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From Tradition to Transformation: BekaertDeslee's Path to Industry Leadership

A look at the challenges faced by traditional players, the rise of online mattress buying, and how BekaertDeslee's digital transformation is revolutionizing the market.

In a rapidly evolving business landscape, disruption has become the new norm, impacting industries across the board. Even traditional sectors like the mattress industry are not immune to this wave of change.

During a recent visit to a BekaertDeslee factory in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Propel Software CEO Ross Meyercord and I gained valuable insights into how the company is embracing innovation to capitalize on these shifts.

How Disruption Sparks Innovation

Disruption is not confined to specific industries; it touches nearly every sector. While technology is often associated with disruption, BekaertDeslee's experience reveals that even long-established companies need to adapt. 

The mattress industry, for instance, has witnessed significant disruption due to the emergence of bed-in-a-box and mattress-in-a-box companies like Casper, Purple, and Avocado. They have revolutionized the buying experience by offering convenient online purchasing and doorstep delivery.

For traditional mattress fabric suppliers like BekaertDeslee, this disruption poses a challenge. They continue to work closely with established manufacturers using legacy processes and distribution channels while embracing the technology-driven approaches from the new entrants.   

The agility and innovative practices of nimble disruptors are transforming BekaertDeslee’s business model. Working effectively with these startups requires embracing new technologies, adopting digital transformation, and responding swiftly to market demands.

What we learned is that BekaertDeslee is not only up for the challenge, they’re checking all the boxes.

Transforming Tradition through Tech

As a key supplier to traditional mattress manufacturers, BekaertDeslee understands the transformative power of strong partnerships in an ever-evolving landscape. 

They recognize that embracing cutting-edge technology and fostering collaboration are the cornerstones of success in a dynamic industry. It’s by harnessing digital innovation that they’re able to empower their clients to pivot and move swiftly.

Here are a few of the specific approaches they’re taking:

Democratizing the Product Record

BekaertDeslee champions a culture of collaboration by breaking down silos and connecting every team member through a shared vision. By democratizing the product record, they’re able to work from a single thread of unified knowledge and unlock the full potential of their collective expertise. 

By leveraging the power of Propel’s single-platform solution, BekaertDeslee seamlessly enhances collaboration, improves efficiency, and responds rapidly to the ever-changing market. This approach aligns with their ambitious goal of doubling their business within the next five years!

Exploring Uncharted Territory with a Familiar Framework

By focusing on greenfield use cases, BekaertDeslee is tackling new challenges while gradually integrating new systems. This balanced approach ensures that BekaertDeslee paves a path toward innovation while staying true to their core values.

They’re able to leverage the fact that Propel's platform is built on the robust foundation of Salesforce to implement new systems over time and seamlessly integrate them into the current workflow without missing a beat.

Advancements in Manufacturing

Visiting BekaertDeslee's factory in Winston-Salem, it was clear that the spirit of innovation permeates every process. Guided by their commitment to business and digital transformation, they embrace cutting-edge advancements on the plant floor. 

For instance, quality control processes can often be as manual as spot-checking each individual mattress cover. But with a bit of innovation, BekaertDeslee is looking to introduce scanning technology, evolving to a hybrid quality control process combining the accuracy of manual checks while introducing more efficiency with technology.

Ideas like these are not only key for enhancing quality consistency, they drastically improve efficiency, boost productivity, and uphold the standards that define their brand.

Disruptors, Take Note

Even disruptors like Casper and Avocado, once challengers themselves, now face the intricate challenges of scaling and maturing their operations—something BekaertDeslee has long since mastered. Striving to strike a balance between relentless innovation and sustainable profitability, the up-and-comers also have to navigate the ever-changing landscape. 

BekaertDeslee, ever attentive to the industry's dynamics, has set themselves up for continued growth with an essential balance of a foundational framework and steadfast innovation. 

Our takeaway? The mattress industry is representative of the broader business landscape, where disruption and innovation go hand in hand. BekaertDeslee's commitment to embracing change, adopting new technologies, and fostering collaboration positions them as a key player in this evolving industry. 

By leveraging platforms like Propel and implementing a single-platform solution for their product lifecycle activities, BekaertDeslee is able to navigate a dynamic market while empowering its customers to adapt and thrive.

For a firsthand account of BekaertDeslee’s growth story, watch our discussion with Dmitriy Geler, VP of NPI Engineering and Transformation. 

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Post by
Charles Lawson
CRO, Propel

Charles brings more than 20 years of extensive experience building and managing teams for lead generation and sales in SaaS and enterprise software. He has worked with solutions in all three phases of the product lifecycle, including the “as designed,” “as built” and “as maintained” stages.

Fun Fact: Charles has been to Stonehenge 6 times, despite not being a Druid.

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Charles Lawson