Category Archives: Company Spotlight

Clean the Community: L&C Changsha Gives Back

Throughout May, we’re highlighting people, places, and products within our Specialized Products segment. Today we’re spotlighting a collective effort by L&C Changsha to clean their community in Changsha, China.

The team at Automotive L&C Changsha recently took on a proactive effort to clean up the community as part of their goal to be recognized as a Corporate Social Responsibility leader.

We’re proud to share that 40 team members conducted a “Clean the Community” activity in coordination with local government support. The activity, organized by Jian Tong, L&C’s Human Resources Manager, involved cleaning the local streets and the surrounding neighborhood.

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Company Spotlight: New Machinery at Merit Steel

Throughout April, we’re highlighting people, places, and products within our Industrial Products segment. Today we’re pleased to spotlight Merit Steel, part of L&P’s drawn wire division in Kouts, Indiana.

Large machines steadily churn out spools of drawn wire at Merit Steel Company. Over 100 employees work together to ensure its production runs smoothly. The majority of the wire is then shipped to other L&P facilities to be transformed into bedding and furniture components.

“Everyone here is willing to lend a helping hand. I don’t think anyone is just looking out for themselves. It’s pretty evident in day-to-day operations,” says Jon Moneta, Continuous Improvement Coordinator at Merit.

One of Jon’s priorities is ensuring the safety of his teams. That responsibility became easier with a recent upgrade to one of their wire drawing machines.

Merit Steel’s new Frigerio wire drawing machine.

An older wire drawing machine, installed in 1979 when Nachman Corporation owned the mill. This type of machine was ultimately replaced by the new Frigerio machine.

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Company Spotlight: Adcom Wire Company

Throughout April, we’re highlighting people, places, and products within our Industrial Products segment. Today we’re pleased to spotlight Adcom Wire Company, part of L&P’s drawn wire division.

Employees at Adcom Wire Company in Jacksonville, Florida, produce massive spools of drawn steel wire. It’s ultimately used to make products like paint can handles, bailing wire for recycling compactors, and coiled bedsprings.

While the processes to produce that wire rarely change, employees still look for ways to innovate. It often involves developing solutions to improve safety practices and drive sustainability. They’re constantly working to expand their recycling program and reduce energy consumption. They’ve also made drastic improvements in safety compliance.

Brandon Killian (left) at a recent wire mill energy event.

“There’s never a dull moment,” says Brandon Killian, Safety and Purchasing Manager.  “Every new challenge forces us to think outside the box.” Continue reading

Photo Gallery: Energy Treasure Hunt at the Carthage Wire Mill

We recently began a very exciting partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) called the Better Buildings, Better Plants Program. This voluntary partnership initiative will help us drive significant energy efficiency improvements, and we’re among 195 other leading manufacturers and public utilities partnering with DOE.

As part of the partnership, a large team of L&P employees recently participated in an Energy Treasure Hunt at the Carthage Wire Mill. They divided up into four smaller teams and then focused their attention on energy use, such as building lighting and equipment efficiency. They walked around the plant looking for areas of improvement and ultimately found 33 unique opportunities (14 of significant status) to conserve or reduce energy.

Theresa Block, Staff VP in Environmental Affairs, was excited to see the energy of the participants. “It was amazing to see everyone smile throughout the day and get so involved. I think everyone saw the value of their efforts.”

Activities like the Treasure Hunt are important because they help spur interactions and shared ideas. “We must continue to move forward and recognize the need for efficiency of our processes,” says Branch Manager Doug Thrasher. “If we’re cognizant of what we are doing today and how to improve it, then we’ll help impact the future endeavors of L&P.”

Hanes Hospitality Delivers Custom Fabric Solutions

Throughout March, we’re highlighting people, places, and products within our Residential Products segment. Today we’re pleased to spotlight an exciting project recently completed by Hanes Hospitality, a division of L&P.

Andrea Hubbard, National Sales Manager at Hanes Hospitality, was approached by a customer over two years ago with a challenge. They were sourcing materials for a boutique hotel being built in Manhattan, NY, and were struggling to match a sample their designer had selected for the drapes.

