Housing Americo's wholly owned subsidiary Promo Matting, the Cartersville location manufactures floor matting custom made to order. The 152,000 square foot facility now employs nearly 60 people and is still three to four weeks from full operation.
The move was made by Americo to bring the entire division under one roof. Promo Matting was operating from Americo headquarters in Acworth and a 50,000-square-foot storage facility in Cartersville. In addition to their standard operation, Promo Matting purchased Pioneer Mat of Chattanooga, Tenn., in August of last year necessitating a facility change.
"What we've done is consolidate all of those locations into this area," said Richard Rones, Americo president. "Running out of three locations, we were somewhat inefficient. Doing different stages of operation in different locations you had inefficiencies from transferring product back and forth. By having it all under one roof and having the ability to expand, having additional space, really enables us to go after a lot of business that we couldn't have handled before and also reduce our cost by putting it all under one roof."
Mats are fully produced in house. From the tufting and backing to design and imprinting, the Cartersville plant takes the product from spooled fiber to a mat of specific proportion with a custom design. According to administration, this is the only facility that produces custom mats under one roof.
"In our old facility, it was so small we'd have to move things around three or four times," said David Rones, Americo vice president of sales and marketing. "There wasn't any good workflow. We had tufting in another building in Cartersville, we had a 50,000-square-foot building on Tennessee Street, and we would have to tuft the product, have it brought down to Acworth where it would be cut and vinyl backed and shipped from there. So, there was a lot of moving back and forth.
"Here we've got enough space where we'll run continuously from 7 in the morning to 4 o'clock in the afternoon without stopping because we have plenty of room to box. Anytime you have to stop and start, it costs money."
About 80 percent of the mats manufactured by Promo Matting are imprinted with a logo, emblem, design or company name. Americo, a geotextiles and nonwovens manufacturer, entered the matting market partially due to their proximity to Dalton and the carpet industry but found themselves succeeding in a value-added niche market. Their success in a troubled economy has provided tremendous growth and a large influx was seen with the retention of much of Pioneer Mat's customer base.
"Our sales are 80 percent higher than they were last year. So, in this day and age that's pretty darn good," David Rones said. "We feel very strongly that we're going to become very efficient, very lean in this facility and that will translate to lower costs for us -- which means we can go out in the marketplace and be more competitive, which means we should be able to increase sales and attract other customers that we couldn't before."
David Rones attributes much of their success to the staff and specifically those within customer service positions. An emphasis has been put on customer service and satisfaction, which he said has impacted sales significantly.
"We've put together a good team as far as customer service, sales and marketing. So, we're very service-oriented. We're very service driven. We want to make sure that the customers have a very good experience with us, that they keep coming back, that they tell their friends and other business associates about us. We don't ever want to lose a customer," David Rones said, adding that another facet of their success has been found in aggressive marketing and advertising efforts.
With additional space, the company has already begun to grow with the purchase of new technology allowing them to create multicolor mats. Equipment has been added that will run up to four colors in a single design for indoor or outdoor matting. Plans for growth have a total employee projection between 65 and 100, dependent on market conditions.
"It's obviously an expanding business, given the nature of the work they've sort of captured a niche, as I understand it, in their industry so there's room for expansion in the future. It bears to fit nicely in this neighborhood, it uses existing infrastructure and existing building, so in that respect it's green. And of course it is a utility buyer from us and that's what we're all about, that's what we like to see," said Sam Grove, Cartersville city manager, adding that no complaints have arisen since their arrival despite hesitation from neighbors at the outset. "I think it's fitting in nicely and it's a great addition to our community."