Machine Products: How A Commitment to Safety and Service Brings Success

When you walk through the doors of Machine Products (or Branch 79 as it’s also called), you’re instantly greeted with a down-to-earth warmth. From the friendly “hellos” exchanged on the production floor to the handshakes of a job particularly well done, pride is everywhere among the 90 employees at the facility.

The same sense of pride comes from branch leadership as well. Tom Wells, Jr., Division President, constantly commends his team for stepping up to the plate. “Unlike other Leggett branches that have a constant steady production flow, we do not know from month to month what type of work will come onto our schedule, but we take each day with great stride,” explained Tom.

Leggett & Platt has been a second home to Tom. After his father was hired by Leggett in 1974, Tom started performing janitorial duties during the summers as a teenager. Through the years, he spent most of his career in the Bedding Components Group. After years of hard work, he assumed the role of Division President for Machine Products in 2013.

An aerial shot of the expansive Machine Products facility in Carthage, Missouri.

An aerial shot of the expansive Machine Products facility in Carthage, Missouri.

Focusing on Safety

Machine Products primarily produces components and special machinery parts. “We convert common, ordinary materials into value-added products that serve a useful need for the company,” said Tom. A unique trait of Machine Products is that many of its customers are other Leggett branches.

One area the branch continues to focus on is safety. “We’ve successfully completed 2.3 million hours without a lost time accident, even though everything we do and touch here is sharp, heavy, and hot,” Tom said. “In 2015, we became certified in Leggett’s SafeGuard program. We are very proud to have created a culture where our employee-partners arrive, work safely, and return home to their families when the job is done.”

The interior gear of one of the facility's many machines.

The interior gear of one of the facility’s machines.

Working Hard and Serving Others

Tom’s passion for Leggett is evident by his caring for his coworkers. “When we fail, it bothers me a lot. I take it personally because I know how hard so many people work daily, and effort doesn’t always lead to success. I’m not interested in success for my own sake; I want to be successful for our people. It’s for the folks I work with today and the folks that come after us,” explained Tom.

“For all of us,” Tom continued, “success is about fostering a safe workplace, finding fulfillment in our jobs, and serving others. At the end of the day, we’re not in the machining business; we’re in the serving business.”

About the Author

Life is about taking risks! As Talent Advisor for Leggett & Platt, I have the privilege of helping people take risks in their careers. I am responsible for finding top quality candidates who will fit into the culture we offer at L&P. Communication, problem solving, and creativity make up a huge part of my role.

In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, traveling, and did I mention traveling?! My personal and professional life has allowed me the opportunity to travel extensively throughout the United States and parts of Europe, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Some people get a “runner’s high,” but I get a “traveler’s high” every time I book my next adventure. Did I mention I once traveled around the country for 44 weeks straight?