Mohawk Industries - Growth & Innovation
James M. Borneman, Editor In Chief
magine in the textile industry building a business that is growing — growing in revenue,
growing in product offerings, and growing ownership and support of its supply chains. After
spending time with the 2006
Innovation Award honoree, Mohawk Industries, it becomes apparent many of the traditional
barriers to growth have been removed and the company succeeds through innovation.
As evidenced by Mohawk’s expansion from a $300 million company when it went public in 1992 to one with projected sales of $7 billion in 2006, growth is central to the Mohawk success story.
But, where is the innovation? The simple fact is innovation plays a major role in almost every facet of the company — in product, process, business strategy, marketing, brand management and serving the customer. Mohawk’s track record speaks for itself. The company has a culture that forces solving problems and developing opportunities without being bogged down by traditional solutions. An example would be adapting to changing consumer tastes in floor covering.
Instead of seeing this as a crisis, Mohawk saw an opportunity, entered the hard-surface arena and redefined floor covering. In doing so, it created opportunities for retailers and consumers. Its product range broadened, and it developed sales and marketing solutions to support the redefinition. The potential crisis was really an opportunity that strengthened all facets of the company and positioned it as a total floor covering solutions provider.
The following pages attempt to illustrate just how much is going on inside Mohawk and how willing the company is to invest in its future. With a history that stretches back to 1878, when four brothers bought 14 secondhand weaving machines and entered the carpet business, this is a company that knows its business. It is also a company that is keenly aware of new opportunities.
Issues like sustainability are ever present. Mohawk recycles 25 percent of all the plastic bottles used in North America each year into 160 million pounds
of carpet fiber. In 2007, the company expects to offer carpet under the SmartStrand™ made with DuPont™ Sorona® polymer brand — carpet containing innovative biobased man-made fiber.
Mohawk’s associates are key to the company’s success. As Jeff Lorberbaum, Mohawk president and CEO, said in his interview with TW , “There is no alternative to bright, motivated people who like to succeed focused on a common vision.” That vision has been sustained under conditions of tremendous growth. When asked the key to Mohawk’s success, Lorberbaum said, “Continuously reinventing everything we do and executing it with a vengeance.”
Congratulations to Mohawk Industries and all of its associates company-wide. Thank you for a great story of growth and innovation.