April 16, 2018
Focus on Manufacturing Excellence

Jeffco Fibres seeks constant improvement for portfolio

Courtesy | Jeffco Fibres
The team members at Jeffco strive to accomplish two things: Take care of customers to the best of their ability and improve each day.

If you've ever gotten a good night's sleep, there's a good chance you slept on foam from Jeffco Fibres.

The company, based in Webster, manufactures foam products primarily for foam mattresses and pillows. For certain products, the company has its own cut-and-sew operation in house.

It's not only foam coming out of Jeffco's facilities: The company makes and trades organic wool and Kevlar used in bulletproof vests. Some of the company's foam material is even used in packaging.

Foam for the packaging industry is a commodity item, and it's really the same material across different manufacturers, but it's Jeffco's service and technical expertise that sets them apart, said Charlie Pious, president of Unicorr Packaging Group's Putnam division in Worcester.

"You can buy the same foam from four or five other companies in New England," Pious said. "We do business with them because of the way they support and service us."

Jeffco can accommodate emergency orders when Unicorr's customers are pressuring them, Pious said. Unicorr is a family operation, as is Jeffco.

"It's nice to know you're talking to people that arent working for a corporate office 1,000 miles away," Pious said.

Jeffco's foam team has grown by 40 percent, and hundreds of hours have been dedicated to training, said Eric Lonstein, president of the company's foam division.

That growth includes new national contracts in the consumer product space, including with ecommerce mattress and mattress topper brands.

"People often say the mattress and toppers we produce really help their quality of life, sleep and health," he said. "That's something that really motivates us to keep going and keep trying to improve our craft."

Along with that growth is a constant innovation to become as efficient as possible, including becoming a lean manufacturing company thanks to a workforce development grant and a two-year program with the Greater Boston Manufacturing Partnership.

"We're going to make lean more and more a part of our DNA," Lonstein said.

That transformation into a more modern manufacturing operations includes significant capital investments to increase capacity, he said.

Read about the other Excellence in Manufacturing Awards winners

Green Manufacturing Award: Fourstar Connections

Product Design and Innovation Award: Curtis Industries

Workforce Development and Productivity Award: IPAC

Rising Star Award: ThinkLite

Collaboration in Manufacturing Award: Wormtown Brewery

Manufacturing Excellence Award, Small Company: Optim

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