The Hanes team had recently expanded beyond drapery linings into all-in-one designer blackout fabrics. Because of this, they were excited by the opportunity to provide a unique solution to the client. “We were able to take their concept and turn it into exactly what the designer was looking for,” says Andrea.

The new 339-room Moxy Chelsea hotel features custom blackout drapes designed by Hanes Hospitality.

The collaboration resulted in striped blackout drapes framing floor-to-ceiling windows in the Moxy Chelsea hotel, which recently opened in Manhattan’s Flower District. The team at Hanes has been proud of the publicity stemming from the project. For example, the hotel design was recently featured in one of the largest and most respected trade magazines in the industry, Architectural Digest.

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MFG Day Recap: Pizza and Partnership at Spring Hill

Last Friday, manufacturers across the United States celebrated Manufacturing Day, also known as MFG Day, by opening their doors to showcase the potential of modern manufacturing and inspire the next generation of manufacturers.

This year, five L&P locations hosted MFG Day activities:

• Flex-O-Lators in Carthage, MO
• Flooring Products in Berwick, PA
• Genesis Seating in Kentwood, MI
• Davidson Plyforms in Grand Rapids, MI
• Adjustable Bed (Consumer Products) in Spring Hill, FL

Our Adjustable Bed branch in Spring Hill, Florida, hosted a representative from NAM (National Association of Manufacturers) and a Recruiter in Workforce Development at Pasco-Hernando State College.

They were also visited by students from Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School.

MFG Day 1

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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.”

Solutions with Impact: Meet Creative Services

CS_standard_w-tag_4C (002)Just across the parking lot from our Corporate Headquarters, you’ll find a group of 35 creative minds brainstorming, storyboarding, and each day delivering solutions to their customers. This is Creative Services, Leggett’s in-house marketing team.

By offering assistance within design, websites, writing, photography, videography, printing, and tradeshows, the Creative Services team completes a remarkable 1,400 projects per year!

Keeping Up with Demand

Creative Services has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 1966, when it was a one-man shop devoted to providing logo and design services to Leggett’s customers. “Although it was overhead for Leggett, the initial strategy was to help our customers sell more so they’d buy more Leggett components,” says Susan Chapman, Operations Manager, who joined the department in its early years.

As Leggett began to acquire new businesses, the staff slowly increased as well, but the team was still mostly dedicated to serving clients’ needs, leaving little time for our own branches. In 2008, Creative Services began to focus on creating strategic marketing for our branches, offering them everything from product sheet design to entire ad campaigns composed of videos, websites, and print and web ads.

The many minds of Creative Services. According to Zack Minor, Graphic Designer: “We’ve cultivated a culture of caring for each other, which allows us to have fun together and establishes the trust necessary to collaborate and make bold suggestions in the work we do.”

The many minds of Creative Services. According to Zack Minor, Graphic Designer: “We’ve cultivated a culture of caring for each other, which allows us to have fun together and establishes the trust necessary to collaborate and make bold suggestions in the work we do.”

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Powering Potential with Precision Hydraulic Cylinders (PHC)

As you shop the aisle of the local grocery or relax on the back patio of your house, hydraulic cylinders are probably the last thing on your mind – but this critical component is working behind the scenes in a variety of ways to make these things, and much more, possible.

“From construction applications to materials handling, we’re making people’s lives easier on a global basis,” explains Chris Barclay, President of Precision Hydraulic Cylinders (PHC).

Leggett & Platt’s acquisition of PHC this past January resulted in a natural fit between company cultures and methods of operation. Like many L&P products, PHC’s hydraulic cylinders comprise a small but vital piece in several end products. They are essential to the functionality of equipment like dump trucks, forklifts, truck mounted cranes, and aerial platforms.

Always Right, Always on Time

PHC applications

Hydraulic cylinders are used for many applications, including critical movement functions in forklifts and dump trucks.

With over 45 years of experience, PHC has proven design and technical support capabilities. But the hydraulic cylinder market also requires highly flexible manufacturing capabilities. Given the large number of configurations available on just one single forklift model, it’s not surprising that PHC’s customers require short lead times on a large product line that are usually built to order.

