Leggett & Platt focuses on organic growth
Innovation strategy, leadership changes pave way
By Furniture Today Staff -- Furniture Today, March 12, 2007
CARTHAGE, Mo. — Components giant Leggett & Platt has announced an innovation strategy, including leadership changes designed to support CEO Dave Haffner’s vision to heighten the company’s focus on product and technology development to drive organic growth.
“L&P’s future success in the global marketplace will depend heavily on our ability to fully leverage our broad and deep resources, especially in the critical area of product development,” said Vincent Lyons, vice president of engineering and product development and president of the Machinery & Technology Group.
Leadership changes include:
Niels Mossbeck was promoted from segment vice president of product development for the residential furnishings segment to senior director of advanced technology. He will be responsible for developing new products and technologies across the corporation.
Tom Wells was promoted from group vice president and director of research and development for the bedding group to the director of engineering strategy and technical support. He will work with the newly appointed segment business development directors to identify growth opportunities. He also will be responsible for identifying and developing strategic partnerships, alliances and joint development opportunities in support of Leggett’s innovation strategy. Wells will have additional responsibility for the product portfolio plan.
The new strategy, WIN 70/30, will combine Leggett’s resources with external intellectual knowledge to provide innovative product developments that exceed customers’ expectations.
WIN, or Worldwide Innovation Network, recognizes that great ideas can come from anyone at anytime. The company expects at least 70% of its innovations to come from within. The remaining 30% will come from external sources such as inventors, university research labs, small and large company collaborations and partnerships.
Elements of WIN include a new innovation Web site where anyone (Leggett employee or not) can submit ideas to L&P. Employees can access the platform from the L&P Intranet site via the Innovation Redefined logo under New Items. Others may access the platform from the main Leggett & Platt Web site.
“We encourage everyone to visit our Web site, http://www.leggett.com/ , and click on the Innovation Redefined logo. You may submit ideas by clicking on the Open Innovation link,” said Lyons. Employees submitting ideas that are accepted, developed and contribute significantly to the corporation will be presented with the J.P. Leggett Innovators Award during the annual Technology Forum.
In January, L&P opened a new corporate research and development center here, which will be dedicated at a public ceremony Tuesday. In August, Leggett signed an agreement with Invention Machine Corp. to deploy its Goldfire Innovator software to L&P engineers and R&D staff.
To drive innovation across the L&P enterprise, Leggett has created an engineering council. This council will evaluate innovation ideas and identify synergy opportunities across the company. In addition to Lyons, Mossbeck and Wells, council members include Tony Garrett (L&P vice president and president of the Global Systems Group), Shane Baker (group vice president - Product Creation, Commercial Vehicle Products), Jeremy Bogard (engineering manager - Plastics), Greg Finses (director of engineering - Davidson Plyforms), Arnie Fulton (vice president of Engineering - Aluminum), Scott Giett (engineering manager - L&P Wire Tie), LeRoy Johnson (vice president engineering - Office Components), Barry Jones (president North America - Automotive), Steve Kessell (vice president engineering - L&P Shelving), Steve Ogle (vice president Product Development - Fibers Division), Allen Sigmon (product development manager - Furniture), and Wayne East (group controller - Machinery & Technology).
“Our new innovation strategy, leadership changes and engineering council will accelerate our efforts to develop great products faster, provide more value to our customers and increase our sales. We encourage everyone to visit our innovation Web site and submit your ideas to us,” said Lyons.