Duflex is part of the mattress division of one of the UK’s most prominent furnishing businesses – the Belfield Group. It is still expecting significant growth during 2018 having done so year on year for nearly a decade
Evidently, Castle Donnington provides not just the spiritual home for thousands of heavy metal fans, thanks to the annual Download Festival taking place every June in Donnington Park, but the small town in North West Leicestershire also appears to have strong traditions in bed and mattresses making, epitomised by the presence of Duflex Foam Ltd.
The company, which is a specialised manufacturer of mattresses, supplies some of the UK’s largest and well-known retailers and independent outlets. Part of the Belfield Group, Duflex has established and maintains a reputation of a foam and spring mattresses producer that always utilises the most advanced materials to the highest standards. With a capability of manufacturing more than 17,000 mattresses week in and week out, harnessing its state-of-the-art automated manufacturing lines, the business rightfully ranks among the world’s most proficient producers. Once a mattress is finished, their packaging – either pressed and rolled, or pressed, folded and rolled to fit into a box – ensure transportation efficiency and ease for their final customer.
Operating from two sites in Castle Donnington, Duflex employs some 200 staff, who are engaged in serving high-profile customers, such as Ikea, Eve, and Argos, as well as independents. The company has enjoyed continued success in recent times, reporting a sixth successive growth in turnover for the financial year that ended on 31 December 2016. According to its latest accounts, total sales rose by 22.1 per cent to £35.8 million, as demand for its products remained strong, regardless of the uncertainty caused by the situation around Brexit. Inspired by the tremendous growth it has seen at Duflex, the mattress division has set itself very ambitious targets for 2018, with early predictions suggesting that the company is well on track to comfortably achieve these.
The projected revenue generated by Duflex will contribute significantly to its owner’s anticipated turnover of over £200 million this year. The Belfield Group is a renowned name on the British high street, growing at two to three per cent per annum in what has been estimated as an £8 billion industry. The group’s product range covers upholstered furniture such as sofas, chairs, bedsteads, headboards, and, naturally, mattresses, as well as soft furnishings, including curtains, blinds and cushions.
Strong design capabilities have become a trademark of the Belfield Group over time. Boasting one of the largest design and development teams in the industry, the company is fully committed to working closely with its customers to understand and creatively interpret their needs. The group has assembled a team of professionals who are well-versed in the manufacturing process, monitoring closely all the fancy trends in the fast-moving furniture industry, which enables them to ensure that each product is made with optimal efficiency.
Demonstrative of the Belfield Group’s outstanding manufacturing skills are the regular visits other manufacturers from around the world pay to the company’s facilities to study its successful methods. Due to the versatility of its production processes, the business is fit to compete at all price points in the marketplace and offer a complex range of products efficiently and with short lead times. This has allowed Belfield Group to turn into a true expert in mass customisation with 200,000 different product lines made to order on short lead times.
Producing such a significant number of units inevitably means that the business has been pushed to develop equally impressive delivery capabilities. Taking into account the group’s ‘on-time, in-full’ delivery record, which stands at 99 per cent, clearly, the results have been fascinating. Sporting a capacity to produce 40,000 soft furnishing items per month, every week a significant number of 40-foot long trucks leave the Belfield Group’s depots in North Wales to deliver to customers all over the country.
For a company that claims to be at the forefront of its industry, it is nearly imperative to set a positive example of embracing sustainability and implementing environmentally-friendly practices across the whole spectrum of business operations. This is another task the Belfield Group has executed to perfection. In just a year, the company’s Westbridge facility managed to cut its CO2 emissions by 48 per cent and reduce its water consumption by 30 per cent, and the whole group has zero waste to landfill.
Outlining the key strengths of the Belfield Group is essential in understanding the highly successful exploits of Duflex. The mattress division has thrived under the watchful eye of its owner, whose backing has been instrumental in the business’ growth. This has been coupled with some earnest investment activity in the past 18 months, which involved the development of a new manufacturing plant which started production in February this year.
Duflex’s unshakeable focus on supplying its customers only with products of the highest quality has carried the company forward and helped it make its way to the front ranks of the furnishing industry. Given the recent infrastructure investments placed by the company, there is no doubt that just as its turnover, its ambitions, too, are growing considerably. To reach the next level of its development, the mattress division will also continue to rely on the valued operational and financial backing from its owner, the Belfied Group, whose astute decisions should continue to maintain the organisation on a successful path for the years ahead.