Friday, April 13, 2018

Mattress manufacturers optimism grows despite intense competition

All the recent news points to improving business opportunities and manufacturers are ramping up for it. In a nationwide survey of manufacturers reported this week, small manufacturers are expressing record high optimism right now...
"...More than 93% of manufacturers have a positive outlook on their company’s prospects in the U.S. economy – the second-highest level ever recorded by the National Association of Manufacturers – its most recent quarterly survey revealed.

Meanwhile, optimism among small manufacturers was at its highest level ever recorded throughout the survey’s 20 year history; 94.5% of companies reported that they were positive about their future..." (Read full story at Fox Business: https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/trump-says-tax-cuts-allow-workers-to-pocket-more)
All of this optimism appears to be true of the mattress industry too, according to Furniture Today magazine:
"...Strong attendance at the recent International Sleep Products Assn. Expo indicates a growing sense of optimism in the industry, ISPA officials said.

ISPA reported that the expo, held last month in Charlotte, N.C., was one of the largest and most successful shows it has ever held..."  (Read full story at Furniture Today: http://www.furnituretoday.com/article/552466-ispa-expo-turnout-shows-bedding-optimism-increasing/?utm_content=69912013&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter)
GSG was witness to this optimism in our show space at ISPA EXPO as visitors came looking for ways to enhance their products and methods. Crowds had a great response toward our new Gribetz Spectrum mattress quilt machine. Gribetz engineer, Michael James, hosted a series of presentations in the booth that define key leaps in mattress construction during his 35-year career in the industry. Our booth guests enjoyed hearing from Michael, but they were mostly enthusiastic about the new, unique styles this machine can create.
Michael James, 35-year industry veteran Gribetz Engineer,
hosted industry talks at ISPA EXPO 2018.
While optimism runs high in the mattress industry, so does challenging competition, and everyone wants differentiation to set themselves apart from others. Our customers acknowledged that this unique quilt machine is ideal for just that! The Spectrum has 15 independent sewing heads that can automatically switch to different patterns for the most efficiently produces stylish quilt panels in the industry.
The Spectrum uses Targeted Pattern Placement technology to create quilted mattress panels with a unique combination of pattern designs.
There's much more it can do. Take a look at this video, and visit the Spectrum web page at www.gsgcompanies.com.


Friday, February 2, 2018

National manufacturing productivity is up - are you keeping pace with your peers?

Great gains in productivity were achieved by manufacturers in the 4Q of 2017. Were you one of them?

"... Unit labor costs increased 1.3% over the last four quarters.However, manufacturing sector labor productivity increased 5.7% in the fourth quarter of 2017, as output increased 7.3% and hours worked rose 1.5%.These were the largest quarterly increases in manufacturing sector productivity and output since the second quarter of 2010, when output per hour increased 7% and output jumped 10.7%..."(read full IndustryWeek story here: http://www.industryweek.com/economy/overall-labor-productivity-down-manufacturing-productivity)
This report includes some great numbers for your manufacturing peers, but if you're a mattress manufacturer, and can't claim similar production gains, you may be slipping behind. As world economies are heating up, US manufacturers are using technology and improved efficiency to get more production from a more expensive shrinking workforce.

2018 is poised to present even greater challenges for mattress manufacturers. The American worker is expected to have more disposable income on hand and they are ready to spend it. The potential for greater mattress sales is a welcomed announcement - unless you're not prepared to meet demand.

Dropping unemployment rates are good news for the macro-economy, but if you need skilled labor to meet an increase in production demand, good luck! As the report indicates, unit labor costs increased along with the production output, so to maintain good profit margins, your productivity improvements will have to exceed your labor costs growth.

Profit from quilting
The mattress quilting department equipped with Gribetz quilters is one of the most profit-producing departments in mattress manufacturing. You can gain so much value-added productivity per hour with Gribetz quilters that it can raise average productivity across your whole plant. If you are having a hard time sourcing and training quality skilled workers in other mattress production departments, it would be wise to invest in Gribetz equipment to lift your overall productivity profit.

More uptime = more productivity = more profits!
Gribetz has recently introduced a new quilter that makes this process even more productive. The Spectrum quilter is composed of 15 independent sewing heads. It automatically switches from one quilt pattern to another with no need for costly down time to changes needle settings.
See the NEW Gribetz Spectrum at ISPA EXPO in March.


Profit from the Spectrum sooner with new tax incentives this year!
See the Spectrum at the ISPA EXPO, March 14-16, in Charlotte, NC. Now is the best time to invest in a Spectrum thanks to the recent changes in US Tax Law. You can now expense the full cost of this equipment this year, rather than dragging depreciation costs through a series of years. Buy it now, expense it immediately and start profiting from it right away!



