1889 firstname.lastname@example.org SENIOR WRITER Barbara Nelles 336-856-8973 email@example.com CONTRIBUTORS Pradeep Elankumaran Nathan Jamail David Naffis Phillip M. Perry Carl Potter Deb Potter Dorothy Whitcomb ART DIRECTOR Stephanie Belcher 336-201-7475 firstname.lastname@example.org Vice President of Sales Kerri Bellias 336-945-0265 email@example.com Ad Production & CIRCULATION manager Debbie Robbins 336-342-4217 firstname.lastname@example.org COPY EDITOR Margaret Talley-Seijn BedTimes deadlines Editorial deadlines for the Industry News and Newsmakers sections of the October issue of BedTimes are Tuesday, Sept.1. Volume 138 Number 8 BedTimes (ISSN 0893-5556) is published monthly by the International Sleep Products Association. Periodicals postage paid at Alexandria, Va., and additional mailing offices. Editorial and advertising offices 126 Parkview Lane, Reidsville, NC 27320 Phone 703-683-8371; Fax 703-683-4503 Administrative and ISPA offices 501 Wythe St., Alexandria, Va. 22314-1917 Phone 703-683-8371; Fax 703-683-4503 Postmaster Send address changes to BedTimes, 501 Wythe St., Alexandria, Va. 22314-1917 Contents © 2010 by the International Sleep Products Association. Reprint permission obtainable through BedTimes.
Editor’sNote U.S. mattress sales continue their rise
he mattress industry continues its rebound, with both unit shipments and the wholesale dollar value of those shipments growing by double digits in the first five months of the year. According to the International Sleep Products Association’s May Bedding Barometer, unit shipments are up 11% for the year and dollar values are up 10.2%, when compared to the same five-month period in 2009. For the month of May alone, unit shipments rose 10.4% and dollar values increased 10%. In more good news, manufacturers operating in all regions of the United States reported improved sales figures for both the year-to-date period and May. The industry remains cautiously optimistic that these sales trends will be sustained for the remainder of the year. As ISPA President Ryan Trainer said in a news release about the latest numbers: “We’re not out of the woods yet. Unemployment remains high, consumer confidence fell in June and many consumers and businesses are anxious about when and how quickly the economy will improve. Our current mattress industry forecast, which we issued in March, projects that mattress units and sales will increase in 2010 by 4.5% and 7.5%, respectively, compared to 2009. As of May, we are set to meet or exceed those forecasts, but we still have more than half of the year ahead of us.” Fingers crossed. Sleepy sermon How do you define yourself? As a mattress manufacturer? A marketer? A production manager? What about outside of work? Are you a father/
mother? Husband/wife? Community leader? Hobbyist? In a recent sermon, the Rev. Charlie Davis, a Unitarian Universalist minister, asked his congregation to consider the relationship between their core ideals and how they spend their time. As an example, Davis reflected on his own life. In his role as a minister, Davis is a preacher, pastor, counselor, mediator, event planner, reader, writer, etc. “Those are the things I do for a living,” he said. “They are not my life. I enjoy doing them and am fortunate to have a job that lets me do things I like. But it is not my life.” “When I think of what I do, I probably should define myself as a sleeper,” he admitted. “I sleep about seven to nine hours per day. I never take a day off.” I like that. The next time you’re at a party and someone asks you what you do, try telling her, “I’m a sleeper.” You may get an odd look or two, but it might lead to an interesting conversation as you explain how your job allows you to help others sleep well. Plus, you know you’ll have something in common with the other person: She’s guaranteed to be a sleeper, too. BT
Julie A. Palm BedTimes | August 2010 |
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FrontMatter Workers, employers agree: Jobs picture bleak Surveys: Hiring to remain gradual
hey call it a “jobless recovery.” The Great Recession may be technically over, but unemployment continues to hover just under 10%. Americans aren’t feeling optimistic about jobs and company hiring forecasts don’t give them much to pin their hopes on, according to two new surveys. In an economy driven by consumer spending, this is a worry. If you’re jobless, employed but concerned about the security of your job or sharing a household with someone who’s jobless, you’re not likely to go out and spend money on anything but necessities. Two-thirds of Americans say the job market in their region is bad and just one in 10 say the job market in their region is good, according to an online Harris Poll survey of 2,227 adults conducted in mid-June. (One-quarter say the job market in their region is neither good nor bad.) The majority of Americans don’t expect the job market to change much in the coming months. Just over half say the employment picture in their region will remain the same during the next six months and one in five believe it will get worse. About one-quarter expect it to improve. Those feelings are in line with a new hiring forecast compiled by CareerBuilder and USA Today. According to the nationwide survey of employers conducted by Harris Interactive, hiring in the second half of the year is expected to mirror that of the first half. More than 2,500 hiring managers and human resource professionals, as well as 4,400 workers across industries, were surveyed www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
from late May to early June. “Employers began recruiting at a moderate, but consistent pace in the first half of 2010 as confidence levels inched upward amid a better global financial picture,” said Matt Ferguson, CareerBuilder chief executive officer. “The economic recovery has broadened, but employers remain guarded. The survey indicates that we’ll see sustainable new job growth through the remainder of the year, but it will be absent of any dramatic shifts.” About one-quarter (24%) of employers reported they increased their full-time, permanent staff in the second quarter. This is up from 18% in the second quarter of 2009. About one in 10 decreased their headcount, an improvement from 17% last year. About two-thirds reported no change in their number of full-time, permanent employees during the second quarter. In the third quarter of this year, one in five employers plan to add to their full-time, permanent headcount. Some 8% expect to downsize.
➤ Employment help Are you hiring or looking for work in the bedding industry? Check out the International Sleep Products Association’s Job Board at www.sleepproducts.org. The Job Board helps ISPA member companies who have job openings connect with professionals seeking employment at mattress manufacturers and industry suppliers. You must be an ISPA member company to post a job opening. Any industry job seeker may post a resume.
Two-thirds expect no change and 6% are undecided. Employers who are hiring are primarily focused on preserving customers and fueling new revenue opportunities. They’re recruiting for the following areas first: ➤ Customer service (25% of managers hiring in this area) ➤ Sales (22%) ➤ IT (18%) ➤ Administrative (13%) ➤ Business development (10%) ➤ Accounting/finance (10%) Employers also are looking for personnel to fill positions that are relatively new to the work force. About one-quarter reported they are recruiting for jobs focused on areas such as social media, “green” energy, cyber security, global relations and health care reform. BT
BedTimes | August 2010 |
ProductWatch Toppers piquing interest of mattress industry Variety of offerings increases as more jump into category
Licensing deals Mattress makers such as Therapedic International are putting their names on toppers made by others to extend their brand.
By Barbara Nelles
consumer searching for “mattress topper” at mega online retailer Amazon.com will find more than 2,000 results, a sign that the product category has gone mainstream in a big way. The first toppers, appearing some 30 years ago, were a yellowish beige egg-crate polyurethane foam. Today’s typical topper is 1½ inches to 3 inches of convoluted memory foam selling for between $79 and $99 in queen size. Sometimes called “removable pillowtops” or “mattress enhancers,” toppers are being sold in department stores, at big-box retailers and online. They’re also cropping up on the floors of mattress specialty retailers, often first arriving atop high-end beds with optional, removable pillow-tops. In addition to visco-elastic and polyurethane foams, there are toppers made of latex, natural or polyester fiber fill, and down—or several of these materials layered together. Heights range from 1½ inches to 6 inches. There are zoned, quilted, ventilated, perforated and convoluted toppers. Some are covered and zippered with skirts or anchor bands. Others are “free floating.” Fabrics on more expensive toppers include cotton sateen, stretchy knits and silk. The prici-
‘Pillow’ talk Latex International offers its Rejuvenite Pillows for the Body line in two comfort choices.
est toppers often incorporate natural fibers and fabrics with latex and have suggested retail prices as high as $1,000 in queen. Buying patterns The topper business “caught fire” when the economy took a hit, says Jeff Chilton, senior vice president of sales and marketing for bedding soft goods supplier Perfect Fit Industries, which has headquarters in Charlotte, N.C. “You can get a really nice $150 to $200 topper and improve your sleep.” Growing interest means that product lines are multiplying rapidly, with everyone from traditional top-of-bed Topper technologies Natura World makes 21 styles, including toppers with wool, latex, memory foam and combinations of those components.
suppliers to major mattress manufacturers jumping into the category. Simmons, Serta, Sealy and other first- and second-tier mattress manufacturers are licensing their names to suppliers of foam toppers. These viscoelastic and polyurethane foam pads are sold online, as well as at major retailers, big boxes and department stores. “Consumers have three primary reasons for buying toppers: to refresh or rejuvenate at relatively low cost a mattress that is beginning to show the effects of wear, to correct a comfort mistake on a new bed purchase without having to exchange the entire product or to outfit the slab of springs in a college dorm room,” says Gerry Borreggine, president of Therapedic International. The Princeton, N.J.-based licensing group lends its brand name to a line of memory foam, latex and downalternative toppers. “This category is especially important to consumers age 38 to 55,” says Dan Schecter, vice president of sales and marketing at Richmond, Va.-based Carpenter Co., an industry supplier that manufactures a broad range of foam toppers. “This group of consumers is the most interested in improving their comfort.” “As a culture, we’ve become so discerning. We want the ability to customize without a huge price tag. Toppers offer customization within reach,” says Julia Rosien, director of communications for Natura World. “Your comfort
BedTimes | August 2010 |
Topping the toppers Pure LatexBliss’ removable pillow-tops are upholstered in high-end stretch knit.
