Latexco US is making sure it has the U.S. bedding market covered.
The producer of latex and polyurethane products is investing in eastern and western U.S. to shore up its presence within the region.
It recently completed a $12 million expansion to its Lavonia , Ga., site, adding about 72,000 square feet of manufacturing space and bringing the size of the operation to 175,000 square feet. The site currently employs 90, but Chief Operating Officer Bob Carstens said that figure is projected to increase by 20 percent in the next 12 months.
On the opposite side of the country, Latexco is in the process of establishing a manufacturing site in Phoenix that will replace its current 66,000-square-foot site in Santa Fe Springs, Calif. Production from California will relocate to the new site, which will span between 100,000 and 130,000 square feet, Carstens said.
He added that all 16 employees in California have been offered jobs and relocation packages. Those who are unable to move will receive a severance package. Employment at Phoenix will also increase by about 25 percent as the plant becomes fully operational. The firm is investing about $10 million in the project.
"It's hard to be competitive when you don't have a location [on the West Coast] to service from," Carstens said. "The distribution costs just become kind of a show stopper. Part of our strategy is to have a manufacturing location out there where we can grow the foam business as well as latex."
Part of the driver behind relocating to Phoenix is that the firm intends to relocate about one-third of its polyurethane pouring capacity from Lavonia to Phoenix, and then eventually upgrade one of the lines in Lavonia. Carstens said California would not permit the company to locate the production there.