BedTimes FEBRUARY 2011
THE BUSINESS JOURNAL FOR THE SLEEP PRODUCTS INDUSTRY
Create a positive workplace
Product Watch: Mattress kits & quilts Sales tactics to beat the competition
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18 The power of positivity
The wretched economy has put an extra strain on workers—48% of Brits are unhappy at work and 84% of Americans say they will seek a new job this year. How can you help improve morale at your company?
7 Front Matter
When grading corporate America’s recent performance—on everything from producing quality goods to repaying federal bailout money— respondents in a recent survey gave businesses a middling C. They expect companies to do better this year.
9 Product Watch
Consolidation, the recession and the federal open-flame mattress standard all have changed how mattress kit and quilt suppliers do business. BedTimes looks at current trends in the segment.
27 Sales Talk
To keep ahead of your competition, you need a three-pronged strategy to hold onto your best customers, says sales guru Kelley Robertson. Also: Six fundamental habits you can’t afford to neglect.
5 Editor’s Note 31 Industry News 45 Newsmakers 46 ISPA News 48 ISPA Advocacy 50 Up Close 52 Calendar 53 Classifieds 54 Advertisers Index 56 Last Word
BedTimes | February 2011 |
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EDITOR IN CHIEF Julie A. Palm 571-482-5442 email@example.com ASSOCIATE EDITOR Barbara Nelles 336-856-8973 firstname.lastname@example.org CONTRIBUTORS Phillip M. Perry Kelley Robertson Jack Singer Dorothy Whitcomb ART DIRECTOR Stephanie Belcher 336-201-7475 email@example.com Vice President of ADVERTISING Sales Kerri Bellias 571-482-5444 firstname.lastname@example.org Ad Production & CIRCULATION manager Debbie Robbins 571-482-5443 email@example.com COPY EDITOR Margaret Talley-Seijn
BedTimes deadlines Editorial deadlines for the Industry News and Newsmakers sections of the April issue of BedTimes are Tuesday, March 1.
Volume 139 Number 2 BedTimes (ISSN 0893-5556; Permit 047-620) is published monthly by the International Sleep Products Association. Periodicals postage paid in Philadelphia, PA. 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 © 2011 by the International Sleep Products Association. Reprint permission obtainable through BedTimes.
Editor’sNote BedTimes website gets a new look T he BedTimes website has a new design and an easier-to-remember address. We think the site is easier to read and search. Most importantly, it gives us more flexibility in providing you with more of the latest news about the mattress industry. Among the features you’ll find: ➤ The latest industry news ➤ New product trends and showcases ➤ Improved article search function ➤ Complete digital editions of each issue of BedTimes ➤ Editorial calendar and deadlines ➤ Media kit (ad rates, mechanical requirements, ad deadlines) ➤ Subscription information. You can now find us directly at www.bedtimesmagazine.com. If you bookmark our site, make sure to use this new address and visit often. If you’ve linked to BedTimes from any of your websites—we encourage you to do so— please update the link to our new URL. The new site also offers more opportunities for advertisers to spread their messages to BedTimes’ readers online. If you’re interest in advertising on the site, contact Kerri Bellias, vice president of sales, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 571-482-5444. We will continue to make improvements, including adding more content and up-to-the-minute news, such as video reports from furniture markets and industry events. And we’d like your input about other features you’d like to see on the site. If you have suggestions, contact me at email@example.com or 571-482-5442. New phone numbers The International Sleep Products Association has installed an improved
phone system, giving several members of the BedTimes staff new direct telephone numbers. Check the box to the left for your editorial and advertising contacts. Special Interzum Cologne issues Interzum Cologne is just a few months away. The world’s largest trade show of home furnishings components and equipment will be May 25-28 at Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany. BedTimes plans three special issues—a preview in April, a show issue in May that will have bonus distribution on the show floor and a wrap-up in July. If you are a supplier showing new products, send us the information by Tuesday, March 1 for inclusion in the April issue or Friday, April 1 to be part of the May issue. BT
Julie A. Palm BedTimes | February 2011 |
PATRON: HRH THE PRINCE OF WALES
FrontMatter Public gives corporate America C grade Consumers say they expect more from businesses this year
mericans were disappointed by how the nation’s businesses conducted themselves last year, with 61% saying corporate America failed to live up to their expectations, according to a new survey. When asked to grade how well corporate America performed in 2010, 82% of respondents gave businesses a grade of C or lower, with 40% assigning them a D or F. Just 17% gave corporate America an A or B. (Some percentage totals don’t add up to 100% because of rounding.) The survey of 1,081 Americans was conducted by StrategyOne, a Daniel J. Edelman research firm with offices around the world. Americans expect the country’s businesses to do better this year. According to the survey, nearly seven in 10 report having higher expectations for corporate America in 2011 than they did in 2010 and an optimistic six in 10 believe those expectations will be met. What do Americans want businesses to focus on? Improving the economy and reducing unemployment, promoting ethical corporate behavior, paying back any federal bailout money, making high-quality products and services that require fewer recalls and, overall, making fewer mistakes. Other survey highlights: ➤ Some 88% of consumers say it is “extremely” or “very important” that companies help get the economy back on track in 2011. Only 17% of respondents gave companies an A or B for their efforts in this area in 2010; 84% gave companies a C or below. ➤ Similarly, 88% say it is “extremely” or “very important” to conduct business in an ethical manner in 2011 and 87% say it should be a top priority to do business www.bedtimesmagazine.com
in an honest and moral way. But just 17% of Americans awarded companies an A or B for honest and moral conduct in 2010 and only 18% gave them an A or B for ethics. ➤ Roughly 85% of consumers think it’s “extremely” or “very important” for companies to deliver high-quality products and services in 2011; only 31% gave companies an A or B for doing so last year. ➤ Some 84% of Americans think companies need to demonstrate good governance in 2011, but only 16% felt corporations earned an A or B for their efforts last year. ➤ Roughly 83% of respondents say
it’s vital for corporations to pay back any federal bailout money loaned to them as quickly as possible in 2011. Some 78% of consumers gave companies a C or below on this issue in 2010. ➤ About 82% say it should be a top priority for companies to make fewer mistakes and errors in 2011. Just 19% gave companies an A or B for this last year. “With consumers highly dissatisfied with U.S. businesses, the 2011 strategy for corporate America needs to be ‘back to basics’,” says Bradley Honan, StrategyOne senior vice president. “Explaining not only what they do for the country, but
‘Corporate America should—and indeed must—engage in important issues of the day where they can make a demonstrably positive difference.’ how and why they do itu needs to be the game plan for how to rebuild corporate reputation.” Honan continues: “Let’s be clear. Americans are not dreaming up some far-out vision of utopia. Instead, they are being realistic that corporate America should—and indeed must—engage in important issues of the day where they can make a demonstrably positive difference. That means the economy and jobs for starters, but also ensuring their products are safe and not harmful to use and that they simply conduct their day-to-day business activities in an honest, ethical and transparent manner.” BT
BedTimes | February 2011 |
ProductWatch Kit & quilt suppliers adapt to changing times Specialty sleep, FR standard shape product offerings By Barbara Nelles
t one time, mattress kit and quilt suppliers offered bedding producers a rather basic product mix—mattress kits containing quilted panels, a quilted border and a foundation cover; quilt rolls; and other presewn mattress components. Their business was largely regional, supplying smaller mattress makers who didn’t have the means to invest in quilting equipment and labor. The ongoing decline in mom-andpop manufacturers, the implementation of a federal open-flame mattress standard in 2007 and the recent recession all have taken a bite out of the kit, quilt and contract sewing business, suppliers told BedTimes. But these suppliers are finding new niches. In addition to still offering a catalog of standard kits, suppliers are acting as design experts, providers of ever-more complex custom sewing operations, sources for zippered covers and resources for FR guidance (see story on Page 14). Today’s typical mattress kit requires minimal assembly, even as bed designs have become more ornate. It might include a bottom panel sewn to a tack-and-jump border with decorative ribbon applications and a top panel with an inner deck to hold micro-coils, specialty foams or even heating and cooling elements. The popularity of the zippered cover has been a boon to many suppliers, since mattress manufacturers—regardless of size—are not generally equipped to fabricate them on-site. Mattress manufacturers’ interest in offering sleep accessories such as pillows and toppers for retail display and consumer www.bedtimesmagazine.com
Labor-intensive More ornate mattress covers can take up to an hour to construct, part of the reason mattress makers turn to kit and quilt suppliers, according to VyMaC Corp.
Meeting design demands Ideal Quilting Ltd. offers Kultur software, which allows customers to create up to 14,000 different looks by changing various design elements.