needs change as you age. They can also change on a daily basis—if you’re stressed at work, did a lot of exercising that day or sat at the computer too long.” The Cambridge, Ontario-based mattress maker offers a variety of topper styles. “From high school students to senior citizens, consumers are out shopping, looking, feeling, squeezing,” says Nancy Heaton Lonstein, marketing director for industry supplier and topper manufacturer Jeffco Fibres in Webster, Mass. “Their purchasing decisions are sophisticated. They see toppers as a way
Tackling the topic of toppers
For an industry invested in getting consumers to purchase new mattresses, the subject of toppers can be a bit sensitive. Don’t toppers take away from mattress sales? Though they might be big sellers at big-box retailers or department stores, are specialty mattress retailers willing to give toppers floor space? “I tell retailers people are buying these anyway. You need to get in the game or they’ll shop elsewhere,” says Kevin Stein, vice president of marketing and research and development at Shelton, Conn.-based Latex International. “Don’t look at toppers as a Band-Aid to a bed. Instead, add a $399 topper to a $699 bed purchase and have a beautiful $1,100 bed that is highly profitable to the retailer.” “Show the pillow-top (topper) every time a customer purchases a firmer bed,” says Kurt Ling, chief executive officer of Atlanta-based mattress maker Pure LatexBLISS. “Let the customer know ‘You can come back to buy this if you decide the bed is too firm.’ One in five times, the customer buys the pillow-top outright.” “Toppers are a great way to sell the nine out of 10 shoppers who walk out of your store without making a mattress purchase,” says Michael Rothbard, president and chief executive officer of Sleep Studio, a New York-based manufacturer of foam toppers, pillows and mattresses. Sleep Studio’s recent consumer survey found that 65% of the more than 2,000 respondents were “unhappy with the comfort and support” of their mattress, but just 5% said they would consider buying a new one. Some 60% said they “would more readily buy” a mattress topper, Rothbard says. “Toppers don’t take away from mattress sales, they enhance them,” Stein says. “There are cool ways to incorporate them into the comfort process. Many shoppers start on a firm bed because they are looking for more support. Retailers can say they are going to add some pressure relief and then put a topper on the same bed. Customers love a sales process that gives them some sense of control.” Aside from using toppers for comfort adjustments after a sale, “smart retail sales associates will up-sell toppers to begin with,” says Julia Rosien, director of communications for Natura World, a mattress and sleep accessories producer in Cambridge, Ontario. “You are letting customers know you’re thinking about their long-term enjoyment of the product,” Rosien says. “Be intuitive. Watch when a couple tries out a mattress. See how they respond and interact. Are their needs different? Show them how to tweak the bed with a topper so it works for both of them.”
10 | BedTimes | August 2010
to customize the bed and change their preferences.” Many mattress pads straddle a fine line between topper and protector. A new offering from sleep accessories supplier CKI Solutions is the Sleep Defender Quilted Mattress Pad. Available in both 3-inch and 6-inch thicknesses, is it a “pad” or “topper”? “It’s really plump and filled with polyester cluster fiber,” says Chris Montross, director of sales and marketing for the company, which is based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “We’ve carried mattress protection products for over 10 years now, but our retail and hospitality customers were telling us they wanted something to make the bed more luxurious.” New takes on foam “This category is open to significant growth,” Schecter says. “Today’s consumer is very savvy, and as new foam technologies become available—as the chemistry continues to advance—she will continue to buy into that.” High-end memory foam toppers are made with technologically advanced foams with higher densities that are sometimes layered with other components. Jeffco Fibres’ Cradlesoft Memory Foam Topper comes in two densities and has thicknesses up to 4 inches. The company’s Cradlesoft Memory Cloud Mattress Topper has visco-elastic and down-alternative polyester fiber encased in a quilted cotton cover. Natura World makes 21 topper styles, including the Soy Snuggletop Memory Foam Topper, which has virgin wool piled atop an upholstered viscoelastic core with renewable content. The Therapedic Memory Touch Mattress Topper contains 3 inches of ViscoTech foam covered in a removable, 100% cotton fabric with temperatureregulating Outlast technology. The memory foam is described as being “temperature sensitive” and having antimicrobial properties. Depending on the foam used, toppers can offer pressure-point relief, as www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
Law of attraction
Premium mattress toppers studded with magnets are Baron Styles’ biggest sellers, says Dave Williams, president of the Milton, Wis.-based topper manufacturer and contract quilting and sewing operation. Introduced in 1998, the magnet toppers have fiber fill and visco-elastic or convoluted polyurethane foam studded with 300 to 1,000 magnets. Targeted channels include health Mattress magnetism Some Baron and wellness retailers, online retailers and other distributors who market the toppers as a Styles toppers include magnets between layers of fiber fill and foam. pain reducer or health enhancer. To date, evidence of the toppers’ therapeutic value is anecdotal, but a clinical study is currently under way in France, Williams says. Baron Styles’ other offerings include quilted damask toppers filled with layers of fiber, polyurethane and visco-elastic foams.
well as support, Schecter says. “There are three classifications of foams in our premium toppers: viscoelastic for cushioning; Omalon—a proprietary support foam; and self-adjusting Avena—a hybrid foam with both cushioning and support,” he explains. Carpenter manufactures a range of foam toppers for a number of distribution channels. Some carry its trademarked “Sleep Better” seal. Its flagship topper brand is Isotonic. “A moderate topper price point would be an uncovered 2-inch convoluted Omalon or visco-elastic topper packaged in a zip bag,” Schecter says. At the company’s upper end is the Isotonic Platinum, a zoned topper introduced this spring. It’s ventilated with “active air technology” and has gel inserts for additional support and comfort. Carpenter’s high-end toppers are up to 4 inches thick and have IsoCool fabric covers with phase-change material for temperature regulation. Foam producer FXI, with headquarters in Media, Pa., manufactures and distributes Aerus Natural memory foam toppers and produces them for various private labels. Aerus Natural is a breathable, open-cell visco-elastic with a percentage of renewable content. The most popular FXI topper foams weigh 3 pounds to 4 pounds per square
12 | BedTimes | August 2010
foot, although interest in 6-pound toppers is growing. There also are specific, limited applications for the company’s 8-pound and 10-pound toppers, says Alvaro Vaselli, FXI senior vice president for foam products business management. In addition, he says, most FXI toppers have patented Surface Modification Technology. “It’s a proprietary engineered surface that improves pressure distribution,” he says. Hickory at Home, a division of Hickory Springs Mfg. Co. in Hickory, N.C., sells the Viness line of memory foam toppers in three thicknesses and a collection of upholstered Dunlop-process latex toppers made by gommagomma S.p.A., in Caronno Pertusella, Italy. Foam bed maker Tempur-Pedic manufactures a 1-inch thick “mattress pad” made with its Tempur Material and sells it through catalogs and online. It’s marketed as “a great way to upgrade your guest room.” The Lexington, Ky.based company also offers a collegedorm topper at its company Web site. Latex International, a Talalay latex producer headquartered in Shelton, Conn., targets mattress retailers with its Rejuvenite Pillows for the Body line. The toppers are 3 inches thick, covered in super-stretch knit ticking and come in two comfort levels, plush and firm.
For easier testing on the sales floor, Pillows for the Body come in split queens. Pure LatexBLISS, a latex mattress manufacturer headquartered in Atlanta, began by pairing “outboarded” latex toppers with its latex mattresses and soon found that the topper business “had taken on a life of its own,” says Kurt Ling, Pure LatexBLISS chief executive officer. The company’s 2-inch and 3-inch removable pillow-tops are available in plush or firm and are upholstered in high-end stretch knit. “The fabric totally determines the product’s value in the customer’s eyes,” Ling says. In response to a resurging interest in latex bedding, Jeffco Fibres introduced its Evereden brand of latex toppers in 2007, Lonstein says. They come in four thicknesses, from 1 inch to 4 inches. The company also manufactures a broad range of private-label and branded fiber-fill, visco-elastic and polyurethane toppers that retail for between $15 and $350 in queen sizes. Sleep Studio, a New York-based manufacturer of foam toppers, pillows and mattresses, surveyed more than 2,000 consumers earlier this year and found that nearly one in five wants a topper to add support—not just pressure-point relief—to their existing mattress, says Michael Rothbard, Sleep Studio president and chief executive officer. To meet both needs, the company offers ViscoFresh Latex Memory Foam, a high-density visco and latex hybrid foam with perforations and air channels. Green tea extracts provide a natural fragrance. Sleep Studio’s products are sold under a variety of private labels at various retailers, as well as under the company’s own SleepJoy brand. Perfect Fit manufactures and sources a broad range of toppers, pads, comforters, pillows and other soft goods that it sells through a range of distribution channels. One of its more unusual offerings is the OOdles Blend Latex Topper. OOdles, first introduced in www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
2009 in pillows, is a shredded latex produced by foam supplier Latexco. Perfect Fit mixes OOdles with “blown puffball” polyester fiber to create the topper core. ‘Natural’ ingredients Hickory at Home introduced two featherbeds in 2010, one with imported European goose down and one with domestic goose down. Manufacturers of wool toppers say the fiber gets a bad rap for being itchy and hot. Instead, they say, it’s an ideal component because of its cushioning, temperature-regulating and moisturewicking properties. “Wool does a great job of solving the problems of two people in one bed with different temperature and comfort
14 | BedTimes | August 2010
Topper, layer or wrap wool over a latex core. High-end mattress maker Organic Mattresses Inc., based in Yuba City, Calif., makes four mattress toppers in thicknesses of 1 ½ inches to 4 inches. Two toppers have convoluted latex cores; two have Eco-Wool fill. “Our toppers are paired with mattresses and sold that way by retailers, but some of our retailers do just buy our pillow-tops,” says Walt Bader, OMI president and chief executive officer. “Pillow-tops make sense especially when accommodating more than one sleeper, because couples may have different comfort preferences. The pillow-top can add more comfort and ‘ahhhs’ to a bed, without changing the underlying support.” BT
Core issues Organic Mattresses Inc. uses latex cores or Eco-Wool fill in its toppers.
needs,” Rosien says. “If you’ve chosen a mattress that does not have wool in it, you can add wool with a topper.” The Classic Super Comfort Plus Topper from Natura World contains 36 ounces of crimped virgin wool per square yard and has a 100% unbleached woven cotton cover. Many of company’s offerings, including the Mattress Mate
Pillows for the Body Enhance any mattress on your floor and reduce comfort returns with luxurious and resilient Talalay latex toppers.
With over two million units sold in 2009, mattress toppers are an important and growing part of the bedding business. Rejuvenite Pillows for the Body provide an easy and profitable way to offer customized comfort and expand your business. Find out more at Las Vegas Market, Showroom B-945
Call 800-Latex-US x347
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the Art of Advocacy
Get involved at the local level to help your business
By Phillip M. Perry ith so much media attention focused on national politics, it’s easy to forget a fundamental fact: Day in and day out, your business is more likely to be affected by laws and regulations passed closer to home. “Issues at the city and state level are often more important to business owners than issues at the federal level,” says Nancy Ploeger, president of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce. That makes sense. Think about local tax rates, commerce fees, zoning ordinances and other business regulations. What about poorly maintained streets,
18 | BedTimes | August 2010
filled with potholes and ruts? Bad roads can damage your fleet and, if you’re a factory-direct, keep customers away from your stores. Slow police response times can magnify the financial costs of a burglary. Building code changes can add costs to retrofit buildings. And so on and so on. The success of your business depends on the priorities and the capabilities of your city, county and state officials. “What government does and how they regulate is important to your business,” says Al Arnold, director of the Academy of Local Politics in Rice Lake, Wis. “It’s your bread and butter. ”
‘These politicians are looking for ways to help constituents. They don’t know how to do that if you don’t speak up.’
