American Textile Company
If you put it on your bed, chances are American Textile Company manufacturers it. The Duquesne, Pa.-based company has for 90 years designed products to improve the quality of sleep, says Rick Waltemire, director of purchasing and global supply chain.
The company makes comforters, pillows and pillow protectors, mattress pads and protectors, sheets and blankets. Brands include AllerEase, designed for asthma and allergy sufferers; Sealy mattress and pillow protectors, and EvenTemp temperature balancing bedding.
One of the company’s latest products is its EvenTemp temperature-balancing bedding collection. Using a patented technology, the products provide comfort as conditions change, cooling as body temperature rises and insulating when body temperature drops, Waltemire says. The company also has an agreement with Sealy, the world’s largest bedding manufacturer, to produce and market mattress and pillow protectors.
American Textile Company has experienced double-digit growth each of the past 10 years as its products appear in more major retail stores and are sold in catalogs and online, Waltemire says. “We wanted to be a major player in the home bedding department at all North American retailers in all categories of bedding products,” he says. “We wanted to expand into everything that goes with bedding.” Indeed, the company even makes pet beds, bedding products for hospitals and hotels as well as bedding for children.
The company’s products are sold in more than 40,000 retail outlets throughout North America, with consumer demand for tens of millions of units annually fueling the need for additional manufacturing capacity, Waltemire says. To meet that demand, the company has opened more than 900,000 square feet of manufacturing and distribution space over the past decade, including 418,000 square feet at its Tifton, Ga., facility.
American Textile Company also maintains facilities in Duquesne, Dallas and Salt Lake City as well as operations in China and El Salvador. The U.S. facilities are strategically located to best serve the needs of customers across the country and optimize supply chain efficiencies, Waltemire says. When West Coast dockworkers went on strike in 2014, American Textile Company was only minimally impacted because it rerouted shipments bound for its Salt Lake City facility to East Coast ports. “No one saw how long that situation was going to last, but we implemented strategies to respond effectively for our customers,” Waltemire says. ”We really came out of it with minimal scrapes and bruises.”
Supply Chain Success
Waltemire says the company’s supply chain focus and initiatives have enhanced its success over the past decade. Indeed, the company’s ability to fill a multimillion-dollar order placed by Costco for its Aller-Ease organic line was one example of the supply chain working at peak performance. “It was a big success,” he recalls. “As our business grows, we’ve found ways to make the supply chain diverse and adaptable.”
The company’s new ERP system is scheduled for launch in August – an event for which American Textile has prepared for two years. “We worked with other companies in Pittsburgh,” Waltemire says. “We’ve heard the horror stories about not being fully prepared or forcing the change through. But we’ve done our homework. We’re confident our launch will be a success.”
American Textile Company got its start in 1925 selling mattress covers to Sears. The company also produced an ironing board cover in 1935 that was patented by its founder, Charles Ruttenberg. American Textile even played a role in World War II when its sewers manufactured elastic buckles used in gas masks and disposal bags for use in airplanes.
Waltemire says he’s most proud of the company’s steady growth. “We’re a growing company, but the reason we’re a growing company is because we’re doing the right things,” he says. “Our products resonate with consumers.”
American Textile Company was ranked as of the Best Places to Work in Pittsburgh in a survey conducted by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The rankings were determined by an online survey completed by company employees. The Pittsburgh Business Times in 2010 named the company Manufacturer of the Year in the mega business category.
The company strongly believes in green initiatives and has been a “zero-waste manufacturer” for the past five years. The company began in 2008 by recycling cardboard, office paper and shrink-wrap generated at its Duquesne manufacturing facility. Additionally, the company provides scrap fabric to partners that use it for other purposes.
The manufacturer uses eco-friendly packaging on several of its products. New packaging will be made from recyclable cardboard material instead of the previously used plastic material.