Multiservice providers Mattress kit and quilt suppliers like Quilting Inc. say mattress manufacturers of all sizes find benefits to using their services and products.
purchase has opened another area of growth for kit and quilt suppliers. Who turns to outsourced sewing? Who buys mattress kits, covers and sewn components? Everyone from small Internet-based specialty sleep retailers to the family-owned independents to the national mattress brands, suppliers say. Kit and quilt companies handle a producer’s overflow sewing operations, preventing them from having to add a second or third shift or they may supply all the covers for a bedding major’s entire high-end line. “For the majors, we can work with economy and speed and sew it faster than they would,” says Adam Lava, sales manager of A. Lava & Son Co. in Chicago, which offers a full range of kits, quilts, zippered covers and custom sewing services. “We’re a one-stop shop from
concept to commercialization. Small players can produce looks similar to the national brands by outsourcing to us.” “Smaller mattress manufacturers can offer a higher end product than they have the capability to produce and they don’t have to hold large inventories of components or finished goods. Plus, they get to utilize the buying power of a large operation,” says Dave Pritchett, operations manager at Quilting Inc. in Plain City, Ohio. The company specializes in custom quilted components and mattress kits. “Today, most mattress manufacturers are assemblers of beds—not cutand-sew operations,” Lava says. “Maybe they were back when the industry was less automated and there was more measuring and cutting, but not anymore. And manufacturers aren’t buying a ton of covers from overseas because
BedTimes | February 2011 |
New opportunities Zipper kits enable startup mattress companies, says PPI’s Todd Schmidt: ‘You can create your own foam build-up, buy the covers and you’re in business.’
Zippy sales Sunds Velour A/S says about half of its current production is zippered covers, which the company offers for mattresses and accessories.
Pretty as a picture Supreme Quilting says it tries to ‘stay ahead of the curve design-wise’ with European styling and ‘picture frame’ panels.
they need quick turnaround. ‘Just-intime’ is an industry mantra. I get orders on Monday and ship on Friday.”
to zipper kits to individual components and sleep accessories covers. “It’s important for us to stay ahead of the curve design-wise. We’ve moved toward more European styling such as the ‘picture frame’ top panel and we need to be able to offer design advice to customers. They depend on us to be able to change on the go, because they can’t,” says Steven Finkelstein, president of Supreme Quilting in Etobicoke, Ontario, a supplier of kits, quilts, zippered covers and custom sewing. Ideal Quilting Ltd. has added 15 new designs to its catalog and recently launched its Kultur design software, which allows customers to create as many as 14,000 different looks by changing borders, quilts, colors, handles and other mattress accents. “We see ourselves as more than a supplier—as a design assistant, R&D resource and development partner to manufacturers,” says Paul Sharon, vice
president of sales and product development at the North York, Ontario-based company. Ideal Quilting specializes in zipper kits and custom work.
Demand for high-design Suppliers in the segment say their growing design capabilities also benefit mattress manufacturers. “Some covers can take over an hour apiece to construct,” says Dave Young, chief executive officer of mattress sewing contractor VyMaC Corp. in Fort Atkinson, Wis. “We’re doing some really fascinating stuff with thick, deluxe panels and intricate tack-and-jump borders with accessory add-ons. We’re asked to insert encased coils or specialty foams and gels and sew them into the cover. Instead of running the same fluffy rectangles through your plant year after year, we offer an opportunity to bring in high design.” VyMaC produces a full range of sewn components, from traditional kits
10 | BedTimes | February 2011
Rise of the zippered cover Zippered covers in stretchy double-knit for use on specialty foam beds are one of the biggest areas of growth in the kit and quilt business. And suppliers expect the zippered cover business to continue growing as interest in specialty sleep expands. “Obviously there has been a major focus on reducing costs during the last few years,” says Steffen Rømer, vice president of sales at knit ticking and zipper cover supplier Sunds Velour A/S in Sunds, Denmark. “In some cases, this has resulted in the outsourcing of zipper cover production. Half our production ships out in the form of zipper covers today.” Tempur-Pedic launched the simple, iconic style with its original wrapped,
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Specialty sleep ‘People don’t want their expensive specialty sleep mattress to look like an innerspring bed,’ says Adam Lava, whose company, A. Lava & Son Co., designed this cover for Sealy’s Embody line.
zippered cover, but the look has evolved over time into something much more decorative. Now there are waterfall edges, picture frame panels, cording, suede borders, highly textural super-stretch tickings with ornate stitch patterns, contrasting yarn colors and more. “Sewing zippered covers is something many in the mattress manufacturing industry are not prepared to tool up for,” Sharon says. “But we are. And now we’re adding specialty cuttings, angled corners and bands and grips with different colored threads and top stitching.” “Specialty sleep is more fashion and color conscious,” Young says. “We’re doing different looks and bringing in upholstery ticks and jumbo patterns with 24-inch repeats.” “The important thing to remember is that people don’t want their expensive specialty sleep mattress to look like an innerspring bed,” Lava says. “They’re using nontraditional fabrics, upholstery
12 | BedTimes | February 2011
fabrics—not just damasks or double knits. With our specialized sewing equipment, we can get as creative as we want. Just like with any other piece of furniture, you can sew in piping, cording, ribbon. You can really dress up the bed. It’s the reason people like us have found a niche with zipper covers.” Other recent zipper trends include the use of multiple fabrics in a single cover, as well as increased production of pillow and topper covers because many mattress manufacturers have added those items to their product lines, Rømer says. “Some of our ‘zipper’ covers don’t actually have zippers because manufacturers don’t want the beds to be opened up,” explains Todd Schmidt, president of PPI, a cover supplier based in Riverside, Calif. “These types of kits will usually be taped on the bottom with a tape edge. The availability of zipper kits is also enabling a lot of startup mattress companies. You can create your own foam build-up, buy the covers and you’re in business.” “All you need is a foam core and a table,” adds Finkelstein. Trending now Expect to start seeing zipper covers on innerspring mattresses, too. In addition to adding visual appeal and trendy styling, zipper covers can simplify mattress production and reduce labor costs, suppliers say. “Encased coil units are an untapped
market for zipper covers,” Lava says. “And some mattress manufacturers are looking at putting them on foamencased traditional innerspring beds. It’s something to look at.” “My belief is you’ll be seeing more and more knock-down mattress formats where the kits are very elaborate and exotically sewn and the customer just adds the core innerspring,” Young says. “The biggest trend in kits and covers is people are getting away from quilting by having lots of stretch and recovery in the fabric,” Schmidt says. “We’re the quiet rebels—I hate quilting. It hides the feel of the bed and it costs you more money to manufacture. You can get the quilted look without the quilting from some of the good textile companies.” Other trends in mattress kits and covers include the use of natural fabrics and fills—mainly cotton and wool. Quilting Inc. offers zippered covers in natural cotton with a wool quilt. The covers typically are used on all-latex beds. Most kit and quilt suppliers also are offering matching pillow covers and sometimes topper covers for use in retail displays or for sale directly to the consumer. “We’re seeing more interest in topper and pillow covers, Lava says. “People are taking visco-elastic, sizing it down to a 2- to 3-inch height for a foam topper and adding styling to it with zippers, trim cording, piping and different fabrics. It’s an after-market product mostly, but a growing segment.” BT
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Suppliers become partners in FR compliance Since the implementation of the federal open-flame standard for mattresses in July 2007, mattress kit and quilt suppliers have found themselves taking on a new role—as a partner in helping mattress manufacturers comply with the requirements of 16 CFR Part 1633. Suppliers are designing mattress kits and components that contribute to FR compliance, conducting prototype burns, developing FR supplier networks and more. “We’ve done hundreds and hundreds of burns with our customers and have developed certain products that help our customers be compliant,” says Adam Lava, sales manager of mattress kit, quilt and sewing contractor A. Lava & Son Co. in Chicago. “Our company actually pays for FR testing. We have an arrangement with a testing facility,” says Dave Pritchett, operations manager at Quilting Inc. in Plain City, Ohio. “We will provide a workbook with forms that tell customers how to follow the guidelines and what you
need to do in your facility to pass (an open-flame burn test). The customer only has to build a product and do a confirmation burn.” “We tell manufacturers what they can and can’t do with our kits and how our qualified prototype worked. We can suggest FR vendors to our customers and there are also some inherent tickings we work with that are doing a good job with FR,” says Dave Young, chief executive officer of mattress sewing contractor VyMaC in Fort Atkinson, Wis. Steven Finkelstein, president of kit, quilt and sewing supplier Supreme Quilting in Etobicoke, Ontario, says that with new FR regulations, much of his company’s U.S. business “has evolved more to a finished product.” “And we handle it all, so that all a customer has to do is know what the build of the mattress is and we will give them a prototype. By law, all they need to do is one confirmation burn,” he says.
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FR compliance is not static. Each significant innovation and change in mattress design can necessitate changes in how FR compliance is achieved. For instance, with the increasingly popular zippered covers, the zipper area requires special design considerations to pass an open-flame burn test. “With FR-inherent tickings, zipper placement can get complicated,” says Todd Schmidt, president of PPI, a cover supplier based in Riverside, Calif. “We’ll sew the zipper underneath the mattress where the filler cloth and border join and there will be a 4-inch FR flap sewn behind the zipper. The least expensive method for building FR compliant beds is for manufacturers to use flat FR materials, something that goes on the core like a shower cap or fitted sheet. The zippered cover can be slipped over that.” Ideal Quilting Ltd. has a different method. “We put a flap behind the zipper to act as a fire blockade and now we’ve reset the zipper 2 inches from the border in a ‘picture frame’ top panel,” explains Paul Sharon, vice president of sales and product develop-
ment at the kit and quilt supplier, which has headquarters in North York, Ontario. Supreme Quilting recently introduced a line of natural wool and cotton zippered and nonzippered mattress covers that mattress makers have used to pass FR tests without additional FR barriers, Finkelstein says. As much of a resource of FR information and help as mattress kit and quilt suppliers can be, Young reminds the industry that, in the end, responsibility for 1633 compliance rests with the mattress manufacturer. The manufacturer must be able to build the bed correctly each time, document its work and be responsible if its product fails the FR tests. “There is no such thing as a 1633-compliant kit— only a 1633-compliant mattress,” Young says. “Our customers must do a confirmation burn with their finished product.”