BedTimes | August 2010 |
Working close to home If decisions made by your local politicians can have a dramatic impact on your profits, it’s important to know how you can affect those decisions. “Start by learning how your local government operates,” Arnold says. “Politics is a game. In order to be
successful in any game you need to know the rules.” Arnold advises attending at least one local government meeting each year to “watch, listen and, by observation, learn” how your local governments work. “One meeting won’t make anyone an expert, but over the years, you
How ISPA helps you The International Sleep Products Association speaks with a united voice for the mattress industry on issues that affect manufacturers, suppliers and retailers. In conjunction with ISPA’s board and with input from ISPA members, the Government Relations Committee develops industry positions on regulatory, legislative and political issues. The grassroots support of its members is critical to ISPA’s advocacy efforts and ISPA encourages its members to develop relationships with their representatives to influence legislation that affects the industry. To help members communicate more easily with elected officials, ISPA has created a Legislative Action Center that contains information on pending legislation and provides practical advice for contacting elected officials. ISPA members also can look up their legislators, view biographical and contact info and send them a letter. ISPA’s monthly Advocacy Connection and weekly BedTimes Bulletin newsletters keep members informed about ISPA’s advocacy efforts. ISPA uses its relationships with federal and state regulatory agencies, other industry and trade groups, and the safety and scientific communities to give members tools to address other matters that arise, such as consumer safety issues. For more information about ISPA’s advocacy efforts, check www.sleepproducts.org/advocacy or contact Chris Hudgins, ISPA vice president of government relations, at 703-683-8371 or email@example.com. ISPA’s successes and ongoing efforts this past year at the state and local levels include: ➤ Removed provisions from New York bedbug legislation that would have required retailers to use separate vehicles to deliver new and pick up used mattresses from consumers. (See story on Page 49) ➤ Defeated legislation in California that would have imposed more costly and potentially impractical regulations on FR mattress materials ➤ Defeated proposals to change state and local fire codes to require mattress manufacturing, storage and retail facilities to be retrofitted with sprinklers ➤ Opposing New York legislation to allow the state to impose its own rules regulating chemicals used in children’s mattresses, which might be different from or contradict federal chemical regulations ➤ Advocating for tougher anti-renovator laws in New York, Florida and Texas ➤ Continuing efforts to develop mattress recycling programs to preempt state efforts to make manufacturers responsible for taking back used mattresses
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will become more knowledgeable about your local officials and how they work,” he says. Specifically, learn how your local governments develop their annual budgets. “A city budget is not just a financial document,” Arnold says. “It is a policy document.” Where tax money is being spent—or not spent—gives a clear indication about the priorities of your city council, county commission and state legislature. “It does no good to complain about something that needs to be done if the money is not in the budget,” Arnold says. Indeed, policy decisions other than the tax rate can have of a bottom-line impact on your business. “Saving a couple of bucks in taxes can cause your business to burn to the ground if fire protection is inadequate,” Arnold says. All politics is personal Networking is a powerful tool for influencing local laws. “All politics is personal,” says Nancy Bocskor, a political consultant in Arlington, Va. “Even in our modern world of email, getting things done still comes down to with whom you have a relationship.” In developing relationships, make the telephone your friend. “Call your local politicians at the city, county and state level and meet with them,” Ploeger says. “These politicians are looking for ways to help constituents. They don’t know how to do that if you don’t speak up.” If you stay quiet, your elected officials may well vote in ways that unintentionally harm your business. And don’t wait until you have a pressing concern to meet with your local representatives, Ploeger adds. “Your politicians will often have issues that they are grappling with and they need to talk with business people about the effects of certain regulations,” she says. Developing a relationship takes more than making phone calls and attending meetings. Consider hosting a fundraising event. “Help a politician raise money by www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
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Primer: How to talk with a local politician “Meeting with an official once or twice a year should be part of every management plan,” says Sean W. Hadley, an attorney and lobbyist in Princeton, N.J. Like any other networking event, a meeting with a politician can pay dividends to your business. Here are some tips for being effective: ➤ Be straight-forward Approach your representative with words such as these: “I have a business in your district (ward, county, etc.). I want to come in and introduce myself and talk with you.” Tell them how many workers you employ. ➤ Speak up early Be professional and voice your opinion as soon as you find out about an issue that concerns you. It can take a long time to solve problems such as a deteriorating street condition. Start early and be patient. “If you don’t call your officials, your voice will not be heard and you run the risk of laws imposed on you without your knowing,” Hadley says. “It’s easier to stop the train from leaving the station than it is when it’s racing down the tracks.” ➤ Be cordial “Local elected officials do appreciate timely, courteous input on issues,” Hadley says. “However, all too often the input they receive is neither timely nor courteous.” Don’t make threats such as “I won’t vote for you if you won’t do this.” Don’t say “I pay your salary.” Confrontations of this nature backfire. ➤ Show thanks If you’re pleased with your representative’s vote on an issue, send a letter or email or give her call to express your appreciation. “It is so very seldom they get one of those. It will be remembered,” Hadley says. ➤ Stay in problem-solving mode “Know exactly what you are asking for,” Hadley says. “Simply whining to an elected official about something usually won’t get the problem solved. Have a solution ready.” ➤ Invite officials to visit Ask your local officials to tour your facility and meet your employees. “Especially if you have a significant number of employees, politicians are happy to appear at an event,” Hadley says. ➤ Contribute “In politics, money does talk,” Hadley says. “It does not buy you results but it can help facilitate a relationship.” If a politician approaches you about attending a fundraiser on his behalf, it can be well worth it to attend and contribute. Later, when you have a concern, you have a go-to politician you can call for assistance.
having a coffee in your home,” Bocskor says. “Offer to invite your friends, neighbors and colleagues over to listen to the candidate.” Inviting a policymaker to tour your facility gives you an opportunity to explain the issues facing your business.
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Stay informed New issues come up all the time and many of them can affect your business operations. Don’t rely on the local paper or TV news to learn about them. “Newspapers normally report on
what has happened, not what might happen,” Arnold says. “There is only one way to keep on top of proposed local government issues and that is by following committee agendas.” Learn which committees are likely to deal with business issues and then find out when and where meeting agendas are posted. “Many times they are on the town Web site,” Arnold says. “Make a point of following these agendas on a regular basis. This is the only way to catch issues before votes are taken.” Make sure you offer your input early. Will a proposed bill or regulation have unanticipated consequences? Call and let politicians know. “Issues are like rolling snowballs,” says Arnold. “They get bigger and bigger with time. It’s easier to destroy a hand-size snowball than it is the base of Frosty the Snowman.” On the state level, often the best way to follow issues is to belong to an organization that does this for you. For instance, the International Sleep Products Association tracks and responds to state legislation that can impact bedding manufacturers, industry suppliers and mattress retailers. The power of numbers In addition to keeping you informed, business groups such as chambers of commerce and trade associations such as ISPA can help you communicate your message to local officials. Group action can be a powerful force for getting things done, Ploeger says. She gives a recent example: Working together, chambers of commerce in New York state convinced the governor to reduce workers’ compensation insurance rates by some 10%. As another example, ISPA recently had success working with New York lawmakers to make changes to a proposed bedbug bill that would have raised delivery costs for mattress retailers. (See story on Page 49.) Get involved with ISPA’s Govwww.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
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ernment Relations Committee or volunteer to serve on a local business association committee that is responsible for developing positions on political issues. The pay off Effective lobbying is a process. Don’t expect your representatives to agree with you all the time. They won’t. But over time, if you regularly participate in small ways by attending meetings and voicing your opinions, you can have influence when a significant issue arises. They’ll also seek your advice when considering issues that may affect your business. “You have to be a citizen activist,” Bocskor says. “When you are not involved, it’s amazing how fast laws are passed that have unintended consequences.” Don’t let that happen. Reach out to your local politicians and you will end up with a more productive business environment. “I get so angry when people say they are too busy,” says Arnold. “You can’t be too busy to not follow what government is doing to regulate your business.” BT
Additional resources News media
Advocacy Connection This is a monthly e-newsletter about federal, state and local issues affecting the mattress industry produced by the International Sleep Products Association for its members. It includes reports on legislation and regulatory actions and provides information about the industry’s position on and advocacy efforts regarding major issues. Legislative updates also are regularly included in ISPA’s weekly e-newsletter, BedTimes Bulletin. Learn more at www.sleepproducts.org. BedTimes. The monthly business journal for the sleep products industry regularly reports on legislative issues. Check the Industry News, ISPA Advocacy, Flammability Update and Regulatory Report departments. BedTimes is available by mail (see subscription card between Pages 46-47) and online at www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes.
Moving Mountains and Molehills: Local Politics 101 by Al Arnold (Booksurge, 2005) Local Politics: A Practical Guide to Governing at the Grassroots by Terry Christensen (M.E. Sharpe, 2006)
www.sleepproducts.org ISPA’s Web site, where you can learn about legislation and regulations that directly impact your business. ISPA’s Action Alerts make it easy for you to contact elected officials about key issues. http://capwiz.com/sleepproducts/home ISPA’s Legislative Action Center, which includes a “grassroots toolbox” for how to communicate with policymakers and a how-to guide for hosting a plant tour. www.localpolitics101.com The Academy of Local Politics’ site explains how to get legislation passed at the local level. www.lib.umich.edu/govdocs/pslocal.html The University of Michigan Documents Center provides Web links to associations of local officials.
Local politics & your profits How can local politics affect your company’s bottom line? Here are some examples from Al Arnold, director of the Academy of Local Politics in Rice Lake, Wis.: ➤ Taxes and fees Are your taxes competitive with those of other cities and states? Are there any looming tax increases that will cut into your profits? Are governments proposing onerous business licenses or other fees? ➤ Fire protection Does your local government budget adequately for fire protection? What is your city’s rating from the Insurance Services Office? “Your cost of property insurance can be affected by your city’s ISO rating,” Arnold says. “It’s a very good indicator of the importance a city council puts on public protection.” For information about ISO, check www.iso.com. ➤ Police protection Will the police respond quickly to reports of burglary or robbery? “Police are taken for granted until you need them,” Arnold says. “But you should concern yourself with average response times before you need to call.” If your fire department’s ISO rating is very low, there is a good probability that the police department also is being shortchanged in the city’s budget, Arnold adds.
