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Tarah Sherwood

Cybersecurity at L&P: Keeping Up in a Constantly Connected World

These days, virtually any smart device can connect to the internet and exchange data. Although this technological evolution has its benefits, it also brings associated risks – especially for an organization like Leggett & Platt. With such a reliance on data and technology, we have a greater responsibility to remain vigilant against cyber-attacks.

Averted Disaster

In February, Leggett’s Cyber Threat Team was alerted to ransomware attacks on the Leggett network. As they quickly worked to patch the infection, the ransomware spread to the global network and various machinery. The possibility of the attack damaging equipment and interrupting production became increasingly real. Surprisingly, the Cyber Threat Team ultimately traced the initial infection to a factory vending machine.

Many wouldn’t necessarily think of a vending machine as a source for cyber-attacks, but in this case, the infection spread through file sharing technology once connected to Leggett’s internal network. A digital forensic examination revealed that the vending machine had been infected with a WannaCry variant – a worldwide cyber-attack targeting operating systems by encrypting data and demanding ransom payments in Bitcoin cryptocurrency.

Due to the quick response of the Cyber Threat Team, the threat was resolved before it caused any major disruptions or financial damage, but other companies were not so lucky, as it disrupted operations across the globe with over $4B in financial damage. Consequences like these remind us why robust cybersecurity is vital – even to the most seemingly innocuous of sources. Continue reading

Exceeding Customer Expectations in Brazil

Business for Leggett & Platt Brazil grew an impressive 37% in 2017. While many factors likely contributed to the increase, it’s no surprise that a commitment to quality and great service helped distinguish this bedding operation from its competitors and kept customers coming back.

“We believe our customers value exceptional service and unquestionable quality more than having the best price,” says Gustavo Lemos, South America President of Leggett & Platt Brazil. Eric Rhea, Bedding Group President, adds, “L&P is known for its innovation, and when coupled with high-quality products and great customer service, we win customer loyalty and grow successfully.”

Going the Extra Mile: A Service Strategy Redefined

Over the past two years, Gustavo and his team have transitioned to a more proactive customer service strategy. The customer no longer makes the first move because the Customer Service team actively engages customers to ask, ‘What can we do for you?’ This shift in strategy not only enhances the customer experience, but it also builds long-term trust and loyalty between L&P and our customers.

Knowing and anticipating customer needs has afforded the team at Brazil a strong brand reputation. “In the bedding market, we’re constantly spending time predicting what the customer will buy,” Eric says. “We want to know what they’re going to need and when they’ll need it – and we want to know that better than they do.”

The branch uses this insight to manage its inventory and serve customers right away. Gustavo explains, “It’s not uncommon for a customer to call and ask for a truck filled within the hour. Our customers know they can count on us, and that reputation has been pivotal to our current success and ability to retain customers – even if at a higher price – because they trust our service.”

A Business Built from the Inside Out

A strategy can only be well-executed within the right culture and by the right people. Gustavo has worked to cultivate a superior customer service culture by hiring the right employees, setting goals, holding them accountable, and rewarding them when goals are achieved.

“We have a fantastic team. Although it’s been a long road to establish the culture, we’re proud to prioritize customer service across all roles and departments,” Gustavo explains.

L&P Brazil’s Customer Service team from left to right: Gilvania Maria, Marília Prado, Fernanda Christina, and Edson Malta.

L&P Brazil’s Customer Service team from left to right: Gilvania Maria, Marília Prado, Fernanda Christina, and Edson Malta.

The Customer Service team, for example, consists of knowledgeable and experienced employees who establish targets and work diligently to meet them. They also meet weekly with management to remain fully engaged in the business and have an opportunity to voice concerns or contribute ideas.

Eric summarizes, “Gustavo has really helped to solidify the L&P culture in Brazil. The business, the management team, and the employees are all aligned towards the same goals, and it works.”