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130-Year-Old Textile Titan Conquers Manufacturing Disruption (Manufacturing.Net)

BekaertDeslee's quest for top-tier operational efficiency led them to Propel Software.

This article was originally written for and published in Manufacturing.Net.

Disruption does not discriminate. It is not confined.

In an evolving business landscape, no one is immune to the challenges that come with disruption - not even a 130-year-old textile titan like BekaertDeslee.

BekaertDeslee has been crafting sleep comfort for generations, spending over a century ensuring the world enjoys restful sleep as an industry leader specializing in the development and manufacturing of woven and knitted mattress textiles. This multinational company operates in 18 countries with 26 different locations, producing approximately 150,000 mattress covers daily. But while BekaertDeslee is a leader in the category, it doesn't mean that it’s immune from disruption.

New Entrants Challenge the Mattress Market Norm

Several years ago the mattress industry underwent a seismic shift when new entrants like Casper, Purple, and Avocado entered the market and redefined the mattress buying experience. These retailers offered customers a new way to shop for and purchase mattresses, capitalizing on an online, doorstep delivery model. This left traditional retailers like BekaertDeslee grappling with the need for rapid innovation and flexibility to address these sudden changing consumer demands.

The instant gratification that shoppers felt was contagious - and traditional manufacturers were feeling the pressure. Many manufacturers needed to find ways to speed up their processes to remain relevant in a consumer world that was rapidly changing.

BekaertDeslee, like other manufacturers, were also faced with increased competition from abroad - as some companies started making products in low-cost Asian manufacturing regions and then importing them into the United States. Traditional manufacturers needed more nimble supply chains where flexibility and resilience could be incorporated to react to any unexpected changes.

To meet these challenges as well as the needs of new customers, all while growing profitably, BekaertDeslee recognized the need to evolve, prioritizing rapid innovation, speed to market, and market agility.

The Transformational Blueprint: Talent, Processes and Innovation

In 2021, the company embarked on a digital transformation journey, fostering a workforce that embraced change and unity across departments. Applying the principle of "controlled chaos," BekaertDeslee replaced siloed departmental objectives with a unified corporate mission. This shift put them on a path to exceed ambitious revenue targets, with all departments moving forward cohesively.

As the company’s product landscape grew in intricacy and variety, BekaertDeslee also wanted to incorporate sustainable systems to support consistent product launches. As a global company, BekaertDeslee complies to more advanced European sustainability regulations and was looking to incorporate those best practices into its U.S. manufacturing processes. The company’s goal was not just about being sustainable – but being profitably sustainable. As it evolved its processes, it needed to work with local North American customers to drive more advanced sustainability practices matching those from its European counterparts.

The quest for profitability rested on cultivating a team that wasn't afraid to challenge the status quo. Leveraging robust systems and the right talent, continuous innovation was the next logical progression.

Navigating Complexity with a Streamlined System

With the goal of replicating top-tier operational efficiency worldwide, BekaertDeslee needed a solution that could manage its entire product lifecycle, from concept to customer.

Its quest for top-tier operational efficiency led them to Propel Software.

At BekaertDeslee, new product introduction touches every part of the organization with each product made-to-order. Color, pattern and material variations require each product to have its own unique SKU. These constant, fast-paced development cycles demand a collaborative, streamlined process that Propel provides. By overseeing inventory and lifecycle management, Propel granted BekaertDeslee unparalleled visibility into product metrics.

Propel's product lifecycle management (PLM) solution played a pivotal role in helping the company transform sporadic, one-time successes into a consistent series of victories. By managing the entire product lifecycle, Propel provided visibility into product metrics and obsolescence triggers, enabling BekaertDeslee to adapt swiftly to market fluctuations.

Results Achieved

With Propel, collaboration is no longer a buzzword, but an actionable strategy. From ideation to delivery, Propel ensures that BekaertDeslee can swiftly adapt to market fluctuations or pivot based on product or customer feedback. The results? A 30% reduction in factory inventory on hand and consistent double-digit growth year over year, solidifying BekaertDeslee's position as a top market leader.

Propel has been an essential part of BekaertDeslee's transformative journey which integrates technology, culture, and business acumen. In an ever-evolving marketplace, Propel stands out as a trusted partner for businesses looking to stay one step ahead of the competition.

The Future is Bright

As disruptors like Casper and Avocado face new challenges in scaling and maturing their own operations, BekaertDeslee's success story serves as a testament to the enduring importance of embracing change, adopting new technologies, and fostering collaboration. The mattress industry is illustrative of the larger business landscape, where today disruption and innovation go hand in hand. By utilizing Propel to implement a single-platform solution for its product lifecycle development needs, BekaertDeslee is well positioned to navigate dynamic market changes, and stay ahead in an ever-evolving marketplace.

Learn how Dmitriy Geler, BekaertDeslee's VP of NPI Engineering and Transformation, drives the company's growth with a culture of continuous transformation. Listen to the conversation here.

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Propel Software helps product companies grow revenue and increase business value. Our product value management platform connects commercial and product teams to optimize decision making with shared insights, drive efficiency with contextualized collaboration, and engage customers with compelling products and experiences. Propel has a proven track record of improving product quality and margins, accelerating speed to revenue and profit, and increasing customer satisfaction for product companies. Recognized as a Deloitte Technology Fast 500 winner, Propel is built on Salesforce and drives product success for hyper-growth startups, corporate pioneers, and Fortune 500 leaders in the high tech, medtech and consumer goods industries. For more information, visit

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