BedTimes | February 2011 |
5 ways to change the
corporate mood Engaged employees are more productive, committed
Recent surveys have found that nearly half (48%) of Brits are unhappy at work and a whopping 84% of Americans say they plan to look for another job in 2011. 2 | BedTimes 18 | BedTimes| February | February2011 2011
By Jack Singer
e live in stressful professional times, filled with uncertainty in the job market and the economy. A large percentage of employees admit to being psychologically disengaged from their jobs. Recent surveys have found that nearly half (48%) of Brits are unhappy at work and a whopping 84% of Americans say they plan to look for another job in 2011. Recent research also shows that among the least happy and least engaged employees, the annual perperson cost of lost productivity due to sick days is more than $28,000â€” versus only $840 among the happiest and most engaged workers. Job stress alone is estimated to cost U.S. industry at least $300 billion a year in absenteeism, diminished productivity, employee turnover and direct medical, legal and insurance fees.
BedTimes BedTimes | February | February 2011 2011 | 19 |3
Provide growth and development programs Most employees appreciate the opportunity to gain new skills and knowledge so they don’t feel stagnant in their jobs. Providing seminars and workshops on a variety of general topics (stress or anger management, wellness, communication, financial management), as well as cross training workers on other job skills enhances organizational effectiveness and improves work quality. Financial support for outside training or college course work is a wonderful benefit to offer employees.
4 What can you do to enhance employee morale and job performance while minimizing job stress? Here are five suggestions:
Encourage goal-setting People are 11 times more likely to reach a goal when they write it down, as opposed to simply thinking about it. Have regular meetings with your team. Encourage them to discuss areas of discontent, then join with them in writing down short- and long-term goals that are specific and action-oriented. For example: “This month, we will have four meetings where we will design and implement our new plan for developing a psychologically healthy workplace. Your goal is to bring an idea with you to each meeting.” Next, ask your team members to visualize themselves feeling great after they’ve accomplished their goals. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, have them write down ways in which they might sabotage themselves so that they don’t accomplish their goals. Encourage them to be honest with themselves about the kinds of thoughts or selfdefeating behaviors they have engaged in before.
Give employees a sense of control Research has shown how important it is to give employees a genuine say in how they do their work. Not only does the perception that management truly cares about their feelings have a powerful impact on their morale, but giving workers some control over their schedule and approach to work tasks dramatically reduces job burnout, absenteeism and turnover. Have frequent meetings with your employees to genuinely listen to their issues and allow them to suggest resolutions. Finally, encourage workers to determine their own strengths and how best to put them to use on their jobs. When this is done, employees are six times as likely to be engaged in their jobs and more than three times as likely to report excellent quality of life at their workplace. Other ways to foster employee involvement: ➤ Self-managed work teams ➤ Employee committees or task forces ➤ Continuous improvement teams ➤ A team-centered hiring process ➤ Participative decision-making.
20 | BedTimes | February 2011
Find ways to recognize your employees It’s not uncommon for companies to provide world-class service to their customers, but they often forget that their most important asset—their employees—need the same. Why not make your employees feel as valued as your customers? By acknowledging their efforts, you can increase employee satisfaction, morale and self-esteem. Some ideas for recognizing workers: ➤ Give unexpected rewards, such as small gift cards, for a job well done ➤ Create a committee from across different departments to plan special events to show appreciation to employees ➤ Provide a free, healthy lunch for employees once a week, once a month or once a quarter (this also helps build relationships and fosters teamwork) ➤ Send notes to workers when they have significant personal events, such as a birth or marriage, or to recognize especially good work ➤ Encourage friendly competition off the job, such as bowling leagues.
Create a warm and enjoyable atmosphere If you want your employees to look forward to Monday mornings, provide an atmosphere that includes levity and camaraderie. Allowing talent and creativity to flourish will keep employees motivated and happy. Ways to add a little fun to the workplace: ➤ Inject funny quotes and cartoons into company memos ➤ Have monthly theme contests where goofy prizes are awarded ➤ Hold a Treat Day once a month—have a manager serve employees popcorn, ice cream bars, etc. If you start using these five strategies in your workplace today, you’ll see amazing results. BT
Jack Singer is a licensed industrial/organizational and clinical/ sports psychologist, professional speaker, management coach and trainer. He is a frequent guest on television news and radio talk shows across the United States and Canada. Singer uses sports psychology techniques to teach executives, sales professionals and business leaders how to maintain their competitive edge. For more information about Singer’s speaking and consulting services, check www.funspeaker.com, www.develop-the-mindset-of-a-champion.com, www.drjacksinger.com or www.askdrjack.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800- 497-9880. www.bedtimesmagazine.com
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Negative behavior can even drive away customers. “Customers who do not want to deal with negative people go someplace else,” she says.
Turning a negative worker into a peak performer By Phillip M. Perry
am makes snide remarks about customers. Ahmet misses deadlines. Silvia frowns behind the boss’ back. And Roberto laughs at his co-workers’ ideas. Do those people sound familiar? Workers with negative attitudes can stall progress at any company. And today the problem seems especially acute as employees come under increasing pressure in their private and professional lives. High unemployment is a chief factor. “Our economy is creating a lot of stress among workers,” says Bonnie Mattick, president of Unforgettable Outcomes, a Phoenix-based consulting firm. “Very often people will bring problems from home into the workplace. If a spouse has been laid off, for example, the remaining wage earner will feel a lot of pressure.” If your own company is one of the many that have reduced their work forces, your remaining employees likely have taken on additional responsibilities and are working longer hours. Even if you’ve managed to weather the economic storm, your workers still may have lingering fears about losing their jobs. It’s tempting to ignore negativity and hope things turn around. But letting bad behaviors slide can be costly. “Negativity, like enthusiasm, is contagious,” says Lenora Billings-Harris, president of Excel Development System, a workplace consulting firm in Greensboro, N.C. “It spreads quickly through any organization. And that affects the bottom line since employees can’t be creative and productive when they are negative.”
22 | BedTimes | February 2011
Go positive How do rid your workplace of a sour atmosphere? Take that fellow Sam from our introductory paragraph. Suppose he made a snide remark about a customer who just left the building and another customer overheard what he said. What do you do? Here’s some help from Dana Barz, president of Danamics, a Portland-based human resources training firm. Try her “Four A’s” technique on Sam—or any other problem employee:
ssess the situation Before you say anything to Sam, define the problem in your own mind. What specifically is upsetting you? “Remember that assessing another person’s negativity is really a judgment call,” Barz says. “So identify the specific behaviors that are causing problems.” In this case, write down exactly what Sam said about the customer and how others reacted to the statement. Then consider what factors, such as other workers, may be contributing to the problem. “Ask if you, as a manager, have contributed to the negativity,” Barz says. “Have you perhaps made your own negative comments about customers, which have been overheard by your employees?” Examine the emotions you are feeling, as well. Have you allowed your own frustrations to affect how you have interacted with Sam in recent weeks?
Review what you’ve written to see if you have covered all of the factors surrounding the incident.
ddress the problem With facts in hand, it’s time to approach Sam. Before starting a conversation, though, assess Sam’s current state of mind. If he’s stressed right now because he just had a bad experience with a customer, he won’t be in the best frame of mind for a discussion. “You might tell Sam, ‘I need to talk with you about something. Is this a good time?’ Then either move to an office for the conversation or decide on a mutually convenient time,” Barz says. “Start the conversation on a positive note,” Barz suggests.
left the store was a “pain in the neck.” Another customer standing nearby overheard you. His eyebrows raised and he shook his head at what he heard you say.’ ” Then state how this might affect the business: “I felt very frustrated because we may have lost a good customer and that means we may not meet our monthly sales goal.”
lways listen to the other side Time for some feedback. “Give Sam a chance to tell his story,” Barz says. Encourage him to open up by asking him a question such as, “What do you think about that?” Use good listening skills. Don’t interrupt Sam while he’s speaking. Indicate that you are listening by nodding. At appropriate times, paraphrase what you have heard to make sure you understand.
gree on a course of action Finally, encourage Sam to become invested in a solution. Ask “How will we move forward?” or “How can I help you avoid doing that again?” Conclude your meeting on a positive note. Say something such as, “Thank you for listening and for helping me to make this work.” In the days and weeks after the meeting, take steps to help Sam eliminate negativity. Use positive reinforcement when you see Sam communicate positive feelings about customers.
