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Flex-O-Lators Packs a Big Punch

Don’t let the small-town location fool you – Flex-O-Lators in Carthage, Missouri, plays a big role in Leggett & Platt’s operations. That’s because the facility manufactures components used in the company’s own automotive, furniture, and bedding operations, as well as those of outside customers. This vertical integration also takes place on the front end, with Flex-O-Lators purchasing wire and materials from other L&P branches to make those components.

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6 Quick Tips For Lasting Connections – Network Smarter Part 3

Networking Smarter 3 - Lasting Connections

Note: This is the final installment of a three-part series

By now I hope you’ve noticed an emerging theme: networking isn’t all about you. Like any other relationship, it’s a two-way street. If you take anything away from this mini-series, I hope you take this: giving is more important that receiving. You network smarter when you’re attentive to others’ wants and needs. It’s effective and it makes for lasting connections. Continue reading

Company Spotlight: Work Furniture

Work Furniture in a RowLeggett & Platt is North America’s leading independent manufacturer of office furniture parts. If your office chair tilts or swivels, there’s a good chance that mechanism came from L&P. But how did Leggett & Platt grow to become a giant in the office furniture industry? It began in 1984, with the acquisition of Gordon Manufacturing.

Big Opportunities

Gordon Manufacturing, out of Grand Rapids, Michigan, manufactures chair controls and steel bases for office furniture. When L&P acquired the company, it did so in an effort to broaden its sofa mechanism business. But the acquisition proved a success in its own right, and David Haffner, current CEO of Leggett & Platt, was tasked with expanding the office furniture business. He soon became president of the newly formed Office Components Business Unit (OCBU). Continue reading

U.S. Manufacturing Making a Comeback | A Linking Mess

Good days ahead for Leggett & Platt?

This article shares the state of manufacturing in America right now, and there’s reason to be optimistic. After a decades-long decrease in jobs, 600,000 have been added over the past four years. Part of the reason is increased wages in China and other emerging countries, leading many companies to bring jobs back to the U.S. Here are a couple interesting numbers: the average annual pay and benefits for U.S. manufacturing workers in 2012 was $77,505, whereas the number for all U.S. workers is $62,063; and 80% of manufacturing jobs require at least an associate’s degree or 12 months of training. Incidental note: one of my favorite words, “sanguine,” is used late in the article.

Why U.S. Manufacturing Is Poised for a Comeback (Maybe) – Wall Street Journal

What can a twentysomething teach a company executive?

This isn’t the first article about “reverse mentoring” that I’ve linked to, and that’s because I think it’s an important subject. I understand how reluctant an “older” employee would be Continue reading

A Linking Mess: Week of 12/30/13

LinkingMess2The lost art of conversation – The Atlantic

The use of smartphones and other interactive devices in almost any setting has become pervasive, so articles like this have started becoming pervasive, too. How is the constant use of devices going to affect human interaction? Sherry Turkle, a psychologist and professor at MIT, wrote “Along Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other” in 2011, when smartphone saturation was just emerging. This article features Turkle, who is described as a “tech critic” despite not being “tech-skeptical.” Imagine, if you can, reading about this future phenomena 10 years ago. It would have seemed straight out of a Ray Bradbury novel. Continue reading