(All productivity claims are based on reasonable manufacturing conditions. All operations are different and your results may vary. Consult your tax professional for full details about tax incentives listed herein.)

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Growing labor concerns amid a shrinking workforce in 2018

Interestingly, three major labor concerns facing manufacturing employers in 2018 have nothing to do with the growing costs of increasing wages...
"...Laws affecting inquiries into the criminal histories of job applicants and workplace drug testing are among the issues manufacturers will grapple with in 2018...."
(Read full IndustryWeek magazine article here: http://bit.ly/2CtVztu )
Mattress manufacturers can budget for "fixed" expenses like wages and benefits, but some things about your workforce are out of your control. When unforeseen circumstances disrupt your productivity it compounds other expenses and can send your business spiraling. This IndustryWeek article addresses these increasingly alarming hiring concerns:

  • Suppressing background criminal histories
  • Productivity losses due to the opioid crisis
  • Alternative drug testing methods
All of this complicates an already challenging hiring environment for mattress manufacturers. It's understood that your most valuable asset may be your good workers, but it is becoming difficult to retain them, and even harder to replace them when they're gone.

2 keys to beating labor concerns starting in 2018
This news emphasizes the need to choose mattress manufacturing equipment that increases daily productivity, and requires less skill to operate. These two factors are key to beating these labor problems and keeping your production moving forward at all times.

Here are two GSG machines to start with...
Gribetz V16 quilter can increase daily production by 40%

The strong, fast Mattress Master Optima de-skills the tough work of tape edgers.


Click here for more details: V16 quilter  and Optima Tape Edge Machine

GSG has many new machines that fulfill both of these key criteria on the same machine. Visit www.GSGcompanies.com to see equipment choices for every part of your mattress manufacturing plant.

Best wishes in 2018. Global Systems Group hopes you have a highly productive and profitable year!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

No "Bah - hum bug" here, just humming factories!

Factories Hum from Detroit to Dortmund as World Economy Perks Up (IndustryWeek news headline from today)

"...Global manufacturing indexes have forged ahead to multiyear highs, in concert with improving economies rich with the tinder of easy monetary policy. In the U.S., a resurgence in corporate investment is driving equipment orders. Germany, where business sentiment is near a record, is helping engineer a pickup in Europe’s economy...." (excerpts from recent IndustryWeek news story: http://bit.ly/2BvXld6  )

Manufacturing is revving up around the world right now, and as this story indicates, it's going to get more competitive for those who don't stay ahead...

"...In the U.S., there’s been a notable acceleration in orders and shipments of capital goods. Investment in equipment and software increased at a 10.4% annualized pace in the third quarter, the fastest in three years, according to the government’s calculation of gross domestic product.

Monthly figures show the strength is carrying into the fourth quarter..."

Companies that recognize the future potential are planning to realize their potential by improving productivity with new manufacturing equipment. If you're not planning for new business, you may be on the cusp of losing some business to those around you that are investing in new methods.

This is true of the mattress industry right now. A recent BedTimes magazine article had this to say about the current mattress manufacturing climate:

"...There is broad agreement that the industry is in a period of transformation, driven largely by changing consumer shopping habits and new online players that blur the line between manufacturer and retailer. But other factors, including the growing spending power of millennials, are driving change, too. It is, many say, a challenging but exciting time..." (excerpt from BedTimes article: http://bit.ly/2p6FzaF)


See leading edge technology for mattress manufacturers at www.GSGcompanies.com

There are changes ahead for the mattress industry and manufacturing will change accordingly.  Take a look at some new ways GSG can help you profit in this new era of mattress manufacturing at our New Products web page. Here you'll find cutting edge mattress production technology designed to prepare you for the booming changes ahead.



Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The high value of manufacturing efficiency


Rockwell Automation recently rejected a buyout offer from Emerson Electric of $29 Billion. That's a lot of dough, and that's a lot of NO.
(See the full story here at IndustryWeek.)

Rockwell claims they see more potential in expanding their innovative products and entering new markets with their manufacturing technology. Analysts will surely note that there are many more complex unseen factors impacting this proposition.

The future of manufacturing appears healthy, but competitive
One thing about this story is clear: manufacturers see a healthy future, and they are investing heavily in advanced processes to be sure they can be competitive. As indicated by this news story, I can think of 29 Billion reasons that support this claim.

Toyota, the standard-bearer of manufacturing efficiency for the past 50 years, is designing new factories to be more nimble and flexible. They are developing their New Global Architecture manufacturing system to focus on customized production runs of 1, 2, 3 or 4 units at a time rather than lots of 50 or more.

If you also work with many SKU's, you may want to evaluate your process with GSG. The experienced team of engineers and industry veterans may be able to help you improve your efficiency and productivity.

