Independent mattress manufacturer Pleasant Mattress has fully implemented Lean Manufacturing principles into its manufacturing operations, which has enabled the company to increase output by 30 percent and ship 95 percent of its orders within a one-week lead time. The strategic initiative has also enabled the company to offer enhanced quality, increased efficiency and continuous improvement to better serve its retail partners.
The Lean Implementation Process
During the lean implementation, Pleasant Mattress examined its workflow to identify areas that could use improvement. With a focus on waste reduction, the company reorganized its factory and transitioned from single man operations to teams to increase throughput and improve ergonomics. The company also invested heavily in raw material inventory to achieve supply chain stability. Aiming to make an immediate impact for its customers, the effort has paid off with an increase in output of hundreds of units per day resulting in more capacity in the factory now than in its entire history.
“Last year, we began the first phase of our transition toward lean manufacturing, which enabled us to increase throughput to meet continued demand from our customers,” said Rion Morgenstern, CEO of Pleasant Mattress. “Our President Carter Gronbach and our Plant Manager Brian Rivera, who is Six Sigma certified, led our production center in its transition and played key roles in the tremendous success of this initiative. During the second half of this year, the focus has been on accelerating this effort to increase quality and efficiency to help our dealers keep up with continued sales momentum.”
Future Improvements Are Imminent
While implementing lean principles is a huge step, the benefits of the shift serve as a launch point for further improvements. For example, Pleasant Mattress has been able to broaden its product mix to offer more options for its customers who may be sensitive to rising prices. The debut of its 10-bed Spring Air-branded line has been an important addition for its retailers’ offerings in the entry level and value-price-point categories. The launches of the company’s McRoskey and AirFlex brands have also helped Pleasant Mattress’ dealer’s increase their sales in the high-end, luxury segment.
“With the ongoing expansion of our product portfolio and the tremendous growth we are experiencing in the boxed-bed and private-label categories, Brian’s knowledge and experience have been key in helping us achieve success in the full integration of lean principles. Together we identified ways to interconnect processes that increase worker efficiency and keep product flowing through the facility– and ultimately to our customers faster,” said Gronbach.
“The practice of applying a lean flow has been extremely beneficial,” Rivera said. “The solutions we’ve implemented are meant to be sustainable and continuously improved upon as gains are made throughout the value stream. We have an extraordinary leadership team with Rion and Carter at the helm. The support they have provided for our team and for us to become an even stronger partner for our retail customers has been incredible. Our future looks very bright.”
About Pleasant Mattress
Pleasant Mattress is an independent, family-owned and operated mattress manufacturer serving the Western United States. The company has been building traditional mattresses and specialty sleep products in its 150,000-square-foot campus in Fresno, California since 1959 and employs 160 people. The company is a licensee and manufacturer of the Spring Air family of brands and manufactures the AirFlex and McRoskey brands through its McRoskey Mattress Works division.