From Home Furnishing Business
OMI Launches ‘Factory Within a Factory’ to Expand Manufacturing Capabilities
Organic mattress producer OMI has announced the expansion of its manufacturing capabilities by introducing a new manufacturing concept it is calling a “factory within a factory.” The first such facility is in Denver, where the company has partnered with local manufacturer, Old West Mattress Company.
Along with manufacturing equipment dedicated exclusively to organic production, the factory within a factory features a secured and segregated area to house the specialized, natural raw materials OMI uses to manufacture its certified organic mattress line. The factory also features dedicated shipping and receiving docks, and specialized materials-handling equipment. This will be the company’s second manufacturing location, along with the facility at its northern California “Eco-Factory” headquarters.
The factory within a factory will also aid OMI as it moves to reduce delivery times. Currently, the company ships its products in from 10 to 14 days; its goal is to reduce this time to only three days anywhere in the United States.
“Over the past two years we have taken an omnichannel approach to marketing that has dramatically increased our reach to different consumer and trade segments. As a result, we require more manufacturing capacity, and we wanted to expand our footprint more strategically than the standard industry practice,” said Jeff Bader, chief executive officer of OMI.
“Old West Mattress is well regarded in the industry for its manufacturing expertise,” Bader added. “What makes Old West the perfect partner in this effort is not only its dedication to manufacturing high-quality sleep products at volume, but also ownership’s willingness to embrace the significant complexities of organic manufacturing.”
In preparing for its partnership with OMI, Old West’s facility received certification under the Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) after more than a year of planning and preparation. Achieving this certification requires substantial changes in how a facility stores raw materials, produces finished goods and in other processes. To maintain GOLS certification, a factory must undergo annual independent audits of its production processes, record keeping and social and environmental practices.
According to Bader, by bringing OMI’s organic expertise to a partner factory, the company can scale production quickly to meet demand, instead of following the more-traditional path of opening multiple facilities on its own.
“A significant portion of our business is in higher-end, luxury products. OMI has managed to take organic and give it all the elements of luxury bedding, so it made complete strategic sense for us to add its products to our high-end portfolio,” said Lester L. Mesner, CEO of Old West. “We knew going into this certification process that it would be a tedious, year-long effort, so it was critical as an independently run plant that we partnered with the right brand that would be able to guide us down this new path, which we found with OMI.”
As experts in the luxury and private label space, Old West, a Therapedic licensee, was able to adapt quickly to the new organic manufacturing protocols and work closely with OMI through all steps of the year-long process to gain its organic certifications.
“My vision is to partner with existing well-regarded manufacturers that would allow us to build out a segregated space for our certified products, train the more experienced members of their workforce on how to produce our goods, and then tap into that talent when needed,” Bader said. “Once this model is proven, I believe we will be able to roll it out in other parts of the country.”