Building a better bed The role of manufacturers and suppliers

Due to urbanisation, rising disposable incomes and health issues, the Indian mattress market is growing at 10-15 percent annually. Of this, the organised market share constitutes only 30 percent. However, now it is expected that the market share of unorganised mattress players which is led by street-side shops and the local operators will drop drastically in the coming years. This is because Indians are increasingly demanding branded and good quality products. In fact, the mattress/bedding market is gradually transitioning from largely unbranded to branded market which is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13 percent over next five years to constitute nearly 40 percent of the market by 2022.

In addition to people demanding good products, another reason behind this trend is that of lately, the manufacturers and raw suppliers are working together fruitfully in order to serve the best to the customers. While manufacturers are adopting innovative technologies and methods to bring out a better product, the suppliers by supplying quality raw materials and machinery are ensuring that the manufacturers are able to do.

So, this article would explore the individual contribution of manufacturers as well as suppliers and their relationship in bringing out the best mattress product in the market.

Strategies adopted by the manufacturers

1.Understanding customer’s requirement:

The first and foremost thing that the manufacturers are doing is understanding the need of the market/ customers very well. Kundan Kankariya, Director, Kontak Comfort Products Pvt Ltd, notes, “Over the years, lifestyle of people has changed drastically and this has given rise to various lifestyle diseases. Also, these days, people have to work for longer and this involves sitting for hours together. All these issues have resulted in various sleep problems. In such a scenario, as manufacturers, we take it as our duty to give all the comfort to the customers while they sleep. For that, we engage with the customers and ask them about their health problems and then look into the best solutions that we can offer them.”

Mr. Hemant Gupta, Director, Aerocom Cushions Pvt Ltd, shares a similar thought. He avers, in addition to understanding the customer’s needs and suggesting the product that would suit them, we ensure that they get such products at an affordable price. We ensure that the product from inside and outside is of good quality and has a good life.”

Well, this way, the manufacturers take all the possible steps to stay abreast with the market trends, their customer expectations and needs to manufacture the best mattress product.

2. Adoption of new technologies:

The ultimate goal of any mattress manufacturer is to ensure that the consumer gets all the comfort that he desires from his/her mattress. It is for this very reason that reliable and top-notch manufacturers in India are concentrating on new technologies in order to make better mattresses. Thus, the industry has naturally progressed from unorganised cotton and foam-based products to quality products with an infusion of technology. Some of the latest technologies incorporated by manufacturers to build a better product include:

  1. Combination of innerspring and memory foam: The mattress that is prepared by combining these two types of technologies is known as the hybrid version and is considered best for all kinds of sleepers. While inner spring give better comfort (support) and sleep to the consumer, the outer layer made from memory foam gives better pressure relief and comfort. These days, new memory foams are also being used which have an open cell structure and this reduces heat retention, improve airflow and keep the foam cooler. Even gel memory foam is increasingly being used by the manufacturers as it provides enhanced pressure-relief and this is good for patients who have joint pain issues. Few manufacturers are also making use of variable pressure foaming technology which negates the need for chemical blowing agents.
  2. Temperature controlled mattresses: Few mattress manufacturers in the country are also coming up with temperature controlled mattresses which are quite popular in other nations. A perfect fit for India’s hot and humid climate, such mattresses allow their temperature to be controlled with the help of remote control and thus ensure good sleep. Not just the temperature but the elevation of the mattress can also be controlled with the help of the same remote control.
  3. Increased usage of organic material: Since past several years, mattresses were made using polyurethane foam, a petroleum-based material which emits volatile compounds that are harmful to both humans and the environment. Now, with the growing awareness about the environment, customers are demanding mattresses that do not harm the environment as well as humans and this is leading to manufacturers using organic methods and material for making mattresses. This is the reason that materials like eco-latex and bio-cotton are increasingly being used. Mattress like organic innerspring mattress and plant-based memory foam mattress are gaining prominence and attention from the manufacturers.
  4. Paying attention to mattress cover: These days, manufacturers are not only paying attention to the inner materials and technology but they are focussing on mattress cover technology as well which is also very important for the comfort and health of the customer.

Above are a few strategies that are adopted by the manufacturers these days in building a better product and expect support from the suppliers. Here, comes the importance of raw material and machinery suppliers.

Strategies adopted by the suppliers

Just like mattress manufacturers, even the present-day suppliers have woken up to the fact that it is necessary to supply the best quality raw materials so as to ensure that the end-products is good. Suppliers are also realising that it is necessary to cooperate with the manufacturers to see that they get what they need in order to develop a good product.

Thus, in order to understand what the mattress manufacturers want, suppliers actively engage with the manufacturers. Mr. Rajiv Khanna, Director, Shiv Techfabs Pvt Ltd who is into mattress ticking fabric supplies business, says, “These days, manufacturers are demanding raw materials that are not only good but perform specific functions, have unique features and offer something extra. Hence, the raw material suppliers are constantly working towards supplying such materials.” He adds further, “What is heartening to note that now not only big brands are demanding quality materials but even local mattress  manufacturers  are  demanding them.  They also  want    technologically advanced materials and not just run-of-the-mill stuff. This is a good sign for growth of the bedding industry as a whole.

Not only the raw material suppliers but even the machinery suppliers for the bedding industry assume a lot of importance  in   contributing   towards making the best product. This is because an efficient machine which is highly automated and fast can manufacture increased number of products which are  of  good  quality  and  save  time, money and reduce wastage. Hence, the machinery suppliers are also constantly engaged in coming up with improved machines which can help the mattress manufacturers in developing products that are of supreme quality.

Relationship between the manufacturers and suppliers

While the manufacturers strive hard to come up with new solutions to give better products to the consumers, the suppliers ensure that the best of raw materials and machinery is supplied to the manufacturers in order to help them achieve their aim. Manufacturers and suppliers can function in the best possible manner only when they work together towards a common goal that is developing the best mattress product. 

ISPF is an industry body which promotes importance of sleep and role of mattress for a Indian consumers. ISPF plays very important role in connecting Indian bedding industry ecosystem. ISPF also acts as bridge between India and international players.