‘Negativity leads to low morale, which leads to decreased productivity and performance. So it’s important to address the problem before it gets out of hand.’ You might use phrasing such as “I really like working with you and you are enthusiastic about customer service. Here is a problem I am currently facing.” Don’t use the word “but” in that sentence, Barz cautions. It seems to negate the positive things you’ve just said. Then explain what happened, Barz says. “Don’t just say, ‘You were rude with a customer.’ Instead, state specifics such as, ‘Yesterday I heard you say that a customer who had just
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Motivate workers As Sam’s story suggests, successful counseling invests the employee in a solution. “When you say you can turn around an employee, it implies you can change that person—and you really can’t,” says Jack Altschuler, president of Fully Alive Leadership in Northbrook, Ill. “Threats and sticks can create compliance, but will also be dispiriting. You are guaranteeing you will not get a person’s best efforts using those tools.” Whatever you do, don’t wait too long to counsel your employee, Altschuler says. “Hold a meeting before emotions get the better of you,” he says. “Avoid falling into a situation in which you and the employee get more and more angry and then, instead of conversation, there is an explosion.” Confronting negative employees can be a daunting challenge. But creating a group of motivated workers protects your bottom line. “Negativity leads to low morale, which leads to decreased productivity and performance,” Mattick says. “So it’s important to address the problem before it gets out of hand.” BT www.bedtimesmagazine.com
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SalesTalk Keep competitors away from your customers 3 steps can make you invaluable By Kelley Robertson
very company feels the pressure of competition. At this very moment, a competitor is likely beating a path to one of your customer’s doors in an effort to get the business. Some of your competitors will be more aggressive than you are and will succeed in getting your customer’s attention. If that happens, there’s a good chance you’ll lose. If you’re proactive in differentiating yourself and your company from your competition, you may be able to prevent them from uprooting you. Your goal is to develop a strategic partnership with your customers instead of the typical vendor/supplier relationship. Here are three strategies you can use to block your competition and maintain your foothold:
Increase the value you bring to your customers Every time you meet with, talk to or otherwise connect with a customer, add value to the interaction. Share industry insights to help them achieve their goals. Keep them abreast of trends in the marketplace. Provide them with articles, white papers or other information you come across that may be of value. Of course, the only way to do this effectively is to learn more about your customers’ specific needs and interests. What’s important to them and their business? What challenges are they experiencing? What goals and objectives do they want to achieve? Spend time learning these details and you can quickly determine what information will be of most benefit to each customer. www.bedtimesmagazine.com
Increase “face” time You don’t necessarily need to make more individual sales calls. Instead, think about industry events, conferences and trade shows that your customers attend and make arrangements to be there, too. I once attended an industry conference with many key decision-makers I wanted to meet. I made a good contact with one person and that connection generated a profitable sale. (Chances are some of your customers will be at the ISPA Industry Conference and Exhibition March 16-18 in St. Petersburg, Fla. For more information, check www.sleepproducts.org/ industryconference.) The great thing about conferences and other events is that your customers may have more time to talk, be more relaxed and face fewer interruptions. But don’t attend these events with the intent of selling. Rather, follow my first suggestion and think about what you can do to add value to interactions with your customers.
Increase “touch points” Many of your customers will welcome more contact from you, so increase the number of times you connect via email, phone, face-to-face meetings, direct mail, text messages, etc. Again, the key is to provide real value through each contact.
A few suggestions: Send a handwritten postcard with an interesting business proposal, leave a brief voice mail with a clever idea to improve business or send an email with 10 productivity tips. Although these ideas sound simple, the execution requires planning. You need to carve out time in your schedule and target your campaign to each customer. The investment will pay off when your competitors reach your key contact and hear, “We love our vendor and have no desire to consider a change.” You also can use these ideas to edge out a competitor from a company you’d like to add to your roster. Then that competitor may end up hearing, “We’ve decided to try someone else.” Sweet words. BT © MMX Kelley Robertson. All rights reserved. Kelley Robertson, author of The Secrets of Power Selling, has been helping sales professionals master sales conversations and seal more deals since 1995. Robertson conducts sales training workshops and speaks regularly at meetings and conferences. Contact him at 905-633-7750 or email@example.com. Get a free copy of 100 Ways to Increase Your Sales by subscribing to Robertson’s free newsletter, 59 Seconds to Sales Success, at www.fearless-selling.ca.
BedTimes | February 2011 |
Stay on track with 6 must-do sales tasks By Kelley Robertson
y wife and I moved to a new subdivision last year and shortly thereafter, the sod installers arrived to cover the dull brown dirt with bright green grass. The builder told us to water our new lawn for approximately two hours every day for the first couple of weeks to ensure that the sod would take hold and thrive. Apparently, several neighboring homeowners disregarded the instructions: Their grass turned brown and died. Unfortunately, the same type of neglect happens in sales. Salespeople forget or ignore concepts fundamental to their success and then watch their sales fall off.
Here are six things you should never neglect: Personal development Too many people stop learning and fail to integrate new strategies and ideas into their work habits. What worked before may not be relevant today. Just because you attended a training program a few years ago doesnâ€™t mean your skills are current. Make time to read the latest business books, participate in an online training program or attend an industry conference. (The ISPA Industry Conference and Exhibition March 16-18 in St. Petersburg, Fla., is a great place to learn and pick up new ideas. For more information and to register, check www.sleepproducts.org/ industryconference.)
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Recharging Taking time to rest is essential if you want a longterm career in sales. Letâ€™s face it: Selling is challenging and requires a tremendous amount of effort and energy, especially in todayâ€™s difficult business environment. Recharging your batteries can give you renewed energy and inspiration, not to mention new ideas. Take your allotted vacation. Time away allows you to return refreshed. Even a few days away can make a difference.
Networking When starting a career in sales or a new job, many people aggressively network. But, as time passes and their sales grow, their efforts at networking fall away. They get caught up in the
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day-to-day busyness of their job and stop making time to connect with others. You should never stop networking.
The pipeline Some people experience major fluctuations in their sales. This is usually a result of not keeping their pipeline full of new prospects. A general rule of thumb is to ensure that you have 300% of your sales quota in your pipeline at any given time.
Cold calls There’s a reason that the vast majority of salespeople rely on this age-old strategy. It works—and neglecting it can seriously affect your results. You may not enjoy calling strangers (I don’t know many people who do) but it reliably generates business.
Follow-up Although I’ve saved it for last, follow-up is one of the most important concepts for sales success. Many of my prospects and customers have said, “Thanks
for following up” when I finally connected with them after making multiple attempts. Decision-makers are extremely busy and neglecting to follow up after an initial meeting can cost you the sale. You won’t see the results of neglect overnight, but if you let things go long enough, you’ll feel the devastating effects. What are you neglecting? What are you going to do about it? BT © MMX Kelley Robertson. All rights reserved. Kelley Robertson, author of The Secrets of Power Selling, has been helping sales professionals master sales conversations and seal more deals since 1995. Robertson conducts sales training workshops and speaks regularly at meetings and conferences. Contact him at 905-633-7750 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Get a free copy of 100 Ways to Increase Your Sales by subscribing to Robertson’s free newsletter, 59 Seconds to Sales Success, at www.fearless-selling.ca.
Taking time to rest is essential if you want a long-term career in sales.
BedTimes | February 2011 |
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Tired of wasting time searching for the lowest prices available for your quilting machine’s consumables? We want our customers to know that we purchase and manufacture in large volume so that we can offer the consumables, tools, and spare parts you need at LOWER prices than our competitors! These include, but are not limited to: Shuttles, Design Cams & Computer Designs, Ratchets & Gearing, Knives & Hubs, Sharpening Stones, Needles for Chainstitch & Lockstitch (for Emco, Pathe, and Gribetz), Threading Hooks, Complete Emco Looper Assemblies, Spreaders, etc.
IndustryNews Sealy opens first factory in China M
attress major Sealy has opened its first production facility in China, a 100,000-square-foot factory outside Shanghai. A joint venture, Sealy China is owned and operated by Sealy Inc. and a licensee, Sealy Australia. Sealy says the plant underscores its long-term commitment to the Chinese market and further reinforces its strategy to expand in high-growth international markets. Sealy China has been operating retail outlets and distributing imported Sealy products since early 2009. “We are very pleased to open this new production facility and believe we are well positioned to grow the Sealy brand in this dynamic market,” said Larry Rogers, president and chief executive officer of the company, which
has headquarters in Trinity, N.C. “Sealy now has a robust and growing distribution network of 20 retail stores in 16 major Chinese cities and our longterm objective is to build Sealy into the No. 1 bedding brand in China.” In addition to producing beds for the retail sector, the new plant will manufacture mattresses and foundations for Sealy China’s contract hospitality business in the country. “Our next step is to open a research and development center in Shanghai in early 2011, which would be Sealy’s first research facility in Asia,” said Simon Dyer, CEO of
Natura World goes national at Bloomingdale’s with latex
attress and sleep accessories producer Natura World is launching a new latex mattress collection at Bloomingdale’s stores and on Bloomingdales.com, expanding its relationship with the retailer to a national level. Natura World began supplying Bloomingdale’s East Coast stores in 2010. “Natura has been successfully producing natural and organic bedding for over 15 years and now we enter a new era with three exclusively designed, elegant offerings debuting at Bloomingdale’s,” said Ralph Rossdeutscher, president of Natura World, which has headquarters in Cambridge, Ontario. “Each sleep set has been expertly crafted by Natura artisans for the discerning Bloomingdale’s shopper searching for high-quality, healthy sleep products made sustainably and with respect for the environment.” The Natura Latex Collection for Bloomingdale’s features the Retreat, Renew and Escape models, each with three comfort levels: firm, luxury and dual. The mattresses feature a variety of constructions and components, including organic wool and cotton and natural Talalay latex. The Bloomingdale’s collection is being manufactured in Natura’s Cambridge facility, but production soon will be moved to the company’s new facility in Wichita Falls, Texas. www.bedtimesmagazine.com
Sealy Australia and general manager of Sealy China. “It will enable Sealy China to develop new products specifically for Chinese consumers and better serve our dealers and consumers in the region.”
