Leggett & Platt may have started as a bedding components manufacturer, but through the years, the company has added a diverse spread of capabilities to its line-up. Though some, like furniture and car parts, may be familiar, one surprising addition to L&P was geotextiles.
When Hanes Industries joined L&P in 1993, they focused mostly on the furniture, bedding, and automotive markets, making them a great fit with L&P’s existing endeavors. But in 2004, Hanes began looking into outside areas to find something that would mesh well with its established markets, while adding something new to the mix. They acquired WEBTEC, a geo-synthetics distributor based in Charlotte, NC.
An Un-filled Market
This new venture soon became known as Hanes Geo Components (HGC), and has developed into the leading domestic producer of geotextiles, erosion control blankets, and silt fences, according to HGC President John Dowdell.
In its 10 short years as an L&P company, HGC has expanded to include 32 distribution locations in North America and has taken on a host of large-scale erosion control projects.
The introduction of geo components allowed Hanes to take advantage of its affiliation with L&P. Access to the substantial capital and strong credit rating of its parent company gave Hanes the opportunity to solidify relationships with its suppliers. Hanes also gained access to the domestic and ocean shipping rates associated with L&P.
“We enjoy a wide range of benefits as part of the L&P team,” says Dowdell. “And within our industry, each of these is a unique strategic advantage.”
But the benefits of the partnership go both ways. HGC has enjoyed success in the geotextiles market, and that success translates to growth for L&P. “We see the Geo business as one in which Leggett & Platt will enjoy better-than-average returns as we gain scale in our operations,” says Perry Davis, President of Residential Furnishings.
So, What Are Geo Components?
Put simply, geo components include fences and fabrics used to control erosion and stabilize the ground. Each year, over 12 million acres of land are destroyed by erosion – and while some erosion can be attributed to natural progression, man-made erosion due to construction speeds up the process. HGC’s erosion control blankets help curb the loss of soil and vegetation by protecting the land from erosion while encouraging root and stem growth.
Recently, HGC presented a “value-engineered” proposal for the US-50 Highway Slope Stabilization Project – a project that was considered extremely effective and was featured in the February 2014 issue of Geosynthetics Magazine. HGC was also able to secure the largest erosion control project in the Las Vegas Valley this year.
Relying on Each Other
When asked about the company culture at HGC, the employees all say the same thing – it’s a team. Quinn Brown, Regional Manager of the Clearfield, UT, branch, describes his team as “extremely professional and knowledgeable.” He goes on to say, “Rarely a day goes by that we don’t lean on one another.”
Blake Johnson, a Regional Manager in Georgia, expresses a similar attitude about his region. “We’re an extremely close-knit group that relies on each other for success.”
“It really is a focused and hardworking team,” adds Dowdell. “The only way we meet our daily commitments is through active communication throughout the organization.”
The HGC spirit of teamwork often extends outside the office. Employees at the HGC branch in Winston, Salem, participated in the New River Half Marathon in 2013 and the Greensboro Half Marathon in 2014. “We play hard, too,” says Dowdell.
For more information about Hanes Geo Components, visit http://www.hanesgeo.com.
About the Author
I’m a Copywriter at Leggett & Platt, which means I spend my days writing about wire, wire-forming, wire-related products, and products made out of wire. In my free time, I enjoy writing about wire, wire-forming, wire-related products, and products made out of wire. Not really. I do enjoy writing, though.
As a child, I would write stories and have my much more artistic sister illustrate them for me. And when I’m not writing, I’m reading. I bring a book with me everywhere I go (seriously, the Nook app on my phone is my most-used app by a landslide). Though I mostly read fiction, I’ve recently made a personal vow to read more news and stay more informed. So now, I read the news while I’m drying my hair in the morning, I read books during my lunch break, and I go back to the news before bed. And occasionally I squeeze in some time to binge-watch TV shows on Netflix (like the time I watched a season and a half of Breaking Bad in one day).