Bedding Industries of American Appoints Leader of New Quality Control Program

Bedding Industries of America (BIA) made another major move last week to bring aboard a seasoned executive to lead a new process and quality control initiative system-wide. This appointment comes only a few weeks after tapping another industry leader to head sales and marketing for the organization. Both of these appointments are part of an increased investment the company is making to provide licensees with more resources for its Eclipse International and Eastman House brands. Russ Bowman, the former President of Sales and Market Development for Leggett & Platt’s Global Systems Group, will oversee the implementation of a company-wide quality control and process improvement initiative.

Bowman’s appointment follows on the heels of the appointment of Tom Rehwinkel as Vice President of Sales and Marketing to help Eclipse and Eastman House licensees expand their retail relationships. The dual appointments and reorganization help form a formidable growth strategy for Bedding Industries of America.

“We believe our investment in the overall licensing framework will help our partners be more successful and ultimately help us grow the Eclipse and Eastman House brands,” said Stuart Carlitz, President and CEO. “By providing excellent support and a strong support organization, we are positioning our licensees to be best in breed in the sleep industry. No other licensing brand is making the investment in people and driving real business to its licensees as are we.”

A 43-year veteran of the bedding industry, engineer and expert in textile and mattress machinery, Bowman’s expertise is in total quality management and lean manufacturing. Since joining the company, Bowman has already written standard operating procedures (SOP) for the online bedding brand Saatva in tandem with the BIA factory in New Jersey. The program will be expanded to include the complete Eastman House and Eclipse International family of products. In his new position, Bowman reports to Carlitz, CEO of Eclipse International and Eastman House.

“Through our SOPs and continuous improvement programs, we’ll be able to ensure consistency and product quality throughout our organization,” Carlitz said. “Russ’ leadership, experience and relationships within the industry will be a great asset to our licensing partners and customers.”

Carlitz said quality assurance programs for Saatva, Eastman House and Eclipse are being finalized, and the company plans to send each licensee a standard operating procedures manual and quality assurance portfolio. Bowman will be visiting factories to implement the quality programs. In addition, Bowman will be joining the company at Interzum May 16-19 in Cologne, Germany, to represent the international expansion of Eclipse and Eastman House.

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About Eclipse International: Based in North Brunswick, N.J., Eclipse International has been making mattresses since 1905, and Eastman House was founded in 1866 and is the oldest, continuous mattress manufacturer in the U.S. A cornerstone brand of Bedding Industries of America, the company is a leader in advanced sleep systems crafted with high quality components, including latex, memory foam, gel and eco-friendly materials. Known for its design innovation, Eclipse holds a number of patents that deliver superb support throughout the product line. Today, the company has 61 licensees, 17 in the U.S., two in Canada and 42 overseas servicing 65 countries or provinces.