Canada OKs tougher product safety law
The Canadian Parliament has passed the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act to give the country’s product safety regulators broader authority to enforce safety rules and recall consumer products. Specifically, the new law: ➤ prohibits the manufacture, importation, advertisement or sale of any consumer products that pose an unreasonable danger to human health or safety ➤ requires industry to report to regulators serious incidents or deaths related to their products and to provide timely information about important product safety issues ➤ requires manufacturers and importers to provide test or study results for products when asked ➤ authorizes Health Canada to recall dangerous consumer products ➤ raises fines and penalties for noncompliance. For more information, check the Health Canada website, www.hc-sc.gc.ca. On the site, you also can sign up for email updates about the new law.
BedTimes | February 2011 |
Eclipse awarded patent for Zoned Quilt Technology
Eclipse International, a mattress manufacturer and licensing group with headquarters in North Brunswick, N.J., has been issued a patent for its Zoned Quilt Technology. The technology uses a “densified” quilt pattern with an added layer of memory foam to provide better lumbar support and reduce body impressions. The invention reduces mattress manufacturing costs, improves mattress durability and provides additional comfort, the company states in its patent. In addition, Zoned Quilt Technology differentiates Eclipse mattresses from other beds on the retail floor by creating a visual explanation of the improved support the mattress provides, said Eclipse President Matthew Connolly. “Mattress manufacturers are finding it can help to increase sales,” Connolly says. “So far, we have been experiencing a lot of success with this new patented technology.”
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Short U.S. mattress sales up 8.5% in November After a slump in October, unit sales (mattresses and foundations) rose 8.5% in November 2010 when compared to the same month a year earlier, according to the latest Bedding Barometer, a monthly sales activity report from the International Sleep Products Association. The wholesale dollar value of those sales also rose—up 6% in November 2010 over November 2009. In contrast, the average unit selling price fell 2.3% in November.
Eastman House opens Beijing showroom B
edding Solutions Holdings/Eastman House of China has opened a second Eastman House showroom, this one in the B&Q store in Beijing. Led by Peter Yau, Bedding Solutions is positioning its showrooms and products to cater to the premium segment of the bedding market in China. Yau called consumer response to the opening of the new showroom â€œvery encouraging.â€? The first Eastman House showroom in China opened in October 2009 at the Hoba Furniture Mall in Shenzhen. The company plans to open two more showrooms in high-end furniture malls in Beijing by the end of the year. Eastman House, a mattress producer and licensing group, is owned by Mattress Development Co., the parent of licensing group Eclipse InternaExpanding presence The second Eastman House showroom in China is in the B&Q store tional, and is based in North Brunswick, N.J. in Beijing. Two more Beijing locations are planned by the end of the year. B&Q is the No. 1 home improvement and garden center retailer in Europe and the third largest in the and more than 60 locations in other countries. Its Beijing world, with more than 320 stores in the United Kingdom store is the largest B&Q unit in the world.
BedTimes | February 2011 |
S&F makes major donation to Salvation Army S
tearns & Foster, the high-end brand and business unit of mattress producer Sealy, has given new mattress sets with a retail value of $1 million to Salvation Army residential shelters. Stearns & Foster teamed up with its retailers and based the donation on the number of mattresses sold at retail from
Nov. 22 through Jan. 3. Participating retailers also supported their local Salvation Army shelters by taking part in a matching gift program. “We were so pleased with the success of our first Gift of Sleep event for Stearns & Foster, having reached our maximum level of donation of $1 mil-
lion,” said Louis Bachicha, executive vice president of sales for Sealy, which has headquarters in Trinity, N.C. “We cannot thank our retail partners enough for their tremendous support of the program to help such a great cause.” Nationwide, Salvation Army shelters operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, providing services—including food, counseling and financial assistance— to men, women and children. “The donation fulfills a very basic need for the 30 million Americans who rely on assistance from the Salvation Army,” said Maj. George Hood, Salvation Army national community relations secretary. “We look forward to distributing this generous gift to our communities and seeing the impact a good night’s sleep is sure to have.”
Correction A listing in “Product Watch” in the November 2010 issue of BedTimes was incorrect. It should have read: Innofa, a mattress fabric producer with world headquarters in Tilburg, Netherlands, is showcasing its patented AirVent, a fabric with an air grid that naturally improves mattress ventilation. “As we toss and turn during our sleep, the mattress is ‘automatically’ aired,” the company says. Depending on mattress construction, AirVent can provide up to 100% improved ventilation over double-knit covers of similar weight, according to Innofa. The fabrics have breathable air grids whose placement varies from design to design. The grids can be customized to align with existing air channels in a mattress core.
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Sleep to Live hosts summit, rolls out bedMATCH
he Sleep to Live Institute, a sleep research center in Joplin, Mo., that is funded by mattress producer Kingsdown, hosted Sleep Summit 2011 on Jan. 5 in New York. At the event, the Sleep to Live Institute presented new research findings and rolled out a new sleep diagnostic system based on those findings. Among the summit presenters and panelists were veteran medical journalists Dr. Bob Arnot and Dr. Nancy Snyderman, as well as sleep researchers Robert Oexman, director of the Sleep to Live Institute; Thomas Roth of Henry Ford Hospital; and Sonia Ancoli-Israel of the University of California at San Diego School of Medicine. Andrew Krystal, director of the Insomnia and Sleep Research Program at Duke University School of Medicine, presented findings from the “Mattress Matters” study on which Kingsdown’s new bedMATCH system is based. The study was sponsored by the Sleep to Live Institute in collaboration with research firm RTI International. Key findings include the fact that the mattress can have specific impacts on sleep quality and common health complaints, especially daytime aches and grogginess. “The findings from the ‘Mattress Matters’ study are remarkable,” Krystal said. “After analyzing 128 healthy, pain-free adults, we discovered that there is a statistically significant correlation between how mattress support affects sleep quality, pain and daytime function.” Another key finding of the study is that participants generally did not do a good job of choosing the best mattress for their own sleep needs. That is where the bedMATCH system comes in, the Mebane, N.C.-based bedding producer said. BedMATCH uses statistical measurements and calculations to help
consumers pick the right mattress. “The bedMATCH system is the culmination of clinical research and collected sleep profiles from millions of consumers,” Oexman said. “For the first time, we’re able to show the scientific link between mattress choice and a person’s health and well-being.
Buying a mattress is a major purchase and bedMATCH simplifies the process.” The system can be used to fit participants for the correct sleep surface across bedding brands. It is expected to be available at select retailers early this year.
BedTimes | February 2011 |
Carpenter pillow video named to Time’s Top 10
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Except as otherwise noted, all marks used are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Henkel and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and elsewhere. ® = registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. © Henkel Corporation, 2010. All rights reserved. 6991 (12/10)
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ime magazine has named the music video “2 Guys 600 Pillows,” commissioned by bedding industry supplier Carpenter Co., one of the Top 10 Talented Web Videos of 2010. The video was created by Rhett & Link, self-proclaimed “Internetainers,” who perform their song “My Favorite Pillow” in reverse. “The video would be fabulous enough forwards— who doesn’t love pillows?—but run it backwards and it’s even better,” Time said. “Suddenly, floating pillows perform on command, miraculously shaping themselves into forts, giant toilets and the perfect trampoline companions. But perhaps the most impressive feat of the video is how Rhett & Link mouthed the words to their song in reverse.” “We’re honored that Time named the video to its Top 10 list,” said Dan Schecter, vice president of consumer products for Carpenter, which has headquarters in Richmond, Va. “As part of our ongoing efforts to educate America on the benefits of better sleep, we jumped into online videos and social media marketing last year. It has been a great success both in sheer numbers, but more importantly in the level of engagement we are seeing on Sleepbetter.org and on our Facebook page.” Rhett & Link’s video is part of Carpenter’s online video and social media campaign aimed at drawing viewers into a conversation about better sleep. A second video, “Paranormal Pillow,” launched in October in support of a bedroom makeover Facebook contest. www.bedtimesmagazine.com
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Contact a sales representative to negotiate a special discount when signing your annual expendable parts agreement. As the leading supplier of automated sewing workstations, we are proud to offer a 72 hours or FREE policy. AAC pledges unequaled service and support to our valued customers. We pledge to maintain inventories of the recommended expendable spare parts for our automated workstations and to ship those replacement parts within 72 hours. If the expendable replacement parts are not shipped within 72 hours they will be... Free of Charge! Contact sales for the recommended spare parts list and the model workstations covered.