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➤Street conditions How well maintained are your local streets? Can delivery trucks safely get in and out with their materials? Can customers get to your location without problems? If you live in area where it snows, are streets plowed in a timely manner so employees can get to work? ➤ School quality Are your local schools up to standard? What about your local community college? Is it training workers with the skills your company needs? There are other local issues that the mattress industry, in particular, should monitor. They include: ➤ Waste disposal & mattress renovation Is your local government banning mattresses from landfills? Are elected officials considering implementing or raising a fee for mattress disposal? What are your state laws concerning mattress renovation? Are there new plans for cracking down on unscrupulous renovators? ➤ Bedbugs Is your area suffering from an increase in bedbug infestations? Are local governments considering ordinances to address the problem that could impose impractical restrictions and unreasonable costs on your business, such as restricting how used mattresses can be transported?
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MarketingMatters Now is the time to use real-time Web
New applications can power many aspects of business
changes made by others immediately and working concurrently. Think of it as the Web on steroids. With RTW, access to information is faster, meaning consumers, customers, co-workers and others can communicate with you, learn from you and work with you more quickly and efficiently than in the past. The time period between you posting something and others seeing it is mere seconds or minutes, rather than hours, days or weeks.
By David Naffis & Pradeep Elankumaran
he Internet has certainly changed the business world. And just when you thought the Web was as good as it could get, it evolves again. Until quite recently, the Internet was primarily for sharing information. As a business, you put up a Web page, posted product details and uploaded some images. Then you waited for people to search for your company and eventually find you. The newest Internet advancements, however, focus more on collaboration. Often referred to as “real-time Web” or “Web 3.0,” these technologies enable you to “push” your message to people who are interested in your information, products or services. So, if a person is interested in what you have to say—and she has specified those parameters of interest in her Web settings—then whenever you put out new information, it’s automatically sent to that person. There’s no searching involved. Using RTW internally enables you to collaborate with co-workers—for instance, editing documents together, at the same time, regardless of where everyone is physically located. As tasks are completed or projects are pushed through to the next phase, you know it immediately, rather than having to wait for an email update or having to physically check on something’s status. And you can get the information on your desktop, laptop, phone or other mobile device. No matter where you are, you can stay informed. RTW is changing the architecture of the Web and how Web sites interact with each other. It promotes the trusted www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
exchange of user data and tighter integration among Web applications over multiple devices. It also is changing how we interact with applications, share and use information and collaborate. Unfortunately, many people don’t understand RTW, its capabilities and its opportunities. In fact, we’re just starting to see the first versions of applications like Twitter and FriendFeed that focus on consumer-oriented RTW. So when companies hear about RTW, they’re not clear about what it is, how it could apply to their business and how they can take advantage of it. Whether you’re just now hearing about Web 3.0 or are using some fledgling applications, the following suggestions will help you understand and integrate RTW into your company. Educate yourself Web 3.0 is all about sharing information in real time. For example, Web 2.0 technology included document collaboration in the form of Wikis. As we mentioned, RTW document collaboration involves many people editing and updating a document at once, seeing the
Check out leading RTW applications Examples of RTW applications include FriendFeed, Present.ly and Drop.io. If you want to see RTW in action, a good place to start is Twitter. In fact, Twitter is generally considered the first application to offer real-time search capability. Consider how an Internet search typically has worked. A search engine like Google goes out and regularly indexes the entire Web. When you use it to search for a new mattress, you type in “mattress” and Google displays the results. However, those results are not always up to date. They are only as current as Google’s last index of that phrase, which could have been days earlier. With Twitter, you can find information as it is happening. This has been demonstrated during recent disasters, political protests and other major events. People go to Twitter to find out what’s going on right now. Brainstorm Your company could gain a lot by being on the leading edge of this movement toward real-time information sharing—or you could sit on the sidelines and wait for your competitors to jump in and benefit. Following are some ways to use RTW:
BedTimes | August 2010 |
Examples of RTW applications include FriendFeed, Present.ly and Drop.io. If you want to see RTW in action, a good place to start is Twitter.
move forward, we’ll see new technologies and uses being developed and created. More and more people and companies are gravitating toward RTW to power the next generation of the Internet. By all accounts, it’s an exciting time to be online. BT
➤ You can respond to customer complaints or inquiries. In fact, some companies have employees dedicated to monitoring Twitter to identify disgruntled customers and to rectify the situation immediately, before any damage is done to the company’s reputation.
David Naffis is a senior partner and co-founder of Intridea. Pradeep Elankumaran is director of research and development. Intridea is a full-service Web and mobile consulting firm that helps companies with design, development and strategy. Intridea provides simple, intuitive solutions on everything from social and business collaboration to cloud computing to Web and mobile applications. Clients include Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, nonprofit organizations and government agencies. For more information, check www.intridea.com.
➤ If you’re a factory-direct, you can send coupon codes to people for sleep accessories—and make the coupon available for a limited time, say six hours. Think of the famous TV infomercial line, “Call in the next 10 minutes and you’ll also get…”
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➤ You can use some RTW tools, such as microblogging, to stay up to date in real time within your own company. ➤ You can build a brand on Twitter and use RTW to promote your company. Promote special sales, charity events, new product introductions, etc. There are endless marketing opportunities using RTW. Get in on it early The bottom line is that those companies taking advantage of RTW are reaping the benefits right now. As we
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IndustryNews Sealy sales continue climb in second quarter M
attress major Sealy with headquarters in Archdale, N.C., has announced results from its 2010 fiscal second quarter. Net sales rose 6.1%, compared to the same period a year ago, to $316.5 million. It was the company’s third consecutive quarter of year-overyear sales growth. Net income was $0.8 million— income was $7 million excluding debt redemption charges and payment-inkind interest—compared to a loss of $5.4 million in the prior-year quarter. Gross profit for the second quarter was $128.2 million, a 5.2% increase over the same period in 2009. Operating income, which included an incremental charge of $3.9 million relating to noncash compensation, was $24.7 million, compared to $28.9 million last year.
Sealy’s gross margin declined by 35 basis points to 40.5% from secondquarter 2009, driven by changes in product mix and investments associated with new product introductions, the company said. “We are pleased with our results,” said Larry Rogers, Sealy president and chief executive officer. “We delivered our third consecutive quarter of year-overyear sales growth. Stearns & Foster continues to perform extremely well and we expect new products to drive future market-share gains in both innerspring and the fast-growing specialty sector. We also continue to focus on further deleveraging our balance sheet.” Total U.S. net sales increased 3% to $229.1 million from the second quarter of fiscal 2009. U.S. gross profit
Latex International opening plant in Malaysia Industry supplier Latex International, which has headquarters in Shelton, Conn., has begun construction of a 251,000-squarefoot latex manufacturing plant in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. The facility will operate as a subsidiary of Latex International under the name Dunlop Latex Foam (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. It will produce both Dunlop process and Talalay latex, including 100% natural latex. Malaysian move U.S.-based Latex International It’s scheduled to open summer has broken ground on a new plant in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. It’s expected to be operational next year. 2011. “This is a major step in our company’s expansion,” said Kevin Coleman, Latex International president and chief executive officer. “We are building a worldwide infrastructure to support our growth. Sales to markets outside the U.S. have grown to over 25% of total revenue. We have established a presence in South America, Europe and Asia. This plant is necessary to better serve the latex production and delivery needs of these customers.” The location was chosen for its “attractive foreign direct investment program,” as well as its proximity to raw materials, transportation infrastructure and skilled work force, the company said. www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
margin decreased 176 basis points to 41.6%. The decrease was driven primarily by changes in product mix and investments made to introduce new products, the company said. Improvements in operations efficiencies, as well as higher absorption of fixed costs as a result of higher unit volumes, partially offset the decline. International net sales increased $11.4 million to $87.4 million, or 15%, over 2009. Excluding the effects of currency fluctuation, international net sales increased 5.9% from the second quarter of last year. The company attributed the growth to the success of the new Stearns & Foster line in Canada, better execution of promotions and an increase in retail demand.
Short Sleep Country aids children Sleep Country USA, a sleep shop chain headquartered in Seattle, collected more than 5,000 pairs of shoes in its fifth annual shoe drive for foster children. Donations were up 32% over 2009. “For children who have very little, the joy of getting something new is immeasurable—even an item that many of us take for granted like a new pair of shoes,” said Julie Guay, executive director of Blue Skies for Children in Bellingham, Wash. The retailer’s Foster Kids Program provides support to foster children and their families in Oregon and Washington by sponsoring drives for clothing, school supplies and holiday gifts.
BedTimes | August 2010 |
Sleepinc purchases Englander licensee World Sleep Sleepinc, a mattress manufacturer headquartered in Corsicana, Texas, has purchased Englander licensee World Sleep Products in North Billerica, Mass. Sleepinc is a sister company of Corsicana Bedding. “Without going into details, we’re structuring the deal as a merger with a long-term exit for the current owners—or they may never exit. The entire staff also remains in place,” said Sleepinc owner Carroll Moran. “World Sleep saw the need to join hands with somebody operating on a more national basis that could bring consistency and buying power.” Chuck Warshaver, the former principal owner of World Sleep, retains his post as president of the company. Sleepinc manufactures bedding under the Sleepinc
NVC Logistics launches new site
VC Logistics Group has redesigned its Web site (www.nvclogistics.com), adding additional information and improving the user experience. The logistics and transportation services company with headquarters in Rockleigh, N.J., said the changes were prompted by its growth in the furniture, mattress, appliance and consumer electronics sectors. “We revamped and updated the entire NVC site with enhanced functionality, easier navigation and added depth,” said Paul Henrici, NVC president. “Clients, prospects and partners will now have access to more information about all of NVC’s transportation, delivery and warehousing solutions.” The Web update is part of the company’s other recent growth and upgrade efforts, which include expanded services, improved nationwide coverage and ongoing technology upgrades.