3 keys to competitive manufacturing:

Know your OEE factors
The Greenlight XT monitoring system from Gribetz can automatically track machine performance, piece-counts and other metrics to keep you informed of productivity in real-time. It work on your own internal network or you can access data from anywhere via the Internet. Best of all - it can be added to nearly any existing equipment with no additional machine programming.


Eliminate non-value-add touches
Systems like the Gribetz DST-60 puts more value into you product. Every time a worker touches your product without improving it (adding value), you lose money. Each time it's manually lifted, moved, loaded, unloaded... diminishes the value of that product. The DST-60 automatically brings the quilt panel to the flanger/serger operator so his efforts can be focused on value-adding processes.


Use flexible equipment for customized production
The newest quilter from Gribetz is the Spectrum, a revolutionary mattress quilter with 15 independent sewing heads! You can diversify your panel production mid-stream because no time-consuming needle changes are required to change panel designs. The computerized system automatically directs each sewing head to operate as needed. The Spectrum operates with a real sewing speed of 1400 RPM, so you can have a flexible production schedule and maintain high-volume production!

These are just three ways to improve your manufacturing process. As Rockwell and Toyota would confirm, there are many more variables, so consult with a GSG rep soon to see where to get started on the many possibilities from GSG.



Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Lasting innovation changes how things get done.


If you've visited Google today, you've surely seen this Google Doodle. It's the 131st anniversary of the patent filing for the paper hole punch. Congratulations, Friedrich Soennecken, you've made the world a better place through your innovation.

Thousands of patented innovations have fallen by the wayside long before their 131st anniversary. To succeed, innovation must meet the following criteria:
  • Clearly solve a widespread problem
  • Work efficiently and effectively for an enduring time
Gribetz International introduced a new innovation in 2017 - the Spectrum quilter. It's a unique mattress quilter with 15 individual operating sewing heads. They can automatically turn on and off for different pattern designs without requiring time-demanding needle changes. All of this amazing production is accomplished at a sewing speed of 1400 RPM!

Gribetz Spectrum with programmable needle pattern production

Here's how it meets the previously listed criteria of success:

Problem(s): solved
Today's mattress manufacturers must meet new demands for speed and flexibility in ever-changing production runs. Traditional fixed-needle quilt machines force a manufacturer to either accept costly downtime to change needle settings with some pattern changes, or forfeit production flexibility by only committing to a limited number of pattern design choices. Using a Gribetz Spectrum, production up-time improves with no needle setting changes, and you can make your production schedule more flexible and responsive to change, providing more design choices for more customers.

Enduring effectiveness
It's a Gribetz! That's one of the most trusted names in mattress machinery, and that's because their quilters have been proven to work for generations of business owners. We can't match the enduring legacy of Friedrich Soennecken yet, but we're headed there. Gribetz has been innovating mattress quilting for over 75 years!

Learn more about the new Gribetz Spectrum here today, and look for this mattress production innovation's Google Doodle in about 130 years!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Is your Productivity Rate flat-lining?!

As stated here many times, good productivity is vital to the health of your mattress manufacturing business. It is one of the purest measurements of your company's success because it weighs the true product value you get out of the resources you invest in your business.

The chart below shows the Productivity Index Rate specifically for Furniture Manufacturers (NAICS code 337) from 1996 to 2016. Overall, we've come a long way, but that's not all it tells us. Twenty years ago the productivity rate was expanding very rapidly, and though it is still showing some growth, it has become relatively flat in recent years.

(Based on statistics from the Bureau of Labor's Productivity and Labor data series IPUEN337___L000)
Obviously many impacting factors come into play; changes in product value, employment levels, just to name a couple biggies. So you can really improve your productivity rate by raising the selling price of your final product, and if you can do that - more power to you! Instead, most manufacturers are being pressured to competitively reduce their selling price, so that makes productivity improvements even more valuable than ever.

Global Systems Group has developed many new technologically advanced mattress machine systems to keep your factory from flat-ling. Multi-tasking operations (more work from less labor) can quickly point your productivity rate upwards.
Porter PE-504/DO with flange attachment
This Porter PE-504/DO is a roll-fed serging machine to overedge each side of border material AND it can automatically add flange behind the serging operation. This improves your worker's productivity in two ways! Since it is fully automated, your worker can perform another operation while this process is working, and the additional flange attachment eliminates that downstream operation altogether.

Gribetz DST-60 de-stacker robot

The Gribetz DST-60 robotic quilt panel de-stacker automatically loads panels into the flanger workspace without any need for operator labor. Reducing non-value-add touches is another valuable productivity factor because it keeps your worker focused on improving product value rather than sucking value out with unnecessary labor tasks.

Don't fall behind the curve in the area of factory productivity. Visit the GSG website, www.gsgcompanies.com, to find many more high-production systems for your mattress factory.