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Kluft to receive City of Hope award
he City of Hope cancer research and treatment center in Los Angeles will honor Earl Kluft, chief executive officer of luxury mattress producer E.S. Kluft & Co., with its Lifetime Achievement Award for his philanthropic contributions and business accomplishments. Kluft is set to receive the award June 6 at the 20th annual West Coast Golf and Tennis Tournament at Coto de Caza Golf and Racquet Club in Orange County, Calif. The event is hosted by City of Hopeâ€™s National Home Furnishings Industry chapter. Kluft grew up in the mattress business, working at the company founded by his grandfather, and his efforts have long been associated with hand-tailored, ultra-premium mat-
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38 | BedTimes | February 2011
tress production. Kluft was the creator of the luxury Chattam & Wells brand, which was acquired by Spring Air. He went on to purchase the Aireloom mattress brand. E.S. Kluft & Co. is based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. City of Hope has been designated a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute. For more information about the center, visit its website, www.coh.org. To register for the tournament or purchase dinner tickets, email Shannon Sullivan, City of Hope director of development, at email@example.com. Lifetime of achievement Earl Kluft, shown here at the E.S. Kluft & Co., showroom at the World Market Center in Las Vegas, is being recognized for his philanthropic efforts and professional accomplishments.
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Shorts Ideal Quilting adds design tool, blog Mattress kit and zippered cover supplier Ideal Quilting Ltd., with headquarters in North York, Ontario, has launched Kultur design software at its website, www.idealquilting.com. The application, in combination with Ideal’s advanced sewing equipment, allows customers to create and view custom mattress designs by choosing panel and border patterns, colored threads, coordinating handles, accent buttons, custom trims and more. The company is blogging about its software and mattress design in general at its new blog, http://mattressdesign.blogspot.com. Paul Sharon, vice president of sales and product development, has been leading the company’s design initiatives.
Bodet & Horst USA relocates Fabric supplier Bodet & Horst USA has moved its offices, showroom and warehouse from Mount Airy, N.C., to Greensboro, N.C. As part of the relocation, the company has consolidated all knitting, finishing and cut-and-sew operations for the Americas in El Salvador. The new office address is 4225 Tudor Lane, Suite 101, Greensboro, NC 27410. The office phone is 336-786-4811. Karsten Siewert, Bodet & Horst USA vice president of sales and marketing, can be contacted directly via his cell phone at 336-710-0194.
WorldBed provides 20,000 emergency beds To date, the humanitarian aid organization WorldBed has delivered more than 20,000 emergency field beds to disaster zones in Haiti, Chile and Pakistan. “Reaching this first major milestone for WorldBed could not have been fathomable without the contributions of individuals and dozens of organizations from both within and beyond the home furnishings industry,” said Laura Castro, executive director of the Corona, Calif.-based organization. The emergency field beds are easy for users to roll up and carry with them and have a waterproof, medical-grade mattress cover. They ship in pallets of 50. Donations to WorldBed may be made online at www.worldbed.org.
BedTimes | February 2011 |
Report: Manufacturing declined in 2010
ndustrial employment in the United States fell 3.3% and the number of U.S. manufacturers dropped 4.1% in 2010, according to Manufacturers’ News Inc., a publisher of industrial directories in all 50 states that is based in Evanston, Ill. According to the publisher’s most recent editions, there were 357,862 manufacturers employing roughly 16.3 million people in the United States in 2010, compared to the 370,230 manufacturers and nearly 17 million workers recorded in previous editions of its directories. “Technology has driven down manufacturing employment,” said Tom Dubin, Manufacturers’ News president. “Even as demand and production return to prerecession levels, fewer employees are needed
40 | BedTimes | February 2011
in the manufacturing process because of automation and robotics. Highly skilled workers trained in today’s technology will continue to be in great demand, but the days of well-paid, low-skilled assembly line workers are gone forever.” According to the publisher, Michigan topped the list of states that lost the most industrial employment last year, with a decline of 79,101 jobs. California was a close second, losing 78,723 jobs. North Carolina’s industrial jobs fell by 51,831, Indiana’s by 39,451 and Florida’s by 38,278. States that lost the least number of jobs included Alaska (-31), Hawaii (-754), North Dakota (-1,028), Wyoming (-1,028) and West Virginia (-1,403).
Short Sleep drug ups risk for falls Adults who take a commonly prescribed sleep medication are significantly more at risk for nighttime falls and suffer cognitive impacts, according to a study from the University of Colorado at Boulder. The study showed that 58% of older adults and 27% of young adults who took zolpidem showed a significant loss of balance when awakened two hours after sleep. The generic zolpidem is sold under several brand names, including Ambien. In addition to the balance problems caused by zolpidem, the study showed that waking up two hours after taking zolpidem enhances grogginess.
Sleepy’s celebrates new year by helping new parents
ecognizing that new parents are woefully sleep-deprived, sleep shop chain Sleepy’s celebrated the new year by giving parents of the first babies born in 2011 new Dr. Breus brand beds. Parents of newborns in Boston; New York; Philadelphia; Richmond, Va.; and Washington, D.C., were to receive the beds, which are manufactured by International Bedding in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. In announcing the contest, Sleepy’s cited a survey showing that parents of newborns miss out on six months worth of sleep in their child’s first two years. “New parents may worry that their fate is years of sleeplessness, and it’s true that many struggle to get a restful night of sleep,” said Michael Breus,
a clinical psychologist and a diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine who is known as the Sleep Doctor. “The better rested you are, the healthier parent you are. The key is to help the baby match his/her parents’
sleeping schedule. Parents should make sure the little one gets on a sleep schedule as soon as they can.” Sleepy’s, based in Hicksville, N.Y., has more than 700 retail stores in 13 states.
BedTimes | February 2011 |
New Strategies for Reshaping Your Business
RegisteR today and enteR to win an apple ipad! Sponsored by:
Keynote: ‘Blue Oceans’ – Navigating your way to undiscovered markets
The All-Industry Event for Mattress Manufacturers, Retailers, and Suppliers l
Discover how to transform your business by changing the way you interact with customers Hear a panel of mattress manufacturing and retail executives as they discuss the issues and obstacles to establishing more productive, collaborative partnerships Learn about the latest developments in used mattress recycling, including the results of a recent pilot program, retailer involvement and emerging trends Hear important information for manufacturers and retailers on how the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act will affect your business
Dr. Roch Parayre, business strategist and fellow at the Wharton School will share how companies such as Netflix and Southwest Airlines have achieved industry dominance, not by battling competitors, but by identifying “blue oceans,” the untapped innovative market spaces ready for growth. Find how how you can help your business flourish by uncovering your own “blue oceans.”
March 16-18, 2011 | St. Petersburg, FL Information-packed sessions with expert speakers! Manufacturer-Retailer Panel: How Can We Work Better…Together? In a candid discussion
you’ll hear what industry executives have to say about the issues, the obstacles and their perspectives on how retailers and manufacturers can establish more productive, collaborative partnerships.
Put Money in Your Pocket: Redesigning the Customer Experience. Join Mike Wittenstein to find
out how applying customer experience design concepts to the mattress business can mean big gains for manufacturers, suppliers and retailers.
The Power of Social and Digital Media.
Hear from the Better Sleep Council’s new public relations firm about the importance of using social and digital media to communicate with the masses. Also learn why video is becoming the platform of choice to reach consumers.
The Sustainable Mattress.
Recycling continues to be an important issue for the mattress industry. Hear about ongoing used mattress recycling programs, new mattress recyclers and technology, retailer involvement and other efforts to address these issues.
Network and Build Relationships at Relaxed Social Events! Connect with customers, colleagues, and business partners. Don’t miss the annual ISPA Golf Tournament!
ISPA Women’s Network Cocktail Reception Calling all women in the mattress industry! Help celebrate the new ISPA Women’s Network, a volunteer networking and professional group established to serve the rapidly growing number of women in all sectors of the industry — manufacturers, retailers, and suppliers!
Renaissance Vinoy® Resort & Golf Club Bring your family or guest to this elegant hotel on Tampa Bay featuring a championship golf course and spa just minutes from the excitement of St. Pete Beach. Discounted hotel rates for Conference attendees. Book your hotel room now — before they sell out!
CPSIA Implementation: Am I Complying?
The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 presents significant questions manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers of consumer products. This overview will help you navigate the new rules and understand your new obligations.
To register and for conference and hotel details, visit www.sleepproducts.org/ IndustryConference
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NewsMakers Coomber to drive Sleep Doctor program at IB Mattress producer International Bedding has promoted Warren Coomber to the newly created post of vice president of sales for its exclusive Sleep Doctor program with sleep expert Dr. Michael Breus. Coomber is responsible for all marketing, sales, training and product launches for the Dr. Breus bedding brand. He reports to Dennis Straily, vice president of sales for IB, which has headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Coomber is based in Dallas and joined IB in 2009 as a sales manager. He is a 15-year veteran of the mattress industry.