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brand. It became a Spring Air licensee for Texas in 2009 and purchased a Therapedic licensee in 2008. “We have a Therapedic licensee, a Spring Air licensee and now Englander,” Moran says. “We want to buy strong regional players and it doesn’t matter what brand they are.” “Doing this type of consolidation is what will allow independents like us to thrive and survive,” Warshaver said. “We have become part of a larger company and that will lead to continued growth, benefiting both our customers and our employees. Carroll and Sleepinc have employed a strategy of seeking strong licensees around the country. It’s a brilliant plan. It means better efficiencies—better rates on trucking, on insurance, on IT—all the backroom things, plus purchasing power.”
Simmons adds mobile shopping app Simmons Bedding Co. is employing Microsoft’s Quick Response Tag technology to launch a smart phone application for mattress shoppers. The goal is to provide consumers with a more robust, interactive shopping experience, the Atlanta-based mattress maker said. Scanning a particular bed’s color-coded tag with a smart phone will yield a 3-D illustration of the mattress’ construction and the opportunity to view a video that features the brand’s signature bowling ball demonstration. The first tags are located on point-ofpurchase materials for the Beautyrest brand. Twitter and Facebook buttons enable the shopper to share the content with friends. “More than 20% of cell phone users have a smart phone and that number is growing,” said Tim Oakhill, Simmons executive vice president of marketing. “Anyone who can take a picture with a phone can use a QR tag. It’s an exciting technology that will help change the retail landscape of the mattress industry by enhancing our communications with consumers as they shop.” The free download is available at http://gettag.mobi and at Apple’s iPhone App Store, www.apple.com/iphone/apps-for-iphone. www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
Natura World adds zones, dual-comfort N
atura World, a mattress and sleep accessories manufacturer with headquarters in Cambridge, Ontario, has made changes to its NaturaLatex and NaturaPedic collections, adding targeted support zones to select models at the shoulder, hip and lower leg areas. Natura World also is offering dual-comfort versions of its most popular mattresses. The beds are firm on one side and plush on the other. “Adequate comfort and support is a critical component to healthy sleep—for both individuals sharing a sleep environment. Natura’s dual-surface mattresses ensure that there is no compromise necessary for a great night’s rest,” said Ralph Rossdeutscher, Natura World president and chief executive officer. The collections also sport a “fresh, new look,” as well as additional natural and organic content, the company said.
Short Cargill, Serta find messiest morning hairdo Tiffany Bradley of Knoxville, Tenn., was crowned top “bed head” in a light-hearted contest sponsored by Cargill and Serta. Voters chose five finalists’ photos from among those submitted to the “Bed Head is Soy Stylish” contest Web site. A panel of judges from the companies selected the winner. The contest promoted Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Serta’s new HGTV Green Home by Serta collection. The products include foams made with a portion of soy-based content from Cargill’s BiOH polyols. Bradley received a top-of-the-line HGTV Green Home by Serta queen-size mattress set.
BedTimes | August 2010 |
Shorts Bodet rolls out breathable border Bodet & Horst, a textile supplier headquartered in Elterlein, Germany, has unveiled a new collection of mattress border fabrics that create a built-in “climate zone,” allowing for air circulation and moisture control. The new fabric replaces the practice
of sewing a separate strip into the mattress border, reducing the number of seams in a bed and improving mattress quality and durability, the company said. The new border fabric also reduces manufacturing steps and saves on sewing machine costs.
Interwoven relocates sales office Mattress ticking supplier Interwoven Group LLC has moved its sales office to company headquarters in Conover, N.C. The company also has expanded the size of its Conover distribution center to accommodate increased business volume. The new phone number for Interwoven sales is 828-322-1057; the fax number is 866-628-1652. The mailing address is P.O. Box 219, 309 Simpson St. S.W., Conover, NC 28613. Sandy Van Dyke, Interwoven president, can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kluft expands operations Premium mattress maker E.S. Kluft & Co. has leased 30,000 square feet of manufacturing space across the street from its existing 127,000-square-foot facility in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. The new plant is producing mattress foundations, including an eight-way, hand-tied box spring. “My company is growing at an impressive rate and our current plant reached capacity,” said Earl Kluft, president and chief executive officer. “We are readying ourselves for doubledigit growth.”
Anatomic Global ‘Vendor of Year’ Mattress manufacturer Anatomic Global, with headquarters in Corona, Calif., was named Vendor of the Year by retailer Relax The Back. The company supplies the retail chain with two lines of private-label memory foam mattresses. Anatomic Global was chosen for the award by franchise owners of 110 Relax The Back stores. In May, the company received e-tailer Overstock.com’s Vendor of the Year award.
34 | BedTimes | August 2010
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Agencies release TDI study results T
he federal Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services have concluded that health problems of people located near polyurethane foam plants in North Carolina are not caused by exposure to toluene diisocyanate or TDI, a chemical consumed in manufacturing flexible polyurethane foam used in mattresses and other products. “We did not find a scientific connection between respiratory problems and exposure to TDI. Overall, we did not find that people living near the plants that emit TDI have recent or current exposure to TDI at levels of health concern,” according to a study released by the federal agency and the
36 | BedTimes | August 2010
N.C. health department. Researchers collected air samples to determine the presence of TDI from 10 N.C. communities in four counties. Half were near facilities with reported TDI emissions (target areas); half were communities farther away from TDI plants. They also took blood samples from 161 people who lived in target areas and 190 who lived in comparison areas. Target areas included communities near plants operated by Carpenter Co., Foamex (now FXI), Hickory Springs Mfg. Co., Olympic Products and Prestige Fabricators. Of the 251 persons tested, only one had TDI antibodies. The Polyurethane Foam Association cautions, however, that antibody tests can produce false
positives. Further, the presence of antibodies doesn’t necessarily indicate that an individual’s health has been harmed or tell when, if any, TDI exposure occurred or the source of the exposure. Of the 45 air samples taken from target areas and 34 from comparison areas, researchers detected TDI in only one sample from a target area, and even then at a level of only 1 part per trillion. According to the report, 1 ppt is “a very small amount of TDI” and is below the lifetime exposure level of 10 ppt that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers safe. The full report can be found at http://www.epi.state.nc.us/epi/oee/ tdi/tdicommunityhealthreport.pdf.
Take a Moment to Relax During the Busy Las Vegas Market Visit the ISPA Oasis Lounge! The International Sleep Products Association extends an invitation to members to stop by space B910 to relax in the privacy of our special lounge. Whether you are exhibiting or attending, take a moment to get away from market hustle and bustle. Whatever your need, we’ll do our best to assist!
▪ Take some time off your feet to relax ▪ Meet with a colleague in a casual, inviting atmosphere ▪ Grab a cup of coffee or a light refreshment ▪ Check your email or the latest sports scores
Drop off your business card for a chance to win a free registration to the 2011 ISPA Industry Conference and Exhibition! March 16-18, 2011 St. Petersburg, FL
501 Wythe Street Alexandria, VA 22314 Phone 703-683-8371 Fax 703-683-4503 www.sleepproducts.org
Fabrictech rebrands premium products
sing the new name PureCare, mattress and pillow protection producer Fabrictech International has rebranded, repackaged and created new point-of-purchase materials for its premium anti-bacterial silver lineup. According to the Cedar Grove, N.J.based company, these products kill bacteria on contact and provide protection against bedbugs, dust mites, allergens and moisture. Key messaging revolves around
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making the bedroom “a healthier place to sleep and allowing consumers to ‘take back their bedroom’,” said Jeff Bergman, Fabrictech president and chief operating officer. “Our products not only guarantee the manufacturer’s warranty, they create the cleanest surface for the sleeper while not altering the comfort of the new mattress and pillow.” In addition to the rebranding, Fabrictech said it is focusing on providing dealers with in-depth sales training for selling sleep accessories.
Short Magniflex targets designers Mattress maker Magniflex, which has headquarters in Prato, Italy, announced that 100 designers have enrolled in its new Interior Designer Affiliate Program, which gives the design community and its affiliated retailers special pricing on the full range of Magniflex eco-friendly mattresses. Designers and retailers receive wholesale pricing for three months, followed by a 30% discount thereafter. Participants in the contiguous United States receive five-day delivery directly to their client’s home for a flat rate of $45 for a queen-size mattress.
Demand Foam unveils foam cutter
tlanta-based Demand Foam Systems, an Atlantabased supplier of foam shaping equipment, is offering an Americanmade CNC machine for cutting flexible foam. Other than the welded steel frame, all the working mechanical parts are “off-the-shelf ” American-made Demand Foam Systems emphasizes that, other from several U.S.-based than the frame, all the parts in its new machine come from U.S.based companies. companies, according to Demand Foam. The electronics, controller, computer and software are openly available and upgradable so there are “no long down times while parts are shipped in from around world,” the company said. User-friendly software allows easy set up for parts arrangement, cutting, order position and nesting interfaces. “This is the only blade machine we know of that allows the customer to be independent from the manufacturer for repairs and upgrades” said Craig Barnaby, Demand Foam vice president of sales.
Short L&P helps Haiti project Leggett & Platt’s Consumer Products Group has joined the cause for long-term Haitian earthquake relief by making a donation to the WorldBed project, an initiative organized by Corona, Calif.-based mattress maker Anatomic Global. WorldBed’s mission is to deliver 200,000 3-inch, compressed and rolled cot-size foam mattresses to Haitians displaced by the January earthquake. L&P’s initial donation funded one pallet of 50 WorldBeds. The Carthage, Mo.-based company plans future contributions.
Pacific Spring Inc. An American company importing springs from Cambodia 6.5” H 312 Bonnel units 7” H 336 Bonnel units 8” H pocket units
Pacific Spring Inc. Victor Nguyen, VP of Marketing & Sales 6418 E. Washington Blvd. Commerce Ca. 90040 Tel: (626) 272-8882 • Fax: (626) 226-4166 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
BedTimes | August 2010 |
Play It Safe
Attach the SPSC Safety Hangtag to every mattress you produce Although all mattresses made in or imported into the United States must comply with Part 1633 and Part 1632, they are not fireproof. Attaching an SPSC safety hangtag to your mattresses helps protect against product liability and is a responsible and visible way to demonstrate your company's commitment to product safety. Nearly 220 million mattresses have carried the Sleep Products Safety Council's safety hangtags during the past 20 years. Hangtag sales also support SPSC's work as a watchdog for the industry--educating consumers about sleep product safety, building alliances within the safety community, and conducting product research.
Choose the safety hangtag option that’s right for you.
