WICHITA FALLS, Texas — Latex International L.L.C. plans to open a mattress component fabrication facility in Wichita Falls and close two existing sites as part of a three-phase restructuring plan.
The strategy includes adding latex pouring capacity in about three years at the new Texas site.
Latex International will close its Atlanta fabrication facility about the same time it opens the plant in Wichita Falls, slated to begin operating Sept. 1. About 50 jobs will be created at the Texas factory. The company did not say how many layoffs will occur when the Georgia site closes.
Shelton, Conn.-headquartered Latex International also plans to shut down its La Mirada, Calif., fabrication facility in December. Full details on that closure haven't been released.
The site in Texas, located about two hours northwest of Dallas, spans 100,000 square feet, twice the size of the company's factory in Atlanta, according to President and CEO Kevin Coleman. It will serve as the primary fabrication arm to the firm's foam pouring plant in Shelton.
By centralizing much of its latex inventory—latex mattresses and pillows produced in Shelton—at the Wichita Falls complex, Latex International “will create greater production efficiencies, minimize stockouts, and provide more consistent and improved on-time delivery,” he said.
The Texas facility will serve custom-ers in the West, Central, South and South- east sections of the U.S. Latex International's fabrication operation in Connecticut will continue to handle the North- east.
The firm also has a fabrication site in Harrogate, England, and is adding another when it completes construction of a latex pouring factory in Malaysia, said Kevin Stein, vice president of marketing, research and development.
Coleman said at the new complex the company will have the fabrication capacity to triple its present output.
In addition, Latex International said it has contracted Unisource Logistics Solutions, a chain of supply operations, as its primary distributor. Unisource plans to reduce lead times by utilizing its warehousing, cross-docking capabilities, inventory management and distribution services to deliver latex mattresses and pillows to customers' fac- tories.
Unisource will handle all of the company's U.S. supply needs from its 80 warehouse distribution centers around the country, Stein said. From those distribution points, Latex Foam can stock its latex mattresses and pillows for shipment to customers, he said.
The new plant in Texas, the closure of the Atlanta site and addressing the firm's U.S. distribution needs by bringing Unisource on board comprise phase one of the firm's planned strategy for its fabrication and production operation.
Phase two includes the shutdown of the La Mirada facility with greater use of Unisource's logistics network, which will allow Latex International's customers on the West Coast to continue ordering smaller skid quantities and other services on a more regular basis, the company said.
Phase three calls for expanding the Wichita Falls facility's capabilities to include the launch of a latex pouring operation in 2013. The new plant already has the necessary infrastructure, including power availability, electrical, gas and lighting, the firm said.
In mid-June, Latex International began constructing the latex pouring and manufacturing plant in Malaysia that's expected to span 251,000 square feet. It will produce latex mattresses and pillows for the firm's growing business in Asia, the Middle East and Europe.