A Simple Formula for Success in Mattress Manufacturing

By Randy Metcalf

Anyone that has been in a mattress manufacturing business longer than a day understands that many factors determine success – or failure. There are specialty fields to address unique challenges for supply chain management, overall equipment effectiveness, labor inputs, and more, but the main objective boils down to this basic premise:

Top Quality + Optimal Productivity = Maximum Value

Many management formulas and strategies can assist with the decision-making process for producing ideal results, but any change should consider these two questions:

  • "How does this impact our finished product quality?"
  • "Will this change improve our daily productivity?"

Effective manufacturing strives to consistently achieve top quality and improve productivity to create maximum value using minimal expenses.

Quality Can't Be Ignored

Anyone can make their cost-to-selling-price ratio appear better by making a cheaper product. But, if you start to devalue your product this way, you are on the road to developing a commodity product that ultimately only competes on price – and you’ll cannibalize your selling price.

It’s best to choose equipment that can enhance your product, not just suck cost out of it at the expense of your selling price. Machines that can form your product into a higher-valued style or enable you to produce goods with a perceived higher value can help you improve product quality without significantly changing the input costs.

For instance, it doesn't require dramatically higher-cost quilting materials to create quality style on a mattress. For example, the Gribetz Paragon® M+ quilter has features like Equistitch® and Pattern Compensation software that ensure the final quilted patterns have consistently good stitch integrity and retain the ideal shape regardless of the sewing speed. This machine can quilt thicker, denser materials so the final product has a superior plush appearance.

Paragon M+
Gribetz Paragon M+ high-speed quilt machine

Productivity Doesn’t Equal Production 

You can’t simply define productivity by your total daily piece count. Productivity also factors in the labor cost required to achieve your total count. So, productivity gauges the value of the number of pieces per employee. It’s easy to increase daily production by adding more labor, but that is not a cost-effective way to increase production. Improving productivity means increasing the pieces per employee so you can increase output without increasing expensive labor. That is a more accurate representation of the value you get from your input costs.

Better equipment can improve daily productivity without increasing your headcount in many ways:

  • Faster cycle times
  • De-skilling the job to make it easier to produce more per hour
  • Improving product quality to reduce QC rejects
  • Reducing non-value-add touches and production steps
  • Automate as much as possible to produce more with less labor consistently
  • Dependable machine performance reduces maintenance downtime
  • And more

For example, consider the Gribetz Paragon quilter. This machine improves productivity with high sewing speeds that produce more quilt panels per hour and automatic thread control technology to eliminate Tack & Jump® thread tails that may otherwise require an additional, manual trimming operation. Moreover, Gribetz Paragon ensures excellent quality consistency, so more satisfactory pieces pass through inspections.

There are many factors to consider when evaluating a potential change in manufacturing methods, and it always comes down to a balance of available resources and desired results. But remember, don't overlook this basic formula during your decision-making process: Top Quality + Optimal Productivity = Maximum Value.

Global Systems Group provides the mattress industry with process solutions that improve your product quality and daily productivity. Make sure your next change ultimately produces more significant value for your business.

Contact us today to learn how GSG can help you improve quality and productivity to increase your value.

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Randy Metcalf

Randy Metcalf

Randy Metcalf

Marketing Manager