The safety hangtags are available three ways: • as a flat hangtag to insert with product-related literature provided to the consumer, or attached, • as a permanent, sewn-in Tyvek® label, or • as a bi-lingual English/French tag for use in Canada.
Add your name to SPSC’s e-mailing list. We’ll send you more information and an order form. Contact Jane Oseth at email@example.com, (703) 683-8371, ext 1124. The hangtags provide your customers with valuable information on how to safeguard their families. Using the hangtag offers no legal guarantees, but its consumer safety messages can be helpful to both mattress manufacturers and retailers in defending product liability lawsuits.
SPSC: Watchdog for Safe Sleep
The SPSC is the safety arm of ISPA whose mission is to provide consumer information, support research and promote activities that advance the safety of sleep products.
For more information,visit www.safesleep.org
INTERNATIONAL SLEEP PRODUCTS ASSOCIATION
PlantManagement Busting myths about workplace safety Preventing accidents isn’t impossible By Carl Potter & Deb Potter
ow many times have you heard someone say something completely ridiculous, something you know isn’t right? You don’t have to look very far these days to encounter fabrications and exaggerations. With everyone having his say on blogs, YouTube, Twitter and even national TV news, you probably hear things several times a day that you don’t agree with or that you know aren’t true. We’ve been hearing myths about workplace safety for years. We took an informal poll recently and here are our top three safety myths. You’ve probably heard them or something similar a time or two in your career. Myth 1 You can’t create a hazardfree workplace It’s shocking how many people believe that hazards can’t be eliminated in the workplace. We had one person tell us that it isn’t possible to have a hazard-free workplace. If that is what’s required, he might as well lock the front door to the manufacturing plant where he is the safety director. Certainly situations change— sometimes quickly and sometimes over time. That can make it difficult, but certainly not impossible, to identify and control hazards. It requires discipline and diligence to recognize and mitigate every hazard. When you understand what it takes to create an injury-free workplace, you’re able to reach that goal more often than not. Hazards are the reason people get hurt—without the hazard there is no injury. When workers fail to follow safety procedures or wear personal protective equipment, the risk of injury www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
rises. A hazard-free workplace is created by actively identifying and evaluating risks and applying controls to physically protect employees. Myth 2 Being safe is too timeconsuming and expensive When people say that it takes too much time or money to be safe, they obviously don’t understand the power of a cost/ benefit analysis. Have you considered the direct and indirect costs of even a minor injury? If you think that being safe takes too much time and money, you have an attitude problem. In our work, we regularly meet individuals who have been injured. By their own admission, the cost of recovery and lost wages is substantial. Among other things, a personal injury impacts the productivity of the company, the morale of other workers and the earning power of the injured individual. Myth 3 Accidents “just happen” Our research shows that some 99% of all accidents are preventable. If you think that accidents “just happen,” what allows you to drive on the road or walk down the street without paralyzing fear of the potential hazards? The reality is that you have a great deal of control over situations and circumstances around you. Safety is an action word. To make something safe requires you to do something. That something is to recognize what can cause an injury and
then take steps to control it. Employees want a leader who will encourage them to work more safely. They want a leader who says, “I don’t want you to get hurt producing or distributing our product and I am willing to work with you to make sure that everyone stays safe.” Creating a workplace with zeroinjuries is not a gimmick. To create such a workplace, the company needs leadership—at all levels. Will you take action to engage and challenge the people you work with? Or are you just talking about safety? BT Carl Potter, a certified safety professional, and Deb Potter are certified management consultants who work with organizations that want to create an environment where nobody gets hurt. As advocates of a zero-injury workplace, they are speakers, authors and consultants to industry. For information about their Hazard Recognition and Control Workshop, call 800-259-6209 or check www. hazardrecognitionworkshop.com.
When people say that it takes too much time or money to be safe, they obviously don’t understand the power of a cost/benefit analysis. BedTimes | August 2010 |
SUPPLIERS: Reach key mattress industry buyers in the only directory compiled specifically for the mattress industry! ISPA’s online BedTimes Supplies Guide provides mattress industry professionals around the world with comprehensive information about industry-specific products and services. Users can search by keyword or category to find the products they need without the irrelevant clutter of general internet search engines.
The Supplies Guide will also be published in the December 2010 issue of BedTimes magazine. Companies that purchase a complete listing by September 17th will also receive a free listing in the print version. Complement your listing with a display ad in the December issue of BedTimes, insertion deadline October 25th. Contact Kerri Bellias at firstname.lastname@example.org or 336-945-0265. Contact Matt Kreuter, 972-402-7744, email@example.com, for more information
ISPA: 703-683-8371 · www.sleepproducts.org
SalesTalk To make a sale, you have to make the call Social media, technology can’t replace prospecting basics By Nathan Jamail
rab your BlackBerry and check your appointments. While you’re at it, see if any of your customers have posted anything worthwhile on Facebook, Tweet a new prospect, check your email for appointment requests— and then go grab lunch. What a morning. Sales professionals increasingly rely on technology to drive sales and increase market share. Unfortunately, those efforts may have the opposite effect. Finding vertical markets, making prospecting calls and conducting face-to-face meetings with prospective customers still are the best ways to increase sales—period. All of the technology in the world can’t close more deals than getting in front of the decision maker, so put away those email marketing techniques, PDF sales pitches and automated voicemail calling systems. Talking to decision makers is no more difficult today than it was 20 years ago. We just have different obstacles to overcome: The gatekeeper is voicemail and a delete button instead of a receptionist with a pink message pad. Email systems with junk-mail filters have replaced the handwritten letter and the “circular file.” Prospective customers have always been “too busy” or “perfectly happy” with their current products and services to meet with you. What should you be doing? First, make the call. What do great emails, logo-emblazoned gifts,
catchy tag lines and direct-mail marketing campaigns have in common? Every salesperson hopes one of those will be the thing that gets prospective customers to call him. But often those methods are just an excuse for a salesperson to avoid making a prospecting call. No matter what marketing idea you use to attract prospective customers, you still must make the call—if not initially then as a follow-up. If you are going to use marketing tools like those mentioned above, use them only as part of your sales plan. You can’t let technology do the work and wait for customers to make contact. A word about social media: Social
media is powerful, inexpensive and can improve your company’s visibility, spread the word about new products, etc. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are great social media tools, but they alone will not increase a company’s sales. Your social media efforts should work in conjunction with a marketing plan based on network marketing, cold calling, vertical marketing and other key direct-contact prospecting strategies. Prospecting makes use of the original “social network.” If increasing sales was only about coming up with some creative way to get customers to call, companies wouldn’t need professional salespeople—or their salaries and commissions. If you want to increase sales, use the technologies of today along with the disciplines and principles of yesterday. It’s been said a million times but it’s still true: Increasing sales is simple, but not easy. Make the call! BT
If increasing sales was only about coming up with some creative way to get customers to call, companies wouldn’t need professional salespeople.
Nathan Jamail, president of the Jamail Development Group and author of The Sales Leaders Playbook, is a motivational speaker, entrepreneur and corporate coach. As a former executive director for Sprint and owner of several small businesses, Jamail travels the country helping individuals and organizations achieve maximum success. His clients include the U.S. Army Reserves, Nationwide Insurance, Metro PCS, State Farm Insurance, Century 21, Jackson National Insurance Co. and ThyssenKrupp Elevators. For more information, call 972-377-0030 or check www.nathanjamail.com.
BedTimes | August 2010 |
NewsMakers Simmons names Fazio CEO Atlanta-based Simmons Bedding Co. has named mattress industry veteran Gary Fazio chief executive officer. He takes the company’s helm from President and Chief Operating Officer Steve Fendrich, who is leaving the company. “I am thrilled to be joining Simmons at a time when the company is enhancing its strong brand and product portfolio, as well as continuing to build on its long history of developing high-quality and innovative products,” Fazio said. “Our opportunities are broad, and I look forward to joining the leadership team of such a distinguished company.” Fazio has nearly 40 years of experience in the industry, on both the manufacturing and retail sides. From 1981 to 2001, he held various positions at Sealy, eventu-
ally becoming vice president and general manager. From 2001 to 2010, Fazio served as CEO of retail chain Mattress Firm and had been its chairman since February. Mattress Firm has some 560 stores in 22 states and is No. 15 on Furniture/Today’s Top 100 list of furniture and bedding retailers. In a news release, Simmons thanked Fendrich for “five years of dedicated leadership and service to Simmons and guiding the company successfully through its restructuring.” Fendrich joined Simmons in 2005 and was promoted to president and COO in 2008. Simmons, which emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this year, was acquired in January by the investment group that owns National Bedding Corp., the largest producer of Serta-brand mattresses.
Sealy hires new Retail exec joins marketing director Comfort Solutions J
amie Piper has joined Archdale, N.C.-based mattress major Sealy as director of marketing communications. Piper is responsible for directing the overall marketing and strategic planning programs for the entire Sealy brand portfolio. She also Jamie Piper manages Sealy’s corporate communications. Piper reports to Jodi Allen, senior vice president and chief marketing officer. “Jamie has the diverse experience and proven track record required to not only lead Sealy’s marketing communications efforts, but also to excel,” Allen said. “Jamie’s product launch expertise, marketing background, as well as her brand messaging and negotiation skills, make her the perfect fit.” Piper spent three years at Whirlpool Corp., most recently as senior sales and marketing manager of all cooking and refrigeration business for the Home Depot account. Piper’s background also includes sales and marketing experience in the retail and automotive segments. Piper replaces Margo Borgione, who has been named to a newly created position, director of retail experience for all Sealy brands.