According to a news release, Coomber helped create and establish the Dr. Breus brand and has become increasingly involved in new business development since joining IB. “The Sleep Doctor program has been gaining momentum since its introduction in early 2010,” said Jeff Maillet, IB chief executive officer. “Our goal is to ensure that this unique and growing national brand has all the right resources and staff support. Warren is a perfect fit for this new post and his promotion demonstrates IB’s firm commitment to the program.”
Protect-A-Bed adds sales director
is based in Winston-Salem, rotect-A-Bed, a supplier of N.C. Taylor reports to Clive mattress and pillow protecGoldin, Protect-A-Bed tion products based in Northpresident. brook, Ill., has hired Chris “Chris has a strong reputaTaylor as director of sales for its tion for developing and impleFurniture Retail Division. He is responsible for overseeing menting strategic sales and Protect-A-Bed’s new strategy marketing plans to achieve Chris Taylor and exceed sales goals,” said for selling products directly James Bell, Protect-A-Bed chief executo home furnishings customers, rather tive officer. “He also has a lot of experithan through distributors. ence managing and directing teams of Taylor has 15 years of experience sales representatives. He is an essential in business development and national part of our company’s growth and exaccount management in the home furnishings industry. He earned a bachpansion. We hope that with the addition elor’s degree in communications and an of Chris, we can expand our leadership and expertise in this industry.” MBA from Wake Forest University and
Comfort Solutions co-owner Caldwell dies
illiam Caldwell IV, an Along with his involveowner and 20-year board ment in the bedding industry, member of mattress licensCaldwell was chief executive ing group Comfort Solutions officer and board chairman (formerly King Koil), died sudof the biotech firm Advanced denly on Dec. 13. He was 63. Cell Technology Inc., which “Bill was a very active memspecializes in stem-cell ber of our board and always research. passionate about the company,” William Caldwell IV Caldwell lived in Pacific said Dave Roberts, president of Palisades, Calif. Survivors the Willowbrook, Ill.-based company. include his wife, Nancy; three sons; a “He will be greatly missed both personstepdaughter; a stepson; and a sister, ally and professionally by many people Candace Smith, who also is a director of the Comfort Solutions board. inside and outside our company.”
Kingsdown promotes one in Australia
Mattress producer Kingsdown Inc. has promoted Kishan Chawhan to sales manager for the Snooze retail account in Australia, a new position. He is responsible for providing retail account and sales management, sales training and customer service to Snooze, a large, Melbourne-based sleep shop chain. Chawhan has been with Kingsdown, which has headquarters in Mebane, N.C., since 2002. Previously, he was a retail training specialist and is credited with developing Kingsdown and its Sleep to Live brand in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and Queensland. “Kishan has been pivotal in launching the Kingsdown and Sleep to Live business in Australia and continues to grow the Sleep to Live brand throughout Australia,” said Lee Hinshaw, Kingsdown senior vice president of global branding and president of international sales. “We know he will thrive in this challenging new role.”
BedTimes | February 2011 |
ISPANews ISPA website gets makeover
s part of the International Sleep Products Association’s continuing efforts to improve its communications with the mattress industry, it has redesigned its website, www.sleepproducts.org. The site contains all of the same useful content and invaluable resources that the industry and ISPA members have come to expect, but it is easier to use and has a new look. Among the new features: ➤ Improved drop-down menus ➤ Easily accessible log-in forms on every page ➤Important information high- lighted in each section of the site
46 | BedTimes | February 2011
➤M ore opportunities for marketing your company via web ads. The BedTimes website also has a new look and a new address, www.bedtimesmagazine.com. For more on that, see Editor’s Note on Page 5. If you are an ISPA member, note that the first time you log into the revamped site, you’ll be assigned a new user name and password to access member-only sections. Instructions for doing so are clearly presented on the site. ISPA plans additional improvements to the website in the coming months. If you have comments or suggestions, contact Deborah
Nicholas, manager of ISPA database and website operations, at email@example.com or 703-683-8371, Ext. 1303.
Industry Conference coming up
The all-industry International Sleep Products Association’s Industry Conference and Exhibition is just a month away—March 16-18 in St. Petersburg, Fla. It’s not too late to make plans to attend. With educational sessions on generating growth and profits, better managing the manufacturer-retailer partnership and leveraging social media, the 2½–day event is the perfect time to fine-tune your business, refine your strategies and increase your sales. In addition to educational sessions, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to check out the latest products and services from industry suppliers and learn what suppliers can do to help you improve your products and increase profitability. Relaxed social events allow you to connect with customers, colleagues and business partners. An opening reception will feature a showing of the Better Sleep Council’s new “Suite 7” Web series. The ISPA Women’s Network will hold its inaugural gathering and a golf tournament will wrap things up. For more information and to register for the conference, check www.sleepproducts.org/industryconference. To reserve your room at the Renaissance Vinoy St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club, call 888-303-4430. Discounted rates are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Estes can save members money
embers of the International Sleep Products Association have access to a variety of cost-cutting and time-saving programs through affiliated companies. One of these is Estes Integrated Solutions, which provides discounted freight services and rates customized to your needs. Estes can help you design and deploy a spectrum of transportation solutions—from a single link to an supply entire chain. Among the services Estes offers is consolidation and distribution. Do you ever need to consolidate less-than-truckload shipments from your production facilities, distribution centers or vendors and then get them to a single or multiple destinations? Do you need to pick up large quantities of freight at a single point, break the freight into separate shipments and distribute it via less-than-truckload, air or truckload to your end-users? Estes can help with both, delivering your goods with minimal handling and at low prices. Estes also offers a Reverse Logistics Pool service, which helps end-users dispose of used, damaged or outdated products and reusable packaging. Estes will retrieve these items from anywhere in the country, consolidate them and deliver them to your central receiving location. To learn more about Estes programs for ISPA members, call 800-624-7881, Ext. 2272.
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BedTimes | February 2011 |
ISPAAdvocacy Industry cracking down on unscrupulous renovators
he International Sleep Products Association is waging a multifronted campaign to combat unscrupulous mattress renovators. ISPA is working with the Enforcement Division of the U.S. Federal Trade Commis-
48 | BedTimes | February 2011
sionâ€™s Bureau of Consumer Protection to curb deceptive practices of renovators who sell used mattresses as new. The Textile Fiber Products Identification Act prohibits misbranding, falsifying or deceptively representing a textile product. Renovators who sell a used mattress as new or fail to disclose that the product is used violate this law. If you know of an unscrupulous renovator who is violating the federal law, ISPA urges you to report the company to the FTC by using its online Complaint Assistant at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov.
ISPA also is pushing to enact tougher anti-renovator laws at the state level. These new laws will make it harder for renovators to deceive customers and sell dangerous and unsanitary used mattresses. The association plans to work this year with lawmakers in Florida, New York, Tennessee and Texas to pass legislation in these states. If you live in or have facilities in these states and are interested in supporting ISPAâ€™s efforts, contact Chris Hudgins, ISPA vice president of government relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 703-683-8371, Ext. 1208.
CPSC: Product safety database coming in March
he U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission expects to launch a new consumer database in March. In mid-December, the CPSC published a final rule for implementing a publicly available database that can be used to file and search for product safety incident reports. The database is required by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. Under new rules, once the CPSC receives a safety incident report it will transmit the report to the manufacturer of the product. The manufacturer has 10 business days to review the report for accuracy and comment before the CPSC posts it in the database. The CPSC is setting up a Web portal for manufacturers to register with the CPSC to receive product safety reports about their products. Registration is not mandatory but will assist your company in receiving reports in a timely manner and allow you to respond to the CPSC before such reports are published in the
database, according to the International Sleep Products Association. For updates on the database imple-
mentation, check the ISPA website, www.sleepproducts.org, and BedTimes Bulletin, ISPA’s weekly e-newsletter.
Shorts ISPA responds to congressional request about excessive regulation The International Sleep Products Association recently received a letter from House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., requesting help in “identifying existing and proposed regulations that have negatively impacted job growth.” In response, ISPA outlined several costly and unnecessary regulations, including 16 CFR Part 1632 and duplicate labeling, testing and certification requirements imposed by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.
Comment period on noise policy extended The comment period on a proposed change to federal workplace noise exposure policy has been extended until March 21. Under current interpretation, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration says employers can address workplace noise by requiring employees to use equipment such as earplugs. The proposed interpretation could require employers to implement solutions to reduce machinery noise, provided that they are “capable of being done,” even if that means higher costs. If such changes would be an issue for your company, ISPA asks that you contact Chris Hudgins, ISPA vice president of government relations, at email@example.com or 703-683-8371, Ext. 1208.
