Founded: January 2005
Location: Troy, MI
CEO: Daniel Bouzide
2009 Revenue: $3M
Manufacturing: Sullivan, MO
WellnessMats markets and disributes100% polyurethane anti-fatigue mats. The company contracts its manufacturing to Meramec Industries in Sullivan, Mo., and its customers include the Department of Homeland Security and the TSA.
Click through the slides as Founder and CEO Daniel Bouzide shares his story.
Q: What factors did you consider when deciding to manufacture domestically?
A: Many factors influenced our decision to keep manufacturing in the U.S.A. But perhaps the biggest influence is we believe this is the right thing to do and so do many of our customers and vendors. They understand that they are getting a superior product that we will always stand behind with our seven-year warranty.
Another consideration was our mandate to maintain quality control at every level. Our manufacturing partner, Meramec, maintains the highest standards, guaranteeing that our unique products are made to exact specifications every time. Should a manufacturing issue ever arise, our lines of communication and geographic proximity to our manufacturing partner makes it easy and fast to resolve issues. Quality control is a direct result of communication, and that simply cannot exist with a manufacturing partner thousands of miles away. Time to market also played a role in our decision. To succeed in today’s competitive markets, we need to be agile enough to continually perfect our anti-fatigue products. Technology and ideas change quickly and working domestically gives us the flexibility to react swiftly to meet those demands.
Q: How has domestic manufacturing influenced your organization?
A: Internally, our organization is very proud to claim that WellnessMats products are ‘100% Made in America.’ Every element that goes into a WellnessMats product comes from a supply chain that is dedicated to that model for success. Every employee has a strong sense of pride and accomplishment. Businesses in the 21st century can thrive selling premium, well made, American-made products. We see this in the faces of our employees as well; we are feeding our economy and we are doing our small part to keep living-wage jobs in America. We are also a Michigan-based company that has historically been dependent on the all-too-recently decimated auto industry. I believe we are even more sensitive to the loss of jobs due to outsourcing and over-seas manufacturing.
Q: What is one of the biggest challenges to growth as your company moves forward?
A: One of our biggest challenges is competing with inferior import products that are really designed to confuse consumers. Sub-standard products are flooding the market and to the untrained eye, they look alike. The products appear to be exact knock-offs; these imitators enter the marketplace and create confusion for the uninformed consumer. Our market research shows unequivocally that there is no comparison in terms of comfort, performance and longevity, but when these copycat products dramatically undercut our pricing, it makes it difficult to compete. We allocate a tremendous amount of resources to educating folks about the difference between the ‘us’ and ‘them’ products.
Q: Where is there opportunity in the market for your products?
A: Opportunities start with everyday consumers as they become better informed of the benefits and importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Consumers are looking for meaningful, quality products that will have a positive impact on their daily lives.
We have been extremely fortunate that our consumers tend to be very responsive to all of our key messages; our informed, earth-minded consumer is equally interested in the success of the American manufacturer and economy. The health-minded individual is just as concerned with wellness as we are. The opportunity lies in our ability to share our message with the public at large. Good health and general wellbeing really do go hand and hand with work, security and prosperity.
Q: What is your company doing to promote domestic manufacturing?
A: Not only do we put our money where our mouth is, we shout it from the rooftops! One of our core marketing messages is to share our story with consumers and to encourage them to buy 100% American-made products. Purchasing domestic-made products promotes and validates the model that U.S. manufacturing works. A product that is made in America can survive and thrive in the 21st century. Our aggressive marketing and media campaigns highlight competitive comparisons and survey results
An in-depth look at small businesses that are choosing to keep their business in the states and what that means for their bottom line.