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Mattress licensing group Comfort Solutions has named Mike Bookbinder senior vice president of retail sales development, a newly created post. Bookbinder is responsible for current and new accounts and implementing strategic growth plans in the retail sales arena. He reports to David Binke, executive vice president of sales for the Willowbrook, Ill.-based company. Mike Bookbinder Previously, Bookbinder was executive vice president of sales and marketing for Sleepy’s, a chain based in Hicksville, N.Y. During his 11-year tenure with the retailer, Sleepy’s grew from 171 locations to more than 700. Prior to that, he spent 27 years with City Mattress, a regional sleep chain headquartered in Bonita Springs, Fla. He held multiple sales, marketing and executive posts there, including executive vice president, chief operating officer and president. “We’re very excited about his appointment and the hands-on expertise he brings,” said Dave Roberts, Comfort Solutions president. “It’s extremely important to understand today’s evolving retail environment.” www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
Industry veteran Michael Pino dies M
attress industry vetPino held a number of eran Michael Pino, leadership and committee who had been battling posts with the Internacancer, died June 22. He tional Sleep Products was 56. Association, including Pino spent more than serving on the board 20 years in the mattress (2004-08) and the Better industry, the majority of it Sleep Council (1997with Princeton, N.J.-based 2004). licensing group TheraHe received his pedic International. He undergraduate degree rose through the ranks at from Rowan University Michael Pino Therapedic, serving in sevin Glassboro, N.J. After eral top management posts, including graduation, Pino taught high school, president and director of international before moving on to a job at an adveraffairs and specialty licensing. tising agency and then to Therapedic. In 2008, Pino founded his own He was an avid professional sports consulting group, specializing in fan and a soccer coach for a recreinternational licensing partnerships, ational league in his hometown of sales strategies and marketing plans. Hillsborough, N.J. Clients included mattress maker NaSurvivors include his wife, Wendy; tura World, where he held the title son, Jonathan; two brothers; three of international sales director, and nieces; and a nephew. licensing group Restonic. In lieu of flowers, the family sug“Michael was a remarkable ambassagests a donation to the charity of your dor for Natura in the international matchoice or to the Cancer Treatment tress world,” said Ralph Rossdeutscher, Centers of America via the nonprofit president of Cambridge, Ontario-based Gateway for Cancer Research. Natura World. “He was also a good A memorial guestbook and friend and we will miss his sense of video remembrance created by humor, his willingness to be there for the family can be accessed at others and his ‘get it done’ attitude.” www.lifecelebrationstudio.com.
Colgate Mattress patriarch Wolkin dies Solomon Wolkin, founder of family-owned Colgate Mattress Atlanta Corp., a maker of crib and juvenile mattresses, died June 23 following a short illness. He was 90. Wolkin, and his wife, Anne, who preceded him in death, founded the company in 1955 with a $1,500 loan. Their 4,000-square-foot factory grew to become what is today a 60,000-square-foot facility in Atlanta. Wolkin was a veteran of World War II, serving as an airplane mechanic in the U.S. Army Air Corps, which later became the U.S. Air Force. The Georgia House of Representatives recently honored Wolkin for his contributions to the state as a long-time manufacturer and employer. He is survived by two sons, Alan, president of Colgate Mattress, and Richard, company vice president; daughter Joan; two grandsons, Dennis, Colgate Mattress production manager, and Brent, company credit manager; three granddaughters and four great-grandchildren. His great-grandchildren all have appeared in the company’s print advertising campaigns. www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
Foam group honors three
The Polyurethane Foam Association has inducted James Hollars, Dennis Peterson and Jerry Pool into its Flexible Polyurethane Foam Hall of Fame. The trade group, which has headquarters in Loudon, Tenn., celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Hollars was recognized for his years of leadership in the industry. He participated in the association’s formation and served two terms as its president. The association called him an industry champion and credited him with helping to develop strategies to improve the industry’s image. Hollars spent the majority of his career in molded foams at automotive industry supplier Lear Siegler, later Lear Seating Corp. Peterson was a principal founder and the first president of the association. Under his leadership (1980-81), the industry developed proactive positions on flammability and addressed environmental safety matters, according to the association. Peterson rose through the ranks at Future Foam—from territory sales representative to vice president of sales and marketing. After leaving Future Foam in 1991, he launched a scrap foam recycling business. Pool spent his career at a number of foam manufacturers and went on to form his own consulting business focused on compliance with environmental, safety and health regulations; polyurethane processes; and machinery technology. In the 1980s, Pool’s collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency helped to eliminate CFCs as blowing agents in foam production. That led to his later work with the United Nations, the World Bank and foreign governments to reduce or eliminate CFCs in foam production around the world.
BedTimes | August 2010 |
UpClose Atlanta Attachment’s Price is a master of reinvention Company founder embraces ever-changing world By Dorothy Whitcomb
lvin Price has never been afraid of big dreams or hard work. “When you’re raised in Bishopville, S.C., there are not a lot of opportunities,” he says. “You have to learn how to be entrepreneurial in order to survive.” Price began working at age 12 and soon discovered his own entrepreneurial spirit. At 16, he was an apprentice garment factory technician and by 23, a service technician at Wilcox & Gibbs, a manufacturer of sewing machines for the apparel industry. By that time, “I had already decided to go into business for myself, but put my plans on hold to get more experience,” Price says. It didn’t take long to discover where the next opportunity lay. During the 1960s, apparel manufacturers were beleaguered by an increasingly broad product range and evershortening lead times. And modifying equipment to meet those requirements was beginning to overwhelm established sewing machine manufacturers. Price saw an opening. In 1969, he founded Atlanta Attachment Co., setting up shop in the basement of his house to make specialized sewing equipment. “I had a wife, three kids and about $100 from my last two paychecks” he says. “That was the sum total of all the money I had in the world.” Price worked tirelessly by himself for almost two years before renting a building and hiring help. For 30 years, dreaming big and working hard paid significant dividends. Between 1969 and 1999, Atlanta Attachment grew at an average annual rate of 36%, ultimately posting $30 million in annual sales.
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Things began to change in 1997, when the effects of the North American Free Trade Agreement began to take hold. “The month after Fruit of the Loom announced that it was moving production offshore, our sales dropped by $1 million,” Price recalls. “All of our customers stopped buying and started making plans to move offshore, too. It was like falling off a cliff.” At about that same time, mattress major Sealy recruited Atlanta Attachment to build several automated workstations. Price knew little about the bedding industry but saw opportunity, believing “the industry was underserved in terms of the level of sophistication of its equipment.” Still, Price was at a crossroads. With annual sales in 2000 down by almost two-thirds, he considered closing the company. “Instead, I decided to do it all over again and went back to working umpteen hours a day,” he says. Atlanta Attachment began building machinery on spec for what Price describes as “a skeptical bedding industry.” But by 2008, the company was again posting $30 million in an-
➤ Bio in brief Name Elvin Price Age 71 Company Atlanta Attachment Co. Title Founder & chairman Location Lawrenceville, Ga. Family Price and his wife, Janet, have been married for 25 years. They have six adult sons in their blended family.
On the road again When not working, Elvin Price likes getting out on the open road, seeing the sights in his motor home or on his motorcycle.
nual sales, 70% of which came from mattress machinery. And then, in 2007, the Great Recession hit. “Sales nose-dived again,” Price says. “We went from 170 employees to 90.” Throughout the layoffs, Price kept the company’s research and development department intact. With engineers working six days a week, the company was able to show 14 new machines at ISPA EXPO 2010 in Charlotte, N.C., in March. Ambitious goals and drive have once again made the difference for Price. He says the company is “geared for the future” and expects 2010 sales to be back to the $30 million mark. “It’s an ever-changing world and I like that,” Price says. “Change is where your opportunities are.”
Building better lives To understand Price, it’s important to understand how he conceptualizes his company. “Atlanta Attachment is seen as a machinery manufacturer and that’s not what we are. We make wonderful equipment, but that’s not our endproduct. The people are our endproduct. (The company) is a vehicle so that people can have wonderful lives—me included,” he says. “I started with nothing. I think that it’s important to share success with the people who made that success for you.” Aid through aviation For 35 years, Price has been volunteering with Angel Flight, a nonprofit group of private pilots who fly sick and injured children to hospitals to receive care.
‘When you’re raised in Bishopville, S.C., there are not a lot of opportunities. You have to learn how to be entrepreneurial in order to survive.’ Jim Loewen, Atlanta Attachment’s corporate pilot, participates in Angel Flight, as well. Together, Price and Loewen average about eight flights a year, shuttling children and their families to Cincinnati for treatment at the Shriners Hospitals for Children.
King of the Kindle Price reads 50 to 60 books a year, mostly nonfiction. He’s particularly interested in history and in biographies of people who have overcome obstacles to become successful. “It reinforces in me that you don’t have to have all the resources you think you do in order to be successful,” he says. The open road Price and his wife, Janet, enjoy exploring the country in their motor home. They take their time, checking the Internet for points of interest along the way. “I’ve been riding motorcycles since I was a teenager and there’s a lift on the motor home for my Harley,” he says. “You feel involved with the journey and part of the countryside on a motorcycle.” BT
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BedTimes | August 2010 |
Calendar 2010 August
Aug. 2-6 Las Vegas Market World Market Center Las Vegas, U.S. Phone 888-416-8600 info@lasvegas market.com www.lasvegas market.com Aug. 20-22 Tupelo Furniture Market Mississippi & Tupelo complexes Tupelo, Miss., U.S. Phone 662-842-4442 tfm@tupelofurniture market.com www.tupelofurniture market.com
Sept. 1-5 Habitare Helsinki Exhibition & Convention Centre Helsinki, Finland Phone 358-9-150-91 firstname.lastname@example.org www.finnexpo.fi Sept. 3-5 Perfect Home & Interior Warsaw Centre EXPO XXI Warsaw, Poland Phone 48-22-649-76-69 email@example.com www.perfecthome.pl Sept. 3-6 China International Furniture Fair China Import & Export Fair Complex Guangzhou, China Phone 86-20-2608-0427 firstname.lastname@example.org www.ciff-gz.com
Sept. 16-19 ZOW Istanbul: International Exhibition of Components & Accessories for the Furniture Industry Instanbul Expo Center Istanbul, Turkey Phone 90-212-3249610 email@example.com www.zow.com.tr
Oct. 16-21 High Point Market International Home Furnishings Center & other locations High Point, N.C., U.S. Phone 336-869-1000 dawn@highpoint market.org www.highpoint market.org
Jan. 24-28 Las Vegas Market World Market Center Las Vegas, U.S. Phone 888-416-8600 info@lasvegas market.com www.lasvegas market.com
March 16-18 âž¤ISPA Industry Conference & Exhibition Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club St. Petersburg, Fla., U.S. Phone 703-683-8371 clyons@sleep products.org www.sleepproducts.org Perfect Home & Interior The show will be Sept. 3-5 in Warsaw, Poland.