“PHC is selling a lot more than a high-quality hydraulic cylinder at a good price – we’re offering complete integration with our customer’s manufacturing process,” says Chris.

Providing just-in-time delivery for customers’ assembly-line style manufacturing requires a lot of coordination and sequencing within PHC’s own manufacturing process. But PHC’s commitment to provide the right product on time has enabled them to continue to capture and dominate within the market.

Platform for Growth

The recent boom in e-commerce, and the resulting increase in distribution centers, is driving higher demand for hydraulic cylinders for materials handling equipment. The rest of the hydraulic cylinder market is equally rife with opportunity and PHC is poised to benefit. With manufacturing locations in North Carolina, the United Kingdom, and India servicing mostly regional customers, PHC has a lot of room to grow in other regions of the world.


“Not only is there potential for geographic expansion, but PHC has a breadth of capabilities that enable it to further penetrate adjacent growing markets, including construction equipment, cranes and aerial work platforms,” explains Ryan Kleiboeker, Director of Business Development for Specialized Products. “L&P has the global operating expertise to help guide PHC’s expansion into these areas, as well as a willingness to invest in the technical manufacturing capabilities to make PHC even more competitive.”

Chris adds, “Being a part of L&P affords us an opportunity to grow the business in a more aggressive way and with confidence that we can effectively support that growth globally.”

There’s Always a Better Way: Lean Manufacturing at Winchester Spring

As one of our core values, Continuous Improvement affects everything we do at Leggett & Platt. According to CEO Karl Glassman, “The potential for ingenuity is present in every business unit, facility, and position here at Leggett & Platt. We’re all counting on one another to keep improving and keep looking for a better way.”

For the team at Winchester Spring, finding a better way has certainly paid off.

Starting a Lean Pilot Program

Several years ago, the Bedding Group recognized a need to improve our competitive position, increase profits, and retain valuable employees. Eric Rhea, President  of the Bedding Group, proposed an initiative for a lean pilot program, and Winchester Spring in Winchester, Kentucky volunteered to be the first to participate.

Chuck Denisio

According to Chuck Denisio, Branch Manager, “The idea of implementing lean tools really complemented everything we’d been trying to accomplish at Winchester. I raised my hand because I wanted to get in at the ground floor of something new and exciting.”

Howard DeCelis, Staff VP of Continuous Improvement, was charged with starting the lean program at Winchester Spring. A lean program, just one of many continuous improvement methods, is the systematic process of identifying and eliminating waste. So, in 2016, a cross-functional Corporate team and a small team at Winchester began to do just that.

After overview training and employing basic tools and principles, they found numerous areas of opportunity. Howard admits, “We quickly learned that we exposed more problems than we had resources to address them.”

Numerous Projects = Numerous Cost Savings

One early success was a project involving the setup of new, complex, and expensive PA494 machines, which produce the Quantum Edge Comfort Core mattress. A team led by Brian Hill, Caleb Winburn, and Richard Trent underwent a four-day process of observation and analysis to determine how to save time with machine setup.

They utilized a lean tool called a SMED (Single-Minute Exchange of Dies), which is a system for drastically reducing the time it takes to complete equipment changeovers. The result of the SMED was a 67% reduction in hours worked to set up the machines, which added additional production capacity due to reduced time performing changeovers.

The SMED team for the PA494 project.

Another recent win came after the branch had received customer complaints about mis-tagged mattresses. As part of the lean program, Howard sent a team for a Rapid Continuous Improvement (RCI) event, which is a 4-day workshop of intense focus. They analyzed step-by-step how the products moved through the tagging process. “We looked at man, machine, materials and method,” says Howard, “and we brainstormed every possibility that could go wrong with correctly tagging the product, then targeted and eliminated those possibilities.”

The result was a huge win. Since “mistake-proofing” the tagging process, the branch hasn’t received any additional complaints.

The team at Winchester hopes for more success stories to come. “This lean program has been so good for our branch,” says Chuck. “The opportunities for future improvement are endless, and that’s been my drive. Change is not optional. If you don’t change and you don’t improve, you’ll get left behind.”