BedTimes | February 2011 |
UpClose Industry veteran follows entrepreneurial passion
After years with established companies, Van Dyke turns to startup By Dorothy Whitcomb
hen Interwoven Group LLC was launched in March 2009, Sandy Van Dyke began a journey he had been preparing for his entire professional life. It was only a year earlier that he and John Wilkinson, a colleague from Van Dyke’s days at Van Waters & Rogers Textiles and Supplies, had decided it was time to go out on their own. “I had always wanted to be a business owner and John convinced me that the time was right,” Van Dyke says. Van Dyke began his career in a management training program at Bassett Upholstery, a division of Bassett Furniture Industries. In 1973, he took a position at VWR Textiles and Supplies selling nonwoven textiles to furniture and bedding manufacturers. When Van Dyke left the company 20 years later, he was serving as its president and a member of the board of directors of VWR’s corporate parent. Van Dyke is proud of his tenure at VWR. “Our management team took a business (VWR Textiles and Supplies) that in 1984 was doing $30 million in sales and grew it to $75 million by 1993,” when it was sold to Carthage, Mo.-based Leggett & Platt. With the company’s sale, Van Dyke looked for new opportunities. He got his first taste of entrepreneurship as part of a small investment group that purchased the Momentum Textiles division from VWR. He worked as that company’s executive vice president for three years before joining Hickory Springs Mfg. Co. in 1998. For the next 11 years, he led the Hickory, N.C.-based company’s Textile Converting and Fasteners Divisions. Van Dyke thought long and hard before leaving Hickory Springs. “They’re
50 | BedTimes | February 2011
‘Being a musician is addictive’ says Sandy Van Dyke, who plays trumpet and sings in the industry band, the Insomniaczzz. The band, shown here playing at ISPA EXPO 2010, includes (from left) Gerry Borreggine, Jim Malkiewicz, Ray Allegrezza, David Orders, Van Dyke, Don Wright and Paul Block.
good people,” he says. “It was a very difficult decision.” But once the decision was made to join Wilkinson in their own venture, Van Dyke set his eyes on the future. With 37 years of industry experience under his belt, Van Dyke hopes to make Interwoven Group a significant player in the mattress ticking and construction textile segments. “I see us as becoming a very specialized business and growing to $30 million in sales in the next few years,” he says. “We want to capture at least 10% of the market.” Van Dyke plans to reach this goal by building on his experience, as well as the values that he and Wilkinson share. “We are completely customeroriented,” he says. “We listen to people and, understanding their needs, we develop our business around those needs. We have the capability of working with a vast number of companies that can
➤ Bio in brief Name Sandy Van Dyke Company Interwoven Group LLC Title Co-owner and president Location Van Dyke lives in Conover, N.C.; his company is based in Buda, Texas Education In 1971, Van Dyke earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. Age 61 Family Van Dyke and his wife, Debbie, have been married for 40 years. They have two children and four grandchildren.
make products for us. Using our knowledge and these resources, we can create products that solve problems and are useful to our customers.” Van Dyke has more than an entrepreneurial drive and customer-oriented focus pushing him toward building a solidly successful company. He and Wilkinson are intent upon creating a legacy. “We want to build a family business,” he says. “Our sons, Kevin Wilkinson and Greg Van Dyke, work as account managers in the business and we hope to pass Interwoven on to them.” Industry supporter Van Dyke has been active in the International Sleep Products Association for years. He has held leadership positions on ISPA’s board, served as chairman of its Suppliers Council and participated in its Finance, Nominating and Trade Show committees, as well as its Membership Task Force. In 2010, Van Dyke received the Robert MacMorran Memorial Award for outstanding service to the
plays trumpet and sings in two bands, the Insomniaczzz, the mattress industry band, and Fast Cadillac, a group that plays beach music and rhythm and blues. “Being a musician is addictive. Once you get it in your system, you can’t stop,” he says. “Music gives me energy. Anytime I’m in a difficult situation, I turn to music to help me sort things through. It’s an opportunity to get away from day-to-day life.” Company debut Sandy Van Dyke showed Interwoven Group LLC products for the first time at ISPA EXPO 2010 in Charlotte, N.C.
industry. “I’ve come to believe that individuals can have an impact and I’ve become dedicated to helping the industry continue to thrive and find ways to better promote bedding,” he says. The magic of music While still in high school, Van Dyke began playing trumpet semiprofessionally. The gigs paid his way through college, but he put them aside when he married and needed a steady job. Today, Van Dyke
Cherished possession Not surprisingly given his love of music, Van Dyke names his trumpet as his most prized possession. “It’s nothing special, but it’s mine,” he says. “We’ve traveled to a lot of places and played a lot of jobs together.” Coach Van Dyke Van Dyke loves baseball almost as much as music. He spent 10 years coaching high school teams when he lived in Hickory, N.C., traveling the state with his teams and taking many of them to the playoffs. “Thirty years later, many of my players still stay in touch and that’s very rewarding,” he says. BT
BedTimes | February 2011 |
interzum cologne May 25 – 28, 2011
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Feb. 18-20 Tupelo Furniture Market ➤ March 16-18 Mississippi & Tupelo ISPA Industry complexes Conference & Exhibition Tupelo, Miss., U.S. Renaissance Vinoy Phone 662-842-4442 St. Petersburg Resort & tfm@tupelofurniture Golf Club market.com St. Petersburg, Fla., U.S. www.tupelofurniture Phone 703-683-8371 market.com email@example.com www.sleepproducts.org
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March 11-14 Vietnam International Furniture & Home Accessories Fair Saigon Exhibition & Convention Center Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Phone 84-8-3836-4682 firstname.lastname@example.org www.vifafair.com
Koelnmesse Inc. 8700 West Bryn Mawr Avenue Suite 640 North Chicago, Illinois 60631 Phone 773-326 9920 Fax 773-714 0063 email@example.com www.koelnmessenafta.com
52 | BedTimes | February 2011
ISPA Industry Conference The annual, all-industry event will be March 16-18 in St. Petersburg, Fla.
April 2-7 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
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www.bedtimesmagazine.com 22.11.10 15:15
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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. Phone 336-342-4217; Fax 336-342-4116; Email email@example.com.
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BedTimes | February 2011 |
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54 | BedTimes | February 2011
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Xidengbao Mattress Machinery 46 Sammin 86-20-26275665 www.china-mattress-machine.com
TheLastWord Pretty well-rested
Don’t try this at home
The idea of getting “beauty sleep” has scientific merit, according to a new study. Scientists at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, studied 23 people, ages 18 to 31. Each was photographed twice—once after getting a normal night’s sleep (about eight hours) and once after being kept awake for 31 hours. Then a panel of 65 other people, who knew nothing about how rested the subjects were, judged the photos on attractiveness, health and whether or not the subjects looked tired. The observers judged the sleep-deprived subjects to be less attractive, less healthy and more tired, according to the study, which was published in December in the British Medical Journal.
tchy and frustrated, people dealing with a bedbug infestation are willing to try just about anything to get rid of the insects. At best, most of these remedies are ineffective; some are downright dangerous. Brian Hirsch, director of Protect-A-Bed’s Pest Control Division, works with pest control companies on the front lines of treating bedbug problems and has compiled a list of the 10 least effective home remedies he’s heard of people using: 1. Fuels—dousing the bed and other home furnishings in diesel, gasoline or kerosene 2. Sulfur—burning sulfur inside the home 3. Bug bombs—setting off multiple bug bombs and creating a risk of explosion 4. Fire extinguishers—using fire extinguishers to “freeze” the bugs 5. Lights—sleeping with the lights on to trick the bedbugs into not biting 6. Exterior pesticides—using pesticides that aren’t effective against bedbugs 7. Olive oil—covering your body in olive oil so the bugs can’t climb on you 8. WD-40—spraying the bugs directly with a lubricant 9. Cold—turning off the heat in the winter to freeze the bugs out 10. Baking soda and rubbing alcohol—applying this combination to a mattress or upholstered furniture. “Bedbugs and their aftermath have caused many rational people to lose the ability to reason,” Hirsch says. Hirsch, who often fields inquiries from friends and colleagues who have concerns about bedbugs, tells people to remain calm and to contact a reputable pest control expert to help resolve the problem. A mix of chemical and nonchemical methods is usually required to eliminate bedbugs and infestations often require several treatments. ProtectA-Bed, based in Northbrook, Ill., offers mattress and pillow encasement products that can be used as part of a bedbug prevention and containment process.
Workers wiped out by weariness M
ore than eight in 10 workers (85%) say they’d be more productive on the job if they’d gotten more sleep, according to a survey commissioned by Philips Consumer Lifestyle, a maker of wellness products with North American headquarters in Stamford, Conn. Other findings: ➤ More than half (56%) of workers say they don’t consistently get a good night’s sleep ➤ Nearly two-thirds (64%) say a lack of sleep starts their work day off badly ➤ More than one-third (37%) of respondents aren’t ready to get up when their alarm goes off ➤ Nearly one in three (32%) of workers admit to oversleeping and waking up after they were supposed to be at work ➤ Nearly one in four (23%) of respondents say they’ve taken a nap at work.
56 | BedTimes | February 2011
“The findings from the sleep survey support the link between sleep and workplace performance,” says Russell Rosenberg, vice chairman of the National Sleep Foundation and director of the Atlanta School of Sleep Medicine and Technology. “The survey shows that inadequate sleep and poor sleep habits are primary factors for poor job performance and can also lead to increased irritability, moodiness and lack of energy.” The survey of a nationally representative sample of 1,000 white-collar workers was fielded by Braun Research Inc. via telephone in November. Philips Consumer Lifestyle is part of Royal Philips Electronics, headquartered in Eindhoven, Netherlands. www.bedtimesmagazine.com
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