48 | BedTimes | August 2010
ISPANews/Advocacy ISPA helps improve N.Y. bedbug law T
he International Sleep Products Association recently won a victory for mattress retailers in New York. In an effort to control increasing bedbug infestations, state lawmakers had been considering a bill that would have prohibited new and used mattresses from being transported, stored or sold together unless the used mattresses have been sanitized. ISPA argued that this provision would substantially increase retailers’ delivery costs because they would be
forced to use separate trucks to deliver new mattresses and pick up used ones. The association worked with legislators to amend the final bill to allow used mattresses to be transported on the same truck with new mattresses, if the used products are placed in protective covering such as plastic wrap. It’s likely that packaging materials from the new mattress will be used to remove and transport the old mattress. Both chambers of the New York
Advocacy Shorts ASTM crib subcommittee seeks members The International Sleep Products Association is working with crib mattress manufacturers to develop a safety standard. The initiative comes in response to efforts by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to set new safety standards for cribs and crib mattresses. ISPA has initiated work through ASTM International, a standards development body, to create an initial standard and ASTM has set up a subcommittee for the task. ISPA encourages its members who are also ASTM members to join the subcommittee. For more information, check the ASTM’s Web site (www.astm.org) or contact Chris Hudgins, ISPA vice president of government relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-683-8371.
Calif. extended producer responsibility bill fails A bill that would have established an extended producer responsibility system in California recently failed to pass in the legislature. The bill would have held manufacturers responsible for disposing of their products at the end of the product’s useful life and would have allowed the state to mandate that specific industries set up product collection, recycling or disposal systems. Under the bill, manufacturers would have had to bear the cost of the programs. Though the bill failed, similar bills are expected to return for consideration in future sessions.
Industry urges Texas to amend bedding law International Sleep Products Association President Ryan Trainer and mattress maker Carroll Moran recently testified before the Committee on Environmental Regulation in the Texas House of Representatives, describing obstacles that industry recyclers face when trying to expand their businesses. Moran is chief executive officer of Corsicana Bedding and Sleepinc and owner of Dream Green Recycling, a mattress recycling center in Texas. Suggestions included amending the state’s bedding law to permit mattress producers to use a “new materials” law label on mattresses that contain new components made from used mattress materials, provided that the manufacturing process used to make the new components results in a clean, hygienic product. The committee also was asked to support increased regulation of unscrupulous mattress renovators. To read a copy of ISPA’s written testimony, check www.sleepproducts.org. www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
legislature passed the bill as amended in mid-June and sent it to the governor for his signature. “The change should advance lawmakers’ goal of controlling the spread of bedbugs without imposing significant new costs on retailers,” said Ryan Trainer, ISPA president. “The change is important not only for retailers in New York. The new law provides a common-sense model for other states that want to regulate how old mattresses are handled.”
ISPA Industry Conference set for March The 2011 ISPA Industry Conference and Exhibition will be March 16-18 at the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club in St. Petersburg, Fla. The event, which had been held in November in recent years, is following a new schedule: March in odd-numbered years, alternating with ISPA EXPO in even-numbered years. The Industry Conference and Exhibition, an all-industry event for manufacturers, retailers and suppliers, features educational seminars on key issues, as well as a focused exhibit floor showcasing products and services. Hear the latest news on issues impacting the bedding industry while building valuable personal relationships with colleagues from around the world. For more information, check www.sleepproducts.org.
BedTimes | August 2010 |
AdvertisersIndex A. Lava & Son Co. Steve Appelbaum 800-777-5282 (800-777-LAVA) www.alavason.com
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Global Systems Group Russ Bowman 954-846-0300 www.gsgcompanies.com
Hengchang Machinery Factory Ren Ying 86-769-83307931 www.hcjixie.com
Atlanta Attachment C2-1, 29 Co. Inc. Hank Little 770-963-7369 www.atlatt.com Bloomingburg Spring 51 & Wire Form Vickie Schwarm 740-437-7614 www.bloomingburgspring.com BLR Martin Leroux 819-877-2092 www.blrlumber.com Boyteks Tekstil AS M. Nebi Dogan 90-533-685-6041 www.boyteks.com
BRK Group Jeff Miller 562-949-4394 www.brk-group.com
CT Nassau Taber Wood 800-397-0090 www.ctnassau.com
Diamond Needle Corp. Abe Silberstein 800-221-5818 www.diamondneedle.com
50 | BedTimes | August 2010
Hickory Springs Mfg. Co. Rick Anthony 828-328-2201 www.hickorysprings.com
John Marshall & Co. Ltd. Peter Crone 64-3-341-2004 www.joma.co.nz
Kenn Spinrad Inc. Randy Weinstock 800-373-0944 www.spinrad.net
Latex International Kevin Stein 203-924-0700, Ext. 347 www.latexintl.com
Latex Systems Kitti Charoenpornpanichkul 66-2-326-0886, Ext. 204 www.latexsystems.com
Middleburg Yarn Processing Co. Inc. Howard Reese 570-374-1284, Ext. 210
New England Needles Inc. Thomas Lees 800-243-3158 www.newenglandneedles.com
Pacific Spring Inc. Victor Nguyen 626-272-8882
P.T. RubberFoam Indonesia Andreas Janssen 62-21-53662190 www.rubberfoam.co.id
Quilting Inc. Mark Gibney 800-358-0153 www.quiltinginc.com
SABA North America LLC Jim Turner 810-824-4964 www.saba-adhesives.com
Simalfa Darren Gilmore 973-423-9266 www.simalfa.com
Subi単as Confort S.L. Javier Subi単as 34-94-416-04-40 www.subinas.es
Therapedic International Gerry Borreggine 800-314-4433 www.therapedic.com Tietex International Ltd. Wade Wallace 800-843-8390 www.tietex.com
Classifieds For Sale TAPE-EDGE MACHINES, MULTINEEDLE AND SINGLENEEDLE QUILTERS, long-arm label machines, sergers, etc. Contact Victor LeBron, American Plant and Equipment. Phone 864-574-0404; Fax 864-576-7204; Cell 864-590-1700; Email email@example.com; Web www.americanplantandequipment.com. REBUILT AND RECONDITIONED MULTINEEDLE QUILTING MACHINES. Specializing in PATHE precision parts and service. Technical consultants. SEDCO. Phone 201-567-7141; Fax 201-567-5515. TAPE-EDGE MACHINES, QUILTERS AND MISCELLANEOUS SEWING MACHINES. Contact Frank Carlino, U.S. Mattress Machinery. Phone 815-795-6942; Fax 815-795-2178; Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Sale Large quantities of both Damask and knitted mattress ticking. Closeouts available at cheap prices. Contact George Hart, OHCO Inc., 4158 Robinson St., Covington, GA 30014. Phone 770-786-4887; Email email@example.com.
Place your classified ad today!
Reach mattress industry professionals around the world with your advertising message through the BedTimes Classifieds. Rates: $3 per word for the first 100 words and $2.50 thereafter; minimum charge of $75. “Blind” box number: $50 per insertion. Ad copy and payment must be received by the first of the month preceding publication. Send ads and payment to BedTimes Classifieds, 501 Wythe St., Alexandria, VA 22314-1917. Contact Debbie Robbins, advertising production manager, for additional information. Phone 336-342-4217; Fax 336-342-4116; Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
BedTimes | August 2010 |
TheLastWord Study: Migraines tied to irregular sleeping habits A lack of sleep or poor sleep quality can cause migraines or increase their frequency, according to new research. Researchers at Missouri State University found that rats who don’t get enough REM sleep secret low levels of proteins that dampen the nervous system and high levels of proteins that arouse it. One group of rats in the study wasn’t allowed REM sleep for three consecutive nights; another group rested normally. About 36 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches, most having a couple of attacks a month. Getting enough sleep is important for people with migraines, but so is not sleeping too much, American Headache Society President Dr. David Dodick told WebMD Health News. “That’s why ‘Saturday morning’ migraines are so common,” he says. “If someone with migraines who gets up during the week at 6 a.m. sleeps in on Saturday, this can cause a migraine. Sleep routine is very important. People with migraines need to go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time every day.”
Happy cities, happy workers S
killed, talented workers are drawn to cities that provide a good quality of life. So what’s the best metro area? Raleigh, N.C., according to a study from Portfolio.com, a business site for small and mid-size businesses. The study compared the performances of the 67 largest metropolitan areas in 20 statistical categories. “The highest scores went to well-rounded markets with healthy economies, moderate costs of living, light traffic, impressive housing stocks and high-powered educational systems,” Portfolio.com says. The top 10 1. Raleigh, N.C. 2. Washington, D.C. 3. Minneapolis-St. Paul 4. Bridgeport-Stamford, Conn. 5. Salt Lake City 6. Denver 7. Seattle 8. Boston 9. Austin, Texas 10. San Jose, Calif.
Here’s your sign
One issue that continues to befuddle the mattress industry is how best to discuss body impressions with consumers. Buddy Delaney, president of Best Mattress, a factory-direct based in Columbia, S.C., decided on a blunt approach. He has posted three clear, direct signs in the Best Mattress showroom and added similar, smaller labels to mattresses. “Some of my friends in the mattress business thought I was crazy to put them up,” he says. If Delaney’s name sounds familiar, you might have heard him on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” news program. He talked about how his family business has weathered the recession during a segment that aired May 26. You can read the transcript at www.npr.org/templates/story/story. php?storyId=127140663.
Quotable “The worst thing in the world is to try to sleep and not to.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald
52 | BedTimes | August 2010
DOES THE QUALITY OF YOUR LABEL OPERATION REFLECT THE QUALITY OF YOUR BED? Your mattress label may be a customer’s first impression of the quality of your bed, your reputation!
Is the stitching straight? Is it properly aligned? Is it really good enough?
Affordable automation, priceless quality! The PALS 2000 Automatic Border Label Machine is a programmable label-sewing machine that performs perfect stitching on labels of almost any shape. Spacing and sew lines are always consistent while the operator is free to multi-task on other work as the PALS 2000 sews on the label.
Restoring your brand reputation can be expensive, but the PALS 2000 isn’t. It’s the most affordable automatic label machine Porter has ever made.
Automatic Border Label Machine
If you value your company’s image, ask your GSG rep about the affordable PALS 2000 Automatic Border Label Machine. 800-326-4742
• High-speed zig-zag or straight stitch • Up to 500 labels per shift • Secure pneumatic clip holds label • De-skills labor • Automation allows for multi-tasking • Satisfies all safety codes
eco fabrics cottons prints jacquards
Our world wasnâ€™t created in black and white.
blends stitchbonds warp knits filler cloths.
Tietex International Ltd., 3010 North Blackstock Rd., Spartanburg, SC 29301, Ph. 864.574.0500, Fax 864.574.9490, www.tietex.com
The business journal for the sleep products industry