The past year has shown us just how resilient our people really are. We asked several employees what the COVID-19 pandemic taught them.
Our new LP Comfort Connect™ technology provides a unique platform for delivering smart, customizable products to our customers. However, this innovation would never have been possible without the dedicated work of our Comfort Connect team. They collaborated to find unique solutions, improve processes, and differentiate our company in the marketplace through the development of this technology. Today we shine a light on just one of those team members.
Nick Baker began his career at L&P in early 2018, when he was hired as a Software Engineer. Since that time, he has participated in many research and development projects, while specializing in mobile applications.
In 2019, he was asked to join the team for L&P’s new Comfort Connect™ technology – proprietary hardware and software which are integrated to support L&P’s newest adjustable bed product. All movements and feature sets of the bed can be controlled through an app, which Nick played a major hand in developing.
At the forefront of the project, the team was focused solely on development for Android devices. However, Nick recommended a new technology, which allowed them to begin coding for both iOS and Android in a single code base. This shift allowed them to create the app at a much quicker pace, considerably reducing time to market and lowering costs of development and maintenance.
One unique feature of the app is its ability to automatically self-configure when connected to a bed in L&P’s Comfort Connect™ product line. Because the beds can include a variety of features – including articulation, massage, and lighting – this feature makes initial setup for a particular model a more seamless process for the user.
“By observing common interactions with the features on the app, we can customize the technology over time,” says Nick. “This allows us to continually improve the experience of our customers. It also provides valuable feedback for our sales team.”
As new features are added to the product line, they are integrated into the app. Nick’s team has also worked to continually improve the product through user testing.
“It was always my goal to create an solution that can compete with the newer technologies trending today,” shares Nick. “The result feels clean, modern, and easy to navigate. I’m really proud to have been a part of it.”
The LP Comfort Connect app is now available for download in Google Play and App Store.
Silvia Wixson recently assumed an expanded role as Director of Quality Assurance & Lean/CI for US Spring. We spoke to her about her career, as well as her approach to supporting L&P’s operations teams and customers.
1. What led you to pursue a quality assurance position?
When I was selecting my education program, the enthusiasm of the faculty at Pittsburg State University made me take a closer look at earning my degree in engineering technology. Early in my career, I began to focus on Quality and Continuous Improvement (CI) as I worked through Process, Manufacturing, and CI responsibility roles. These opportunities all provided a strong foundation for where I am today.
Over time, I’ve learned the importance of setting yourself and your team up for a continual state of evolvement. Regardless of the role I have today, there’s always a set of processes I can improve upon to achieve higher greatness.
2. What do you find most rewarding about the work that you do?
We always focus on quality from the top down. It’s very rewarding to be in a position to engage and empower L&P teams to solve problems collaboratively and avoid in-silo activities. I love seeing our folks shine during quality reviews, which allow them to share best practices with their peers and BU leadership.
Success is when we provide our teams the proper tools and structure to address and resolve whatever comes at them. Another aspect that I enjoy is being able to work closely with other employees who have unique expertise — such as our Product Development and Manufacturing Engineers. By collaborating as a team, we’re able to develop robust solutions for both our internal teams and external customers.
3. What’s something surprising about you?
Coming from Paraguay, I wasn’t exposed to country music as I grew up. Many of my friends and family find it surprising how much I love this music genre. I consider it an accomplishment that I’ve been able to convert my better half, Todd Wixson, into an avid Chris Stapleton fan!
Our new LP Comfort Connect™ technology provides a unique platform for delivering smart, customizable products to our customers. However, this innovation would never have been possible without the dedicated work of our Comfort Connect team. They collaborated for several years to find unique solutions, improve processes, and differentiate our company in the marketplace through the development of this technology. Today we shine a light on just one of those team members.
Ashton McGehee began her career at Leggett in 2017, when she was hired as a Product Documentation Intern. That opportunity taught her a lot about our company and our products, as she designed and illustrated user manuals and operating guides. Having since accepted a full-time position as an Industrial & Graphic Designer, her project scope has expanded to include component design, concept animations, and assembly videos as well.
Ashton’s supervisor, impressed with her dedication and design skills, recommended her to join the development team of L&P’s new Comfort Connect™ technology – proprietary hardware and software which are integrated to support L&P’s newest adjustable bed product. All movements and feature sets of the bed are controlled through the LP Comfort Connect™ app, which was also developed by the team.
“I’m really proud of the screenshots I designed for the app store and the icon for the app itself,” says Ashton. “I’ve never worked on a mobile application professionally before. It was really interesting, and I definitely learned a lot.”
Designing the app icon was a particular challenge because the team wanted a design that would be a true reflection of the product’s user benefits and future capabilities. Ultimately, Ashton and Scott Clark, Director of Marketing + Creative, combined several of their ideas to form the final design. The icon incorporates a house, which they felt represents the way Comfort Connect™ technology allows the consumer to tailor a key part of every home, the bedroom, to meet their specific needs.
Ashton has enjoyed having the opportunity to participate on this project, because it allowed her to design in new formats and to follow a new product from concept through development. However, she also appreciated the opportunity to collaborate with the team.
“Everyone I work with has been very professional and super enthusiastic about this project,” shares Ashton. “I can really thrive in such a positive and energetic work environment.”